Hulu has a new twist on the cooking contest reality show, and it’s a real drag. Drag Me to Dinner is hosted by cabaret star Murray Hill, recently seen on HBO’s Somebody Somewhere. Actor Neil Patrick Harris, performer Bianca Del Rio and comedian Haneefah Wood will serve as the judging panel, as teams of drag performers compete week after week to serve up the most colorful dinner parties. Subtlety is not on the menu.
Dismissed by some as a dangerous and immoral threat to the nation’s youth, drag culture has long been a part of entertainment and is as mainstream as Some Like it Hot, the 1959 comedy considered the greatest ever, or Bosom Buddies. , the TV sitcom that launched Tom Hanks’ career, everyone’s idea of a nice, normal guy.
My problem with mainstream corporate media’s adoption of drag is that it turns a powerful and, at times, transgressive art form into something obvious and even boring.
Drag has the power to make people think deeply about society and gender roles, but not when reduced to a reality show with all the nuances of Lets Make a Deal.
Speaking of Hulu, ABC has the premiere airing of The 1619 Project (7 p.m., TV-14), which previously aired on that streaming platform.
This first network offers the first and last episodes of the project in six parts. The idea for the series came from an article in the New York Times Magazine focusing on 1619, the year Africans were first captured and brought to the New World as slaves, as the date of origin of nations, and a way to discuss the contributions of Americans who arrived here. not as free agents seeking opportunity or religious freedom, but as human goods, goods to be bought, sold, beaten and exploited.
The year 1619 offers a challenge to the traditional teaching as it is only one year away from 1620, the year in which the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock to build a shining city on a hill.
As a magazine, book, and educational tool, 1619 faced severe backlash and was even banned from schools and libraries.
It is difficult to question or revise national myths. But the paradoxical elements of the story invite such discussions.
It is curious to compare the reaction to the 1619 Project to that of the 1977 TV miniseries Roots. This series also challenged Americans’ perceptions of their history, placed slaves and the slave trade at the center of the story and came just a year after the 1976 bicentennial, an orgy of commercialized and commodified official patriotism.
Roots was watched by huge audiences and sparked a lot of conversation and soul-searching.
TONIGHT OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
On two episodes of Night Court (7 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG): a judge’s daughter assumes her dress (7 p.m.); and works with a familiar face (7:30 p.m.).
A divorced writer returns to her family ranch and saddles up in the 2021 romance Take the Reins (7 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).
Homeward Bound: A Grammy Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) offers salutes to the prolific composer and renditions of his many songs by artists including Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Eric Church , Rhiannon Giddens, Susanna Hoffs, Jonas Brothers, Angelique Kidjo, Ledisi, Little Big Town, Dave Matthews, Brad Paisley, Billy Porter and more.
The Prymas case spills over to Chicago Fire (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
Violence erupts at a Chicago PD funeral home (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
Okay, that was weird. The least anticipated story of the week was the scandal involving Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and When Calls the Heart star Lori Loughlin (7 p.m. Sunday, Hallmark, TV-G), in a bribery/deception plot to obtain their respective daughters. in elite universities.
This is obviously an ongoing case, and all parties must have their say, or one day, in court. But the motivation at the center of this story is worth discussing. It implies an overwhelming need to do anything to get children into elite schools. As if anything less was unthinkable.
Television plays a significant role in this insecurity. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to describe an ABC legal drama where every character hails from the most exclusive Ivy and spends most of the pilot bragging about it.
There was a time, not so long ago, when John Grisham wrote best-selling books about barely credentialed young lawyers from anonymous institutions who took on impossible cases against big corporations and ultimately won. And I got the girl, to boot.
Thus, the neurotic obsession of our present age with elitism and inequality is hardly entrenched.
If anything comes of this sordid affair, it’s an appreciation that shoddy efforts at snobbery are still essentially pathetic. Or on classic TV, comedy. Looking at Gilligans Island, we identified with Mary Ann and the Skipper, and took pity on the millionaire and his wife.
