‘Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams,’ the Return of David Letterman, and More TV You Must See This Week

Also: a Jack Black comedy and a new drama from ‘Master of None’ Emmy Winner Lena Waithe.
Electric Dreams
By  · Published on January 7th, 2018

Also: a Jack Black comedy and a new drama from Master of None’ Emmy Winner Lena Waithe.

This week’s TV brings an eclectic combination that caters to nearly all tastes. Awards season begins to gather momentum with two ceremonies held in the same week, while a TV icon comes out of retirement with a new Netflix talk show. Music fans will delight with a documentary following the final years of a rock legend and sci-fi fans get a new anthology series based in the works of Philip K. Dick. One of Master of None‘s co-writing cast members brings drama to the mix with a coming-of-age story set in Southside Chicago, as a Lonely Island-produced show about best friends and a bizarre polka-related crime film balance things out with comedy.

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 January 7th – 13th (all times Eastern):

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC, Sunday 5pm)

Awards season kicks into high gear as this year’s Golden Globes ceremony arrives. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association pick winners among the pool of cinematic and televisual goodness that was 2017 (although if we had our way, we would make a few changes) as Seth Meyers makes his debut as host of the event. Will The Shape of Water snatch all of its seven possible awards? Or will Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri put up a fight? Will Meryl Streep win on her 31st nomination or will there be more pleasant and unexpected turns? How many celebrities will protest sexual harassment with their attire on the red carpet? (And how many will get drunk on live TV?) We’ll find out on Sunday night.

The Chi (Showtime, Sunday 10pm)

Chicago’s South Side is gaining notoriety in both film and TV. First, it was the backdrop for the Obamas’ first date in Southside with You, and now it is the setting for Showtime’s latest original series, The Chi. The show follows a group of South Side residents who bond by coincidence, as this band of dreamers and hustlers work day by day to secure their little corner of the city. Created, written, and co-produced by Master of None’s Lena Waithe, this coming-of-age drama stars Jason Mitchell, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore, Alex Hibbert, Yolonda Ross, Tiffany Boone, and Armando Riesco. The pilot is directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope).

David Bowie: The Last Five Years (HBO, Monday 8pm)

After a heart attack forced him off the stages in 2004, David Bowie spent nearly a decade living under the radar. The last five years of his life marked not only the triumphant break of that hiatus but also one of Bowie’s most prolific periods. Director Francis Whately follows up his documentary David Bowie: Five Years with the story of the artist’s final lustrum. Combining intimate footage and interviews with collaborators like producer Tony Visconti and director Johan Renck, David Bowie: The Last Five Years looks back at the making of the musician’s final records and a Broadway musical, as the Thin White Duke prepares for his last bow.

Alone Together (Freeform, Wednesday 8:30pm)

We’ve all had that one friend who is so close to our hearts that other people might think something else is going on. Such is the case of Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo, who star in Freeform’s new series Alone Together as best friends without any benefits. Produced by The Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer, the show centers on Esther and Benji’s friendship as they navigate life in Los Angeles. Freeform is so confident about this sassy comedy that it has already renewed it for a second season. A good option to watch with your brother/sister from another mother.

23rd Annual Critic’s Choice Awards (The CW, Thursday 8pm)

If you’re not that interested in the glamour and spectacle of the Golden Globes or if your predictions for the Oscars are firmly grounded in critics’ opinions — or you would like to see our own Christopher Campbell on TV — the Critics’ Choice Awards are the ceremony to tune in to this week. The Shape of Water also leads this race with 14 nominations, while on the TV side Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Bette and Joan seems to be the favorite with six nods. But Call Me by Your Name, Dunkirk, Lady Bird, Big Little Lies, and Fargo follow them closely. Olivia Munn hosts the event from Santa Monica, and this year there’s an hour of awards pre-broadcast that you can check out the CW website starting at 7pm ET.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (Amazon, Friday)

Electric Dreams aims to be for Amazon what Black Mirror is to Netflix. Based on Philip K. Dick’s short stories, this sci-fi anthology series adapts the author’s disturbing narratives in 10 episodes starring Bryan Cranston, Steve Buscemi, Terrence Howard, Anna Paquin, Janelle Monae, Richard Madden, Mireille Enos, Greg Kinnear, Vera Farmiga, and Timothy Spall. Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore, Justified’s Michael Dinner, and Bryan Cranston himself are executive producers, with an impressive group of collaborators writing and directing episodes, including David Farr (The Night Manager), Dee Rees (Mudbound), and Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones). This is one of our most anticipated TV shows of the year and a must-see for sci-fi fans.

