June 18, 2017
Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, ‘Fargo’ Finishes, and More TV You Must See This Week
Also: ‘Queen of Sugar’ returns and ‘Better Call Saul’ finishes another season.
This week, we are very excited about a new Netflix series making its debut, a comedy-drama inspired by the old all-female wrestling series G.L.O.W., and we’re also sad to see the ends of the latest seasons of Better Call Saul and Fargo, the latter potentially being its last ever. Also this week we’ve got the return of Queen of Sugar, the debut of a new show based on Stephen King’s “The Mist,” some stand-up comedy, and some significant Sundance movies. To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for June 18th-24th (all times Eastern):
American Gods (Starz, 9pm)
Eight episodes come and go so fast, and we’re now upon the Season 1 finale of American Gods. Apparently this last episode, “Come to Jesus,” which is directed by Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways) right off her stint on The Handmaid’s Tale, begins with an orgy. Also, Kristin Chenoweth makes her first appearance as Easter, goddess of the dawn. After all is over, at least for now, don’t forget to read all of our recaps by Liz Baessler, and we also recommend Joanna Robinson and Gail Folsom’s discussions of the show on the series of bonus Storm of Spoilers podcasts.
Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level (Comedy Central, 11pm)
Kevin Hart is popular enough to sell out huge stand-up concerts, lure massive audiences to comedy movies (Central Intelligence likely was a hit more for his draw than The Rock’s), and now provide an introduction to talents he thinks are deserving of notice. In this show, Hart does the Johnny Carson thing by providing up-and-coming comedians their first big shot. Who knows, maybe one of his spotlighted guests (“Spank” Horton, for instance) will be the next big comedy movie star.
Also on Sunday:
Claws S1E2: “Funerary” (TNT, 9pm)
Fear the Walking Dead S3E4: “100” (AMC, 9pm)
Twin Peaks: The Return: “Part 7” (Showtime, 9pm)
I’m Dying Up Here S1E3: “The Cost of a Free Buffet” (Showtime, 10pm)
Silicon Valley S4E9: “Hooli-Con” (HBO, 10pm)
Veep S6E9: “A Woman First” (HBO, 10:30pm)
Better Call Saul (AMC, 10pm)
In last week’s penultimate episode of Season 3, Better Call Saul took a couple turns for the worse for some characters. We saw what will probably be the cause of Hector Salamanca’s (Mark Margolis) stroke that made him what we know him as in Breaking Bad. And we saw something concerning the potential fate of Kim (Rhea Seehorn) to where we don’t know of her at all in the other show. Some series probably would have made her status more ambiguous with a cliffhanger making us worried she was dead. Better Call Saul doesn’t need that. And tonight’s finale, “Lantern,” doesn’t need to be anything remarkable for it to continue being one of the best shows on TV.
Also on Monday:
The Bachelorette S13E4 (ABC, 9pm)
Real Boy (Independent Lens): feature doc debut (PBS, 10pm)
Queen Sugar (OWN, 10pm)
Ava DuVernay’s popular series adapted from the novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile is back for a second season, rather quickly. The show, which is produced by DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, is about three siblings who inherit a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. The theme for this season is reportedly “legacy,” as the Bourdelons work to honor their father’s. The Season 2 premiere, “After the Winter,” airs Tuesday, with another episode, “To Usward,” arriving on Wednesday in its regular time slot.
Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up for the Very First Time (Netflix)
Despite what the title says, Scovel has been performing stand-up for many years, and he’s very funny. He even has a vinyl-only comedy album on Jack White’s label, Third Man Records, which explains why the rocker appears in this special in a pretend adversarial light. Scovel is the latest comedian to get the spotlight in what has become a weekly thing for Netflix, mostly presenting stand-up specials but also just delivering comedy events in general, like last week’s Oh, Hello on Broadway. Another way for the service to compete with the big boys in the premium cable arena.
Also on Tuesday:
Casual S3E7: “The Rat King” (Hulu)
Animal Kingdom S2E4: “Broken Boards” (TNT, 9pm)
Genius S1E9: “Chapter Nine” (National Geographic, 9pm)
iZombie S3E12: “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1” (CW, 9pm)
Fargo (FX, 10pm)
Last week’s episode gave us some great character moments to set us up for the final episode of Season 3, which may be the last season of Fargo. Now, this finale is here with some surprises and more terrific performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Carrie Coon, Ewan McGregor, David Thewlis, and the rest. Obviously I can’t divulge much about the episode, titled “Somebody to Love,” save for that it gives us the second Keith Gordon-helmed installment in a row. Also it features some intense action in the first half. And as is normal for this show, a number of characters meet their end by the end. Place your bets on who dies and who lives.
Also on Wednesday:
Gomorrah S2E12: “The End of the Day” — Season 2 finale (Sundance, 10pm)
Queen Sugar S2E2: “To Usward” (OWN, 10pm)
The Mist (Spike, 10pm)
Some Stephen King books were once adapted as miniseries and now are being adapted as movies, and others were once adapted as movies and are now being adapted as series. King’s “The Mist,” about a town consumed by a mysterious mist and the creatures it conceals, was turned into a fairly popular feature film by Frank Darabont just 10 years ago. Now there’s an ongoing series, beginning with this 10-episode first season. Spike is selling the show as a reimagining, and we’ll see what that means with the premiere episode, simply titled “Pilot.”
Also on Thursday
Paterson Amazon Prime debut (Amazon)
Queen of the South S2E3: “Un Pacto con el Diablo” (USA, 10pm)
Jenji Kohan, creator of Weeds and Netflix’s own Orange is the New Black, is an executive producer of this new series, and her name has been more associated with it than creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch. But this exciting new comedy-drama starring the lovable Alison Brie is based on something many of us might have watched or known about in the 1980s: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. This is a fictionalized account of the making of the original G.L.O.W. series that showcased women wrestlers, all of whom had to live together and perform skits as well as fight in the ring. Definitely check out the heartfelt 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, which is also on Netflix, if you’re not already familiar with the subject matter. You can also go in cold to the show, which is getting very positive reviews (stay tuned for ours this week) and can apparently be enjoyed even if you don’t like wrestling or know anything about it.
Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (Netflix)
Brian Knappenberger is one of the greatest documentarians of the moment, and he’s unfortunately not yet well known. That could change with this higher-profile feature, which had people talking at Sundance this year in part because of its impressive up-to-date footage — Trump’s inauguration and the women’s march that followed the day after, and which both occurred after the film festival’s opening, were represented in Nobody Speak. The doc initially was focused just on the demise of Gawker at the end of a lawsuit involving Hulk Hogan and a sex tape but also larger and more nefarious powers, but the finished product is about the broader issue of the threats against freedom of the press right now. Watch this and seek out Knappenberger’s other Internet-focused films, We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists and The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.
Also on Friday:
The Great British Baking Show S4E3 (PBS, 9pm)
SATURDAYThe Birth of a Nation (HBO, 8pm)
If you’ve been putting off seeing Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, now’s an easy and cheap way to check out what all the fuss is about through its cable TV premiere via HBO. In case you’ve forgotten, the movie not only received a standing ovation at Sundance last year, but it also won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for the US Narrative/Dramatic competition. Then came critical backlash, followed by an old alleged rape charge against Parker that cast a shadow over the release of the film and any further awards recognition it might have been in contention for. Enough time has passed that people have probably forgotten about the controversy and will look at the film on its own merits.
Also on Saturday:
Doctor Who S10E11: “World Enough and Time” (BBC America, 9pm)
Orphan Black S5E3: “Beneath Her Heart” (BBC America, 10pm)