When people ask me what I do for a living (ha) and I explain that I yell at a couple dozen people on the internet about television and occasionally Donald Trump, the next question is inevitably: “What shows should I be watching?” And to be honest, that is a really difficult question to answer without knowing what that person enjoys watching. I can recommend shows in pretty much every genre, but I always ask the person what they currently are watching, because I’m going to tell you something different if you happen to be more into Westworld than The Bachelorette or if you love The Big Bang Theory but would never dare watch Game of Thrones.
But I was thinking about this last night as my husband and I were catching up with some of our favorite shows: if someone demanded that I recommend just two shows currently on the air, a comedy and a drama, what would they be? And it occurred to me, I didn’t even have to think twice about it.
Without question, the best show on TV right now is Atlanta, Donald Glover’s glorious and deeply weird FX comedy. The first season was an unexpected delight — I thought it was going to be a fairly straightforward comedy about young men breaking into the entertainment business, but it ended up being so much more thoughtful and profound than that. But this second season has taken the show to an entirely new level — it is a creative masterpiece. It’s clear that everyone involved — the writers, the actors, the directors — are much more comfortable in the show’s skin and willing to explore the characters in riveting new ways. It’s hilarious, it’s moving, it’s terrifying sometimes (“Teddy Perkins” will go down as the best and scariest single episode of television this year, I guarantee it.), and it is often deeply surreal while somehow, impossibly, still being rooted in the real world. A bloody footprint on the ceiling, an alligator emerging from an apartment, three black men sitting in front of a Confederate flag while two rows of naked white men dance to D4L’s “Laffy Taffy” before them, a man sinking his fingers into a giant poached ostrich egg — all of these images imprint on your brain like snippets from a dream that you only sort of remember, but unlike the trippy madness of Twin Peaks or Legion, they feel real, honest, as though they actually happened somewhere in time.
In a completely different genre is Killing Eve, the BBC serial killer drama starring Sandra Oh as an MI5 agent engaged in a cat and mouse chase with a Russian assassin mesmerizingly portrayed by Jodie Comer. Comer’s Villanelle is a sociopathic wonder: a woman who delights in killing. She’s sexy and unpredictable and funny and DEEPLY WEIRD. The show is grounded by Oh’s performance as the determined and fixated Eve Polastri, a woman who struggles in her own interpersonal relationships because maybe she’s just not cut out to be someone’s wife because maybe not every woman is. The series was created by the geniuses behind Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Vicky Jones, and like Fleabag, it’s a story by women about women who refuse to be constrained by traditional femininity. And like Fleabag, it is darkly and brilliantly funny. Despite being a violent crime drama, it manages to be light on its feet, refusing to be bogged down in heavy plot machinations and clichés and refusing to take itself too seriously, even as the bodies pile up.
So there you have it: my honest answer to the question, “What shows should I be watching?” The answer is the most dramatic comedy on television and a drama that is secretly a comedy gem.
In Other TV News
The Good Fight creators say that they never meant for their show to be so political. YEAH, I GET IT, GUYS. I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.
The head of Netflix explains why they focus more on television than movies, and it just makes sense: people are more interested in streaming serialize TV shows than movies, which they can watch on cable or On Demand.
Heads up, Timelords: Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks, a 1975 film starring Tom Baker, will be shown in movie theaters on June 11. It’s a one-night-only event, though, so be prepared.
The Good Place writer (and Twitter genius) Megan Amram would really like an Emmy, please. She answers all your pressing questions here.
Oh, and here’s Evan Rachel Wood on the “weapon” on Westworld: “I’ll quote Doctor Ford in season one: ‘Like most great stories, it’s rooted in truth.’ It was very chilling. It shook me to my core.”
The Walking Dead is back on set for season 9, and it looks like there will be a significant time jump if that water tank is any indication:
Titus Welliver discusses his many roles on iconic shows, including Deadwood, Supernatural and, of course, Lost.
Glen Howerton answers all your theories about Dennis and let’s just say, yes, Dennis is absolutely a serial killer.:
Uhhh … this is unexpected: tomorrow’s episode of Code Black is going to open with a musical number?
Oh God, it’s coming.
Oh, Katt Williams, not again.
Stormy Daniels is now suing President Defamation directly after he called her a liar after she released the sketch of the guy who threatened her on The View.
Hopefully, we will be able to close the Michelle Wolf/White House Correspondents’ Dinner file after this, but there are a few loose ends to discuss before we move on. For instance, yesterday I made the choice to not discuss President Thin Skinned’s response to this because fuck that guy. But upon further thought, it is worth mentioning because my larger point was that Michelle Wolf was criticizing the White House Correspondents’ Association for not doing more to stand up against Trump’s administration’s lies. It’s especially galling considering his relentless assault on truth and the free press. Anyway, here’s what the Bloviator-in-Chief had to say about it:
Greg Gutfled? LOL YES PLEASE. In fact, according to some sources, the WHCA is considering two comedians next year, one liberal, one conservative:
Prompting this response from comedy writer Bess Kalb:
But President Comedy Critic had some more thoughts:
For those of you keeping track at home, Seth Meyers hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011 where he and Obama roasted THE SHIT out of Donald Trump, and some blame their jokes for Trump deciding to run for President. Needless to say, Seth Meyers was flattered:
Finally, President “I Know from Comedy Like That Time I Joked that the Russians Should Hack Clinton” declared the White House Correspondents’ Dinner “DEAD” and basically called the WHCA fake news.
