Watching: What to Watch This Weekend

Road trip!

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

NBC announced yesterday that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will return for 10 final episodes but not until the 2021-22 broadcast season (which starts in the fall). I like that show a lot, but this seems … right.

Have a safe weekend and a festive Valentine’s Day.


This weekend I have … 25 minutes and a 9-year-old

A scene from “Kid Cosmic.”Netflix

‘Kid Cosmic’

When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

This new series from the creator of “The Powerpuff Girls,” Craig McCracken, follows a plucky hero, Kid, who discovers five powerful rings in the wreckage of an alien spaceship. He accidentally forms a kind of superhero squad, which includes a teen waitress, an older neighbor with a white beard, a 4-year-old girl and a cat named Tuna Sandwich. There are plenty of solid jokes and decent lessons, and the show’s newsprint-comic aesthetic is both retro and fresh. If you want a show for kids that is appropriately energetic but not grating, watch this.


… a half-hour, and I like ‘Outlander’

Sam Heughan, left, and Graham McTavish in a scene from “Men in Kilts.”Starz

‘Men in Kilts’

When to watch: Sunday at 9 p.m., on Starz.

Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish star on “Outlander” and team up here for a cute travel series through Scotland. Although the first episode is about cuisine, it’s not all food and whisky; the second is about Scottish sports, and later episodes cover music and witchcraft. If you’ve seen “The Wine Show,” which follows the actors Matthew Rhys and Matthew Goode as they learn about wine, but mostly as they just kind of hang out and make each other laugh, this is very similar, except with more sweaters. Heughan and McTavish seem to be having a ball, and it’s nice to remember a time when road trips were good and normal.


… a few hours, and I like reality show bickering

Contestants use logs to build a bridge in a scene from “The Bridge.”HBO Max

‘The Bridge’

When to watch: Now, on HBO Max.

There are a few murder shows called “The Bridge,” but this is a six-episode British reality-contest show in which the 12 participants have to live on an island and build an 850-foot floating bridge in order to win a cash prize. The show is more “Kid Nation” than “Survivor,” and the producers are patient, crafty monsters whose twists and prompts elicit juicy fights, hushed gossip, a few alliances and some good disparaging nicknames for those alliances. The bridge building is mostly a backdrop for interpersonal conflict and nosiness, so I’m holding out hope that Season 2 will be called “The Hole” and contestants will simply dig a huge hole together.

Your newly available movies

Yeri Han and Steven Yeun in “Minari,” about a Korean-American family that moves to the Ozarks.Josh Ethan Johnson/A24

Two very different movies about very different partnerships are drawing the most attention this week, with the “Bridesmaids” co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo teaming up again for the absurdist lark “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” and Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield playing the radical leader Fred Hampton and his informer, Bill O’Neal, in the historical drama “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

Some independent films are available via “virtual cinemas,” which share the rental fees between distributors and theaters. Unless otherwise noted, other titles can generally be rented on the usual platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. SCOTT TOBIAS

‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar’

“Barb and Star” offers a mixed bag of laughs, often feeling like a Frankenstein assembly of various sketches. Still, I can’t help but admire its commitment to the act, and its gloriously unhinged absurdity. — Beatrice Loayza (Read the full review here.)


The conflicts at the heart of “Cowboys” are timely, coming in a moment when trans children and their rights are at the forefront of American political debate. But the writer and director Anna Kerrigan doesn’t sensationalize her story. Her characters don’t speak as if they were addressing the audience from a pulpit. — Teo Bugbee (Read the full review here.)

‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (A Critic’s Pick; HBO Max only)

“Judas and the Black Messiah” represents a disciplined, impassioned effort to bring clarity to a volatile moment, to dispense with the sentimentality and revisionism that too often cloud movies about the ’60s and about the politics of race. — A.O. Scott (Read the full review here.)


This is a bizarre movie, one that parades confused ideas about care, fantasy and disability with a pride that reads as vanity. It is audacious, in the sense that making it certainly took some audacity. — Teo Bugbee (Read the full review here.)

‘Ruth: Justice Ginsberg in Her Own Words’ (Kino Marquee virtual cinema)

Though filled with valuable details, the documentary has the misfortune of arriving after countless other appraisals. — Ben Kenigsberg (Read the full review here.)

Also newly available:


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Fran Lebowitz won’t be listening to this podcast

On the latest episode of Sway, our host Kara Swisher and Fran Lebowitz — two boomer lesbians with very different digital footprints — discuss the New York mayoral race, hanging out with Toni Morrison, regretting wishing for an empty Times Square, and Lebowitz’s advice for the Twitter chief Jack Dorsey.

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