DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
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Welcome to TV We're Watching (yes, another TVWW!), a handy, but by no means comprehensive list of weekly shows we enjoy watching – and that are in rotation right now. And on our DVRs. (Check out the full list -- not all shows are featured in the thumbnails. –TVWW.)

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


American Horror Story: Cult
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

The Deuce
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET

Episodes
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM ET

The Guest Book
TBS
Thursdays
10:30 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Manhunt: Unabomber
Discovery
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

Mr. Mercedes
AT&T Audience Network
Wednesdays
8 PM ET

Ray Donovan
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Real Time with Bill Maher
HBO
Fridays
10 PM ET

You're The Worst
FXX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET
 
 
2017
Sep
10
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: This new Fox series is a split-personality conundrum. It’s created by, and stars, Seth MacFarlane, and is a sci-fi comedy modeled after the classic Star Trek universe of TV shows. Because MacFarlane also created Family Guy, the reasonable expectation would be for The Orville to be an all-out, perhaps even crude spoof – a less respectful Spaceballs, perhaps. But MacFarlane also was one of the executive producers of Fox’s very good reboot of Cosmos, as was one of
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
10
 
 
SERIES PREMIERE: The newest series from David Simon and company, once again, examines a specific place, time, and set of political and social circumstances, while following a generously large contingent of well-realized, seldom-presented characters. It’s the basic formula – big ideas, large issues, street-level people – utilized so brilliantly in The Wire and other Simon projects. For The Deuce, the setting is 1971 Times Square, and the “big picture” topic is how th
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
10
 
 
SERIES RETURN: When Elisabeth Moss starred in Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake a few years ago, it was supposed to be a one-shot miniseries – but the star and director enjoyed working together so much, they came up with an excuse to do it again, even more darkly. Moss, as Australian Det. Robin Griffin, investigates the death of a young Asian prostitute – a case that continues to get more complex and personal as the episodes unfurl. Co-stars include Nicole Kidman, recently of HBO&
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
10
 
 
With The Deuce and Top of the Lake: China Girl competing for attention tonight, it’d be easy to forget about Ray Donovan. But don’t – this Showtime series is having one of its strongest seasons yet, playing with time and perspective shifts in a way that’s both gripping and haunting.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
10
 
 
And this long-neglected, little-respected Showtime comedy deserves more viewers and attention, too. Matt LeBlanc, playing a cold and loutish version of himself, has provided TV’s best self-satire since Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. And tonight, the Matt of Episodes, after weathering a sexual scandal, has more clout in Hollywood than ever – and tonight, plans to use it to get his old writing team back together for one last TV series. To them, of course, that’s not an oppo
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
10
 
 
How will John Oliver encapsulate this week? For once, politics isn’t the obvious lead story – instead, it’s another disaster, Hurricane Irma.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
8
 
 
SERIES REVIVAL: MTV Unplugged began in 1989, defiantly presenting acoustic sets by often electrified performers and band. In those earliest years, some of the best Unplugged sessions were by Elton John, Sting, R.E.M., Paul McCartney, and Nirvana. It was one of the network’s best and most impressive franchises – so, of course, it’s been dormant for a while. But tonight it returns, with an all-acoustic set by Shawn Mendes.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
8
 
 
One of the attributes of this show is that it’s televised live – which this week, will mean the latest reactions to both the threat of Hurricane Irma and the most recent political surprise by President Donald Trump.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
6
 
 
Harry Treadaway (pictured) and Brendan Gleeson have proven to be very well-matched adversaries in this Stephen King drama. Treadaway is a killer with several twisted streaks, and Gleeson is the retired detective still haunted by the killer’s previous murder spree. And slowly but surely, Mr. Mercedes has proven itself one of the best TV shows of the later summer, heading into fall – and its momentum seems destined to continue.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2017
Sep
6
 
 
SEASON PREMIERE: Season 4 of this comedy series picks up after the disastrous cliffhanger that ended Season 3, when Jimmy (Chris Geere) proposed to Gretchen (Aya Cash) – and then walked away, immediately and without explanation. The new season begins with both characters reeling in the aftermath – she’s wondering why he proposed then fled, while he’s hiding from life in general, and her in particular, by living in a retirement-village trailer park. And that’s where
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

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 now available in paperback for under $15. 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. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

Dispatches From TVWW

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
TV WWorth Buying
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Show Me a Hero

David Simon’s The Deuce is now premiering on HBO, and like his other series built around ensemble casts and urban themes (The Wire, Treme) Show Me a Hero similarly explored inner-city and political collisions. Following a Yonkers city councilman running for mayor (Oscar Isaac) the miniseries portrays the conflict when federally-mandated public housing came to a middle-class white neighborhood. Simon’s strongest suit is when he brings the stakes to the street and everyday characters. Available at Amazon for $15. –Eric Gould