What to watch and listen to this week: 'Legion' on FX, Dear Sugar podcast
Watch this week
SERIES PREMIERE: APB, 9 p.m., Fox: A tech tycoon (Justin Kirk) buys a troubled police precinct in Chicago to avenge a friend's murder. His deal with city leaders includes introducing high-tech tools to fight crime. Det. Theresa Murphy (Natalie Martinez) is willing to give these gadgets a try, while her co-workers are not convinced they'll make a difference.
Independent Lens: Birth of a Movement, 10 p.m., PBS: A look at the 1915 protest in Boston led by civil rights activist William Monroe Trotter against D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, which depicted the KKK as heroic and African-Americans as racist caricatures.
Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special, 3 a.m., Netflix: Nothing says Valentine's Day quite like Michael Bolton love ballads "to get people in the mood to make love." The variety show also features Andy Samberg, Casey Wilson, Chris Parnell, Eric Andre, Jorma Taccone, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Michael Sheen, Randall Park and Sarah Silverman.
SERIES PREMIERE: Detroiters, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central: Two best friends try to make a name for themselves in advertising in this comedy from executive producers Lorne Michaels and Jason Sudeikis.
SERIES PREMIERE: Legion, 10 p.m., FX: A man (Dan Stevens) with a severe mental illness starts to realize the voices he hears in his head might actually be real. Legion is inspired by the titular comic book character from Marvel, who is believed to be one of the most powerful mutants of all time.
Movie: Avatar, 5:21 p.m., Syfy: If you start watching right as you get home from work, you might be able to squeeze in this almost 3-hour sci-fi epic before bedtime.
Masterchef Junior, 8 p.m., Fox: The cooking competition that makes you realize a 9-year-old is a better cook than you is back for a fifth season. Sixteen contestants compete for eight of the Top 20 spots, split into four teams and tasked with a specific dish.
Powerless, 8:30 p.m., NBC: Emily tries to get her team inspired for the new product idea, but can't seem to get past their obsession with Fantasy Super Hero League.
Riverdale, 9 p.m., CW: A difficult decision puts a strain on Archie's relationship with Miss Grundy and new information about Jason's death puts Cheryl under the spotlight.
This is not the podcast version of an advice column. The soothing radio show from WBUR originated with the Dear Sugar column on The Rumpus. Hosted by Cheryl Strayed (author of the bestselling memoir Wild) and Steve Almond (literary critic and author), Dear Sugar is for "the lost, lonely and heartsick."
But it's also for those who need a reminder that the world is made up the most wonderfully diverse and empathic people.
Strayed took over the Dear Sugar column from Almond in 2010 and joined with him for the podcast two years ago. Together they answer letters weekly, often delving deeper into a topic and sharing personal anecdotes that'll make you forget you're listening to two writers give life advice.
The Sugars' answers go far beyond "yes, you should do this" or "no, that's not a good idea." They field hundreds of letters on love, relationships, family, grief, happiness and the like, but they don't act like they know best. They show empathy when needed and sometimes say outright they have no idea how this letter-writer is feeling, but the two hope their responses shed light on a dark situation.
Strayed and Almond often say in interviews and on the podcast that these letter-writers don't so much ask for advice, but rather ask permission to feel certain feelings. They sometimes don't even advise a specific course of action, opting to just describe their understanding in hopes that listeners can chart their own course.
I'm not the type of person who avidly seeks the advice columns in newspapers or magazines. But Dear Sugar is as addictive as it is soothing. And it's not all about love and loss. Some of the most intriguing episodes deal with being a closeted atheist, forgiving family members who wronged us and letters from fearful undocumented immigrants. And Thursday, the Sugars celebrated two years of Dear Sugar radio with the first of two parts looking back on memorable letters and episodes.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and wbur.org.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.