News · TV

‘Channel Zero,’ ‘The Ritual,’ and More TV You Must See This Week

Also: documentaries on Winnie Mandela, Eric Clapton, and Gloria Allred.
Channel Zero Butchers Block
By  · Published on February 4th, 2018

This week offers a good dose of chills: the third season of Syfy’s popular horror anthology series finally arrives and Netflix adds forest horror to its growing terror catalogue. Biographical documentaries also abound, with the lives of a guitar legend, an overshadowed female political figure, and a notorious civil rights lawyer in focus. Finally, to lighten things up, Fred Armisen combines his two passions in one stand-up comedy special.

To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for February 4th –10th (all times Eastern):

Super Bowl LII (NBC, Sunday, 6:30pm)

Some of us will be watching to see if the Eagles finally win a Super Bowl or if the Patriots take another. Some of us will just be watching just for the commercials, particularly the new movie trailers (Mission: Impossible – Fallout is one that is guaranteed). And some of us will be watching for all of the above. Whatever your reason for tuning in, check back on FSR Monday morning for our annual ranking of the movie-related ads.

Winnie (PBS, Monday 10pm)

Like many first ladies, Winnie Madikizela is much more than just Nelson Mandela’s wife, and director Pascale Lamche makes her latest documentary a testament of that. Winnie explores her life and contributions to the fight against apartheid in South Africa by piecing together rare archival footage with testimonies from Winnie herself, her daughter Zindzi, biographers, journalists, lawyers, police, allies and opponents alike; as it chronologically traces her rise and seeming fall from grace in her own country.

Fred Armisen: Stand-Up for Drummers (Netflix, Tuesday)

Fred Armisen has two passions: comedy and music. Long before his Saturday Night Live years, he played drums with the Blue Man Group and recorded albums with Chicago punk band Trenchmouth in the ’90s. This love for music has oftentimes bled into to his comedy — he parodied the classic Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense in Documentary Now!, and his Portlandia character Spyke is an aging-but-still-raging punk who jams with Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic — but his two interests finally fuse together in his Netflix comedy special. You can expect a fair amount of drumming and a lot of impressions.

Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block (Syfy, Wednesday 10pm)

Syfy’s Channel Zero has proven to be a worthy heir of the modern horror anthology series tradition. The show has taken the contemporary folklore of creepypastas — those short scary stories and urban legends that circulate on the remote corners of forums and sites like Reddit — and distilled it into two high-quality, truly unnerving seasons. The third installment arrives this week and it introduces Alice Woods (Olivia Luccardi) and her schizophrenic sister Zoe (Holland Roder), who move to a small town to start over. There, they meet Joseph Peach (Rutger Hauer), a charismatic man who offers them the promise of a world without illness. But soon they’ll discover that the good life comes at a high price. If you’re a horror fan and you’re not already hooked on Channel Zero, this is the perfect time to join the eerie vice.

Seeing Allred (Netflix, Friday)

In the midst of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, it is very timely to look back at the career of civil rights attorney Gloria Allred (and Netflix knows it). After all, the legal crusader has worked cases against Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, failed Alabama Senate-race contender Roy Moore, and Donald Trump over sexual harassment accusations. Directors Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman (Above and Beyond) peer into Allred’s long-running professional career, as well as her personal life, through archival footage and interviews with both supporters and critics, as they examine the advocate’s legacy.

The Ritual (Netflix, Friday)

Four friends from college reunite to honor the memory of a common buddy by taking a hiking trip through the Swedish countryside. During the trek, one of them injures his ankle, so they take a shortcut through the dark forest. What could possibly go wrong? Based on Adam Nevill’s novel of the same name, The Ritual combines the sense of anxiety from nature survival stories with a paranormal taste of The Blair Witch Project. The film also marks the first solo directing gig of David Bruckner (The Signal) and stars Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Robert James-Collier (Downtown Abbey), Arsher Ali, and Sam Troughton. Our chief critic Rob Hunter says it’s “worth a watch for fans of weirdos, monsters, and brutal demises.”

Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars (Showtime, Saturday 9pm)

Guitar hero Eric Clapton has had one of those lives ripe for the biopic treatment: a turbulent childhood, a prodigious musical career, a vertiginous rise to fame, battles with drugs and alcohol, tragic loss, recovery, and redemption. Director Lili Fini Zanuck (Rush) covers it all in her documentary A Life in 12 Bars and offers an intimate look at the rock icon’s story through archival footage, photographs, and home movies; going from his early days, through the Yardbirds and Cream years, to his successful yet tumultuous solo career. A must-watch for classic rock fans.

Fred Armisen Standup For Drummers


Super Bowl LII (NBC, 6pm) – live event

Counterpart S1E3 “The Lost Art of Diplomacy” (Starz, 8pm)

Star Trek: Discovery S1E14 “The War Without, The War Within” (CBSAA, 8:30pm)

Victoria S2E4 “The Sins of the Father” (PBS, 9pm)

Divorce S2E4 “Ohio” (HBO, 10pm)

This Is Us S2E14 “Super Bowl Sunday” (NBC, 10:15pm)


Beach Rats (Hulu) – movie streaming premiere

Lucifer S3E14 “My Brother’s Keeper” (FOX, 8pm)

Supergirl S3E13 “Both Sides Now” (The CW, 8pm)

The Alienist S1E3 “Silver Smile” (TNT, 9pm)

Scorpion S4E16 “Nerd, Wind and Fire” (CBS, 10pm)

The Good Doctor S1E14 “She” (ABC, 10pm)

Winnie (PBS, 10pm) – documentary premiere


Fred Armisen: Standup For Drummers (Netflix) – comedy special

Lethal Weapon S2E15 “An Inconvenient Ruth” (FOX, 8pm)

NCIS S15E14 “Keep Your Friends Close” (CBS, 8pm)

The Flash S4E13 “True Colors” (The CW, 8pm)

Black Lightning S1E4 “Black Jesus” (The CW, 9pm)

LA to Vegas S1E5 “The Fellowship of the Bear” (Fox, 9pm)

This Is Us S2E15 “Across the Border” (NBC, 9pm)

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World S1E13 “Fishtail” (ABC, 10pm)


The Blacklist S5E13 “The Invisible Hand” (NBC, 8pm)

The Librarians S4E12 “And the Echoes of Memory” (TNT, 8pm)

The X-Files S11E6 “Kitten” (FOX, 8pm)

Riverdale S2E13 “Chapter Twenty-Six: The Tell-Tale Heart” (The CW, 8pm)

9-1-1 S1E6 “Heartbreaker” (Fox, 9pm)

Law & Order: SVU S19E13 “The Undiscovered Country” (NBC, 9pm)

Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block S3E1 “Insidious Onset” (Syfy, 10pm) – season premiere

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story S2E4 “House by the Lake” (FX, 10pm)

Waco S1E3 “Operation Showtime” (Paramount, 10pm)


Queer Eye S1 (Netflix) – series reboot

Grey’s Anatomy S14E12 “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” (ABC, 8pm)

RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars S3E3 (VH1, 8pm)

Supernatural S13E13 “Devil’s Bargain” (The CW, 8pm)

Arrow S6E13 “The Devil’s Greatest Trick” (The CW, 9pm)

Project Runway All-Stars S6E6 (Lifetime, 9pm)

Scandal S7E11 “Army of One” (ABC, 9pm)

How to Get Away With Murder S4E12 “Ask Him About Stella” (ABC, 10pm)

Portlandia S8E4 “Abracadabra” (IFC, 10pm)


Grand Prix Driver S1 (Amazon) – series premiere

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman S1E2 (Netflix)

Seeing Allred (Netflix) – documentary premiere

The Ritual (Netflix) – movie premiere

When We First Met (Netflix) – movie premiere

XXIII Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony (NBC, 8pm) – live event

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S3E12 “Trent?!” (The CW, 8pm)

Jane The Virgin S4E10 “Chapter Seventy-Four” (The CW, 9pm)

2 Dope Queens S1E2 “Hair” (HBO, 11:30pm)


Planet Earth: Blue Planet II S1E4 “Big Blue” (BBC America, 8pm)

Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars (Showtime, 9pm) – documentary premiere

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