How much viewing time do you have this weekend?
This weekend I have… half an hour, and there is beauty in the little things.
“How to deal with John Wilson”
When to watch: Friday at 10 p.m. on HBO.
We live in arguably the most redundant era of television, where every show – no matter how great, special – looks, sounds and moves like many other shows, all off the same hit. Except this one. “How To Do With John Wilson” is a video collage of footage shot by Wilson and put together into beautiful, silly, and eerie reflections. Seemingly random vignettes of pedestrians, tongue-in-cheek graffiti, urban minutiae play beneath Wilson’s storytelling, and suddenly what was a roaming mess is now a fine thread. Season 2 kicks off with “How to Invest in Real Estate,” which sort of includes clotheslines of underpants and a range of ventriloquist mannequins. I love this show.
… Half an hour, and I love wacky comedy.
When to watch: Saturday at 8:30 p.m., on the CW.
“Wellington Paranormal” is a New Zealand comedy that resembles a hybrid of “The X-Files” and “Reno 911”. It’s part of the “What We Do In The Shadows” universe, but you don’t have to have seen this movie or show to enjoy the supernatural shenanigans here. Three seasons have aired in New Zealand, but so far only two have aired in the United States, aired on The CW, and streamed on HBO Max. This weekend’s episode is the Christmas special of 2019, and it’s a perfect entry: Agents Minogue and O’Leary (Mike Minogue and Karen O’Leary) investigate a cursed doll, a shopping mall Santa who is actually a Satan mall and barbecue where a portal to another dimension has opened.
… A few hours, and I love cooking shows.
When to watch: Arrives Friday, on Netflix.
This eight-part chocolate sculpture competition series sets itself apart from other food competition shows in several ways. First, no one is eliminated (the dream!) But rather noted throughout the season. Second, the host and judge, Amaury Guichon, provides real instruction to the chocolatiers, not just “are you suuuure? “Agitated eyebrows or passive-aggressive suggestions such as:” Well, if you like these flavors. … ”Third, several episodes are about 30 minutes long. Fourth, competitors taste each other’s work. And finally, they seem less interested in internal bickering than the chief testers of other shows; “It’s not personal,” they say, rightly, when placed last in a challenge. If you want a low-lift show that will be crowd-pleasing for this weekend, try this.