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

Get some catharsis with Yearly Departed

Illustration for article titled Get some catharsis with Yearly Departed
Screenshot: YouTube

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, December 30. All times are Eastern. 


Top pick

Yearly Departed (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., premiere): This comedy special, hosted by 2 Dope Queens cohost Phoebe Robinson, has an energy that’s quite specific. It’s like when you got dumped in your sophomore year of college and you were already super underslept and broke and probably drinking too much and, in pursuit of catharsis, the idea of taking all the letters and cards and gifts your ex gave you and burning them on a mighty funeral pyre starts to sound real damn good. Yearly Departed is like that, but for a year.

Rachel Brosnahan, Tiffany Haddish, Patti Harrison, Natasha Leggero, Sarah Silverman, Natasha Rothwell, and Ziwe all appear, among others. Keep an eye out for Saloni Gajjar’s review, which will be mercifully flame retardant.

Regular coverage

Vikings (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., part two of the complete final season): Dennis Perkins’s recaps will run every other day, beginning today.

Wild cards

We’ve reached the point in this long, long year when most of the broadcast options are either a) festive or b) repeats. So for the rest of 2020, we’ll be highlighting some of those festive things, but also some great shows or episodes from the year you might have missed.


Best Leftovers Ever! (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): If you’ve still got some Who-pudding and roast beast leftover from the holiday, this new cooking competition series might be right up your alley.

City So Real (National Geographic, streaming on Hulu): “The brilliance of City So Real, the five-episode docuseries from Hoop Dreams director Steve James, has nothing to do with intensity of focus. Like Chicago, the city on which it centers, this is a sprawling thing, ever-changing but always familiar. James anchors his series in the historic, chaotic 2019 Chicago Mayoral Race, a story he inextricably links with the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by then-Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke, and the Lincoln Yards development; all three make plain the interconnected nature of Chicago’s most pressing problems, so many of which have roots in systemic racism. Those big storylines make for riveting and vital television, but it’s the flashes of everyday life in its marvelous central city that push City So Real into the territory of the unforgettable.” Read the rest of Allison Shoemaker’s thoughts on City So Real in our list of the year’s best television. 

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!