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

Spend time with Belushi or the dream team that is Christine Baranski and Dolly Parton

Illustration for article titled Spend time with Belushi or the dream team that is Christine Baranski and Dolly Parton
Photo: Judy Belushi Pisano / Showtime, Netflix

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


Top pick

Belushi (Showtime, 9 p.m., premiere): “On John Belushi’s 30th birthday in January 1979, he was on the No. 1 comedy TV show in America (Saturday Night Live), was starring in the No. 1 comedy movie (Animal House), and had the No. 1 album in the country with the live Blues Brothers release Briefcase Full Of Blues. That would be a lot of success for anyone to handle, but for someone with Belushi’s addiction issues, it became downright dangerous. In the new Showtime documentary Belushi, his late longtime friend Harold Ramis reflects on watching The Blues Brothers play for a crowd of 7,000 people at the Universal Amphitheatre: ‘My first thought was, how great for him. My second thought was, knowing his appetites, I don’t think he’ll survive this.’” Read the rest of Gwen Ihnat’s pre-air review. 

Holiday stuff

Christmas On The Square (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., premiere): In this giddily, unabashedly cheesy original musical (which contains 14 original Dolly songs), Jenifer Lewis runs a salon (“The higher the hair, the closer to the North Pole”) and is also the mayor, Treat Williams is a long-lost love who owns a general store that really just sells antiques with plot relevance, and Christine Baranski gives it approximately 600 percent of her all. Like it’s Shakespeare. At one point she says, “I wonder if booze is good for a brain tumor,” and then she goes into the town bar where she’s served a strong whiskey by a tiny child bartender with whom she sings a cynical duet. She also tapes an eviction notice to a wagon full of puppies. It’s not great cinema, but it is a non-stop delight.

So maybe you’re not quite in the mood for holiday stuff yet. Understandable. Just know that this surreal love-fest awaits you when you are, and that Dolly plays an angel who, when asked her name by the Scrooge-esque Baranski, replies that it is, of course, Angel. Great stuff. Dolly’s just full of gifts for us this year, huh?

Regular coverage

The Undoing (HBO, 9 p.m.)
Fargo (FX, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode will run long, ending at 11:11 p.m.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond (AMC, 10:10 p.m.)
Moonbase 8 (Showtime, 11 p.m.)
The Crown (Netflix): Binge coverage continues

Wild cards

Carmen: Opera on Sydney Harbour (Ovation, 6 a.m.): If you want to hear some very famous arias in context, here’s your chance. (They’re good arias!)

Barefoot Contessa, “Thanksgiving Sides 2.0” (Food Network, 12 p.m.): Self-explanatory, no? This video isn’t from today’s episode, but it’s relevant all the same.

First Ladies (CNN, 10 p.m.): This CNN docuseries wraps up its first season with an hour on Hillary Clinton, which is sure to provoke absolutely zero strong reactions from anyone, as she is a notoriously non-divisive figure.

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!