Well that was a hell of a week. Thankfully I am going on vacation, so after this I won’t be back until after Thanksgiving. Until then, here’s the TV news that was announced last week, and a bunch of recommendations on what to watch.
People Talking About TV
“It was a striking moment—not just in American politics, but in American comedy. It was comedy that insisted, on moral grounds, that there are things more important than being funny. It was comedy not just “with a conscience,” but with a political goal. It was a fitting conclusion to a campaign that had so seamlessly blended the logic of reality television with the logic of reality—and that had so deeply muddled the line between celebrity and politics.” This week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, and the final one of the year, will not make you feel better about that happened last Tuesday, if you are like me. But if you are sitting around wringing your hands about what to do, you need to watch it. The link includes the full episode. And 2016 really was an absurdly garbage year.
“In any case, he said, the video was “an opportunity to provide massive exposure to a huge segment of the population that may not routinely see missing child photos, and making whoever sees these photos think, I might be able to do something. I might have actually seen this person.” So Allen agreed to help Kaye and the band. But first, he extracted a promise from Kaye: If any child were recovered, his or her photo must be immediately removed from circulation and replaced with the photo of another missing child. What this meant, in practice, was that if things went according to plan, Kaye would have to repeatedly recut the video.When the video debuted in May 1993, 13 children were featured. Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Wiles was the first to come home.” There are multiple versions of Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train video because they actually kept that promise.
Well at least this is good news, HBO has ordered second seasons for Westworld, Insecure and Divorce.
Also good news is Amazon’s renewal of Tig Notaro’s One Mississippi.
Less good but really predictable is CBS’s renewal of both Man With a Plan and The Great Indoors.
The David O. Russell show starring Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro has landed at Amazon.
The Simpsons has been renewed for two more seasons, which will officially make it TV’s longest running scripted program. Take that Gunsmoke.
Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge is writing Killing Eve, a spy thriller about a bored security service operative and her assassin friend, for the BBC. Would watch.
Mary Berry will tour the great houses of Britain, and talk about food in Mary Berry's Secrets From Britain's Great Houses, her BBC follow-up after leaving The Great British Bake-Off.
ABC has picked up The Inhumans as a series, to start next fall, after the first two episodes arrive in IMAX theatres.
Both Netflix and Starz have backed out of the January Television Critics Association press tour.
Casting: Sean Astin and Paul Reiser have joined the cast of Stranger Things. So '80s. Lady Gaga will play Donatella Versace in the third season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story. That’s actually pretty spectacular casting. Also in Ryan Murphy casting news, Kathy Bates will play Joan Blondell on Feud. Chris Meloni will play a former detective tormented by an imaginary blue-winged horse on Syfy’s Happy! Christopher Lloyd will guest star on The Big Bang Theory in a top secret role. Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen will play themselves on the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Morena Baccarin has signed on for a legal pilot at NBC, which means she will have two roles on TV, as she’s still a recurring character on Gotham. Gary Cole will be a recurring character on The Good Fight, the spin-off of The Good Wife. Peyton Manning will play a “sports tutor” on Modern Family.
ABC is working on a spin-off to The Goldbergs set in the 1990s.
The CW has ordered four more episodes of Legends of Tomorrow.
Cancellations: HBO has pulled the plug on Bill Simmons’ Any Given Wednesday, which really should have been a podcast instead of a TV show. Comedy Central canceled Not Safe With Nikki Glaser after one season. Freeform has cancelled Dead of Summer after one season. It’s not officially cancelled, but ABC will not be ordering more episodes of Conviction beyond the 13 that were filmed.
Sad news for fans of TV you can leave on for your dog while you are gone, Netflix is losing a deal at the end of the year that covers a ton of Food Network and HGTV shows.
What To Watch
Soundbreaking, a documentary on PBS about the recording process started yesterday, and failed to impress The A.V. Club. (Though The Hollywood Reporter calls it “don’t miss”) However, I’ve been looking forward to this one for months. Based on the trailer, they interviewed everyone who was ever involved in recording a hit album.
