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Chadwick Boseman takes his last on-screen bow in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – The A.V. Club

From left: Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Chadwick Boseman as Levee, and Colman Domingo as Cutler.

From left: Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Chadwick Boseman as Levee, and Colman Domingo as Cutler.

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, December 18, and Saturday, December 19. All times are Eastern. 


Top picks

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): “It’s important to note that there would not even be a show to admire without the trailblazing career of Ma Rainey, which Davis recognizes and honors with her otherworldly portrayal. Still, this is undoubtedly Boseman’s show and will likely live on as his greatest work. Witnessing him rise to meet the vivacity of titans like Davis and Turman (who, thankfully, is granted his own moment to shine with a sage monologue at the seat of a piano) is an unjust tease, promising something we won’t get to relish again. What makes the movie unbearably heartbreaking is just how well the star fits among the greats, delivering Wilson’s heady words with the electrifying verve of someone you’d think had decades of credits to his name.” Read the rest of Shannon Miller’s A- review of the film here, which will mark late Chadwick Boseman’s final performance. Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts also star.

Small Axe: Education (Amazon Prime Video, 12:01 a.m., finale): Steve McQueen’s anthology comes to an end with Education. In her review, Jourdain Searles writes that “there is no denying the thoughtful, emotional power of Education. It’s a film that goes right for the heart, revealing how a caring community comes together and creates its own space to thrive. Education is a story about the work Caribbean immigrants have always done to preserve their culture and take care of each other. Sometimes it really does take a village.”

Regular coverage

The Mandalorian (Disney+, 3:01 a.m., season finale): No one’s ready for no more Baby Yoda scenes and memes until season three but here we are, anyway. In the last outing of season two, the Mandalorian and the Child—or as we now know, Grogu—continue their journey through a dangerous galaxy, facing enemies and rallying allies in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. Mike Vanderbilt will recap.

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:29 p.m.): SNL wraps up for the year with host and returning star Kristen Wiig and musical guest Dua Lipa. Dennis Perkins will recap.

Wild cards

A Creepshow Holiday Special (Shudder, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): Somehow, in the year 2020, it makes sense that Creepshow would offer us a holiday special. Written and directed by showrunner Greg Nicotero and starring Adam Pally and Anna Camp, the hourlong special is based on a short story by J.A. Konrath. In “Shapeshifters Anonymous,” an anxious man who fears he is a murderer searches for answers for his “unique condition” from an unusual support group. The episode will air on Shudder, AMC Network’s streaming service for horror, thriller, and supernatural aficionados.

On Pointe (Disney+, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): Get ready for unprecedented access to New York City’s famous School Of American Ballet (SAB) in this new six-part docuseries that follows the lives of the students ages 8 to 18 pursuing their dreams to become ballet dancers. While older students from all over the country rigorously train for professional careers, younger students are put through their paces as they rehearse and perform in New York City Ballet’s holiday classic “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” on stage at Lincoln Center. Larissa Bills will direct the show, which is created by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Justin Wilkes, and Sara Bernstein from Imagine Documentaries and Matthew O’Neill from DCTV.

Sweet Home (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): This new South Korean horror series, based on the Webtoon of the same name, is an apocalyptic-style drama fit for the times. Song Kang’s Cha Hyun-soo is a loner who moves into a new apartment only for his quiet life to be disturbed by strange incidents in his new building, where people start turning into monsters and the residents fight for survival.

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