Alibi V.28 No.44 • Oct 31-Nov 6, 2019 

Week in Sloth

Thursday 31

See “Idiot Box.”

Friday 1

L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Movie (Netflix streaming anytime) That’s a hell of a word stew, I know. So let me break it down for you. Driven by the massive success of internet “unboxing” videos, MGA Entertainment came up with a line of tiny plastic half-anime/half-kewpie dolls crammed into opaque plastic capsules (gumball machine toys, basically). You pay $10 to $20 for each one, not knowing what you’re getting until you open it. MGA’s product line is worth about $4 billion dollars a year right now, because kids are stupid. So, naturally, somebody came up with a cheapo L.O.L. Surprise! movie. Here it is. “Winter Disco Chalet,” by the way, is the company’s big Christmas toy (with “95+ surprises” to unbox.) That three-foot tall monstrosity is sold out everywhere, though, so you probably shouldn’t let your kids watch this animated commercial. They’ll only end up disappointed on Christmas morning. BTW, here’s another unnecessary detail: The L.O.L. Surprise! boy dolls have tiny, plastic wieners. … I swear I’m not making any of this up.

“Dickinson” (Apple TV+ streaming anytime) Apple TV+ hits your streaming devices. We start with a “period sitcom” about Emily Dickinson starring Hailee Steinfeld.

“For All Mankind” (Apple TV+ streaming anytime) Next up is a speculative sci-fi drama about a world in which the Soviet Union beat America to the moon starring Joel Kinnaman.

“Ghostwriter” (Apple TV+ streaming anytime) The early ’90s educational series about grammar and the supernatural returns with a modern-day reboot.

“The Morning Show” (Apple TV+ streaming anytime) Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell star in this dramedy about (what else) a popular TV news program.

“See” (Apple TV+ streaming anytime) Jason Momoa stars as twin brothers, warriors born with the unique ability to see in a post-apocalyptic world in which humans lost their eyesight thanks to a runaway virus.

“Nashville Squares” (CMT 6pm) Yup. “Hollywood Squares,” but with country music stars.

“In the Long Run” (Starz 8pm) Idris Elba stars in a semi-autobiographical comedy about a family living in 1985 London that finds their quiet life disrupted when a relative from Sierra Leone moves in.

Saturday 2

Christmas Reservations (Lifetime 6pm) The holiday rom-com war between Lifetime and Hallmark continues. Lifetime comes out swinging with Melissa Joan Hart falling in love at her family’s ski resort.

Merry & Bright (Hallmark 6pm) Hallmark punches back hard with Jodie Sweeten falling in love at her family’s candy cane factory.

Sunday 3

Christmas With a Prince (Up 7pm) Did you know there have been at least 15 basic cable rom-coms involving working-class women falling in love with guys who are secretly European royalty over Christmas? Here’s another.

Monday 4

“His Dark Materials” (HBO 7pm) Philip Pullman’s dark, dense, vaguely young adult-oriented fantasy novels get the series treatment from HBO and BBC. The story centers on an orphaned girl (Dafne Keen from Logan) who lives on an alternate world where humans wear their souls on the outside of their bodies in the form of companion animals called Daemons. While searching for a missing friend, she embarks on an epic quest across multiple dimensions, discovering the very secrets of life and death.

Tuesday 5

“The Wonderful World of Disney Presents: The Little Mermaid Live!” (KOAT-7 7pm) Keep in mind, this is in addition to the live-action theatrical film Disney is already working on. Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) is the titular mermaid. Queen Latifah is Ursula, Shaggy is Sebastian and John Stamos is Chef Louis.

Wednesday 6

“Virtual History” (YouTube Premium streaming anytime) To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, YouTube Premium launches this high-tech history series, which allows viewers to experience 360˚ “virtual reality” tours of history—starting with Berlin, 1989. Is it too much to hope David Hasselhoff will be there, singing “Looking For Freedom”?