The It List: 'Deadliest Catch' captains face off against the Russians, 'In Living Color' turns 30, 'Mrs. America' debuts and the best in pop culture the week of April 13, 2020
The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for April 13-19, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)
WATCH IT: The Cold War heats back up in an all-new season of Discovery’s Deadliest Catch
You’ve heard of The Hunt for Red October? Well, the latest season of Deadliest Catch could be subtitled The Hunt for the Southern Wild. The sixteenth edition of Discovery’s hugely popular reality series features an open water showdown between America and Russia with the global price of crab hanging in the balance. “It’s us versus them,” one of the Alaska-based ship captains remarks in the Season 16 trailer. “Red versus red white and blue — first one to the dock is gonna win.” With their livelihood at stake, it’s an all hands-on-deck moment for captains Jake Anderson, Sig Hansen, Wild Bill Wichrowski, Josh Harris, Casey McManus and Steve Harley Davidson, who lead their respective crews in an effort to find creative new ways to harvest crab from the ocean blue before their Russian rivals scoop them up first. Following the two-hour premiere, Discovery is launching the all-new spinoff, Deadliest Catch: Bloodline, which follows Harris — son of dearly-departed captain, Phil Harris — as he navigates the Hawaiian fishing charts left behind by his father. — Ethan Alter
The new season of Deadliest Catch premieres Tuesday, April 14 at 8 p.m followed by the debut of Deadliest Catch: Bloodline on Discovery.
WATCH IT: Two snaps up for In Living Color on its 30th anniversary
It’s been 30 years since Keenan Ivory Wayans’s hip, diverse alternative to Saturday Night Live bowed on April 15, 1990. Though future Oscar winner Jamie Foxx didn’t join the Fox sketch comedy show until Season 3, an unknown Canadian named “James Carrey” was one of two white comics tapped for the original cast. Street-smart sketches like “Men on Film” and “Homey D. Clown” made stars of performers like David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, Kim Coles and various members of the large Wayans family (including Damon, a former SNL castmember), while the show’s famous Fly Girls included Carrie Ann Inaba, Jennifer Lopez and choreographer Rosie Perez. Despite its buzzworthy live music performances (largely rap and hip-hop) and an Emmy win in 1990, the success was short-lived, with Fox pulling the plug in 1994 after falling out with creator Wayans. Still, its comedic legacy and the success of its then-undiscovered cast live on — and, yes, deserve that around-the-world-and-back snap. — Erin Donnelly
In Living Color is available to stream on Philo or purchase on DVD at Amazon.
STREAM IT: Sam Raimi-produced 50 States of Fright shoots for scares (eventually) on Quibi
There's been much hype about the fact that episodes on the new mobile streaming app Quibi play out over a swift 10 minutes or less. That doesn't mean some of their series don't still require patience, though. Take 50 States of Fright, the highly anticipated horror anthology offering produced by Sam Raimi and Gunpowder & Sky. The early goings of its debut entry from Michigan plays out almost more like a fairy tale than urban legend, following the story of a rural furniture maker (Travis Fimmel) who crafts a golden arm for his wife (Rachel Brosnahan) after she's dismembered in a gruesome accident. But while the first two episodes border on melodramatic, the third is nothing but chills and thrills. Moral of the story: Even quick-bite horror needs its buildup. — Kevin Polowy
50 States of Fright premieres Monday, April 13 on Quibi.
WATCH IT: Mrs. America focuses on the fight over the Equal Rights Amendment
Cate Blanchett leads a formidable cast — rounded out by Niecey Nash, Elizabeth Banks, Uzo Abuda, Rose Byrne and Margo Martindale — in Mrs. America, which recounts the historic movement to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. Blanchett plays anti-ERA activist Phyllis Schlafly, while Byrne portrays Gloria Steinnem and Aduba is Shirley Chisholm. The nine-episode series was created by Dahvi Waller, who’s worked on entertaining period pieces before, such as Mad Men and Halt and Catch Fire. And even if you’re somehow not grabbed by the premise, you can enjoy John Slattery in the role of Schlafly’s husband. — Raechal Shewfelt
Mrs. America premieres Wednesday, April 15 on FX on Hulu.
