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

Sarah Cooper and This Is Us are well aware it’s 2020

Illustration for article titled Sarah Cooper and This Is Us are well aware it’s 2020
Photo: Netflix, NBC

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, October 27. All times are Eastern. 


Top picks

Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., comedy special premiere): Greetings, readers. It is October 27, 2020, at whatever time you happen to be reading this. Do you know where your sanity is?

Illustration for article titled Sarah Cooper and This Is Us are well aware it’s 2020
Photo: Netflix

Sarah Cooper (of TikTok Trump impression fame) does not know where your sanity is, and her own seems to be equally as elusive. But that’s just the nature of the year. In her Natasha Lyonne-directed Netflix debut, Cooper leans into the teetering-on-the-edge-of-oblivion energy that made her viral Trump lip-sync performances so potent, bringing an impressive guest cast (to name a few: Lyonne, Fred Armisen, Helen Mirren, and Maya Rudolph, who also produces) right up to the brink at her side. The special takes the form of an inescapable, Sartrean morning show broadcast—good luck figuring out what time of day it is, if time even exists, and if you should care either way—and each of its “segments” becomes a new and often unrelated sketch of sorts. Not all could be called home-runs, but this special’s teeth are uniformly sharp. Together, Cooper and Lyonne manage to do something precious few of the COVID-acknowledging shows and specials thrust upon us this year have accomplished so far: They made something that feels honest in its absurdity and appropriately apocalyptic. All that, and some good punchlines, too.

This Is Us (NBC, 9 p.m., two-hour season-five premiere): The Pearsons are back, and it’s time to learn the answer to a question even more potent than “How did Jack die?” and “How did a kitchen appliance kill Jack?” We’ve all been wondering the same thing: Which of the Pearsons is most likely to wear a mask without pulling it over their nose?

The season-five trailer shows us a few solid mask-wearers (you know Randall has a bunch of very stylish masks, and a few definitely say VOTE on them) but that big question will continue to linger. Caroline Siede returns to recap duty, and she’ll certainly touch on this most pressing issue.


Can you binge it? Yep, just mosey on over to Hulu.

Regular coverage

For kids

Chico Bon Bon: Monkey With A Tool Belt (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete fourth season): He’s a monkey, he’s got a tool belt, his phone is a banana, and he might make your youths enthusiastic about engineering. Enjoy!

Can you binge it? Yes, you can. Enjoy!

Wild cards

Ghosts (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., complete second season, U.S. premiere): The first installment of this U.K. import bowed in May, but perhaps you had other things on your mind. It’s worth starting from the beginning, because the arrival of its second season is particularly well-timed. You can watch the season two trailer on its own, but we’re betting most of you will have to start from the beginning, so here’s a look at season one:

The Bachelorette (ABC, 8 p.m.): Margaret Cho teaches the suitors how to roast. What could possibly go wrong? (Quite a lot, really.)

Kal Penn Approves This Message (Freeform, 10:30 p.m., season-one finale): Andy Samberg joins Penn for the last episode of the… series? Season? We’re not sure, but it’s the end for now, anyway. Their topic? Voter empowerment.

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!