There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This time, two streaming services give us two of the best shows (or in one case, potential shows) of the year.
Aziz Ansari Unleashes Your Weekend Binge-Watch
I’ll let TV editor Pilot Viruet’s rave review speak for itself on this one: “The ten episodes, all of which premiere today on Netflix, build up to a lovely story, but they also work as compelling standalone vignettes. Some episodes will make you laugh, others could make you cry. One will make you call your parents; one will have you apologizing to a partner over an old argument you both forgot about. This all seems like high praise, but the series deserves it: It’s not hyperbole to say that Master of None is one of the best new shows of the year.”
Five Stars for One Mississippi
Amazon unveiled its full slate of comedy and children’s pilots on Thursday, and while you can read our full coverage here, the clear standout is Tig Notaro’s (and Diablo Cody’s, and Nicole Holofcener’s) One Mississippi, the tragicomic story of Notaro dealing with her mother’s death (and an intestinal disease, and cancer). The pilot’s future partially depends on user input, so take our word for it and vote to give Notaro the opportunity to make us all cry even more. Or don’t, and have a good cry yourself first.
Fresh Off the Fourth Wall
From the moment it was announced, Fresh Off the Boat has been at the center of a debate, or at least a discussion, about Asian-American representation — one that only heated up when Eddie Huang, on whose memoir the show is based, registered his objection to the show’s moves away from his specific story and toward a more universally appealing family sitcom. This week, Fresh gave viewers a storyline as meta as it was insightful: Louis Huang goes on local television, only to experience a crisis of confidence over the impression he’s giving about other Chinese Americans. Ultimately, the show makes explicit what it’s been arguing all along and concludes that it’s impossible to represent everyone in a given minority group, so it’s best to just do what the majority already gets to and be yourself.
Scandal Gets Topical
It’s hard to think of a more unlikely pairing of shows than Bojack Horseman and Scandal, but this week the former joined the latter in the ranks of “series that have thinly fictionalized the Bill Cosby scandal.” On Scandal, women are accusing a writer, rather than a television comedian, of drugging and assaulting them, and said writer is played by William Russ of Boy Meets World, not an animated hippo. Scandal may not include Bojack‘s pointed reminder of all the other celebrities who stand accused of similar crimes, but it’s still an admirably strong stand against a (still) powerful figure in entertainment.
When the Grass Isn’t Greener
You’re the Worst has been on a roll lately, and this week continued the comedy’s season-long arc about depression — no, it’s not nearly as counterintuitive as it sounds — with a major break in form. “LCD Soundsystem” (yes, that’s what the episode is called) follows not Jimmy and Gretchen, but their neighbors Rob and Lexi, a hip, 30-something married couple with a young daughter. Or rather, it follows Gretchen’s idealization, stalking, and eventual crushing disappointment with Rob and Lexi as she realizes that they, too, have serious doubts about their lives. To cap it off, Aya Cash does some of her best work yet in the episode’s closing shot.