Jan 22, 2020
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What’s on TV Wednesday: Awkwafina and ‘The Revenant’

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AWKWAFINA IS NORA FROM QUEENS 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central. Awkwafina wakes up with a Fruit Roll-Up stuck to her lampshade in the first episode of this new series, a semi-autobiographical sitcom based on her life. She plays Nora, a 20-something with shaky career prospects who, when the story picks up, is living with her father and grandmother in Queens. The first season follows Nora as she tries to improve her life, a journey that involves much soul searching, family navigating (Lori Tan Chinn, BD Wong and Bowen Yang play relatives) and marijuana smoking. “Nora is where a lot of us find ourselves in our 20s,” Awkwafina said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “What’s next? Do you find success and suddenly it fixes everything? No, life is an open-ended question.”

THE REVENANT (2015) 7:45 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. on FXM. Leonardo DiCaprio is up for the best actor award at next month’s Oscars for his performance in last year’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.” It’s DiCaprio’s first nomination (and first role) since he won an Academy Award for playing a hardy mountain man in “The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s 19th-century survival drama. The movie, based on the life of the frontiersman Hugh Glass, casts DiCaprio in the role, telling a revenge tale that begins with Glass being left for dead by a group of companions (Tom Hardy plays a particularly nasty one of them). It is perhaps best encapsulated by a scene in which Glass is mauled by a bear.

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (2019) Stream on Amazon; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. Awkwafina has Queens; Jimmie Fails has San Francisco. Fails, an actor and San Francisco native, plays a fictionalized version of himself in this indie drama directed by Joe Talbot. The story centers on Fails’s character’s efforts to hold onto a home (in more senses than one) in a rapidly changing Bay Area. “It’s a plaintive American narrative that here becomes an expressionistic odyssey, both rapturous and melancholic,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The Times. “In moments it feels as if Jimmie and his faithful artistic friend, Montgomery (Jonathan Majors, a mournful heartbreaker), are dreaming the movie into existence, pouring its surrealistic jolts and hallucinatory beauty out of their heads and straight into yours.”

THE BLING RING (2013) Stream on Netflix; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. Down the coast from “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” the Southern California teenagers at the heart of this drama are committing crimes and hoarding designer clothes. The movie concerns a group of young thieves who break into celebrity homes. (They’re played by Emma Watson, Katie Chang and Israel Broussard, among others.) The film was directed by Sofia Coppola, who adapted it from a Vanity Fair article. Her version of the story, A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times, has “a whiff of tabloid incredulity.”

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