‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ Apple’s ‘Severance,’ Olympics Skates Into Final Weekend, ‘Drag Race’ Does Soap Opera
On another busy Friday in the streaming world, the wait is finally over for fans of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as the pioneering stand-up comic tries to get her career back on track in Season 4. Apple’s Severance takes a dark look at work-life balance in a sci-fi allegory. The final weekend of the Winter Olympics kicks off with Pairs Skating. RuPaul’s Drag Race gets its Dynasty on with a parody soap-opera challenge.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Things don’t look so marvelous for Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) as the long-anticipated Season 4 of the delightful period comedy opens in 1960. The stand-up pioneer’s career has been derailed, her finances are underwater, but the banter still flies fast and furious, culminating in a tour de farce on Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel. Don’t miss it. (See the full review.)
Some people can only dream of leaving their work behind when they go home. This sinister sci-fi allegory turns that dream into a nightmare, imagining a monolithic corporation whose employees have agreed to surgically separate their work selves from their outer “real” life. Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott stars as office drone Mark Scout, caught in an existential bind when his two worlds begin to blur. The nine-part series is a classic slow burn—the first two episodes drop Friday—building into a paranoid thriller that will have you begging for a second season. (See the full review.)
Following the dramatic finish of the Women’s Free Skate, the Olympics moves on to the Pairs’ Short Program in Figure Skating, a centerpiece of the prime-time coverage, which also features live coverage of the halfpipe final in Men’s Freestyle Skiing. (Skating can be streamed live on Peacock at 5:30 am/ET, also airing live on USA Network, which carries Men’s Hockey semifinals starting at 8:45 am/ET.) Other events covered during the day and evening on NBC, USA, CNBC, streaming live (with replay options) on Peacock, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app include Men’s Speed Skating and Biathlon, Two-Woman and Four-Man Bobsled, the Team Event in Alpine Skiing and Curling. For complete listings by sport of what to watch, where and when, go to nbcolympics.com/schedule.
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Back in the glamorous 1980s, many felt the shenanigans on Dynasty—the real Dynasty, not The CW’s pallid imitation—seemed the next best thing to a drag battle. In homage, the “Daytona Wind” episode of the Emmy-winning drag competition puts the queens in Alexis-worthy (Joan Collins version) shoulder pads for a campy ’80s-soap opera challenge. Guest judge is LGTBQ activist Ts Madison.
On the Stream:
- The Afterparty (streaming on Apple TV+): The comic murder mystery gets animated as we go inside Zoë’s (Zoë Chao) psyche for her replay of the fateful night. We already know “good Zoë,” but we’re about to meet “Fun Zoë”—the reason she attended the reunion—“Stoner Zoë” (a side-effect of Fun Zoë) and “Tiny Rage Zoë.” While trying to listen in on her interview with Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish), Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Yasper (Ben Schwartz) end up on the wrong side of a panic room.
- Lincoln’s Dilemma (streaming on Apple TV+): Just in time for the Presidents’ Day holiday, a four-part historical docuseries, narrated by Jeffrey Wright and featuring the voices of Bill Camp (as Abraham Lincoln) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (as Frederick Douglass), takes a deep dive into the 16th president’s struggles to unify a nation divided by the institution of slavery he was destined to end.
- Sneakerella (streaming on Disney+): Get your kicks from the gender-reversed Cinderella story of El (Chosen Jacobs), a wannabe sneaker designer from Queens who gets to achieve his fairy-tale dream after meeting Kira (Lexi Underwood), daughter of a basketball legend-turned-sneaker magnate (John Salley). Also new to Disney+: a second season of The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse.
- Space Force (streaming on Netflix): A second season of the military-in-space comedy finds General Naird (Steve Carell) defending his fledgling program to a new secretary of defense (Tim Meadows) while dealing with budget cuts, Russian hackers and a daughter (Diana Silvers) who’s interning with the Space Force.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (streaming on Netflix): Leatherface returns to terrorize a new group of young unfortunates in a reboot of the infamous 1974 cult horror film. Also back: sole survivor of the ’70s massacre, Sally Hardesty (now played by Olwen Fouéré), who’s out for revenge.
- Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (streaming on Netflix): Rory Kennedy’s new documentary investigates the corporate malfeasance that resulted in two fatal Boeing MAX 737 crashes within five months in 2018 and 2019.
- The Cuphead Show! (streaming on Netflix): Under the something-for-everyone mindset of the streaming giant comes an animated buddy-comedy series based on the video game.
- Uprooted (streaming on discovery+): A three-part true-crime docuseries uncovers new information in the unsolved death in 1986 of 19-year-old Black man Keith Warren, found hanging from a tree in Silver Spring, Maryland. No autopsy or criminal investigation ensued after what was officially ruled a suicide, but Warren’s family never stopped searching for the truth.
Inside Friday TV:
- NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (7 pm/ET, ESPN): As part of the celebration surrounding Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, celebrities gather at Cleveland’s Wolstein Center to show their aptitude for hoops. Among the star players: first-timers Machine Gun Kelly (a Cleveland native), Tiffany Haddish, rapper Jack Harlow, Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb and Peleton instructor Alex Toussaint, joining five-timer Quavo and other guests including Bachelor Matt James and country stars Kane Brown and Jimmie Allen.
- Jeopardy! National College Championship (8/7c, ABC): See who makes it into Tuesday’s finals in the second round of the semifinals.
- Painting with John (11/10c, HBO): A second season of the meditative series, featuring the watercolor paintings and musings of renaissance man John Lurie, introduces Cowboy Beckett in the opening episode.