Transparent Season 2 Hits Amazon
Jill Soloway’s hilarious, heartbreaking exploration of, among other things, gender, sexuality, family, boundaries, self-discovery, and trauma hit Amazon once again this week, reintroducing us to both the core Pfefferman clan and a few of their ancestors. The emotional lives of a bunch of spoiled, selfish Angelenos have never been this affecting, nor a portrayal of trans lives as nuanced and subtle. Its ten episodes constitute our weekend plans in their entirety, as they should yours.
Terrence and Taraji Ring in the Holidays
On the other side of the subtlety scale is Fox’s blatant but enjoyable attempt to make the most of Empire‘s time slot before the Lyons fully retreat into winter hibernation mode. Playing not Cookie and Lucious but themselves, Terrence Howard (doing some still-necessary post-Rolling Stone PR) and Taraji P. Henson combined sketches and high-profile musical guests for another entry in this year’s holiday programming landscape. Between The Wiz Live! and A Very Murray Christmas, it’s more crowded, and old-school, than it’s been in years.
Jimmy Says the L-Word
After a season spent exploring depression, You’re the Worst‘s season finale was surprisingly sweet, featuring declarations of love, or at least commitment, for all three of the show’s central pairings: Edgar and Dorothy, Paul and Lindsay, and most surprisingly, Jimmy and Gretchen. Once Jimmy drunkenly lets the L-word slip, the season ends with him and Gretchen, who returns the favor, contentedly smoking on the steps where the two first hung out in the pilot. It’d feel sentimental if it weren’t so earned.
After he’s shot by John Murphy (maybe telling a notoriously volatile guy his daughter might not love him wasn’t the best idea?), Kevin Garvey made his second trip to the underworld of The Leftovers’ phenomenal second season. To return, all he had to do was sing — and sing he did, giving a wrenching rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound.” Only an actor as skilled as Justin Theroux could sell this as moving as opposed to just ridiculous, and that’s exactly what Theroux pulled off.
Nathan Fielder Becomes “Alt-Corey”
A season that included a functioning, fully tested invention known as the “Hotel Sex Box” could only end in truly ridiculous fashion. So for its third season finale, Nathan for You saw Nathan Fielder — or rather “Nathan Fielder,” the fictionalized version of the show’s creator who actually stars in the show — transform himself into “Alt-Corey,” a 3D printer-enabled copy of the client of the week who could help said client make a name for himself as a hero. Things only got further out of hand from there.