This weekend I have … a half-hour, and I have played zip-zap-zop.
When to watch: Now, on Dropout.tv, or YouTube.
Sam Reich hosts this happily offbeat panel game show. Three comedians buzz in with their answers, but the exact style of the game changes with each episode — instead of just trivia or whatever, formats include a wild version of Simon Says, off-the-cuff Power Point presentations, or a “Bachelor”-like contest. There are 50 episodes on Dropout.tv, which requires a subscription, and six available on YouTube to whet your appetite. If you’ve watched a lot of arena comedy specials recently, and you want something at the far other end of the spectrum, or if you’ve had more than one discussion about whether long-form improv could ever be effective on television, watch this.
… an hour, and I have a plan for when the dragons come.
When to watch: Now, on Discovery+.
The sole season of this 2019 combat competition series has made its clangy way to streaming. In each episode, participants don armor, grab swords, axes and other historical weapons, and then beat the living chivalry out of each other. Think mixed martial arts for LARPers, or perhaps LARPing for M.M.A. fighters. It’s not gory — all the weapons are blunted, and the rules prohibit “stabbing strikes” — but it is chaotic, especially for those of us much more accustomed to seeing medieval weaponry unleashed only in chi-chi choreographed fight scenes and not in comparatively low-rent real-life beat-downs. If you ever dreamed of combining Medieval Times and backyard wrestling, this is for you.
… an hour, and I want something substantial.
‘Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court’
When to watch: Friday at 8 p.m., on Showtime.
This fascinating four-part documentary series, directed by Dawn Porter, traces the occasionally edifying, sometimes exasperating history of the Supreme Court. Episode 1 goes back to the Warren Court of the 1950s and the jurisprudence of Thurgood Marshall; Episode 2 starts with the election of Richard Nixon, Episode 3 with the Clinton presidency and Episode 4 with the Trump campaign. “Deadlocked” uses an impressive depth of archival materials and thoughtful talking-head interviews to sketch a fraught portrait — a necessary corrective to the more mythologized, less thorough common Supreme Court histories.