BINGE IT: Marathon classic episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess and Battlestar Galactica on Syfy
You may currently be cooped in your home, but thanks to Syfy, you’ll soon be able to travel to mythical lands and distant galaxies. The network is making two classic staples of genre television — Xena: Warrior Princess and Battlestar Galactica — available to binge on television or your computer screen. Starting April 16, Syfy will be turning its Thursday morning and afternoon hours over to Lucy Lawless’s fearless adventurer, who fought her way through 134 episodes. The New Zealand actress will host the Thursday marathon sessions, and welcome some surprise guests as well, whose ranks will hopefully include Xena’s one true love, Gabrielle (Renée O’Connor). Lawless will also be represented in Syfy’s three-day Battlestar Galactica marathon, which kicks off April 20. Cylon siren, Tricia Helfer, will host every episode of Ronald D. Moore and David Eick’s hugely influential series, along with the two movies, Razor and The Plan. And if you don’t want to wait for terrestrial television, you can binge at your own pace on Syfy.com. So say we all! — E.A.
Episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess will air Thursday mornings and afternoon starting Thursday, April 16; the entire run of Battlestar Galactica will air between April 20-23. Both series can also be streamed on Syfy.com and NBCU’s OneApp.
WATCH IT: Tune in for a virtual playdate with Elmo and friends
In tough times, spending quality time with familiar furry friends can make all the difference. Sesame Street: Elmo's Playdate promises a heaping dose of that. The 30-minute special is described as a "virtual playdate" in which the beloved red monster and pals Grover, Cookie Monster and Abby find new ways to play and learn together when they're apart. Celebrity guests Tracee Ellis Ross, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anne Hathaway will also be there to sing songs, play games, have dance parties and pay tribute to the heroes working on the front line. The programming is meant as a "tool to bring families together," but also sounds like something to put on for kids so parents can squeeze in some work from home time. — Suzy Byrne
Sesame Street: Elmo's Playdate airs Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. simultaneously across HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
WATCH IT: Wings took off 30 years ago
That Wings is turning 30 — the sitcom premiered April 19, 1990 on NBC — feels particularly bittersweet right now. Cast member David Schramm, who played cranky rival airline owner Roy Biggins, died on March 28. And in the era of lockdown, it feels almost surreal to follow the comedic exploits taking place in a tiny Nantucket airport. But while Wings flew under the radar (sorry) compared to buzzier network-mates like Cheers and Seinfeld during its eight-season run, the show’s lighthearted fare remains as reliably enjoyable as ever. That’s thanks in part to the enduring crushworthiness of brother aviators Joe and Brian Hackett (played by Tim Daly and Steven Weber), but largely the comic relief provided by future Emmy winners Thomas Haden Church and Tony Shalhoub in supporting roles. A Sandpiper Air-themed binge-watch could be just the thing to cure your cabin fever — even if the only destination in your immediate future is the driveway. — E.D.
Wings is available to stream on Hulu and CBS All Access.
WATCH IT: Spend Friday Night in With the Morgans
While The Walking Dead finale is on hold indefinitely, series star Jeffrey Dean Morgan is opening his home to fans in a AMC series he's co-hosting with his new bride, Hilarie Burton. The actors will star in a half-hour video-chat-based show from their Mischief Farm in upstate New York, which is also the subject of an upcoming book written by the One Tree Hill alumna. The show promises a "free-flowing vibe" with "unfiltered conversation" about getting through life in quarantine, and it will feature guests, including TWD stars (Christian Serratos, Sarah Wayne Callies), friends (Supernatural's Jensen Ackles and OTH alum Danneel Ackles), animals from the farm (hopefully lovebirds Jack and Diane) and neighbors. No zombies, but should still be a good time. — S.B.
Friday Night in With the Morgans premieres Friday, April 17 at 10 p.m. on AMC.
FUND IT: Kick in some cash to fund Todd McFarlane’s new Spawn-centric Kickstarter
When he’s not drawing comics, Todd McFarlane creates merchandise for such fan-favorite franchises as Game of Thrones, DC Comics and his own Spawn empire. Now, he’s taking his toys directly to his fans with a new Kickstarter campaign that will fund the production of a remastered version of the very first Spawn action figure. The campaign met its $100,000 goal within hours of being launched, but you can still kick in some cash at different tiers, each of which comes with different rewards. $40 gets you the 7-inch Classic Spawn, while $160 nets you the Spawn Trilogy featuring three versions of the demon anti-hero. — E.A.
Visit Kickstarter to contribute to Todd McFarlane’s Spawn campaign.
