Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, November 17. All times are Eastern.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, And Madness (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): Like it or not, we’re getting more of this Netflix docuseries. The show debuted at the start of quarantine in 2020, automatically becoming the most-talked about TV of last year, despite how messy all of its subjects’ really are. All this viral meme-ing has willed a second season into existence, so Netflix can grab more eyeballs as audiences catch up to Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, et al. The new season will consist of five episodes. Look out for additional coverage on the site later this week.
Marvel’s Hit Monkey (Hulu, 12:01 a.m.): “Hulu’s new animated series Hit-Monkey is a blast, one of the more enjoyable of Marvel’s recent TV shows. Created by Daniel Way and Dalibor Talajić in 2010, Hit-Monkey isn’t a hitman with the proportionate strength of a radioactive monkey, but quite literally a monkey hitman who’s tangled with both Deadpool and Spider-Man.” Read Stephen Robinson’s full review of this adult animated comedy here. Fred Tatasciore, Jason Sudeikis, George Takei, Olivia Munn, Ally Maki, Nobi Nakanishi form the voice cast.
Christmas Flow (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.): Just in time to cozy up for the holidays, this French rom-com is about an unexpected Christmastime romance between a tenacious journalist, Lila (Shirine Boutella), and a famous rapper, played by French-Canadian singer Tayc.
Dopesick (Hulu, 12:01 a.m., season-one finale): Danny Strong’s adaptation of Beth Macy’s best-selling book comes to an end after eight sprawling episodes loaded with emotion and great performances. Dopesick’s narratives haven’t always been easy to follow, but they are worth the effort, especially for stars like Kaitlyn Dever, who spoke with The A.V. Club about working on shows that move the needle, like Dopesick and Netflix’s Unbelievable. “Seeing the impact Unbelievable had on its audience, it really opened my eyes to what you’re able to do with storytelling,” Dever says. “It’s so fulfilling to be a part of a show like Dopesick. We’re talking about a serious issue that needs to be discussed, and it’s allowing people to feel seen.”
Dever plays Betsy Mallum, who, though she doesn’t have a direct real-life analogue, is an amalgam of the many people who lost their lives to opioid use. Betsy’s story continues in the finale, thanks to her mother Diane (Mare Winningham) and Dr. Sam Finnix (Michael Keaton). Dever describes Keaton, her frequent scene partner, as a legend: “I was so nervous, honestly, to be in a scene with him, let alone the many scenes that I had to do with him.”
Betsy and Finnix’s bond makes up a big part of the show’s emotional core, which Dever says is thanks to the honest approach they both took to their performances, especially Keaton. “He is so truthful with his acting and I think that was very beneficial with our scenes,” she says. “It felt like I knew him for 30 years—or I guess not 30 years, [laughs] because I’m not 30 yet. I just felt like I’ve known him my whole life.”
Whether or not you’ve followed the story of the real-life Sacklers, who ultimately got what amounted to a slap on the wrist for fueling the opioid crisis, the Dopesick finale will still dismay you. It’s the lack of accountability, Dever says, “that’s so shocking about all of this.” Strong has said his goal with the show was to put the Sacklers on trial in the court of public opinion. Dever hopes the big takeaway will be “more compassion towards victims of opioid addiction and to recognize that this is one of the most important stories impacting our culture. I think it’s important that people are really seeing this and just learning from it and understanding a little bit better what went on.”