What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers’ and ‘The Trade’

What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers’ and ‘The Trade’

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Fred Armisen in “Standup for Drummers.”

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David Moir/Netflix

A Fred Armisen stand-up special debuts on Netflix. And “The Trade” offers a diverse view of America’s addiction crisis.

What’s Streaming

FRED ARMISEN: STANDUP FOR DRUMMERS (2018) on Netflix. Comedy and drumming have at least two things in common: they both revolve around timing and they’re both activities done by Fred Armisen. Drums are a constant presence in the new Netflix special from this Portlandia co-creator and Saturday Night Live alum — both in the material and onstage. (There are multiple kits, which Mr. Armisen uses to do impressions of famous drummers, among other things.) He also provides commentary on life as a drummer, from feeling smug while walking through the airport with a snare drum to questioning how drummers treat cymbals when shopping (“Like fine wine,” he says). The set also features guest appearances from the drummers Tre Cool, Stella Mozgawa and Thomas Lang. Perhaps sensing that a set devoted exclusively to drum-centric humor would have limited marketability, Mr. Armisen also tackles such nondrum subjects as camping, American accents and feeling sorry for Burger King.

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A scene from “The Challenge.”

Credit
Kino Lorber

THE CHALLENGE (2017) on Amazon and Hulu. In this film, the director Yuri Ancarani documents the lives of a group of rich young Qatari falconers, whose routines involve transporting falcons in private jets, gathering to race SUVs over desert dunes and, in one case, offering up the passenger seat of a Lamborghini to an exotic pet. In his review for The New York Times, A.O. Scott wrote that Mr. Ancarani “films their leisure pursuits with elegant gravity and understated — all but unstated — wit.”

WEINER (2016) on Amazon and Hulu. Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman’s documentary on the disgraced New York City mayoral candidate Anthony D. Weiner follows Mr. Weiner’s pursuit of the 2013 Democratic nomination for mayor. The race was intended to be a comeback for Mr. Weiner, who had previously resigned from Congress in 2011 following a scandal over lewd online behavior. That story — as well as the trajectory of the 2013 race that also ends in scandal — will not be new to most viewers. But Ms. Steinberg and Mr. Kriegman’s portrayal of it is, Stephen Holden wrote in his review for The Times, “infuriating and depressing but rivetingly watchable.”

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A scene from “The Trade.”

Credit
Our Time Projects/Showtime

THE TRADE on Showtime streaming platforms. This ambitious documentary series offers a multifaceted look at America’s opioid crisis by showcasing addicts, growers cartel members and members of law enforcement, who are all affected by it. Directed by Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) and shot in the United States and Mexico, the series premiered last week, and the first episode is available to stream; the second episode will air on Showtime on Friday at 9 p.m.

What’s on TV

BEAT THE CLOCK 7:30 on Universal Kids. This kids’ contest show is based on the format of the 1950s game show of the same name, and revolves around contestants competing to finish tasks in a limited amount of time. Kids and their family members work together on these challenges — like one requiring them to set a table while wearing boxing gloves.

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