TV

Weekend Preview: ‘Pen15’ And ‘Harlem’ Celebrate The Power Of Friendship

Pen15: Season 2, Part 2 — (Hulu series) Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle continue to play pre-teens as 30-something actresses, and expect even more cringeworthy vibes along with more unmistakably heartwarming moments. Relationships, both good and bad, rear their heads and test this show’s central friendship. Underneath it all, though, this show remains unyieldingly funny and more than a litte bit dark when it comes to what that dog’s doing in the wrap-up’s trailer.

Harlem (Amazon Prime series) — The world shall never see too many comedy shows revolving around a group of friends who are navigating personal lives and making utter messes of themselves. This one’s got combo of Living Single and Sex and the City vibes going on with a contemporary spin, all going down in “the mecca of Black culture in America,” as Amazon points out. It’s not a great idea to go out and enjoy a social life right now, so if you’re looking for some vicarious living, have at it here.

Here’s some regularly scheduled programming:

How To With John Wilson (Friday, HBO 10:00pm) — The “anxious New Yorker” (as he refers to himself) and documentary filmmaker returns for more slice-of-life, refreshingly funny accounts of existing in the Big Apple. This season promises some unexpected moments with unyielding honesty at every turn. Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.

A Clusterfunke Christmas (Saturday, Comedy Central 7:00pm) — Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Vella Lovell, and Cheyenne Jackson star in this movie about a hotel executive who buys a family-run inn in northern Maine to forget all of her troubles. However, her city ways clash with the small-town, holiday-spirit vibe going on.

Succession (Sunday, HBO 9:00pm) — Shiv’s dancing trauma carries over with Roman feeling suspicious about mom’s new boyfriend, and Gerri is distracted by a wedding.

Fear The Walking Dead (Sunday, CBS 9:00pm) — Is a safe home even possible at this point? Alicia’s going to do her damndest to make it happen.

Dexter (Sunday, Showtime 9:00pm) — The new season is a bloody good time, and this week, Dexter’s Dark Passenger comes out while hoping to protect Harrison from drugs. Also, that podcaster sure seems like trouble!

Hightown (Starz 9:00pm) — Ray’s prepping for a case, Alan has a terrible dinner, and it’s the point of no return for Frankie and Renee.

The Walking Dead: The World Beyond (Sunday, AMC 10:00pm) — Can the group possibly save the future? There are too many living and dead enemies afoot.

Yellowjackets (Sunday, Showtime 10:00) — Playing with guns is never a great idea, but these ladies are doing it anyway with potentially disastrous results. Natalie becomes obsessed with broken men.

Insecure (Sunday, HBO 10:00pm) — Issa Dee and Molly face off with the future.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (Sunday, HBO 10:30pm) — Larry David’s made a friend in a councilwoman before Election Day happens, and it’s conflict time between actor and prop master.

Here are some more streaming picks:

Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues (Apple TV+ special) — Mariah’s the undisputed Queen of Christmas, and she’s here with more magic that might possibly make you enjoy the holiday season. Just surrender already.

Hawkeye: Season 1 (Disney+ series) — Likewise, the MCU is in holiday mood for this series, which begins to pass the arrow from Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton to Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, and Steinfeld is freaking fantastic while Hawkeye only wants a damn break from this hero stuff. This week follows up on that Echo reveal from that cliffhanger.

Santa Inc (HBO Max series) — In this stop-motion animated series, the perpetually jolly Seth Rogen voices what seems like Santa while Sarah Silverman plays the dedicated elf who’s seeking to become the first lady Santa. Let’s hope she kicks some butt and rises above all the dude candidates, and you’ll also hear the voices of Craig Robinson, Nicholas Braun, Maria Bamford, and more along the way.

Queen Of The Universe: Season 1 (Paramount+ series) — RuPaul executive produces and Graham Norton hosts this drag singing competition show that features drag queens who (literally) seek world domination. Representing the U.S, Mexico, Canada, India, Brazil, China, France, and so on, these contestants are fierce.

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+ miniseries) — The Fab Four (obviously John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) will appear in this three-part (Peter Jackson-produced) documentary series that covers the making The Beatles’ 1970s album, Let It Be. In addition, we’ll get to dive behind the curtain to watch them prep for their first live show in years. Expect to see some myths dispelled about how this period really went down for the band.

Hanna: Season 3 (Amazon Prime series) — Esmé Creed-Miles is back as the pint-sized, badass title character, who’s still attempting to defeat the mysterious powers that be while Dermot Mulroney’s operative is as sinister as ever. The third season promises more fight scenes and thrills, all while more characters get backstories, and Mireille Enos’ character forms one half of a lady power duo to cross generations.

Saved By the Bell: Season 2 (Peacock series) — This reboot worked out to harness a new generation of viewers, along with those who watched the O.G. effort during their own youth. The ultimate Zack Attack last season meant that Mark-Paul Gosselaar was on hand to portray a bad California governor, but fortunately, Tiffani Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mario Lopez all arrived to help make things right. The revival was surprisingly socially relevant, too, and expect more of the same to come with a student leader who finds herself with more of a mess to clean up than she expected.

The Wheel of Time: Season 1 (Amazon Prime series) — Rosamund Pike finally goes not play a sociopath while starring in this sprawling adaptation of one of the most popular fantasy book series (by Robert Jordan) ever. Here, she portrays Moiraine, who’s a member of an exclusive, magical, all-ladies organization known as Aes Sedai. The story follows Moiraine’s dangerous quest with a group that contains the prophesied Dragon Reborn, who shall be the key to humanity’s fate. Whether that fate is to be destroyed or saved, who really knows? Sit back and surrender to the epic journey.

True Story (Netflix limited series) — Wesley Snipes and Kevin Hart star in this Philly-set story about a famous comedian who touches down in his hometown for a tour stop. In the process, his personal life rears its head, of course, and he must confront existential dilemmas, including the importance of protecting what’s near and dear to one’s heart. A lot of that drama comes from the comedian’s brother, which proves that no one knows you better (and worse) than your own family.

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