HEAR IT: Sorry to Bother You pulls Coup with vinyl release
Perhaps lost in the euphoria over how good Boots Riley's 2018 sublimely wackadoo directorial debut Sorry to Bother You was how good the music was, too. But then again we'd expect nothing less from The Coup, the NorCal revolutionary rap-rock outfit that Riley has fronted since the early '90s. Riley has admitted the tracks he used for the soundtrack — not be confused with the 2012 studio album of the same name, which the funky blocked letters of its stylish new vinyl release spells out — are not straight outta the band's wheelhouse, but imagined renderings of what its characters would listen to. They have good taste too, with highlights including features from Tune-Yards ("Hey Saturday Night"), Janelle Monae ("Whathegirlmuthaf**kinwannadoo," "Out And Over/ Sticky Sunrise"), Killer Mike ("Monsoon"), E-40 ("Crawl Out The Water") and star LaKeith Stanfield ("OYAHYTT"). Wait, so Cassius Green listens to himself? Or is it a parallel universe version of himself? Just when this movie couldn't get weirder. — K.P.
Buy Sorry to Bother You: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP on vinyl at Mondo.
STREAM IT: Catch up on your classics with a special home edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival
The Golden Age of Hollywood never ends on TCM, which dedicates itself to educating and entertaining movie buffs and the general public on the great films of yesteryear. With the public version of its annual Classic Film Festival canceled, the network is broadcasting the lineup over three days, with time-outs for appearances by its roster of hosts as well as special guests. Among the classics you’ll be treated to are the 1954 version of A Star Is Born, the Beatles romp A Hard Day’s Night, Burt Reynolds’s backwoods adventure Deliverance and the immortal Bogie & Bergman romance Casablanca. — E.A.
The special home edition of the TCM Classic Movie Festival airs from April 16-19 on TCM.
WATCH IT: NBC takes a trip back to Songland
The Dave Stewart-masterminded talent show known as “Shark Tank for songwriters” returns with judges Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally still looking for the next big hit. This season’s superstar guests include Boyz II Men, Florida Georgia Line, Luis Fonsi, H.E.R., Martina McBride, Julia Michaels, Ben Platt, Bebe Rexha and Usher, with Lady Antebellum kicking off Monday’s premiere. — Lyndsey Parker
Songland Season 2 premieres Monday, April 13 at 10 p.m. on NBC.
WATCH IT: Bring home Righteous Gemstones, because you know you need to hear that song again
Of course, the complete first season of the HBO comedy about the morally questionable family with religious fervor includes the episode with Jennifer Nettles and Walton Goggins performing the undeniably catchy song “Missbehavin.’” Consider all the funny episodes, with comedy stars such as John Goodman, Danny McBride, Edi Patterson and Adam Devine, awesome bonus material. Fans will want to rewatch it all anyway before the premiere of the second season. The show was renewed early on, but we still don’t know exactly when. — R.S.
Righteous Gemstones Season 1 is available Tuesday, April 14 on DVD at Amazon.
HEAR IT: The Dating Game Killer recounts a terrifying true story
True crime fans might recognize the name Rodney Alcala, a man who appeared as a contestant on a 1978 episode of the Dating Game. Let this Wondery podcast recap it all for you in this stylish show that is not the kind of thing you want to listen to while you’re falling asleep. Over six episodes, listeners will hear how Alcala was given chance after chance — he had already faced serious legal trouble by the time he appeared on the Dating Game — to commit more crimes and how he was finally captured. — R.S.
All episodes of the Dating Game Killer are available now from Wondery.
HEAR IT: Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien is Earth-bound
Ed O’Brien’s debut solo album Earth, released under the name EOB, features an indie/electronic who’s-who of collaborators, as one might expect from a guy whose “day job” is playing guitar for Radiohead. Guests include Laura Marling, Flood, Portishead’s Adrian Utley, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche and legendary session bassist Nathan East. — L.P.
Download/stream Earth on Apple Music.
WATCH IT: Laughing along with Police Squad!: The Complete Series on Blu-ray
Before he cracked the case of The Naked Gun, bumbling detective Frank Drebin kept the streets of Los Angeles semi-safe on the short-lived ABC series, Police Squad! Created by the Airplane! team of David Zucker, Jim Abrams and Jerry Zucker (aka ZAZ), the show was a study in extreme silliness that packed plenty of pratfalls and tomfoolery into its six-episode lifespan. Along with high-definition versions of every half-hour, Police Squad!’s Blu-ray debut also features commentary tracks on select episodes, casting tests, a gag reel and an interview with the late, great Leslie Nielsen. — E.A.
Police Squad!: The Complete Series will be available Tuesday, April 14 at Amazon.
HEAR IT: Soul Asylum are worth the Wait
The seminal Minneapolis grunge-rockers’ first album in four years, Hurry Up and Wait, coincides with a chronologically ordered book of Dave Pirner’s wry and poetic lyrics, Loud Fast Words (out April 29), which serves as the frontman’s unorthodox autobiography.
Download/stream Hurry Up and Wait on Apple Music.
— Video produced by Gisselle Bances