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

It's your time to shine, Miss Vaaaaaanjie

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Photo: VH1

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, March 7. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1, 9 p.m.): There’s a rich history of first-eliminated queens making good within the franchise of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The first queen eliminated in the show’s history, Victoria Porkchop Parker, turns up with some frequency—including in this season’s premiere! The standard bearer of this category is, without a doubt, Shangela Laquifa Wadley of A Star Is Born fame, but not even Shangela made a splash the way that Vanessa Vanjie Mateo did last season. Shangela had a very entertaining first episode before returning for season two, and she didn’t become a favorite overnight. Miss Vanjie—sorry, Miss Vaaaaaaanjie—did it in six words.

Now she’s back, and off to a very strong start, finishing in the top three of the first challenge and absolutely winning the talking-head, maximize-your-screen-time game without overplaying her hand. For all we know, she’ll fall apart this week, but she’s made it past the “make a dress out of a bunch of stuff” challenge, and that’s more than she did last season. We are cautiously optimistic.

Actually, fuck cautiously. We are very into the Prime Of Miss Vanjie, The Unsinkable Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie if you’re nasty, Little Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie and her Magic School Bus, The Autobiography Of Miss Vanjie...

You get the idea. Tonight includes acting challenges inspired by Get Out and Black Panther. Kate Kulzick stands ready to recap. Miss Vanjie, we’re counting on you.

Regular coverage

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access, 8:30 p.m.)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, 9 p.m.)
The Orville (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Better Things (FX, 10 p.m.)
Broad City (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)


Wild card

A.P. Bio (NBC, 8:30 p.m., second season premiere): Glenn Howerton and one of TV’s best title sequences both return tonight. If you missed the first season, we encourage a proper catch-up, but it also seems as though the season two premiere isn’t a terrible place to jump in—Jack (Howerton) needs a new mission, and he apparently sets his sights on writing a world-class philosophy treatise, which is likely to be much funnier than it sounds. Besides, NBC is surprisingly effective at taking philosophy and turning it into great sitcom fodder.


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!