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

One great thing about tonight’s debate (no, really)

Joe Biden, Chris Wallace, and Donald Trump at the first presidential debate, in September.
Joe Biden, Chris Wallace, and Donald Trump at the first presidential debate, in September.
Photo: Olivier Douliery (Getty Images)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, October 22. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

PBS Newshour, “Debates 2020,” the final presidential debate (PBS, 9 p.m.; also ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Vice, and streaming online): We promised you good news in the headline. We shall not fail you. Tonight’s presidential debate is likely to be a whole mess. It is likely to infuriate you. It may or may not include a moment in which the president of the United States tells the Proud Boys to “stand by.” After all, it wouldn’t be the first time. Who the hell knows what’s going to happen, other than that it’s going to be at least a little nightmarish?


But there is one certainty which brings us joy, and which may do the same for you: Unless something really wild happens, this will be, win or lose, Donald Trump’s final presidential debate, ever.

Stay hydrated, maybe pour yourself a nice bourbon or pop an edible, and just imagine never having to see that motherfucker behind a presidential seal ever again.

Can you binge it? We’re all bingeing it, all the time. We cannot avoid it. It is our existence.


Regular coverage

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access, 3:01 a.m.)

From Film Club

The Witches (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., premiere): “This time, the Grand High Witch is played by a vamping Anne Hathaway, who removes her perfectly coiffed blonde bouffant and emerges, before an audience of fellow bald crones, as a gnashing digital harpy with three-talon claws and a J-horror rictus grin. But though she looks creepy enough [...] the scene itself feels curiously… defanged somehow, even as it plays out the same way, with dark schemes and scared boys shrinking into rodents. It’s lost the queasy voyeuristic charge—that child’s-eye blend of awe and revulsion—both the book and the previous movie offered by the bubbling cauldron.” Read the rest of A.A. Dowd’s film review.

For kids

Craftopia (HBO, 3:01 a.m., two specials premiere): HBO Max’s kids reality competition series gets spooky with a pair of back-to-back Halloween episodes.

Wild card

Equal (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., complete docuseries): Billy Porter narrates this four-part look at “the warriors, patriots, artists, thinkers, and organizers who preceded Stonewall, who spoke out when it mattered most, who built community through secret societies, and who fought against all odds in pursuit of that most underlining human quality: the desire to be yourself.”

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