Kristin Wiig and The XX are the hosts on the upcoming episode of SNL. And if you didn’t watch this week’s fantastic episode with Dave Chappelle (and a still amazing Tribe Called Quest) you need to get on that immediately. Especially if you are sad about the election, and also if you are both a fan of the Chappelle Show and The Walking Dead, because the sketch they did about that is great.
Michelle Dockery, who you probably know as Lady Mary from Downton Abbey has put on an American accent and shed the good girl image in TNT’s Good Behavior.
Variety is confused about what the show is trying to do, though The Hollywood Reporter thinks it’s the best pilot they’ve produced since Southland, and is intrigued to see where it goes. So if you've always wanted to see Lady Mary Crawley do meth, then this is worth checking out.
This is a reminder that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is currently airing new episodes, and they are getting reviews that are just as good as the first season’s episodes. Also you can buy the sheet music now!
This is also a reminder that FX’s Better Things just ended its first season, and The A.V. Club gave the finale an A. I’ve been meaning to get caught up on this one, because I love Pamela Adlon.
If a site recommends Veronica Mars, I will link to it. You should really watch it, at the very least you can laugh at how terrible all of the pants are. The early 2000s were a terrible time for fashion.
Since I will be gone, here’s a list of some shows you might want to watch over the break. Billy On the Street returns tonight, if you like yelling and pop culture. Or if you want a satire about late night TV shows, Nightcap starts tomorrow. Thursday brings Undercover, a sleeper agent drama on BBC America. I am very much looking forward to Amazon’s Grand Tour, the new show from the former hosts of Top Gear that arrives on Friday. Fans of watching attractive people make terrible life decisions will be happy that The Affair returns this Sunday. Search Party, a comedy about one woman’s obsession with a missing acquaintance, which has a pilot you can watch right now, starts Monday on TBS. The trailer for the Anne of Green Gables PBS remake looks really Disney Channel to me, but I guess I will find of if that’s correct on the 24th by the howls of protest on Twitter. If you are a fan, you already know that The Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life arrives on the 25th. The CW’s multi-episode supersized superhero crossover between Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl starts on the 28th. The Lin Manuel-Miranda narrated episode of Drunk History is available on the 29th. He talked about Hamilton and Burr, because of course! Can’t wait. Aubrey Plaza and Alia Shawcat play Burr and Hamilton. The second half of the Vikings fourth season starts on 11/30. Incorporated, Syfy’s dystopian drama about a future where corporations rule every moment of our lives, premieres on the 30th.
Odds and Ends
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because it feels like a show with no clear path, but AMC doesn’t know how The Walking Dead is going to end.
Speaking of things that seemingly have no end, Conan brought in Elijah Wood for a new Clueless Gamer, for the baffling Final Fantasy XV.
Mr. Robot, and creator Sam Esmail, has some thoughts on the election.
There were many dodgy sounding business ideas on 30 Rock, and now there are logos for them all.
I would probably only get one question right on this Gilmore Girls superfan quiz.
Tom and Lorenzo are taking a closer look at the costumes of The Crown.
Trailers: Billy On the Street is coming back and for some insane reason he got a lot less enthusiasm than you'd expect from people about the offer of a threesome with him and Jon Hamm. Amazon’s Man in the High Castle returns on December 16th, and there’s a new teaser trailer. Homeland has moved locations again, now it’s set in New York, and there’s a trailer for the upcoming sixth season. Netflix’s Captive, a documentary series about kidnappings around the world, arrives December 9th and it now has a trailer. It looks intense.
There’s a lot of reboots on TV right now, so this roundup of the 100 remakes or revivals that have been announced over the last couple of years might come in handy.
Multiple people have dissed Back To The Future III recently, due to comparisons to Westworld, so of course a mashup was inevitable.
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