Amazon’s Annedroids effortlessly dismantles kid show gender roles

Amazon’s Annedroids effortlessly dismantles kid show gender roles

Also Bad Teacher graduates into cancellation and Epic Meal Time moves from YouTube to TV

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, July 25, and Saturday, July 26. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK

Annedroids (Amazon, 12 a.m., Friday): As op-eds continue to talk about how to make Hollywood less sexist, Amazon just went out and did the damn thing. Their brand new live-action children’s show centers around a young scientist named Anne. She lives in a junkyard and builds complex androids in her spare time. Along with her human friends, she completes scientific experiments and learns about the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Unbelievably, there’s not a white male protagonist to be found! Even  better, the show celebrates diversity of all kinds. It features both single parent and same-sex parent families. Plus it co-stars a genderless android trying to figure out what it means to be a “boy” or a “girl.” Now that’s what 21st Century TV should look like.


ALSO NOTED

Legends Of Korra (Nickelodeon, 8 p.m., Friday): In an unexpected move, Nickelodeon announced it’s pulling the final five episodes of this season’s Legends Of Korra and releasing them exclusively online. Tonight’s episode will be the last one airing on TV, and Oliver Sava will likely have a lot of thoughts on the move. 

Epic Meal Empire (FYI, 10 p.m., Saturday): The YouTube channel Epic Meal Time has almost 6.5 million subscribers, so it’s hardly surprising that the bad boys of cooking are making the leap to television. Like their YouTube videos, the show features the guys making “epic meals” (such as a massive lasagna made of other lasagnas). Considering the increasing legitimacy of YouTube as a platform, this could be inspire a whole new slew of YouTube/TV crossovers.

Bad Teacher (CBS, 9 p.m., Saturday): Bad Teacher reaches the end of its summer burn-off as CBS airs the final two episodes of the show’s first (and only) season. Watch as the show optimistically throws its graduation cap into the air only to be quickly stunned by the cold, harsh real world. 

Phineas & Ferb (Disney, 9 p.m., Saturday): Yesterday Sonia Saraiya explained how the Disney acquisition of Star Wars de-canonizes the franchise’s expanded universe. The upside, however, is that Star Wars is now sure to pop up in tons of Disney properties. That’s the case with this Star Wars-themed Phineas & Ferb special which features RD-D2 and the Death Star falling into the hands of the titular stepbrothers.


TV CLUB CLASSIC

Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday): Always up for a challenge, Rowan Kaiser will be looking at six episodes of Bablyon 5 this week. We’d say “May the force be with you,” but that feels like mixing metaphors. 

Blackadder (3 p.m., Friday): It’s a whole new era of Blackadder as the show jumps into the Regency period. This week’s Jane-Austen inspired titles are “Dish And Dishonesty” and “Ink And Incapability.” It is a truth universally acknowledged that Kate Kulzick loves alliterative names. 

The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): One of this week’s episodes features a magical object, the other features a seemingly magical object that turns out to be quite ordinary. Zack Handlen is covering his bases and filing his review from both his magical and non-magical computer.


ELSEWHERE IN TV CLUB

A.V. Club’s former TV editor Todd VanDerWerff makes a surprise cameo this week with a new One-Season Wonders, Weirdos, and Wannabes about the 1980s sitcom Frank’s Place. Elsewhere, some TV Club writers reveal their favorite books of the year so far because it’s not like all we do is watch TV (that’s just most of what we do). And having recently returned from the Television Critics Association press tour, our fearless leaders Erik Adams and Sonia Saraiya ask the question “What’s the point of the TCAs?” in a brand new Crosstalk. Finally, Sonia has a TV Review of the new WGN WWII drama, Manhattan. She writes: “Despite many available clichés, the narrative eschews anything obvious—this is a character drama first, and a war story second.” 


WHAT ELSE IS ON?

Rodney Carrington: Laughter’s Good (CMT 9 p.m., Friday): Stand up comedian/country musician Rodney Carrington tells jokes and sings songs in this new comedy special. It’s a a classic case of “save a horse, ride a comedian.” 

Bride By Design (TLC, 10 p.m., Friday): Besides death and taxes, the only other certainty in life is that TLC will offer bride-themed programming on Friday nights. This special documents the custom creations of Alabama bridal designer Heidi Elnora.

In Search Of Aliens (H2, 10 p.m., Friday): H2, The History Channel spinoff, premieres a brand new series about an “Ancient Astronaut theorist” looking for evidence that aliens caused some of history’s biggest mysteries. Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 

WWI: The First Modern War (History, 8 p.m., Saturday): Monday marks the 100-year anniversary of the start of WWI. With the alien-themed programming left to H2, The History Channel actually fulfills its mission of exploring history with a marathon of programs about The Great War. Four hour-long specials are themed around the topics of tanks, military airships, chemical weapons, and submarines, respectively. 

Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark (SyFy, 9 p.m., Saturday): This film may not feature a Sharknado, but it does feature a government-created mechanical shark designed to combat a real shark of “epic proportions.” That’ll do, pig, that’ll do. 

Almost Royal (BBC America, 10 p.m., Saturday): This BBC America original comedy reaches its season finale as Poppy tries to become a county-pop star with this delightfully surreal music video. In a pitch perfect bit of satire, self-obsessed Poppy sings the line: “[I’m] so beautiful and everyone knows it but me.”

WWI Marathon (TCM, all day, Friday): While The History Channel documents WWI through military history, TCM is dedicating a whole day to narrative films about the war. Starting at 6 a.m. with 1931’s The Last Flight, the marathon features 13 more films including Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms (1918), Buster Keaton’s Dough Boys (1930), Richard Attenborough’s satire Oh! What A Lovely War (1969), and Greta Garbo’s Mata Hari (1932).

Men In Black (ACM, 8 p.m., Friday): As in Independence Day, Will Smith once again battles aliens with sassy one-liners. Only this time he doesn’t punch them in the face

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (EPIX, 9 p.m., Saturday): EPIX presents the world television premiere of this almost universally-praised Hunger Games sequel. The 9 p.m. broadcast will be flanked by behind the scenes footage. We volunteer! 

MLB Baseball: Cardinals at Cubs (WGN, 4 p.m., Friday): The three things Midwesterners love most are ranch dressing, saying hi to strangers on the street, and the long-running Cardinals/Cubs rivalry.

Tour de France (NBC Sports 8 p.m., Saturday): The second-to-last day of this year’s Tour de France is an individual time trial. Vincenzo Nibali is basically a lock for the yellow jersey but the battle for second and third place is surprisingly tight. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Defiance: Given that this SyFy show is set in a futuristic St. Louis we have to assume it features ranch dressing, friendly strangers, and the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry. Only Rowan Kaiser knows for sure.  

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