Worth Watching: Netflix Says ‘Death to 2020,’ Fox’s ‘Masked Dancer,’ ‘Shameless’ Hall of Shame, Restaurants ‘Hustle’ to Survive
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Death to 2020 (Sunday, streaming on Netflix): An all-star cast bids a sardonic good riddance to this tumultuous year in a well-timed mockumentary from Black Mirror‘s Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones. The humor is noticeably dark as Laurence Fishburne narrates a chronicle of a year we’d rather forget, and an eclectic ensemble including Samuel J. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, Leslie Jones, and Tracey Ullman — as Queen Elizabeth II — weigh in as mock oracles. It’s got to be a happier new year in 2021, right?
The Masked Dancer (Sunday, 8/7c, Fox): Celebrities in disguise — one as a disco ball! — trip the light ridiculous in a Masked Singer spinoff hosted by The Office‘s Craig Robinson. In the series premiere, before moving into its regular Wednesday slot on Jan. 6, viewers will also encounter a dancing tulip, sloth, ice cube and zebra. With clues to their identity hidden within their routines, the incognito contestants hope to stump a panel including American Idol veteran Paula Abdul (honey, we’ve all seen better days), 90210‘s Brian Austin Green, High School Musical grad Ashley Tisdale and the inescapable Ken Jeong. The first five dancers, known as “Group A!,” perform, making Dancing with the Stars look like the Kirov Ballet.
Shameless Hall of Shame (Sunday, 9/8c, Showtime): With Shameless now in its 11th and final season, the raucous family drama looks back with a six-episode retrospective celebration of fan-favorite characters, charting their journey with clips from the past juxtaposed with new scenes. First up: the rocky and rewarding relationship of Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) and Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher), culminating in an unorthodox marriage.
Restaurant Hustle 2020: All on the Line (Sunday, 9/8c, Food Network): Among the industries hit hardest by COVID-19: restaurants, the lifeblood of many a community. Executive producer Guy Fieri enlisted some of the country’s top chefs — Marcus Samuelsson, Maneet Chauhan, Antonia Lofaso, and Christian Petroni — to become filmmakers and record how their own restaurants rallied to survive during the months of shutdown. The result is this documentary, a chronicle of businesses pivoting from indoor dining to delivery and takeout, serving frontline workers and those in need from their kitchens.
Inside Weekend TV: Streaming on Hulu: the ninth season of rural Canadian comedy Letterkenny (Saturday)… On a somewhat more rarefied plane, Britbox’s collection of period British dramas swells with the addition of all six seasons of the beloved Masterpiece saga Downton Abbey (Saturday; movie not included)… New to Netflix: a third season of the animated Fast & Furious: Spy Racers (Saturday), taking the action to the Sahara Desert… AXS TV takes a musical look back at the eventful past 12 months in Music High 5: 2020 Year in Review (Sunday, 9:30/8:30c), with host/executive producer Katie Daryl reflecting on how music was still able to keep us connected in a year of COVID isolation… Look who’s coming to dinner on Showtime’s dark and twisty Your Honor (Sunday, 10/9c): Emmy-winning scene stealer Margo Martindale (Justified, The Americans) as senator Elizabeth Guthrie, mother-in-law to stressed-out judge Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston). She suspects something’s up with troubled grandson Adam (Hunter Doohan), and as usual, she’s not wrong.