It’s siesta season here in Palm Springs, which means when it’s 115 outside, you hole up inside during the day and only go outside once the sun goes down. This allows for a lot of time in front of the boob tube. Luckily, there’s been a ton of great television this year. And, because I was a radio-television-film major, I see watching TV not as a mindless endeavor where your brain turns to mush, but as continued learning. Yes…that’s it. So, I thought I’d share some of my must-watch shows in case you’re in need of some, ahem, continuing education. Enjoy!
Top 10 Shows To Watch Right Now:
Master of None
By far, my favorite TV show of the year. Created by and starring comedian Aziz Ansari, Master of None is a look at dating in today’s modern age. Season 1 was so good, but Season 2 is even better. Heads up: Those I’ve recommended it to almost gave up after the first two episodes, but luckily kept going, as they’re now just as addicted as I am and already dying for Season 3. Allora…
Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz star in this enthralling mystery about suburban moms living in tony Monterrey with seemingly perfect lives. Emphasis on seemingly. The HBO show begins with a murder, but we don’t know who dies or who the killer is until the very end. It’s addictive, binge-watching material at its best with stand-out performances and, best of all, it seems that Season 2 is in the making.
The closest person I can compare Insecure show creator, writer and star Issa Rae to is Tina Fey. Or Mindy Kaling. That should be all you need to know. Similar to Sex And The City in the female camaraderie department, but set in LA with a younger cast, the focus is on Rae and her core group of girlfriends as they navigate dating, working and trying to “get your life.” So fresh, so funny and great news: Season 2 starts on July 23rd at 10:30pm. Let the countdown begin!
This Is Us
If you haven’t watched This Is Us yet, you are missing out. Similar in tone to Parenthood, this heartwarming and tear-jerking show, starring Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimigila as parents raising twins and an adopted son of the same age, will make you feel all the feels. Seriously, get your tissues ready. On NBC and Hulu, I am so looking forward to the return this fall.
I can’t believe how little I’ve heard about this show, because it’s excellent. Based on Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso’s life and the creation of her Nasty Gal empire, this is a must-watch for not just Girlbosses everywhere, but everyone who’s ever had a dream. Star Britt Robertson plays the role of Amoruso perfectly.
We just started watching this last night and are already addicted. Marc Maron, whose WTF podcast I can’t get enough of, stars alongside Alison Brie of Mad Men fame in this new Netflix comedy about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). Set in the 80s, it’s a fun and unexpected romp and Maron and Brie give great performances.
If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast
I adore Carl Reiner and the fact that he and his best friend Mel Brooks still have dinner together every night at each other’s homes warms my heart. This charming documentary on HBO featuring Reiner, Brooks, Norman Lear, Betty White and Iris Apfel, among others, explores why those living into their 90s with vitality are, indeed, so vital. Very inspirational.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
I’m a comedy junkie and there have been some great specials this year. Perhaps I’ll do a separate post on those alone. But until then, there’s one that stands out: Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King. It’s more storytelling than your typical standup special and, along with laughing (a lot), you’ll also feel something deeper as Minhaj shares personal stories about growing up with immigrant parents, dealing with racism and, perhaps, scariest of all, prom night.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
As mentioned above, I’m addicted to comedy and comedians. Books by comedians, standup specials, podcasts by comedians or interviewing comedians, every late night talk show, I live for it. While this web show hosted by Jerry Seinfeld has been around for a few years, I’m often surprised when people haven’t heard of it. The premise is as simple as its name: Seinfeld picks up a comedian for a ride in a vintage car and they head to a coffee shop to chat about, what else, comedy.
Speaking of comedians, are you familiar with Tig Notaro? She reached “overnight fame” after doing a standup show at the comedy club Largo in LA where she revealed she had cancer. While that might not sound funny, Tig’s innate ability to truly be herself is so compelling. I don’t want to give too much away before you watch the special or the show One Mississippi, which is loosely based on Tig’s life, but it’s a must-watch and Season 2 should be coming soon.
Are you loving this golden age of television as much as I am? Which shows are your favorite? I’d love to know in the comments! Also, how do you watch TV these days? Cable? Hulu? Amazon? All of the above? There are so many options these days!
Plus, Six Shows I’m Looking Forward To Watching:
Will & Grace
Can’t believe this is coming back this fall on NBC! Dreams do come true.
One Day at a Time
I used to watch the original One Day at a Time late at night during summers in middle school. Normally remakes are a let down, but I’ve heard good things about this under-the-radar remake on Netflix. Bonus: Norman Lear, the creator of the original show — and a vital 90+ year old himself — is involved in the remake.
Twin Peaks: The Return
I actually never saw the original Twin Peaks (blasphemy, I know), so need to watch that first, so I can join the cult following of the original and the remake.
I’m Dying Up Here
Showtime’s new series I’m Dying Up Here, about a group of comedians struggling to make it in the 1970s comedy scene, is on the top of my next-watch list.
The Good Fight
Did you know The Good Wife had a spin-off show? Me neither! But now that I do, I can’t wait to tune in.
p.s. This post wouldn’t be complete without talking about Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. If you’re a Gilmore Girls super fan like I am, this is a must-watch, even though I didn’t love it, to be honest. But when it comes to Gilmore Girls, it doesn’t matter. I will undoubtedly watch whatever GG serves up next — and with the cliffhanger of an ending, something is surely in the works, right?!?
p.p.s. Thought of one more I devoured in a weekend: Famous in Love! Have you seen it? It’s soapy and fun, following Bella Thorne’s character Paige as she goes from unknown college student to one of the most famous actresses in the world practically overnight. Perry Reeves, who I love, is great in it!
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Photo via Pinterest (if you know the original source, please let me know so I can update!)