HE IS CALLING YOU FAKE NEWS, SO QUIT LICKING HIS BOOTS, YOU DUMMIES.
The Hill is pulling out of the dinner in response to Wolf’s routine. Listen, there are good reasons for media outlets to not participate in this dinner — being seen hobnobbing with the very people you are supposed to be covering objectively is not ideal — but this is not one of those reasons.
Meanwhile, Michelle Wolf regrets NOTHING and points out that Sanders refused to stand for journalists while they were being honored. “I would say if this is about celebrating the media, she wasn’t there to celebrate the media.”
Comedians are powerful — and sometimes more trusted and respected than journalists, as “The Daily Show” and company have shown — because they can say uncomfortable things flat-out, ditch the euphemisms, call a “falsehood” a lie. Comedy isn’t reporting, but it is testimony. (Ms. Wolf ended her own routine with a straight line: “Flint still doesn’t have clean water.”)
The irony of the association’s disavowing Ms. Wolf is that her routine, whether you agree with it or not, was ultimately about defending the mission of the White House press: sticking up for the truth. Michelle Wolf had the W.H.C.A.’s back Saturday night, even if it didn’t have hers the day after.
I can’t believe I am about to say this, but HELL YES, WENDY WILLIAMS! HELLLLLL YES.
Time’s Up has has enough of R. Kelly’s bullshit and have called for corporations to cut their ties with him.
Ashley Judd is suing Harvey Weinstein for harassment and defamation. And Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Murray and Quentin Tarantino were among many who are objecting to the sale of The Weinstein Company, claiming they are owed money.
About that letter that 60+ women signed in support of Tom Brokaw, maybe women were felt forced to sign it? And apparently, NBC is urging their on-air talent to mention it in any coverage of the story, which seems … um …
Claire Foy will receive backpay for The Crown after that whole salary disparity was revealed.
Five years ago, California passed a law requiring “publicists, managers, acting coaches and headshot photographers” who work with children to be fingerprinted and pass an FBI background check to screen for sexual predators. Quick: guess how many publicists have done this. Did you guess zero? Because the number is zero. Dozens and dozens of managers, acting coaches and headshot photographers haven’t done this either, and yet, no one has been charged with breaking the law.
- A.P. Bio, Champions, and Rise are looking less and less likely to be renewed. BOO. BOOOOOO.
- iZombie will probably survive, thanks to The CW expanding to Sunday nights.
- LA to Vegas is not looking safe, mostly because it has fewer episodes under its belt than The Mick or Last Man Standing. But Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in danger precisely because it has over 100 episodes. TV bizness is rough.
- Alex, Inc. and Deception are probably doomed.
- Instinct has moved into the cautiously safe category, interestingly enough.
- Failsafe, a film written by Michael B. Jordan and Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole, has been bought by Netflix.
- YouTube bought a comedy series from the creator of Happy Endings that will star Adam Pally, Sam Richardson and Jay Pharoah.
- The Lovers & The Liars has been ordered by MTV.
- Englistan has been ordered by BBC.
- Project Interiors is coming to Netflix.
- Jimmy Kimmel will serve as the narrator of ABC’s pilot Man of the House.
- John Goodman and Michaela Coel are going to star in Black Earth Rising, a BBC and Netflix drama.
- Will Carr is moving from Fox News to ABC.
Mark Your Calendars
- 13 Reasons Why will return on Netflix on May 18.
- Bipolar Rock & Roller will debut on Showtime on May 25.
- Just Another Immigrant debuts on Showtime on June 8.
- All episodes of Phineas and Ferb will be available on Disney NOW on May 2.
- The Housleys will debut on HGTV on May 8.
- Darrow & Darrow: In the Key of Murder will debut on the Hallmark Channel on May 6.
- Mission Force One will debut on Disney Junior on May 7.
- Smithsonian Time Capsule: 1968 will air on Smithsonian on May 7.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Reunion, Part 2 8 p.m., Bravo
Kid Gorgeous at Radio City: If you liked him on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, check out John Mulaney’s new stand-up special. Netflix
Take My Wife: This well-received sitcom was saved by Starz’s online site when Seeso died. Season premiere. Starz.com
LA to Vegas: Captain Dave plans to propose to Patricia in the season finale. 8 p.m., Fox
Late Night: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Ariana Grande Late Night with Seth Meyers: Kathy Griffin, Jonny Sun, Carter McLean The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Helen Hunt, Kevin Smith, Paramore The Late Late Show with James Corden: Elizabeth Olsen, David Tennant, Anne-Marie Jimmy Kimmel Live: Miley Cyrus, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Conan: Kunal Nayyar, Adam Pally The Daily Show: Antoinette Robertson The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Garry Kasparov Watch What Happens Live: Katie Couric, Geraldo Rivera
|Splitting Up Together
|For the People
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|L.A. to Vegas