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

One last piece of Cake for the season

An image from Kirsten Lepore's short film "Natural History Museum"
Kirsten Lepore’s “Natural History Museum” from Cake
Photo: FXX

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


Top pick

Cake (FXX, 10 p.m., fourth-season finale): Tonight, one of TV’s most reliably surprising and predictably excellent titles reaches the end of its current season. Cake, FXX’s freewheeling collection of short films and series, routinely trots out live-action and animated creations as daring as anything else on TV. Its fourth season has found an anchor in Peter Huang’s Nine Films About Technology, a series that’s exactly what it says on the tin. Like Cake, it wraps up tonight, but while Huang’s ninth film about technology is a definite end, there’s every chance we’ll get more Cake in the future. (Hurry up and issue that renewal, powers that be!)

If you’re new to Cake, have no fear, for no prior viewing is required to enjoy tonight’s finale. Still, if you’ve got time, it’s worth going back to see what you missed. You can catch up via FX on Hulu, either by going through episode-by-episode, picking and choosing individual shorts, or perusing recurring segments (like the other films about technology in Nine Films About Technology.) And a heads up to animation nerds that animated segments in the finale are top-notch.

More from TV Club

Yasuke (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): “In the 1570s, a 6-foot-tall Black man referred to as Yasuke arrived in Japan, quickly drawing the attention of legendary leader Oda Nobunaga. The two became friends, and as the story goes—actual historical records about Yasuke are hard to come by—Yasuke somehow rose to the rank of samurai within a year, and became a loyal warrior at Nobunaga’s side. Just a few years later, Nobunaga was forced to kill himself after being betrayed by one of his generals, and though Yasuke was supposedly there at the time, there’s no real account of what happened to him afterward.

As far as anyone knows, that’s all true. LeSean Thomas’ new Netflix anime Yasuke isn’t really interested in telling that story, though. Instead, it uses that backstory as a jumping-off point, opening with Nobunaga’s death, but Yasuke is so far removed from reality that its connection to a real guy is detrimental to the story it’s trying to tell.” Read the rest of Sam Barsanti’s pre-air review.

Regular coverage

Wild cards

Time for the now-traditional Thursday wild card lightning round.

The Big Shot With Bethenny (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., series premiere, first two episodes): Someone please assure us that this business-centric reality competition isn’t the beginning of Bethenny’s campaign for high office.

Lucy The Human Chimp (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., documentary premiere): Y’all like chimps, warm feelings, and tinkly piano music?

Things Heard & Seen (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., premiere): Amanda Seyfried anchors this feature adaptation of Elizabeth Brundage’s novel All Things Cease To Appear. Read Katie Rife’s review here.

Top Chef (Bravo, 8 p.m.): In a 75-minute episode, the chefs create Mother’s Day dishes from roses or rose products, then head to the drive-in to dream up dishes inspired by different film genres.

Let’s Be Real (Fox, 9:30 p.m., series premiere): Robert Smigel (of Triumph The Insult Comic Dog fame) continues to blend politics with, ah, felt in this extension of his 2020 election special.

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!