What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Sherman’s Showcase’ and ‘Jane the Virgin’
“Sherman’s Showcase” debuts on IFC. And after five seasons on the CW, “Jane the Virgin” comes to a close.
What’s on TV
SHERMAN’S SHOWCASE 10 p.m. on IFC. Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, two former writers for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” have had a very busy month. Last week, the pair debuted “South Side,” their new Comedy Central sitcom about two friends in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. And this week sees the beginning of “Sherman’s Showcase,” another show from Salahuddin and Riddle, which is built around a tribute to a fictional variety show. It plays off vintage series like “Soul Train” and “Laugh-In,” and makes a nostalgic vessel for the pair’s humor. In this case, those sensibilities even carry over into fake commercials for real products like VHS tapes — “watch movies in your own house for just 200 dollars a tape!” — and the dating website Black People Meet. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Salahuddin described the show as an “an absurd, heightened world where we can play.” He added, “It allows us to tap into that other part of our brain that’s silly and carefree.” And in a review for The Times, Mike Hale called the show “a pure jolt of stylized nostalgia, from its affectionate sendups of soul, R&B and hip-hop to its candy-colored sets with their abstract cutouts, traversed by roller-skating dancers.”
UNMASKING JIHADI JOHN: ANATOMY OF A TERRORIST(2019) 8 p.m. on HBO. The revelation in 2015 that the notorious Islamic State executioner known as Jihadi John was actually a London-raised man named Mohammed Emwazi sparked intense discussion about the causes of radicalization in Europe. This documentary, through interviews with intelligence operatives, Emwazi’s former teachers and others, attempts to shed light on how a young London man with a degree in computer programming became, by the time of his death in late 2015, a notorious ISIS militant.
JANE THE VIRGIN 8 p.m. on the CW. This telenovela comes to a close on Wednesday night. After five seasons, fans will finally find out how things wrap up for Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) and Rafael Solano (Justin Baldoni), and whether the end of the story is bitter or sweet. “I think that the writers did a really beautiful job of using telenovela tropes and twists and magical elements to create a dynamic season where all the characters got a moment to shine,” Baldoni said in a recent interview with The Times. “At the end of the day it’s a love story, and I believe it plays out nicely.”