1. Watch Oddities
A reality show that’ll make your skin crawl—but not because you hate yourself for watching it.
The buyers and sellers from Obscura Antiques and Oddities—the East Village shop specializing in extremely strange artifacts like shrunken heads, scary old medical gear, and weird taxidermy—have made it to their fourth season. There’s nothing on TV like watching them get cheery and enthusiastic over, say, a heap of vintage embalming equipment.
The Science Channel, Saturdays, 9 p.m.
2. See Life of Pi in 3-D
Home theater is fine, but this one deserves the glasses.
Did Ang Lee deserve an Oscar for his transcendental mismatched-buddy picture? To answer that question with any degree of authority, you need to see the film on the big screen and in 3-D—now, fast, before it leaves every last theater. (Its Blu-ray release is March 12.) The lifeboat setting is a wondrous toy box—too heightened to be real, too tactile to be not-real. Sit close and enter into its world. —David Edelstein
At the Regal Union Square Stadium, AMC Loews Kips Bay 15, and Regal Battery Park Stadium 11.
3. Watch Real Husbands of Hollywood
The season finale arrives.
If you’re not a regular, you may not realize that this series isn’t part of Bravo’s Real Housewives march to the end of civilization. It’s a spoof thereof, and a good one: Keep an eye on Kevin Hart, the improv comic at its center, because this is not the last you’ll see of him.
BET, Tuesday, March 19, 10 p.m.
4. See Monet’s Luncheon on the Grass
At “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity.”
First time ever, probably never to be repeated in our lifetimes: On loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris is Claude Monet’s tremendous two-panel, early-Impressionist 1865–66 masterpiece, Luncheon on the Grass. It’s in pieces because the broke young artist left it with his landlord, in a basement where it was water-damaged and then cut up. Much of the painting was lost. No matter: It ravishes with bravura brushwork, smashing summer color, and pictorial boldness. Everything else in this show looks almost equally great. Wait in lines if you have to. —Jerry Saltz
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through May 27.
5. Re-view Family Guy, Season One
Is Seth MacFarlane a boob?
Remember all the arguments about Family Guy when it first appeared? It’s vulgar! No, it’s funny! It’s dumb! No, it’s subversive! Try it now, in light of MacFarlanegate, and see if you still agree with whatever it was that you thought back then.
6. Discover Phoebe Strole in The Madrid
An above-the-title talent.
Edie Falco is the name-draw here, and she’s wonderful in Liz Flahive’s moody, witty dramedy, playing a kindergarten teacher who suddenly up and vanishes. But The Madrid rests mostly on the shoulders of skillful Phoebe Strole as her befuddled daughter, a recent college grad who finds herself picking up where Mom left off. —Scott Brown
Manhattan Theatre Club’s Stage I at City Center, through April 21.
7. Reconnect With The Last Five Years
Eleven years later.
When Jason Robert Brown’s breakout musical opened in New York in 2002, this love story told in reverse was praised to the skies and made Broadway headliners out of its principal players, Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott. Highlight to watch for: the song “Shiksa Goddess,” with its hilarious, heartfelt lyrics and a fantastically propulsive piano undercurrent.
Second Stage Theatre, in previews starting March 7 for an April 2 opening.
8. Read Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
At least the book isn’t bad for you.
It’s completely satisfying: serious reporting by Pulitzer winner Michael Moss about exactly how the Western world got addicted—and we do mean addicted—to Frankenfood.
9. Drop in on Timberlake Week on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Every time you think you’re sick of Justin Timberlake, he goes and makes the perfect career move: “Dick in a Box,” say, or a genuinely surprising and funny walk-on. For five days, he’ll be on Fallon nightly. Expect to be won over, again.
NBC, March 11 through 15, 12:35 a.m.
10. See Much Ado About Nothing
Mostly solid, pretty simple, plenty delightful.
Sons of Anarchy’s Maggie Siff and Brideshead Revisited’s Jonathan Cake poke delightedly at each other in this gently cheering Much Ado. Siff follows up (but doesn’t repeat) her take-no-shit Kate from last year’s Taming of the Shrew—and meets her goofball Prince Charming in Benedick, whom Cake interprets as a kind of gracefully aging proto-hipster, the kind of guy who’s taking improv classes at 40 to keep up with his quick-witted ladylove. —S.B.
The Duke on 42nd, through April 6.
11. Watch The Mindy Project
It’s found its groove.
A life steeped in rom-coms is paying off for Mindy Kaling: Lately, her show has subtly shifted Danny and Mindy’s relationship to a very sweet, only occasionally insulting, bantering friendship. Did he just call her “Min”? Yes, he did.
Fox, Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.
12. Stream Neverwhere
Not the book—the BBC radio adaptation.
Neil Gaiman’s early novel, about a fantastical, dangerous London that lives alongside the actual city, has been transformed into a radio play stocked with cherry-picked actors from smart TV (Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock, David Harewood of Homeland, Anthony Head from Buffy, Romola Garai from The Hour), as well as some fancy big-screen performers (James McAvoy, Sir Christopher Lee, Sophie Okonedo).
On BBC iPlayer, starts March 16.