Summer is here, and if you're in the South like I am, that means some days are too damn hot to be outside. That's why God invented streaming services!
I've been watching several shows lately have all been better quality than normal TV is, so I thought I'd share the delight they've brought me by suggesting them to you.
1. Master Of None, Season 2
THIS IS JUST SUCH A GOOD SHOW. I really can't even stand it. S1 was good, don't get me wrong - but it wasn't this good. Aziz Ansari really outdid himself this time. The acting, the writing, the cast (hello, Francesca, most beautiful creature I've ever seen), the sets, the stories...it all just comes together in this beautifully cinematic way that makes you feel like you aren't watching a TV show, but mini-movies. Did I mention there are many scenes in which homemade pasta is the star? 'Cause there are.
Ansari manages to tackle issues of race, culture, and sexuality with grace, tact, and humor - and without leaving you feeling like you've been beaten over the head with it. There are capsule episodes that will thrill you ("I Love New York" was a favorite of mine), romantic storylines that will intrigue you, and characters that will make you fall in love all over again. I have not one bad thing to say about this season. It was completely charming and I enjoyed every moment. #heycutie
Available on Netflix.
2. Downward Dog
This is one you may or may not have heard of, but definitely need to watch. It's a 30-minute morsel of straight-up goodness and it has a dog in it. I could really stop right there, but I won't, of course. I'm long-winded.
The star of the show is Alison Tolman, who got her start on Fargo Season One (and was freaking incredible, btw). She flexes her comedy chops even harder on this show and proves she can hold down both a dramatic and a comedic series singlehandedly. Of course, she has a little help - the dog, Martin, is voiced by Samm Hodges. Now before you get all, "There's a talking dog?? No." There isn't a talking dog. The show is built around you being privy to Martin's thoughts and narrations. He doesn't talk to humans or other animals - he just a constant inner monologue that you get to hear. And it's hysterical.
Storylines include: Martin feeling like he's all brain and no brawn because he can't complete a dog obstacle course; Martin realizing that he can control various objects with his mind after he mistakenly thinks he made a set of automatic doors open by thinking about it really hard; Martin v. the neighborhood cat.
It's just good for your soul and it may get canceled because no one is watching it and WE NEED MORE GOOD TV, SO WATCH IT. It's on Hulu or on ABC weekly.
3. The Handmaid's Tale
Ooooookay! So I've suggested two pleasant shows, now I'm suggesting this doozy.
Listen. It's hard to watch. It ranges from relatively to extremely upsetting.
But this show is really good.
Besides Joseph Fiennes (Commander Waterford)'s creepy overacting, this show is packed with people who are killing it from episode to episode. Elisabeth Moss, who I'm a longtime fan of after she won my heart as Peggy on Mad Men, BRINGS. IT. every single episode. This chick is an acting powerhouse, and since her station within the show's culture demands meekness, lots of her best acting is absolutely tiny - a facial expression, a look - her role could've only been played by someone who's able to deal in subtleties.
If you aren't familiar with the concept, the show is based on a novel by Margaret Atwood about a dystopian society in which a far-right religious sect has staged a military coup and taken over the US. Because fertility is a huge issue in this world, this group, the Sons of Jacob, have rounded up all the fertile women and forced them to work as slaves to high-ranking, pedigreed members of society in order to help those families reproduce. There's a lot more to it, obviously, but that's the gist.
This show is all about hope, persistence, grit, and women standing up in the face of insane persecution to defend themselves. It's worth watching because it makes you think deeply about rights, liberties, and personal agency.
Available on Hulu.
Are you watching any of these already?? Did you love them? Hate them? What are you watching that isn't on this list?