The What Watch List – Fall 2016
TEN SHOWS WE’RE WATCHING NOW
from Gina Pell + Amy Parker of The What
Viewers beware. Like with any new series, you should see at least three episodes before making a final call. We left off big buzz shows like Stranger Things since even our mothers have seen it by now.
- Insecure on HBO – The show’s co-creator and star, comedian Issa Rae, is a relatable, goofy, hilarious, and adorable protagonist who has an un-stereotypical take on the odyssey of young professional African American women in Los Angeles. It’s about identity, great girlfriends, boys, and finding oneself in an aloof city. Kind of like a West Coast version of Girls but with better hair.
- Fleabag on Amazon – Shows that celebrate the antics of single girls are usually cute, quirky, and filled with hijinx. But don’t let this heroine’s Keira Knightly-esque good looks fool you, she is nasty, unscrupulous, self-hating, and can be a downright fleabag. Just get past the first few episodes and the annoying asides to the camera, an unnecessary cheap narrative ploy that we hope they eliminate next season.
- High Maintenance on HBO – Follow the stony trials and tribulations of a hipster weed dealer in the five boroughs who makes house calls on his bicycle. Originally it started as a webisode on Vimeo but HBO picked it up this season. Hopefully it doesn’t lose its skunky freshness in the big leagues.
- The Big Think is our favorite YouTube channel. It’s science-heavy, which is why we gravitated towards it, but you’ll also discover big thinkers in mental health, creativity, philosophy, and feel a little smarter after each video (High Maintenance probably has the opposite effect.).
- Westworld on HBO – Based on the 1973 sci-fi western thriller starring Yul Brynner, Westworld is a dark exploration of artificial intelligence and human nature set against the backdrop of a creepy western theme park for grown ups. The first episode could have done better with more backstory but with a high octane cast like Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, and James Marsden, we’re hoping it meets our great expectations.
- Younger on TV Land is a comedy about a 40 year old New Jersey housewife passing herself off as a Millennial in order to relevant in a competitive job market. Hilarious, ridiculous, envious.
- Queen Sugar on OWN – Two girlfriends insisted that this new Oprah produced show should make the list. Here’s our friend Traci’s description, “Kofi Sirobe is candy. The acting is exquisite and story lines are a real life depiction of African American lives.” We watched it last night and couldn’t agree more. Four thumbs up.
- Poldark on PBS – Move over Jon Snow, there’s a new swashbuckling romantic hero on the scene. Set in 18th Century England, Ross Poldark returns to his hometown of Cornwall to rebuild the ruins of his life after fighting in the American Independence war. Every episode is like Jane Austen novel. Hotness ensues.
- This Is Us on NBC starring Mandy Moore starts as a family drama then intersects with strangers who share the same birthday. Many critics are comparing it to Parenthood but with a major time twist. Hoping this show can hold the storyline through the seasons, as often shows with time bending conceits get lost down the road.
- Catastrophe on Amazon – Without giving away too much about this breakthrough comedy, it starts in London with a one-night stand between a Brit and a Bostonian. What follows is a catastrophe. Or is it?
Other shows watched and in the queue: Mr. Robot (1st season better than 2nd), Transparent (ditto), Stranger Things (80s nerd favorite), Night Of (suspenseful but maddeningly unrealistic), Narcos, Atlanta, You’re The Worst, The Fall, Game of Thrones (obvi), Walking Dead.