This Week’s Top 5 TV Picks


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 bets for the coming week. September approaches, and the next few weeks will see a boatload of new and returning series. This week, get closure with the finale of The Night Of and take a load off with some standup comedy and the year’s brattiest awards ceremony.

Tonight: The Half Hour

Comedy Central’s standup showcase The Half Hour returns for a fifth season tonight with back-to-back half-hour sets. First up is New York’s Noah Gardenswartz — whose debut standup album, Blunt, comes out on iTunes today — followed by Ramon Rivas II, a Cleveland comic who founded that city’s Accidental Comedy Fest, which takes place this weekend. Catch both sets starting at midnight tonight on Comedy Central — and keep tuning in for upcoming comics Aparna Nancherla, Ali Siddiq, Martha Kelly, Emily Heller, and more.

Sunday: The Night Of finale

HBO’s summer hit The Night Of — about a young Pakistani-American who’s arrested for a murder he insists he did not commit — will wrap up the mystery this weekend with a 95-minute finale. The Night Of is a limited series, so the episode, titled “The Call of the Wild,” will surely answer the big questions raised throughout the series: Is Nas (Riz Ahmed) really innocent? Did the victim’s stepfather arrange her death? If so, will Nas’s lawyers be able to convince the jury? Get closure this Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Sunday: MTV Video Music Awards

Yes, the MTV VMAs have arrived, which means summer is officially coming to an end. But the VMAs are usually a fun “last hurrah,” and among the least predictable award ceremonies. MTV hasn’t announced a host, but several performers have been confirmed, including Britney Spears, Rihanna, Ariana Grande with Nicki Minaj, and Future. There’s also the possibility of a surprise Beyoncé performance, since the singer is nominated for 11 awards — including a new category, “Breakthrough Long Form Video,” that seems like it was created just for Lemonade. The red carpet coverage begins at 6:15 p.m., the pre-show, hosted by DJ Khaled, starts at 8 p.m., and the show itself is at 9 p.m. If you don’t have cable, you can stream the show on MTV’s website starting at 7 p.m.

Sunday: Goddamn Comedy Jam

“Any comedian will tell you that their first goal was to be a rock star,” Pete Davidson confesses in his standup set for Comedy Central’s Goddamn Comedy Jam, a standup show that gives comics the opportunity to live out their rock-star dreams. Catch sets from Davidson, Adam Devine, Natasha Leggero, Jim Jeffries, and Jay Pharoah, fresh off his exit from SNL. Tune in on Sunday at 11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.

Wednesday: You’re the Worst Season 3

This FX comedy about two L.A. commitment-phobes attempting an adult relationship returns for a third season on Wednesday, and while Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) are still as delightfully cynical as ever, they’re taking steps to work through their shit this season. After a particularly crippling bout of depression last season, Gretchen starts seeing a therapist, played by Orange is the New Black‘s Samira Wiley; and Jimmy deals with some issues of his own, prompted by an event which I will not spoil here. The new season premieres Wednesday, Aug. 31 on FX’s sister channel, FXX, at 10 p.m.