CNN debuts the four-hour documentary Tricky Dick (8 p.m., Sunday), chronicling the life and times of Richard Nixon’s public career, which spanned decades from the dawn of the Cold War through the Clinton years.
An anxious new mother joins a solidarity and support group, only to find he has darker plans on his agenda in the 2019 clash Mommy Group Murder (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).
The Thunder and Warriors meet in NBA action (7:30 p.m., ABC).
A former kidnapper returns to form on Ransom (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
Program on 60 Minutes (6 p.m., CBS): the employees of the embassies in China and Cuba complain of mysterious ailments; AOL founder Steve Case and his plans to invest in the future of neglected small towns in America; a visit to Monaco.
The duels begin on World of Dance (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
Auditions continue on American Idol (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
Lex Luthor is free on Supergirl (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG).
Mr. Wednesday prepares for battle on American Gods (7 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).
After discovering her royal lineage, an adopted 10-year-old girl becomes a little bully in 2019’s clash Mommys Little Princess (7 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).
A Secret Room Holds Dangers on Charmed (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
Hidden secrets revealed on The Walking Dead (8 p.m., AMC, TV-MA).
A new trial continues on The Case Against Adnan Syed (8 p.m., HBO, TV-14).
Ax is determined to destroy Taylor in the fourth-season premiere of Billions (8 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
Ulysses pursues a conspiracy theory on Now Apocalypse (8 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).
Unsung (8 p.m., TVONE) profiles the Jets.
Peaceful openings on Madam Secretary (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
The tension mounts on Good Girls (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
Mos’ past comes to light on Black Monday (9 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
St. Patrick’s Day inspires many traditions. Syfy offers a marathon of Leprechaun movies, from Leprechaun 5: In the Hood (Saturday 4 p.m., TV-14) to Leprechaun 2 (8 p.m.). TCM takes the traditional, sleazy Technicolor blarney approach to director John Fords 1952 romance The Quiet Man (7 p.m. Sunday, TV-PG).
Dateline (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) … NBA Countdown (7 p.m., ABC) … Kids Are Fine on MasterChef (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG) … 48 Hours (9 p.m., CBS) … A vintage portion of Saturday Night Live (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
A visit from an old friend inspires Miles in God Friended Me (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG)… Homer can’t leave Barth’s virtual kingdom in The Simpsons (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14). .. Empathy for All Things on Bobs Burgers (7:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
A walk down the aisle on NCIS: Los Angeles (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14)… On two episodes of Family Guy (Fox, TV-14), Megs Winter Olympics (8 p.m.), fighting over a dowager (8:30 p.m. , r)…Aches on Shark Tank (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
Secrets of the Dead (9 p.m., PBS, r, TV-PG, check local listings) examines evidence of a long-talked-about mystery ship that was seen near the Titanic the night it sank in 1912.
A repairman (Steven Seagal) becomes an active shooter when he’s forced to blow up an oil refinery developed by his evil boss (Michael Caine) that threatens Inuit lands in the 1994 thriller On Deadly Ground (6 p.m., Sundance) . Not to be confused with the 2023 thriller On Sacred Ground (8 p.m., Starz, TV-14), about an oil company’s exploitation of Indian reservation territory in North Dakota.
Family Killed on FBI (7 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) … Auditions continue on MasterChef (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Contestants host charity event for St. Judes Children’s Hospital on Gordon Ramsays Food Stars (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
Due to the Writers Guild strike, all late night shows are reruns.
Brett Goldstein and Amanda Warren are booked on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (10:35 p.m., CBS)… Jimmy Fallon hosts Katie Holmes, Danielle Deadwyler and the musical Anuel AA on The Tonight Show (10:34 p.m., NBC). .. Christopher Meloni and DArcy Carden visit Late Night With Seth Meyers (11:37 p.m., NBC) … Rob Corddry, Hong Chau and Stephen Sanchez appear on The Late Late Show with James Corden (11:37 p.m., CBS).