The Weekend Watchlist
The Good Place (2016-) - I've been dragging my feet with this show, despite hearing lots of good things about it and despite my love of Michael Schur's other shows, The Office and Parks & Rec. I can't really explain why it took me so long to start watching this, and now that I've finished the first season, I regret my perpetual status as a latecomer to awesome shows. The show follows the story of Eleanor (Kristen Bell), a recently deceased woman who – seemingly by way of clerical error - ends up in the titular "good place" despite her many, many (hilarious) evil moments during her time on Earth. With help from her assigned "soul mate," Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Eleanor must become worthy of her position in "the good place" or risk being sent to where she actually belongs (the "bad place"). Bell, Harper, and Ted Danson (as Michael, "the architect") are stand-outs, but the whole cast is really brilliant, and the writing is consistently great. I don't want to give away too much, but the season finale totally threw me for a loop and I can't wait to get started on Season 2. I can confidently say that like The Office and Parks & Rec before it, The Good Place seems destined to become one of my favorite shows.
Season 1 streaming on Netflix.
Season 2 (5 most recent episodes only) streaming on Hulu.
Broad City (2014-) - The brainchild of Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, two young comediennes who met when they took classes at Upright Citizens Brigade, and produced by Amy Poehler (among others), Broad City has a legitimate comedy pedigree, but feels fresh at the same time. The show features Ilana and Abbi, playing characters with the same names, living carefree in New York City - smoking pot, having sex, and getting into wacky millennial hijinks. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy the show, based on my general disdain for any comedy marketed to feminists and/or millennials (because that's how you end up with idiots like Lena Dunham becoming stars), but Ilana and Abbi's friendship is one of the best TV pairings in recent memory, and the show's writing is spot-on.
Streaming on Hulu.
Big Mouth (2017-) - The brainchild of comedians Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett, this new animated original series from Netflix perfectly encapsulates the horrifying awkwardness of teenage life, puberty, and relationships. Of course, teen angst has long been a popular subject for comedians, but not quite like this. If you want to get an idea of the absurdist humor of Big Mouth, just take a quick peek at the IMDB page. Nick Kroll, for example, voices Nick Birch (a character based on himself), but also the Hormone Monster, Coach Steve, Lola, Ghost of Picasso, Ghost of Richard Burton...wait, what? Yeah, it turns out that talking ladybugs, sperm, hormone monsters, and the ghosts of actors, artists, musicians, and even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia are all part of Big Mouth's narrative tapestry. My personal favorite side character thus far is the ghost of Duke Ellington, voiced by a manic Jordan Peele, who lives in Nick's attic and doles out sage advice about friendship and relationships. And if pop culture references from the 1930's jazz scene aren't your bag, no worries – Big Mouth has witty banter, biting political and social commentary, and plenty of dick jokes, just to round things out. Regardless of your personal sense of humor, I think everyone could find something to laugh at – and be charmed by – in this show.
Streaming on Netflix.
New in theaters this week...
[Click the posters for more information]