We definitely need to talk about that bonkers ‘Yellowjackets’ finale

Before we get to anything else, today would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Fans everywhere are honoring her with the “Betty White Challenge” in which you donate to your local animal shelter in her name. As a devoted animal advocate, I know she would love this. Also, go google her name for a lovely little tribute (and let’s hope Google also donated in her name). Happy birthday, Betty.

And for our cute animal of the day, here’s Betty’s final pet, Pontiac.

All Other TV News

So, Yellowjackets! Are you obsessed yet? The finale debuted this weekend, and if you haven’t watched the batshit crazy and wonderful dark drama that one critic has said “may be the most fucked up show ever,” get to it. It’s about a girl’s soccer team who gets stranded in the wilderness in the 1990s and starts their own mystery cult, only to have the questionable things they did out there come back to haunt them 25 years later. It’s a little Lord of the Flies, a little Lost, a dash of Mean Girls and very much a love letter to Gen X, led by a stellar cast that includes Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey (who is currently married to Jason Ritter, and had previously been married to Jimmi Simpson, which is … what?) and Tawny Cypress.

Anyway, if you haven’t watched yet, I’m going to use spoiler font to avoid ruining the first season for you, but you might just want to skip down to the paragraph that mentions another mystery box series, Archive 81.

As for the finale: the creators have confirmed that yes SPOILER FONT ON: Jackie and Jessica, the reporter are both definitely dead. And Lottie is alive. As for those people who we saw abduct Natalie, they are part of Lottie’s cult, but they are characters we have not seen before. As for Adam, he is NOT connected to the group that kidnapped Natalie. And he is not Javi. Then there’s Taissa and Biscuit. Yes, that was Biscuit’s head on that altar, but no Taissa is not possessed. Instead, it’s a “bifurcated personality.”

So when will Yellowjackets return? If we’re lucky, season two could premiere by the end of 2022.

 

I binged Archive 81 on Netflix this weekend and really enjoyed it: It’s a twisty, clever, sorta-horror series that makes fun use of found footage and time travel. If you enjoy mystery box dramas or horror, and you’ve finished Yellowjackets, give it a shot. But just go into it knowing that whatever it may think, it’s not as smart and talky as, say, a Mike Flanagan series like Midnight Mass or The Haunting of Hill House — for both better and worse. As for whether this is a one-and-done series or if it has more seasons ahead of it, I suppose that depends on how many of y’all check it out. It ends with an open door, and according to the creators, they have more ideas in store, so there is definitely the possibility of more seasons — if Netflix doesn’t kill it. But as far as it being the next Stranger Things … I’m not so sure.

But if you did watch Archive 81, and you have some questions about that finale, here showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine answers several of them. And she answers other questions about the series as a whole here.

Peak TV had another peak year: in 2021 there were 559 original scripted series on TV. That’s up from the previous 2019 high of 532 series. It’s also completely bonkers. When FX first started keeping track of the number of original scripted series back in 2002, there were 182. FX’s head John Landgraf used to predict that “Peak TV” would eventually, you know, peak, as hundreds and hundreds of scripted shows seems unsustainable — but that hasn’t seemed to have happened yet.

The first thing you should know is that LEGO made a Queer Eye set, which I did not know. The second thing you should know is that now LEGO is being sued over a tiny plastic jacket that they included in the Queer Eye set. I mean, ok.

The Bachelor by the depressing numbers.

We have a first look at the Batgirl costume:

Kanye West is threatening to beat up Pete Davidson on his new song, so everything is going great over in that whole mess.

Hey — here’s a bit of good news: DirecTV is dropping OANN when its contract expires in April. Great: Now do Newsmax and Fox News.

Jordan Klepper reminds us that not everyone saw January 6 as the violent treasonist attempt to overthrow our democracy that it was. Chilling:

President Biden has appointed Star Jones to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad? What? Why?

 

Get better soon, Chris Evert.

Get better soon, Celine!

Take care of yourself, Tiffany Haddish.

Cancellations

  • Y: The Last Man is really, truly, officially canceled as no other networks came in to save the day.

In Development

Casting News

  • Storm Reid has joined the cast of The Last of Us on HBO.

Mark Your Calendar

  • The Man Who Fell To Earth will premiere on Showtime this spring.
  • South Park returns on Comedy Central for season 25 on February 2.
  • Hellbender will premiere on Shudder on February 24.
  • Love and Leashes will debut on Netflix on February 11.
  • Devotion, a Story of Love and Desire will premiere on Netflix on February 14.

R.I.P.

Ralph Emery, Country music disc jockey and television host

Jordan Cashmyer, One of the original stars of 16 and Pregnant

Junior Siavii, Former Dallas Cowboy

Fred Parris, Singer in The Five Satins and songwriter of “In the Still of the Night”

Rosa Lee Hawkins, Singer in The Dixie Cups

Dallas Frazier, Country songwriter who wrote “Elvira” and “Beneath Still Waters”

Jean-Jacques Beineix, French director

Michael Jackson, Talk radio host

WATCH THIS

How I Met Your Father: Hillary Duff leads this gender-swapped version of How I Met Your Mother. Series premiere. Hulu

Becoming: Michelle Obama in Conversation: Yara Shahidi moderates a fireside chat with the former first lady. 6 p.m., BET and BET Her

4400: The government figures out their first move in the mid-season premiere. 8 p.m., The CW

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Javier Bardem, Daveed Diggs, Robert Glasper featuring Rapsody, BJ the Chicago Kid, Amir Sulaiman & DJ Jazzy Jeff
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Aidy Bryant, John Early, Daniel Fang
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Ingrid Andress & Sam Hunt
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Denzel Washington, Hunter Schafer, Twenty One Pilots
  • Watch What Happens Live: Wes O’Dell, Fraser Olender

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The 4400
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FOX 9-1-1: Lone Star
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The Cleaning Lady
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News/Local
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Kenan
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That’s My Jam
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Ordinary Joe
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