What to Watch This Weekend: ‘The Crown,’ ‘Godless’ and More

Leave your TV schedule in our hands.

December 8, 2017 5:00 am
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth in 'The Crown.' (Netflix)
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth in 'The Crown.' (Netflix)

Welcome to Watch This Weekend, where every Friday, Darian Lusk, comedian and writer living large in Brooklyn—will gently recommend a roundup of things to watch and stream. Follow him on Twitter @eatpraylusk to send suggestions for future installments.

Temperatures are dropping, we’re in the uncanny valley between holidays and logging onto Twitter feels like going “Beyond the Wall.” So why not spend the weekend with the one friend who will never stress you out: content?

Welcome to “Watch This Weekend,” where every Friday, I, Darian Lusk, will serve you a feast of trending shows, films, music AND mystery for your streaming enjoyment. In doing so, I also hope you will spend your time more wisely than me: probably browsing photos of Lindsay Lohan’s billionaire Korean weightlifter boyfriend and watching Netflix’s bodypainting reality show Skin Wars (Somehow these activities seem…connected?).

Late November and early December brought us great new shows, from the return of The Crown to TVs funniest murder mystery that has a fan in Stephen King. These will be the talk of your office, WeWork or home (if you work from home — in which case, congrats!? Jeez.) in no time.

TBS: Search Party Season 2 (Sundays at 10/9c)

Co-directed by Michael Showalter (Stella, The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and starring Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat (“Marry me!”) comes Search Party, a dark comedy about a missing persons mystery thrust unto a group of extremely self-absorbed Brooklynites (I know nothing of the sort…*wink wink*). This show is as funny as Broad City (well, current Broad City) as fast-paced as a Netflix Original Series and as rewarding a film noir parody as anything I’ve seen. Imagine The Night Of,  but hilarious.

Search Party is now in its second season, which takes a huge turn tonally and centers on a pretty insane, um, unraveling. Even Stephen King is on board, tweeting about how much he enjoyed. Also, John Early co-stars and he is a blessing.

Viceland: The Trixie and Katya Show (Wednesdays at 10:00P)

In these times, don’t we need, say, two gut-bustingly funny drag queens riffing on topics like “hookup culture” and “fear”? Luckily that’s “The Trixie and Katya Show,” an insanely fast paced and also just insane talk show from Viceland, birthed out of a hugely successful Youtube series last year. If you don’t know Trixie and Katya, they were both voted off criminally too early of Season 7 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Also, I strongly sense that soon, everyone will know Trixie and Katya. You can watch the pilot episode here. 


The Crown Season 2 (Added Dec. 8)

The spiritual sister to MTV’s “Floribama Shore,” (kidding) the second season of this acclaimed costume drama, which follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, hits Netflix today.

While there have been plenty of shows about British royalty, few have done it this well. That’s thanks to breathtaking set pieces, historical tie-ins and some of the best acting on TV. John Lithgow already has an Emmy under his belt for his portrayal of Winston Churchill. If you’re in the Downton Abbey, glass-of-wine-with-a-show camp, you will absolutely enjoy.

Marvel’s The Punisher (Added Nov. 17)

After the controversial misfire that was Iron Fist and the enjoyable if slightly bland The Defenders (it had the lowest debut month of any Netflix Marvel show to date, not to be the stats guy) it seems that The Punisher getting things back on track for this mega-franchise.

Starring Jon Bernthal, (Shane from The Walking Dead) this ultra-violent (it is very violent) adrenaline rush of a good time has grounded, solid acting, a story we know well (Frank Castle’s pledge for revenge after losing his family) and fun tie-ins to the Marvel Netflix universe. People who enjoyed Daredevil and Jessica Jones, this is your chance to dive back in.

Godless Season 1 (Added Nov. 22)

If you’re waiting for the return of Westworld (first of all…WHY?) then your appetite will be satiated by Godless,  Netflix’s new gunslinging, critically acclaimed western original series. Written and directed by Scott Frank (Minority Report,  Get Shorty) this visually stunning slow burn (pulled that my Tinder bio) follows a man on the run who seeks shelter in a town governed by women. This understated TV drama holds dear some of the central themes of any good western, like justice and revenge, and Jeff Daniels stars as its villain. Twitter is in a huff over how feminist this show actually is for being about a town full of female badasses. On one hand, it seems it barely passes the Bechdel test. On the other hand, the creator of the show said he never intended to make a feminist show (not sure if this gets you off the hook.) Regardless, an intricately-made and not ADD-paced Netflix show is refreshing in itself.

Shot in the Dark (Added Nov. 17)

If you watched Nightcrawler and were like, “I wonder if characters like Jake Gyllenhaal actually exist?”, of course characters like Jake Gyllenhaal actually exist! Docu-series “Shot In The Dark” follows three freelance “stringers,” videographers trying to get footage of fires, accidents — anything they can sell to news outlets. The competition is fierce, the ethics are questionable and the results are captivating. Not only do we follow these real-life Nightcrawlers as they go about their shady work, but we get to see the footage they score on the news the next morning. It’s a neat concept for a show and Netflix did good on this one.

On Spotify:

Miguel’s “War & Leisure” (Added Dec. 1)

R&B guitarist/smooth-voiced man Miguel has flown under the radar as one of our finest purveyors of groove for too long. His fourth LP, “War & Leisure,” is another solid offering. Though the title may indicate otherwise, this record is not as hard-hitting politically as the music of his peers (Solange, Kendrick) but you don’t need to have an all-out discourse to DANCE. Treat your ears to the uplifting single “Pineapple Skies,” and you’ll get the idea. Points off though for not having the “wop” sound from “Adorn.”

Sufjan Stevens’s “Tonya Harding” (Added Dec. 6)

There were two types of people this week: Those who preferred Sufjan Stevens’ new song, “Tonya Harding” in D major, and those who prefer it in E flat major (the indie singer put out two versions). I personally am in the niche, E flat camp, and I’m proud of that.

Just in time for Margot Robbie’s “I, Tonya,” — no, the song isn’t used by the film — this ode to, as Stevens’ puts it, “America’s sweetheart with a dark twist” is a wonderful addition to the singers’ catalogue. And Sufjan’s been having a huge month as he wrote some stunners for “Call Me By Your Name” as well. 


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