DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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TUESDAY
MAY 23
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

SPECIAL: This one-hour standup comedy concert was filmed in January, three months before Hasan Minhaj hosted this year’s sparsely attended White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He did a really good job there, especially under the circumstances. But he has an advantage when performing in this January concert, in David, CA – it’s home-field advantage, because he grew up there.

 
  
 
 

Hulu, 3:00 a.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: First three episodes of Season 3, the new season, are available today, as casual embarks on yet another run of 13 episodes about an unusual, but not twisted, sort of sibling living arrangement. Tommy Dewey plays a single man whose sister, played by Michaela Watkins, is newly divorced – and with a teenaged daughter (played by Tara Lynne Barr) to raise, she decides to cohabit with her bachelor brother. It’s a Casual living arrangement that leaves plenty of room for comedy, though little extra room for anything else.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

SEASON FINALE: Part 2 of 2. All four finalists singing Monday had good turns, and showed off their respective strengths. But based on it all, and all season, I’d go for Jesse Larson (pictured) first, and then Chris Blue. Tonight, we learn how America voted. And right now, your opinion on America’s track record for voting depends, in part, on which side of the political fence you’re on.
 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Part 2 of 3. In “Blood and Soil,” the second part of this three-part documentary on the origins of roots music, American Epic proves that weather has had an effect on music in general, and the blues in particular. An actual flood in Louisiana, for example, led to a flood of new music emigrating to the North. Watch and see – and, more to the point, listen. Check local listings.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Clark Gable is TCM’s Star of the Month – and tonight, in prime time, TCM presents a movie which NBC showed in two parts, in 1976, and got ratings strong enough to land in the all-time Top 10 at that point in television history. It’s 1939’s Gone with the Wind, and any time it’s shown in its proper screen ratio, unedited and uninterrupted, as it is tonight on TCM, you ought to watch it. And if you have what you think is a good excuse not to,well,  frankly, my dear…

 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode was an interrogation showdown in which Elizabeth and Philip (Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys) asked questions of another couple. She was a Russian woman, now living in the U.S., and suspected by the spies’ Russian handlers of being a former Russian prisoner of the Nazis in WWII who survived by turning against, and killing, some of her fellow prisoners. The woman’s husband, an American, loved her, and knew nothing of her suspected past. By the end of the hour, both couples were devastated – one irreparably, the other markedly. Tonight, the fallout from that shocking showdown.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Cable Blues – Maybe file under “Excuse me for talking while you are interrupting”. Here’s Last Week Tonight’s recent (and perhaps ultimate) super cut of cable news panels. In case you didn’t already agree, this might help illustrate how cable news food fights might make for good ratings but not for public good. As MSNBC's Chris Matthews remarked this week, “There’s a reason why Crossfire was cancelled.” –Eric Gould
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


American Gods
Starz!
Sundays
9 PM ET

Anne With
An E

Netflix
Streaming

Better Call Saul
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET

Fargo
FX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

I Love Dick
Amazon Prime
Streaming

iZombie
CW
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

Last Week Tonight
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Master of None
Netflix
Streaming

The Handmaid's Tale
Hulu
Streaming

VEEP
HBO
Sundays
10:30 PM ET
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
Anne of Green Gables: 30th Anniversay Edition [Blu-ray]

Moira Walley-Beckett, veteran of Breaking Bad (she won an Emmy for writing the “Ozymandias” episode) has a new adaptation of the 1908 "Anne of Green Gables" tale premiering in May on Netflix. Entitled Anne With an E, the new series will go deeper and darker into Anne’s back-story. The 1985 mini-series version, starring Megan Follows, tracked the original children's novel of the spirited and headstrong 11-year-old orphan who finds a new family and rural life on Prince Edward Island. The adaptation received multiple nominations and awards, and perhaps more than any of the numerous AOGG sequels, animations and series, helped make a worldwide audience for Anne, who is full of blundering charm and courage. Available at Amazon. –Eric Gould