I don’t know if you’ve already heard, but the Vikings will not be playing in the Super Bowl. Instead, two of the arguably worst fanbases in the NFL will be invading Minneapolis.
While Eagles fans will be primarily focused on how to smuggle their D batteries into the stadium, Vikings fans will have to decide whether or not to watch the Super Bowl at all. Some Minnesota fans might be so gutted by their team’s loss in the NFC Championship that they will not be able to bear the thought of watching another team pillage their state’s supply of silverware. Others might just want to tune in for Justin Timberlake’s performance.
If you are one of the fans who is just too hurt to watch Tom Brady win another championship in the house that Zygi built, don’t fret. I am here to help.
I have compiled the best available television programming taking place from the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 4 so you do not have to worry about watching what will probably be a Patriots come-from-behind victory. These programs run the gamut from your typical TV reruns to feature films to exhilarating animal content. These are the top five shows available to you, the home viewer—I don’t presume to know what your streaming setup is like, but in my mind you’re watching all these shows on the old plasma screen TV in your family’s living room that only changes channels if you smack it in just the right spot—during the Super Bowl.
5. “Jeepers Creepers” (2001) (IFC, 5-7 p.m.)
I can not honestly say that I have seen this movie or ever heard of it before writing this piece. That being said, if the title is any indicator, this should be a fantastic two hours of your life. According to the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, “the two main characters that play siblings become the targets of a demonic creature in rural Florida.” Florida is a terrible state full of horrible things, so it only makes sense that this film take place there. “Jeepers Creepers” has a 45 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where critics say that the second act really deflates down to genre cliches—this ties in well with the Super Bowl, too. At the end of the day, I’m a fan of supporting independent films, so at the very least you know you will be helping a good cause by watching IFC.
4. “The Andy Griffith Show” (Sundance TV, 5-8 p.m.)
Are you a Vikings fan who thinks that NFL players should be forced to stand during the national anthem? If so, this 1960s classic is the show for you. The life and times of Mayberry will remind you of the time you spent in front of the black-and-white TV in your family’s basement as a young child, before you saved some money and developed your conservative thoughts on taxation. Tune into Sundance TV, which apparently is a TV channel that people actually get, and forget for a few hours that Mitt Romney didn’t win back in 2012. Good news on that front though, as Mr. 47 Percent is apparently gearing up for a Senate run to replace Orrin Hatch in Utah.
3. “The Chi” (Showtime, 5-9 p.m.)
Let me take a moment away from this hilarious article I’ve been writing to suggest an actually good show for your consumption. From Lena Waithe, who you may know from her time as Denise on “Master of None,” comes “The Chi,” a show focused on several characters living on the South Side of Chicago. If you want to forget about your problems with a children’s game played by grown men, watch this show and you will learn about actual problems faced by real people every day. The show puts faces to the dehumanizing headlines you see and hear from news outlets and politicians alike. Don’t watch the Super Bowl, watch “The Chi” on Showtime.
P.S. Showtime, I feel like I’m doing a really good job promoting this show for the masses that read our tremendous newspaper, so if you want to hit me with a free subscription, that would be well-received. No pressure, though.
2. “Despicable Me 2” / “Minions” (FX, 5-9 p.m.)
If you’re looking for an easy option to distract your family from the fact that they are going to live a life of failure and despair when it comes to their sports fandom, here’s a good option for you. FX is running these Steve Carell diamonds back-to-back, so if you need an option that will completely cover the time of the Big Game, this is the one for you. I can’t say that I particularly like this option, because if I had to sit through four hours of kids movies I would probably relapse and check my phone for the score. Choose this option at your own risk, but rest assured that your children will love you that much more in the moment if you let them watch this instead of forcing them to stay in their rooms during your Super Bowl party that nobody shows up for.
1. “Puppy Bowl XIV” (Animal Planet, 5:10-7:12 P.M.)
TV Guide calls this an “alternative Super Bowl,” but for real fans of sport this is the only game that matters. Nevermind the fact that there is not a good way to keep score, nor are there rules that the puppies have to follow. As my dear friend Al Michaels would say, “It’s irrelevant; it doesn’t matter.” Puppies are cute, full stop. The only bad thing about the Puppy Bowl is that it has been taken over by ‘Big Dog,’ a.k.a. Pedigree Dog Food. Pedigree might be a perfectly acceptable brand of dog food, but I disagree with this move on principle. The Puppy Bowl is a wholesome, family-friendly experience; let’s not taint it with pointless corporate partnerships. Another note, why are the kittens relegated to halftime only? That’s a prejudiced move on the part of the head honchos at Animal Planet. I am wholeheartedly pro-cat, so to see them being systematically oppressed even as the Puppy Bowl enters its fourteenth season gives me great pause.
Hopefully these picks help you get through a Super Bowl that, despite being hosted in Minneapolis, nobody in Minnesota cares about. If you are not feeling like watching anything, hop into your car, flip on NPR, and drive your Vikings depression away. If all else fails, you could actually go bowling.
I wish you the best of luck.