Eric Deggans

As tonight's Oscars ceremony closes out the longest — and most unconventional — awards season in Hollywood history, it's worth asking: What exactly will we see during the TV broadcast of the 93rd Oscars?

Warning: There are spoilers aplenty here regarding the final episode in the first season of Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

It's tough to imagine a better week for TV fans to meet a Black Captain America.

As media outlets scrambled to cover the aftermath of the guilty verdict in the murder and manslaughter trial of Derek Chauvin, the differences in coverage on some cable TV outlets seemed as divided as the country's politics.

Nearly 140 documentary filmmakers have signed onto a letter given to PBS executives, suggesting the service may provide an unfair level of support to white creators, facing a "systemic failure to fulfill (its) mandate for a diversity of voices."

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Let's get this out of the way first. Yes, Zack Snyder's Justice League is just over four hours long.

Four. Hours. Long.

Yet, somehow, it feels like the right length for a film that has moved mountains — and reportedly spent around $70 million beyond its original, blockbuster budget — to reinvent one of the biggest superhero movie bombs in recent memory.

And here's the thing: It actually succeeds. In more ways than I ever expected.

It's a safe bet this wasn't the conversation that producers of The Bachelor expected would cap Matt James' season when they named him as the unscripted dating show's first Black star.

But the tense, emotional exchange Monday night between James and former girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell — where he revealed why he broke off their relationship after photos of her at an antebellum South-themed party surfaced on social media — is the kind of conversation about race and white cluelessness that The Bachelor has been avoiding for far too long.

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OK, be honest. When I say craft beer, what comes to mind? A hoppy IPA? Sure. But maybe also, as James Bennett II writes in the digital magazine Eater, a, quote, "white guy swilling beer in specialty stemware in an authentic bar riddled with fugazi bullets in a gentrified neighborhood," unquote. And maybe we'll throw in some plaid shirts and beards along with that.

For comic book fans like me, Superman is the ultimate superhero — able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and stop a nuclear reactor from exploding by dumping a huge, melting block of ice on top of it.

But on The CW's new series Superman & Lois, our hero's alter ego Clark Kent is no match for his mopey teenage son, Jordan, struggling with social anxiety disorder and angry that his dad always seems to be elsewhere, chasing a story for The Daily Planet.

My first thought, when I heard about HBO's docuseries Allen v. Farrow, was that this moment was inevitable.

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When it came time to pick the best TV shows of 2020 late last year, I and my fellow critics at NPR were all over the map. But there was one we could all agree on: Michaela Coel's HBO drama I May Destroy You. A masterpiece, it was the only show that landed on everyone's best-of list.

So it was a surprise to look at the roster of nominees for the Golden Globe awards in television on Wednesday and not see her name or the show listed anywhere.

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Rap duo Salt-N-Pepa were hit machines in the 1980s and '90s with huge songs like "Let's Talk About Sex," their collaboration with En Vogue, "Whatta Man," and "Push It."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PUSH IT")

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Something significant shifted in media this year — and it's not just about the pandemic keeping us inside, glued to screens. It's all due to a simple idea: cater to the will of the consumer.

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Pixar's newest movie, "Soul," was originally intended for theaters. But due to the pandemic, Disney released the animated film on Disney+ on Christmas. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says that's good news for families looking for an uplifting holiday diversion.

It has been a momentous year for everything we consider TV.

A pandemic, civil rights reckoning, streaming war and presidential election shook up the industry in a dozen different ways. It blurred lines between genres, platforms and story forms, while also encouraging us to develop our own, deep rabbit holes of favorite media. So when our team of four critics sat down to figure out what we liked most onscreen this year, we each had a lot of stuff on our lists no one else did.

If you have the sense you're seeing fewer women on TV than you encounter in everyday life, a new study by the Nielsen company may offer an explanation.

The study is titled "Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV."

Researchers at Nielsen, the company which also provides TV viewership ratings, looked at the top 100 TV shows each in broadcast, cable and streaming, excluding sports, movies and animated shows.

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HBO is out with its adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates' best-selling book "Between The World And Me." NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says it's a story of Black survival within white supremacy.

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When it comes to pulling together a convincing, funny Joe Biden impression, there are a lot of pitfalls for comics.

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The new season of Netflix's drama about England's royal family, "The Crown," drops today. In it, Gillian Anderson plays Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin is Princess Diana. Here's NPR TV critic Eric Deggans.

Finally, after weeks of new episodes that felt like awkward dress rehearsals for a funnier show we never got to see, Saturday Night Live delivered a performance that met the moment.

But it didn't come from the place you might expect.

True enough, news that media organizations officially projected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as America's next president and vice president lent a giddy energy to a show that, this season, often seemed unsure of what to say about all the real-life absurdity at hand.

The secret weapon of Disney+'s The Mandalorian, is discovery.

It's pretty much in the DNA of the series — which became a streaming TV phenomenon last year — on the strength of a new character the series calls "The Child" but most of us fans call Baby Yoda.

The goal: to explore all the nooks and crannies of the Star Wars universe that the big movies ignored and build compelling stories around them.

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Updated at 7:52 p.m. ET

Quibi, the mobile-first streaming service to specialize in original shows with short five to 10-minute-long episodes, is shutting down its business operations and selling its assets little more than 6 months after launching, according to a statement released by the company.

It was an abrupt ending for a company founded by big names in entertainment and business worlds and seemed poised, at one point, to reinvent the streaming TV game.

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