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

Netflix expands its sitcom queue with The Upshaws

Mike Epps and Wanda Sykes in The Upshaws
Mike Epps and Wanda Sykes in The Upshaws
Photo: Lara Solanki/Netflix

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, May 12. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

The Upshaws (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): Netflix is trying to draw more sitcom-style laughs with new comedy The Upshaws. Co-created by Wanda Sykes and Regina Hicks, it stars Mike Epps as Bennie Upshaw, the well-meaning but messy patriarch of his working-class Black family in Indiana. He lives with his wife, their three children, and a teenage son he fathered with another woman, all while tolerating his sardonic sister-in-law, played by Sykes. The show also stars Kim Fields, Khali Daniya-Renee Spraggins, Journey Christine, Jermelle Simon, Diamond Lyons, and Gabrielle Dennis.

Regular coverage

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu, 12:01 a.m.)

Wild card

Oxygen (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): “Productions don’t get much leaner than Oxygen, which is set in a single, coffin-sized location and has a cast list of three. Starring Mélanie Laurent as a woman who wakes up in a cryogenic pod with rapidly declining oxygen levels and absolutely no idea who or where she is, this Netflix thriller is so ruthlessly efficient that it’s no surprise to see Alexandre Aja’s name in the credits. Aja’s last film, 2019’s Crawl, was set in a basement full of alligators. And while Oxygen is literally too small to accommodate any bloodthirsty reptiles, Aja, working in French for the first time in nearly 20 years, keeps the jolts coming nonetheless. He even manages to pull off a jump scare within the film’s claustrophobic confines. How, we are not at liberty to say.” Read the rest of Katie Rife’s review of the film here.

The Hills: New Beginnings (MTV, 9 p.m., season premiere): The cast of this Hollywood friend group reunites after a year of lockdown in the season two premiere of the reality series. “Burying The Plot” finds them at various crossroads, from highly publicized breakups to starting new families to reuniting with exes. The show stars Brody Jenner, Spencer Pratt, Heidi Pratt, Mischa Barton, Thomas Lee, and Audrina Patridge, among others. Kristin Cavallari will also appear.

Dance Of The Forty One (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): This Mexican film, also called El Baile De Los 41, is based on an early 20th-century scandal involving a raid on a high-society drag party attended by Ignacio de la Torre (played by Alfonso Herrera), who married Amada Díaz (Mabel Cadena), the daughter of the president of Mexico, but apparently led a double life. As Netflix describes, Ignacio “rises in the traditional world of politics while being a member of a clandestine society. The delicate balance holds until he meets Evaristo [Emiliano Zurita], the 42nd member of the society. Secrets come to light and it all culminates in a scandalous police raid at one of his parties, also known as the dance of the 41.”

Staff Writer (TV)