Watching: Something Silly

And something tasty.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

Disney+ announced today that there’s a whole Boba Fett TV show on its way. “The Book of Boba Fett” will occur “within the timeline of ‘The Mandalorian’” and is scheduled for Dec. 2021.

Have a safe and happy week.

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Usually I watch ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ …

Robert Webb in a scene from “The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff.”Amazon

‘The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff’

When to watch: Now, on Amazon.

If you want something Dickensian, but also something like “Airplane!,” this very silly spoof tells the tale of Jedrington Secret-Past (Robert Webb) and a fateful Christmas. Many of us are feeling the desire to consecrate any iota of happiness but also the tidal wave of despair that has defined 2020 — isolation and celebration just don’t align. Bright, ecstatic dumbness is one kind of humor that seems to cut through, though, and “The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff” is that exactly. It lets no moment go un-joked; every name is a goofy one, and it makes good on every opportunity for a sight gag. There’s a one-off hourlong Christmas special and then three additional half-hour episodes.

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Usually I’d be traveling or cooking for a crowd …

Emiliano Marentes, left, and Padma Lakshmi on “Taste the Nation.”Dominic Valente/Hulu

‘Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi’

When to watch: Now, on Hulu.

This 10-part series focuses on the food traditions of marginalized communities in the United States, and has more to say than your average lifestyle show. Lakshmi is a thoughtful host and facilitator, taking viewers on trips to eat burritos on the Mexican border in Texas, Thai food in Las Vegas, Peruvian dishes in New Jersey and Native American cuisine in Arizona, among other voyages. “Taste” captures the way cooking is both autobiography and mythology, a thoughtful spin on the travelogue model.

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