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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Not into the Super Bowl? Here are alternative viewing options

Originally posted Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

If you weren’t into the Super Bowl 20 or 30 years ago, your viewing options were largely limited to whatever repeats rival networks were airing.

Today, other broadcast networks competing against CBS are still airing reruns while many cable networks are opting for marathons of their popular shows (e.g. truTV’s “Impractical Jokers,” Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America,” E!’s “Botched”). TLC is running a special of its hit show “Dr. Pimple Popper” from 6 to 9 p.m. cheekily titled “the Poppy Bowl.”

But in this on-demand world of streaming and DVRs, the options are vast. So below, I’ve included a sampling of what is available either on the cable networks or streaming services.

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If you are hankering for stand-up comedy…

Netflix has made Australian stand-up artist Hannah Gadsby an international star thanks to her comedy special “Nanette” which is edgy, challenging and mesmerizng . If you want something a little fluffier, Gabriel Iglesias just came out with his latest special “One Show Fits All,” also on Netflix.

If you want a little black comedy in your spy thriller…

Hulu has the first season of BBC America’s well-regarded series “Killing Eve” available for subscribers. It features Emmy-nominated actress and recent Golden Globe co-host Sandra Oh as a bored M15 agent who becomes enraptured with an international assassin who is intriguing to her in part because she’s a woman.

If you’re seeking cheesy drama…

Netflix rarely releases ratings data so when the network said 40 million households had sampled “You,” observers were shocked. The drama about a stalker-like book-store employee chasing after a pretty writer debuted to critical acclaim last fall on Lifetime but garnered such poor ratings that Lifetime cancelled it. But once it received exposure on Netflix, the series became a hit and a second season is coming. While this fits in the “women in peril” template of a Lifetime movie of the week, it clearly fits the bill for both cringe-worthy and binge-worthy.

If you’re desperate for cute animals…

Animal Planet’s 15th annual Puppy Bowl will debut at 3 p.m. and repeat the rest of the day. While the puppies will “compete” on the playing field, a baby sloth will be one of the referees and cheering from the sidelines will be baby porcupines and kangaroos. Not to be outdone, Hallmark will air its sixth annual Kitten Bowl from 2 to 4 p.m., then repeat from 5 to 7 p.m.

If you’re in the mood for classic reality…

VH1 is carting out an all-day marathon of the first season of “I Love New York” featuring camera-friendly Tiffany Pollard from 2007. It will run from 10:30 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. This was a spin-off of the popular reality show “Flavor of Love” featuring the even nuttier Flavor Flav. Not-so-spoiler alert: she sought love with a dude that didn’t end up working out.

If you’re hunting for historical true crime…

CNN is airing a marathon of its year-old six-part series “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst” focused on how a kidnapped heiress became a terrorist back in the mid-1970s. It starts at 7 p.m. and runs through 1 a.m. Hearst herself refused to cooperate and criticized the way the series portrayed her.

If you want to watch dueling documentaries on the same topic in one evening…

Netflix and Hulu both recently came out with films recounting the 2017 Fyre Festival, a supposed Millennial-friendly music fest in the Bahamas that was a jaw-dropping disaster on all levels. Investors were defrauded. Acts bailed. Attendees were stuck in hurricane disaster tents. Food consisted of cheese sandwiches. Creator Billy McFarland, who spoke to the Hulu producers, ultimately went to prison for six years. Netflix’s documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” is more of a blow-by-blow account of the logistical nightmare itself while Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud” provides more context into how and why social media “influencers” got so easily scammed by a con artist.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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