This weekend I have … half an hour, and there is beauty in the little things.
‘How to Talk to John Wilson’
When to watch: Friday at 10:00 pm on HBO.
We live in perhaps the most redundant age of television, where every show – even great, special – looks, sounds, and moves like so many other shows, all from the same tube. Besides. “How to Talk to John Wilson” is a video collage of videos filmed by Wilson and put together in gorgeous, silly and bizarre reflections. Seemingly random pedestrian vignettes, crooked graffiti, urban trivia played in line with Wilson’s narrative, and suddenly what was a vagrancy mess has now turned into pretty yarn. Season 2 kicks off with How to Invest in Real Estate, which somehow includes clotheslines and panties and lots of ventriloquism dummies. I love this show.
… Half an hour, and I like silly comedies.
Wellington Paranormal Activity
When to watch: Saturday at 20:30 by telegraph.
The Wellington Paranormal is a New Zealand comedy that is 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 watch that movie or that show to love the supernatural shenanigans here. Three seasons aired in New Zealand, but so far only two have aired in the United States, aired on the CW and aired on HBO Max. This weekend’s episode is Christmas 2019, and it’s the perfect entry: Officers Minogue and O’Leary (Mike Minogue and Karen O’Leary) explore the cursed doll, Santa Claus, which is actually Satan’s mall, and a barbecue where a portal to another dimension has opened.
… A few hours and I love cooking shows.
‘School of Chocolate’
When to watch: Arrives Friday on Netflix.
This eight-part chocolate sculpture competition series is somewhat different from other show competitions. Firstly, no one drops out (dream!), But evaluates during the season. Second, host and judge Amory Gichon is giving real instructions to the chocolatier, not just “are you okay?” eyebrow wiggle or passive-aggressive sentences like, “Well, if you like these scents. … ”Thirdly, some episodes last about 30 minutes. Fourth, the contestants taste each other’s work. Finally, they seem to be less interested in hot-tempered feuds than the test chefs on other shows; “It’s not personal,” one says correctly when ranked last in a trial. If you want to have an enjoyable low-rise show this weekend, give this one a try.