Weekend Preview: ‘Borat’ Returns, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Launches, And Bill Murray Is ‘On The Rocks’

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Prime film) – Sacha Baron Cohen’s most notorious character is back and still funny, even if racism in America isn’t nearly as shocking in 2020. With this followup, formally titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the “victims” become the performers, and Borat’s “daughter” is along for the ride. You’ve heard about the Rudy Giuliani scene, so watch it now, and then check out Borat’s response to Rudy’s explanation, as well as Cohen’s out-of-character remarks.

The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix series) – This chess-centered drama is a surprisingly interesting and tightly paced show. It’s also a meditation upon addiction and danger and what it means to be a champion, all wrapped up in a coming-of-age tale about a boozy grandmaster in the making. As fictional prodigy Beth Harmon, Anya Taylor-Joy’s piercing gaze is here to demonstrate how a board game can look like a battlefield in Scott Frank’s adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel. The supporting cast (including Marielle Heller as a tragic 1950s housewife, Moses Ingram as a kickass childhood friend, and Harry Melling and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as gameplay rivals) also crushes the game

On The Rocks (Apple TV+ film) – Bill Murray’s back with his Lost in Translation director, Sofia Coppola, and this time, he plays a lifelong playboy who’s attempting to be a good dad to Rashida Jones. The movie’s a bit of a roadtrip, and it’s no Lost but still a welcome and pleasant diversion. Murray does what he does best here — lets his Murrayness shine through, even when his character’s not entirely likeable.

How To With John Wilson (Friday, HBO 11:00 p.m.) — This comedy docuseries launches with John Wilson dissecting the careful balancing act of making small talk, with all its ups and downs. Wilson also spoke with us about capturing the intimacy and absurdity of life in New York with a “psychotic amount” of footage.

The Right Stuff: Episode 4 (NatGeo series on Disney+) – In the aftermath of a test malfunction, the holiday season becomes a home affair for the Mercury 7. Naturally, the change of plans leads to all kinds of family and romantic drama.

Barbarians (Netflix series) – Vikings and Last Kingdom fans can find a new fix with this series that revolves around the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, as Germanic tribes attempt to maneuver past the the Roman Empire’s evolution.

Unsolved Mysteries: Vol. 2 (Netflix series) – The next batch of cold-case deep dives is here to spook the hell out of you. We ranked the six episodes — which include a mysterious death in a luxury hotel, the disappearance and murder of a Washington insider, and a mass haunting following a tsunami — that invite citizen detectives to do their thing. This reinvigorated take on the classic series comes from the original creators, who teamed up with the Stranger Things production company, and hopefully, some justice and closure can be found for victims’ families.

Here’s the rest of this weekend’s notable programming:

Eli Roth’s History of Horror (Saturday, AMC 10:00 p.m.) — This show keeps the spooky season’s spirit intact with the Cabin Fever and Hostel director exploring a common theme from those movies: body horror. It’s a lot deeper than it looks at first bloody glance.

Saturday Night Live (Saturday, NBC 11:29 p.m.) — Host Adele and musical guest and H.E.R. will continue to push through our current times with humor.

Supermarket Sweep (Sunday, ABC 8:00 p.m.) — Leslie Jones and every bit of her enthusiasm will host contestants in this revival of the grocery-shopping game show.

Pandora (Sunday, CW 8:00 p.m.) — A lost alien race might hold the key to salvaging the Universe, but nightmares are rattling the group and keying into their most personal traumas and fears.

Good Lord Bird (Sunday, Showtime 9:00 p.m.) — Ethan Hawke stars as violent abolitionist John Brown in this series that takes place in the Kansas territory in 1856. This week, John Brown’s increasingly irrational strategies lead Onion to look for renewed freedom until a legendary presence arrives.

The Undoing (Sunday, HBO 9:00 p.m.) — Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant star in the debut episode of this suspense series about a murder where Hugh Grant’s character looks an awful lot like a suspect. Yeah, expect some twists!

Fear The Walking Dead (Sunday, AMC 9:00 p.m.) — A pair goes rogue on a recon mission while following yet another lead.

Fargo (Sunday, FX 10:00 p.m.) — Loy is on the offense, Gaetano’s on the defense, and Oraetta’s off her rocker. What of Deafy? You gotta tune in to find out.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday, AMC 10:00 p.m.) — The next spinoff in this universe continues to feel itself out with the group bonding and confronting threats inside of an obviously vacant high school.