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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WEDNESDAY
JUNE 28
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

MOVIE PREMIERE: This movie caused quite a stir when it premiered last month at the Cannes Film Festival, both because of its unexpectedly inventive sci-fi elements and for the fact that it was a Netflix original unveiled at the revered French festival. (If it’s a movie made for television, what is it doing at Cannes? But get used to the new world order, France.) Anyway, Okja is the movie’s name for a genetically modified (and at this point mythical, but entirely believable) “super-pig” – a giant, gentle amalgam of pig, manatee and puppy dog. An Sea Hyun plays the young teenaged Korean girl who befriends the animal, and tries to save it from a grisly scientific fate. Co-stars include Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton. Swinton also appeared in Snowpiercer, another imaginative film by this movie’s director, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

In this second installment of this multi-part nature documentary, spring has sprung – with a vengeance – and threatens not to spring so much as pounce, or explode. That’s because, in the delicate Yellowstone ecosystem, if the winter ice pack thaws too quickly, the resulting rush of cascading water will be more like a liquid avalanche. Or, I guess if you must put it more accurately, a flood. Check local listings.


 
  
 
 

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s episode, titled “Shoot-Up-Able,” originally was scheduled to be televised earlier this month – but was pulled from the schedule at the last minute, for sensitivity regarding the mass shooting at a Republican congressional baseball team practice in Alexandria, VA. That’s because this particular episode has Jarrod (Jarrod Carmichael) returning home shaken after surviving a mass shooting at a nearby mall – a brush with gun violence that has his family reacting, as usual, in very different ways.

 
  
 
 

BBC America, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: This is the premiere of Season 3 of Broadchurch, the imported British series starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman as police officers – one local, one not – with very different approaches and personalities. It’s the final season for this series, which, like the others, actually is an eight-episode self-contained miniseries, in the mold of the original Prime Suspect. But though the central mystery story stands alone, expect to see several familiar faces, and characters from the previous two seasons – because they’ll be popping up.

 
  
 
 

Viceland, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: Eddie Huang, the opinionated iconoclast chef whose childhood is played for loose laughs in ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat sitcom, presents his personality and ideas undiluted in this documentary travel series – which is as interested in politics and culture as in food, which is why Huang’s World, returning tonight for Season 2, is presented by Viceland, and not by, say, the Food Network.

 
  
 
 

TBS, 10:30 p.m. ET

Last week, reacting to and reflecting the news, Samantha Bee got very dark – as in presenting parts of her show in black and white, in a sinister sort of vintage sci-fi vibe. So you have to wonder: With the Senate version of the health care bill being debated fiercely in the media, and just delayed for a vote by the Republicans, how will she respond to and reflect this week’s news?

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Mystical Pizza – Who knew you could order dinner and a show for home delivery? James Corden (The Late Late Show with James Corden) and Seth Rogen (Undeclared, The League) delivered to unsuspecting customers along with a catch: They could have the pizza they ordered or whatever was in pizza box #2, à la Let’s Make a Deal. The revelations of the contents of the mystery package unveiled everything from the ridiculous to the sublime and, in some cases, the arrival of a special guest... The surprises were filled with the originality we’ve come to relish in anything Corden offers. – Linda Donovan
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


The Carmichael Show
NBC
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

GLOW
Netflix
Streaming

The Great British Baking Show
PBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

Orange is the New Black
Netflix
Streaming

Orphan Black
BBC America
Saturdays
10 PM ET

P.O.V.
PBS
Mondays
9 PM ET
Check Local Listings 

Power
Starz!
Sundays
9 PM ET

Prime Suspect
PBS
Sundays
10 PM ET
Check Local Listings

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

Twin Peaks:
The Return

Showtime
Sundays
9 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. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

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$
Getting On: Season One

Adapted from the original UK black comedy, Getting On (2013-15) tells the story of Dr. Jenna James (Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne) a self-important doctor who gets exiled to an extended elderly care unit of her hospital after a career-turning public meltdown. Taking on the challenge of its setting and its occupants, Getting On nevertheless delivered laughter and inspiration from everyone’s perhaps least desired destination. On sale at Amazon for $15, Seasons 2 and 3 also available.  —Eric Gould