Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Oh god: Here comes the first presidential debate

Illustration for article titled Oh god: Here comes the first presidential debate
Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / Staff (Getty Images)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, September 29. All times are Eastern. 


Top pick

PBS Newshour, “Debates 2020,” the first presidential debate (PBS, 9 p.m.; also ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Vice, and streaming online): Tonight’s presidential debate, the first of this endless and yet somehow almost finished election season, will be 90 minutes long, or at least it should be. Who knows? But let’s assume 90 minutes. If you were to pay yourself $8.33 for every minute of that time, at the end of it you’d have $750.

Chris Wallace of Fox News hosts. Candidates will have two minutes to answer each question.

Can you binge it? Odds are you’re not going to have much of a choice; prepare to hear clips of whatever gets said tonight over and over again until the next debate.

Regular coverage

Wild card

Michelle Buteau: Welcome To Buteaupia (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., comedy special premiere): Michelle Buteau’s first special for Netflix has pretty much all the things you’d expect: Great hair, some delightful anecdotes about her Dutch husband, and an approach to language that blends equal parts warmth and judgment with glorious, glorious cursing. Once you get past the surreal spectacle of a bunch of humans sitting in a dark room together, close enough that Buteau can both see and converse with them, it’s all too easy to fall in step with the comedian, who showcases her knack for making it feel as though her set is a conversation you’ve just wandered into and in which you somehow have no lines. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, if by chance you’re in need of such a thing right now.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!