Welcome to What to Watch, a series where we tell you the best shows, movies and series out right now, both on networks and streaming services.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: Freshly Brewed (Netflix)
If you love Jerry Seinfeld, cars, comedians and coff…you know what? I don’t need to pitch you on this once-hidden gem on Crackle, now on Netflix. You know the format, and we’re just thanking our lucky stars someone didn’t give Jay Leno first pass at the gig. Between Letterman, Seinfeld and James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, we have a pretty good reimagining of the classic interview format and we’re right at that cultural tipping point of talk shows which use car interiors for sets.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about CICGC (really, guys? The company’s Don Draper of acronyms was out sick that day or something?) is just how good Jerry is when he’s relaxed and comfortable with his comedian friends. Anyone who remembers the infamous Larry King interview during the end of Seinfeld knows just how defensive and acrimonious Seinfeld can be. (And having seen first-hand how Seinfeld handled his Buzzfeed Brews conversation, it doesn’t seem like it takes that much to set him off.)
But this show is actually funny without being overshadowed by the conceit, and at times this season, truly heartwarming, as Seinfeld snagged one of the final interviews of legendary comedian Jerry Lewis before he passed.
Bill Maher: Triggered (HBO)
Well, this is a little embarrassing…two years ago, Netflix aired a special titled Joe Rogen: Triggered. Either an oversight by HBO or perhaps there’s enough triggering material to go around these days.
Personally, I’m a little sick of the appropriation of the term “triggering” and “trigger warning”–which, yes, some on the far left have taken way too far–as a machismo rallying cry? Didn’t Politically Incorrect get the message across just fine for the majority of Maher’s career? “Triggered” isn’t a warning to those who might find the content of Maher’s special offensive, it’s a figurative fart in the face of any “special snowflake” who can’t take a joke.
Either way, I didn’t like it when it was the title of Rogen’s special either, and that turned out to be one of the funniest hours of television that year had to offer. Bill Maher, welcome to the Triggered Trials. Let the best troll win.
The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter (Netflix)
Is someone looking out for Josh Brolin these days? Like, is he okay?
The 2000s (CNN)
I used to love the VH1 show I Loved the 90s, and all its subsequent spin-offs, where talking heads like Michael Musto, Kermit the Frog, Henry Rollins too, inexplicably, a very young Chris Pratt. These entertainers would discuss everything from their greatest accomplishments (if they were Vanilla Ice) to Beanie Babies to the absolute worst that the time period had to offer (also, Vanilla Ice).
CNN‘s version of era-recounting will be more Ken Burns than Ken Doll, but promises to be both engrossing enough for millennials and their parents…as long as the former takes their ADD medication prior.
Sharp Objects (HBO)
Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was a bestselling book and movie. But will her sophomore effort, this time mapped onto a small screen with Big Little Lies director Jean-Marc Vallée, succeed? If on first viewing you find the molasses-slow pacing of Sharp Objects lacking in the kinetic energy of both Gone Girl and BLL, trust me, it deserves a second look. It’s rare to have a protagonist like Amy Adams’ Camille Preaker: not unlikable so much as outwardly dull, bored and clearly uninterested in what’s going on around her in the present day–especially considering she’s a journalist investigating the murders of two young girls in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.
But while outwardly sluggish, alcoholic and depressed, Camille’s rich inner life–mostly composed of flashes of memories or dreams– just might contain the key to unlocking the murders of Wind Gap.
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