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

Reign returns to remind you that if you come for the Queen, you best not miss

Adelaide Kane, Dan Jeannotte (Photo: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW)
Adelaide Kane, Dan Jeannotte (Photo: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Reign (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday): Going into the fourth-season premiere of this Queen-heavy period drama, it’s a fine time to check in on Genevieve Valentine’s glowing review of last season’s outstanding finale:

“Spiders In A Jar” is about as perfect an episode of Reign as one could ask for. So many things happen that a list of plot points would beggar belief, but they all work together, mounting evidence that war is so much more robust than peace that the latter is impossible. The three queens run into immovable forces, accept their losses, and try to come to grips with their loneliness; also, Catherine invites an entire townful of people to the palace under the pretense of thanking them for their onion crop. What more can you ask from television?

What more, indeed? Well, perhaps a full season of further reviews from Genevieve. Sadly, the Reign-mania phenomenon never materialized, which means we’re only getting full reviews for the premiere and finale episodes, with the rest of the season made up of those discussion posts that cut out the middleman and let the commenters just get right to commentin’. (Genevieve would also like people to know that she has a whole lot of “Reign-mania” merch for sale, cheap.)

David Brent: Life On The Road (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Did you love the original British The Office but wish it was just all David Brent alternately blurting out horribly inappropriate things and comically inept songs for 96 minutes? Well, this feature-length film of Brent’s predictably disastrous attempts to revive his pop music career with band Foregone Conclusion,sees Ricky Gervais picking up Brent’s story 15 years later. (He sells toilet supplies instead of paper.) Featuring a soundtrack co-written by Gervais and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, the film promises to be as catchy as it is cringeworthy.

Stronger Than The World (Netflix, 3:01 a.m, Friday): Biopic about longtime UFC featherweight champion José Aldo. He’s played by José Loreto, who’d like to thank his personal trainer.

Smokey Robinson: The Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): If anyone deserves it, it’s Smokey. Listen:

John Lewis: Get In The Way (PBS, 10:30 p.m., Friday): Like Frederick Douglass, civil rights trailblazer Congressman John Lewis is a courageous black man whose accomplishments Donald Trump had never heard of until recently. Watch this profile of Lewis’ long career, from the Freedom Riders to the March On Washington, to the U.S. House Of Representatives. Don’t be like Donald.


From Straight A’s To XXX (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): In what may be the most Lifetime of all Lifetime movie titles of all time, this “based on a true story!” story sees a college student turning to porn to pay the tuition bills. Co-starring Judd Nelson, who thankfully does not play the lead role.

48th NAACP Image Awards (TV One, 9 p.m., Saturday): Black-ish star Anthony Anderson hosts this annual “multi-cultural awards show from an African American point of view,” from the venerable (and ever-more-necessary) NAACP. If you’re feeling the need for some righteously inspiring and defiant acceptance speeches in the age of Trump, this is your jam.


Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): After last week’s surprise appearance of Melissa McCarthy as White House Secretary Sean Spicer (which apparently really got under both Spicer’s and his boss’ skin), there’s been mounting speculation about just who is going to be the next Trump-trashing celebrity in line to stick the needle. There have been rumors of Trump nemesis (well, one nemesis) Rosie O’Donnell doing… something. (Especially since it’s been reported that the Donald was particularly mad that a woman showed up in the Spicer getup.) Regardless, Trump no doubt already has his Twitter fingers limbered up since tonight’s show is hosted by nemesis (yes, another one) Alec Baldwin. At press time, it is unknown if Trump is holding any grudges against musical guest Ed Sheeran, but there’s still a day or so before airtime. Reviewer Dennis Perkins is also unaware of being on any presidential enemies list. Yet.

Premieres and finales

Abstract: The Art Of Design (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Documentary series explores the minds and works of those artists who take stuff (buildings, cars, sneakers) and make it into much cooler stuff.

The Collection (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Richard Coyle, Mamie Gummer, Irène Jacob, and many other impeccably tailored actors star in this sweeping sartorial epic drama series about the surprisingly sex-and-murder-heavy history of a post-WWII Paris fashion house.


Regular coverage

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday)

Grimm (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday)

Streaming pick

4 Little Girls (HBO, Amazon): Spike Lee’s still-crippling documentary about the 1963 bombing by the KKK that killed four young black girls. With Jeff Sessions just voted in as the new Attorney General, and the Trump administration announcing that it’s “de-prioritizing” the investigation of white supremacist groups like the Klan, it’s time to start brushing up on what to do when the government isn’t super motivated to prosecute hate crimes.