Ok….I know I’ve said I don’t watch comedies and I should say that it is more the straightforward comedies I don’t watch. I do watch a few “dramadies” and some political comedies (the Daily Show with Jon Stewart was a must watch every night). Just wanted to put it out there before I launched into a bunch of “comedies” for this week and you think I have lost it.
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. (TBS). She isn’t Jon Stewart but the best of Samantha Bee’s “Sr. Correspondent” work is at play in her new late night comedy on Monday nights. She is great doing her interviews where she asks probing questions in her most deadpan way. It is really nice to have a female join the ranks of all those male late night talk show hosts and there is definitely a “female” perspective in the show. I find her a much better heir to Stewart than Trevor Noah and she will be a regular on my Monday night schedule. Watch her 2nd show if you think John Kasich is a moderate Republican.
This Week with John Oliver (HBO). Thank god he is back. I guess I was so happy that I forgot to mention it last week when he returned. The three months he was gone left a huge void but he has come back in the height of the political season and I couldn’t be happier (unless of course Jon Stewart returned on a nightly basis). I love John Oliver and what he is able to do with 30 minutes of commercial-free TV is masterful. His second show did a deep dive into Abortion rights and the states that are impeding a woman’s ability to get an abortion. This is a very gutsy choice as he is likely to lose viewers over this choice. Every woman needs to view this segment. As we move through the primaries I can’t wait for his political commentary and of course there is a FIFA election coming up this week – need I say more?
Togetherness (HBO) – I must admit, this is a show I hadn’t ever remembered even hearing about on HBO last year. It wasn’t until I saw several excellent reviews about its return Sunday (and I was channel surfing last weekend and came across a “Togetherness” marathon) that I even thought to check it out. I’m so glad I did. This show is about 4 people (a married couple, her sister and his best friend) that are trying to make their way through life as they age out of their thirties. Once you start watching, you can’t stop. The character development is so strong and these people suck you into their lives as they make decisions that are usually fraught with potentially disastrous implications. This is as good as, if not better than, You’re the Worst and miles better than “Love”. The characters are not as completely dysfunctional as those shows so there is a faint hope of them turning themselves around. Season 2 started strong this past weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing this for the next couple of months. Get on your friends/parent “HBO to Go” and check out this show. It is easy to binge Season 1 as it’s only a little more than 4 hours of TV.
Mercy Street (PBS) mercifully ended its 7-episode arc on PBS. Although the show picked up a bit at the end and the finale was full of drama, there was still some head scratching script choices. The entire finale was built around Lincoln visiting the Union hospital and the confederate radicals loading up the basement with explosives to kill him. I think we all know how Lincoln’s life ended and it wasn’t in a Union hospital in Alexandria Virginia. Apparently PBS hasn’t decided whether to renew the show it left enough hanging at the end to support another season. I’d much rather Hillary Mantel finish the third book of her Cromwell trilogy and have Wolf Hall come back.