Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
L: Tan France, Alexa Chung in Next In Fashion (Netflix); R, top and bottom: Night On Earth ( Netflix)

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


Top pick

Next In Fashion (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., series premiere): If the new Heidi-Klum-and-Tim-Gunn-less version of Project Runway isn’t working for you, Netflix has a new, very familiar feeling option. The streaming channel’s first fashion program, Next In Fashion, stars Queer Eyes clothing expert Tan France and model Alexa Chung leading a pack of designer/stylists in a weekly best-of fashion competition. NIF at least offers one twist: Instead of solo designers/stylists, the teams have joined the competition in pairs, some who’ve worked together a long time, some more recent. They create their various concoctions, the best and worst results are named with the help of some guest judges, and one team gets cut each week without even a catchy kiss-off phrase. France and Chung are decidedly cute, there are a few teams definitely worth rooting for, and an actual fashion-related injury in episode three. Other than that, NIF seems like a lot of same-old, and the challenges are a bit more pedestrian (mixing prints and patterns one week or focusing on suits the next) than Runway’s tasks to create with candy or hardware store supplies or whatever. But if Next In Fashion also fails to inspire, never fear: Tim and Heidi are soon set to return with Making The Cut on Amazon Prime on March 27. [Gwen Ihnat]

Regular coverage

Riverdale (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Vikings (History, 10 p.m.)

Wild cards

Night On Earth (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): We’ve been spoiled for choice when it comes to nature documentaries of late: Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Our Planetthe list goes on. It might be tempting to see Night On Earth and think, “great, a nature doc, but at night, how novel.” That would be a mistake. This six-episode series, narrated by Samira Wiley, uses some very cool technology to capture things that would otherwise go unseen: In the first episode, for example, we see how lions and other such predators use night to their advantage, getting startlingly close to prey before the soon-to-be-food notices anything amiss; then we see how the moonlight-reflecting flowers on cacti attract the long-tongued bats that spread the pollen between blooms. It’s visually stunning and unlike anything else in its genre.

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And come on, who doesn’t want to watch two glow-in-the-dark scorpions mate, unaware they’re being hunted by a grasshopper mouse that howls at the moon?

Each of the first five episodes focuses on a specific habitat: the plains, the arctic, the jungle, the ocean, and urban environments. While not provided to critics, Netflix promises that the sixth episode, “Dusk Till Dawn,” will focus specifically on the progression from darkest night to sunrise. Thrilling, trippy, and if you’ll pardon the word choice, illuminating, Night On Earth quickly proves that it’s more than just a cool gimmick—but the gimmick is cool, all the same. [Allison Shoemaker]

Harry & Meghan: The Royals In Crisis (Fox, 8 p.m.) and Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and The Crown (ABC, 10 p.m.): There is a certain segment of the population that would absolutely wish to be made aware that there are tonight two different specials on the Sussexes, sure to be filled with contradictory information, very dramatic music, some thoughtful commentary, some angry people saying questionable things, and apparently a lot of footage of Meghan Markle in a brown turtleneck, which looks very comfortable by the way.

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If you are in that segment of the population, just know that you’ve got an hour between specials to make a run for snacks or another bottle of wine. Have fun, you crazy kids. [Allison Shoemaker]

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.

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