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

Hoop Dreams’ Steve James does right by Chicago—again

Illustration for article titled Hoop Dreams’ Steve James does right by Chicago—again
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

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


Top pick

City So Real (National Geographic, 7 p.m, complete docuseries): “Somewhere amid the frustration, [director Steve] James identifies another feeling, one that will be repeated refrain-like across City So Real’s five sprawling installments. After telling reporters of the absurd last-minute withdrawal of an objection, Board Of Elections spokesperson Jim Allen smiles and says, ‘Welcome to Chicago.’

Welcome to Chicago. It is what it is. That’s Chicago for you.

City So Real captures a love-hate relationship residents have with Chicago—at once a wry, begrudging acceptance of what could charitably be called its foibles and a passionate plea to make it better. While its ostensible focus is one of the city’s more interesting mayoral races in recent history, the series more broadly surveys the biggest problems the third-largest city in America faces and the people trying to solve them.” Read the rest of Laura Adamczyk’s review.

Can you binge it? That’s the form in which it is airing tonight—all five episodes will run back-to-back. However, if you’d rather binge on your own timetable, the complete series comes to Hulu tomorrow.

Regular coverage

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access, 3:01 a.m.)

For kids

The Monster At The End Of Story (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., premiere): The beloved, reality-bending book from Sesame Street gets a full-fledged animated companion for the first time. Did we write “for kids” in that header? Sorry, that should read “For everyone who needs a Grover story right now.”


If you need a refresher:

Wild card

Superstore (NBC, 8 p.m., season-six premiere): The folks at Cloud 9 return to work—they’re essential, after all—and wrap up the big threads left hanging at the end of their truncated fifth season (especially the one that leads right to Amy).

A Creepshow Animated Special: Survivor Type / Twittering from the Circus of the Dead (Shudder, 3:01 a.m.): Boo! One of these animated tales is based on a short story by Stephen King, the other based on a short story by Joe Hill. Enjoy, constant readers.

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!