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

Now entering Rutherford Falls, plus a whole heap of Earth Day programming

Ed Helms, Dana L. Wilson, and Jana Schmieding in Rutherford Falls
Ed Helms, Dana L. Wilson, and Jana Schmieding in Rutherford Falls
Photo: Colleen Hayes/Peacock

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, April 22. All times are Eastern. 


Top pick

Rutherford Falls (Peacock, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): “With warm and witty humor, Rutherford Falls fits right into the Mike Schur TV universe like a glove. Co-created by Schur, Sierra Teller Ornelas, and (series star) Ed Helms, the Peacock comedy is set in a small Northeast town of the same name. While the show is mostly contained within Rutherford Falls, it broadens its real world scope with characters who veritably represent the Native American community. Ornelas, who is Navajo and Mexican American, is also the showrunner, while the writing team has a record number of Indigenous members. Their voices lend an honesty to the portrayal of Native American characters, who don’t otherwise have much real estate in small-screen comedies.” Read the rest of Saloni Gajjar’s pre-air review.

Regular coverage

Earth Day on your TV

Let’s give the planet a wild card lightning round of its own.

Action Planet (Discovery+, 3:01 a.m., series premiere): You’ll be able to catch this new series, which will “highlight the work of high-profile changemakers including Common, Jane Fonda, Matt Damon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adrian Grenier, and Greta Thunberg,” on OWN (9 p.m.), Discovery proper (10:04 p.m.), and the Science Channel (11 p.m.) as well.

Endangered (Discovery+, 3:01 a.m., documentary premiere): Ellen DeGeneres narrates this effort from Discovery and the BBC Natural History Unit; as you might guess, it concerns the distressingly long list of wildlife that’s at risk for extinction.

Life In Color With David Attenborough (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): Hey, Discover+! Netflix has DAVID MOTHERFUCKING ATTENBOROUGH narrating for Earth Day. Take that, DeGeneres. In addition to a global treasure as its host, this series can also boast some “innovative technology,” which allows the audience to “explore nature from a fresh perspective as animals use color to survive and thrive in the wild.”

Secrets Of The Whales (Disney+, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): This James Cameron/NatGeo doc “plunges viewers deep within the epicenter of whale culture to experience the extraordinary communication skills and intricate social structures of five different whale species: orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals, and sperm whales.” And the whales don’t get Attenborough, but they do get Sigourney Weaver, which is still pretty rad.

Cher & The Loneliest Elephant (Paramount+, 3:01 a.m., premiere): Attenborough, Sigourney, and Cher? In one day? We’d call that overkill but it’s a climate emergency so, nah, bring on the celebrity narrators. Could someone get Mariah Carey and Tom Hanks on the line, maybe?

2040 (The CW, 8 p.m., two-hour special): This doc offers “a positive vision of the future where humanity has solved climate change, with solutions well within reach today.”

Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World (PBS, 8 p.m., complete docuseries): Greta does not need a famous narrator. She just wants you to listen to the science.

Other wild cards

A wild card section for people who don’t give a shit about the earth. (We kid, we kid.)

Generation Hustle (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): Contrary to what the title might suggest, this is not a 10-episode argument for you to quit at least one of your side hustles. Instead, it’s a docuseries about scammers! Who doesn’t love a good con artist yarn?

2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards (IFC, 10 p.m.): Thus begins a whole slew of awards-y stuff happening over the next week. Melissa Villaseñor hosts—read our interview with her.

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!