This weekend the fifth season of Formula 1 – Drive to Survive premieres on Netflix. As a well-traveled international personality, I have been a fan of Formula 1 racing for decades and welcome all the new fans who have caught on thanks to this excellent docuseries. Next month the Emmy-winning critical darling comedy Ted Lasso finally returns for its third season on AppleTV+. I highly recommend both and these other programs I’ve been watching.
Shrinking (AppleTV+) – This comedy/drama about the lives of a trio of therapists in Los Angeles is my favorite new show right now. The writing is sharp and insightful and the acting is outstanding. Jason Segel (co-creator with Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence) is Jimmy who is dealing with the recent death of his wife by attempting an unorthodox therapy strategy with his patients. This raises some concern with his upbeat coworker and friend Gaby (Jessica Williams) and his boss Paul (Harrison Ford). Yes, THAT Harrison Ford. Both are dealing with their own issues. Jimmy also has a teenage daughter (because every show has to have a teenage daughter) and an over-involved next-door neighbor. This cast has by far the best cast chemistry of any show I’m watching on TV and just a few episodes in, an emotional complexity and sophistication you rarely see on TV. I LOVE Shrinking!
Accused (FOX) – I enjoy a good anthology as it requires less of a commitment from me and if I’m not enjoying a specific episode, I can shut it off and wait for a brand-new story in the next week. But so far, I’ve seen the first four episodes of Accused all the way through. Each week the show tackles a case of an ordinary person accused of a crime and then slowly reveals the facts behind the crime from the defendant’s point of view, ending with the verdict. If you love a good court show, Accused might not be for you, as very little of the action takes place in court. But if you enjoy seeing people you recognize from former TV shows and have ever thought “Would I commit a crime if someone…?”, this show is for you.
Will Trent (ABC) – I am not big on police procedurals. I don’t watch any of the Chicago, 911, CSI or NCIS franchises and I haven’t watched Law and Order since Jesse L. Martin left. However, I look forward to the weekly episode of Will Trent, basically for one reason, Will Trent. Ramon Rodriguez as special agent Will Trent is cool, complicated, mysterious and wears a mean suit. He’s also a bit emotionally damaged from growing up in the foster care system in Atlanta and adopts an adorable tiny dog named Betty. I could watch him all day.
Night Court (NBC) – I really didn’t expect to enjoy this sequel series to NBC’s hit sitcom of the same name that ran from 1984-1992, but gosh darn it I do. Melissa Rausch, formerly of The Big Bang Theory, plays Abby Stone, the daughter of original judge Harry Stone, played by the late Harry Anderson. She is joined by an adept supporting cast but all you really care is that John Larroquette returns as brash attorney Dan Fielding, a role for which he won four consecutive Emmys back in the day. He’s older and slightly nicer now and a fitting foil/mentor to Abby. And, of course there are all those wacky night court criminals and scofflaws.
What We Do in the Shadows (FX/HULU) – I have just recently begun watching this show which just wrapped its fourth season and I am hooked. The sitcom follows four vampires who live in Staten Island with their non-vampire “familiar”. It’s a fish out of water story, with blood and bats. And while it does occasionally get a bit icky, it’s not gory, just mostly smart and funny and even kind of sweet. The actors are all terrific, funny and likeable, however the humor and language in What We Do in the Shadows is very adult.
Cunk on Earth (Netflix) – This BBC show was recommended to me by a friend who is familiar with my offbeat sense of humor and Cunk on Earth is definitely offbeat. British comedian Diane Morgan is brilliant and hysterical as Philomena Cunk, a not-well informed documentary host who sets about explaining the entirety of civilization in her very own way. As Cunk interviews actual experts on everything from dinosaurs to Galileo, expect questions like “What is more culturally significant the Renaissance or Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” and “Was Beethoven good at music?” Since they actually answer her questions, you will even learn things. Bonus: at five half-hour episodes, it’s the perfect binge.