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

Twenties debuts, and a guy walks a tightrope over a goddamn volcano

Jonica T. Gibbs, Nik Wallenda
Jonica T. Gibbs, Nik Wallenda
Photo: BET, Maarten de Boer (ABC)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, March 4. All times are Eastern. 

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Top picks

Twenties (BET, 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., series premiere): “The premise of Twenties is intriguing, as it’s still rare for a TV show to center on a Black butch stud, let alone open with a lesbian sex scene. (More, please.) This isn’t BET’s version of The L Word, either—outside of that “straight woman” Hattie can’t leave alone or the other women she has sex with, her life is pretty much surrounded by straight folks. That decision is made all the more interesting by Hattie being out and proud. Sadly, those compelling elements get drowned out by Lena Waithe’s incessant need to remind you that this is a Black AF show with folks doing Black AF things.” Look for the rest of Kellee Terrell’s pre-air review later today.

Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda (ABC, 8 p.m., premiere): A fun game to play: Intersperse some of the ludicrous shows that existed in the world of 30 Rock with some actual shows airing now and see if a pal can pick which are real and which are fake. Rockefeller Center Salute To Fireworks? Fake. The Masked Singer? Real. Love Is Blind? Real. MILF Island? Fake. Gold Case? Fake. Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda? Real.

If you want a sense of how wild this idea is, check out this National Geographic video about the Masaya Volcano, which includes someone using the phrase, “Welcome to the gates of hell.”

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Party Of Five (Freeform, 8:30 p.m., 90-minute season finale, special time): One of the smartest and most refreshing reboots in a while, Freeform’s Party Of Five comes to an end—for now—with a season finale that’s just bursting with emotion. We’ve watched the Acostas try to navigate this country’s family separation policy as well, a family, with parents Javier (Bruno Bichir) and Gloria (Fernanda Urrejola) trying to look after their kids from the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border. But it’s been up to their eldest children, Emilio (Brandon Larracuente), Beto (Niko Guadardo), and Lucia (Emily Tosta) to be surrogate parents to the youngest Acosta kids, including the precocious Valentina (Elle Paris Legaspi). Hard facts and decisions abound in the season-one finale, “Diaspora,” as Gloria expresses her fear that she’s already missed too much in her younger children’s upbringing, Emilio entertains a new partnership, and Lucia has another heart-to-heart talk with her mother. “Diaspora” is an especially moving episode, but its ability to bring a satisfying close to the season-long story—while leaving the door open for more, of course—is just as impressive as its poignance. [Danette Chavez]

Regular coverage

Riverdale (The CW, 8 p.m.)

Wild cards

The Magicians (Syfy, 10 p.m.): With the news that the current season of The Magicians will be the show’s last, it’s a good time to check in with the fine folk of Fillory.

Dave (FXX, 10 p.m., series premiere): And here’s the debut of FXX’s Dave, an autobiographical series from Dave “Lil Dicky” Burd and The League’s Jeff Schaffer.

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!

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