The Polka King (Netflix, Friday)

For those unfamiliar with this bizarre bit of history, Jan Lewan was a charismatic polka musician and entrepreneur who also happened to dupe several Pennsylvanian seniors into a massive Ponzi scheme to finance his Grammy-nominated polka band. Based on John Mikulak and Joshua Von Brown’s 2009 documentary The Man Who Would Be Polka King, the briefly titled The Polka King follows Lewan’s strange rise and fall. Jack Black star in the lead role along with Jenny Slate as his naïve wife, Jackie Weaver as his mother, and Jason Schwartzman as his best friend. If you’re looking for real life-based comedy, you are in for a wild ride.

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

Retirement doesn’t sit well with everyone, or at least not with David Letterman. The legendary TV host gets back in the saddle in a new Netflix show that consists of six hour-long episodes where Letterman chats with the likes of Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, George Clooney, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern; with field segments exploring topics touched on in each interview. Each episode will stream on a monthly basis, starting with the former commander in chief.


A Ghost Story (Amazon) – movie streaming debut

Star Trek: Discovery S1E10 “Despite Yourself” (CBS All Access)

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC, 5pm) – live event

The Simpsons S29E10 “Haw-Haw Land” (FOX, 8pm)

Ghosted S1E9 “Snatcher” (FOX, 8:30pm)

Family Guy S16E10 “Boy (Dog) Meets Girl (Dog)” (FOX, 9pm)

The Last Man on Earth S4E9 “Karl” (FOX, 9:30pm)

The Chi S1E1 (Showtime, 10pm) – series premiere


David Bowie: The Last Five Years (HBO, 8pm) – documentary premiere

The Good Doctor S1E11 “Islands Part One” (ABC, 10pm)


Marvel’s Runaways S1E10 “Hostile” (Hulu) – season finale

Lethal Weapon S2E12 “Diggin’ Up Dirt” (FOX, 8pm)

NCIS S15E12 “Dark Secrets” (CBS, 8pm)

LA to Vegas S1E2 “The Yips and the Dead” (Fox, 9pm)

This Is Us S2E11 “The Fifth Wheel” (NBC, 9pm)

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World S1E11 “Solo” (ABC, 10pm)


The Blacklist S5E10 “The Informant” (NBC, 8pm)

The Librarians S4E8 “And the Hidden Sanctuary” (TNT, 8pm)

The X-Files S11E2 “This” (Fox, 8pm)

Alone Together S1E1 (Freeform, 8:30pm) – series premiere

Speechless S2E12 “The H-u-s-Hustle” (ABC, 8:30pm)

9-1-1 S1E2 “Let Go” (Fox, 9pm)

Modern Family S9E12 “Dear Beloved Family” (ABC, 9pm)

Law & Order: SVU S19E10 “Pathological” (NBC, 9pm)

Criminal Minds S13E11 “Full-Tilt Boogie” (CBS, 10pm)

Happy! S1E5 “White Sauce? Hot Sauce?” (Syfy, 10pm)


23rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards (The CW, 8pm) – live event

Superstore S3E9 “Golden Globes Party” (NBC, 8pm)

The Good Place S2E10 “Best Self” (NBC, 8:30pm)

Will & Grace S9E9 “There’s Something About Larry” (NBC, 9pm)

Project Runway All-Stars S6E2 (Lifetime, 9pm)

Great News S2E11 “Competing Offer” (NBC, 9:30pm)

S.W.A.T S1E10 “Seizure” (CBS, 10pm)

Superstition S1E11 “Back to One” (Syfy, 10pm)


Disjointed S1 (Netflix) – part 2 premiere

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman S1E1 (Netflix) – talk show premiere

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams S1E1 “The Hood Maker” (Amazon) – series premiere

The Polka King (Netflix) – movie premiere

Somebody Feed Phil S2 (Netflix) – season premiere

Tom Segura: Disgraceful (Netflix) – standup comedy special

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S3E9 “Nathaniel Gets the Message!” (The CW, 8pm)

Taken S2E1 “S.E.R.E.” (NBC, 9pm) – season premiere


The Fate of the Furious Extended Version (HBO, 8pm) – movie cable premiere

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