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. This week, Amazon releases the first of several new half-hour comedies, IFC premieres a new season of the spoof series Documentary Now!, and South Park celebrates its 20th (!) season. What exactly have you been doing for the past 20 years?
Today: One Mississippi
If you’re a fan of Tig Notaro, you’re familiar with the story that led to the creation of One Mississippi, her new Amazon original series. Four years ago, Notaro lost her mother, contracted a serious stomach infection, broke up with her girlfriend — and was then diagnosed with cancer. One Mississippi is inspired by this period in the comic’s life, and begins with her arrival in the small Mississippi town where she grew up as her mother is being taken off life support. She sticks around to be with her brother (Noah Harpster) and attempts to connect with her less-than-warm stepfather (John Rothman). Despite the heavy subject matter, the half-hour “traumedy” has a surprisingly light touch; you’ll breeze through the six half-hour episodes, available now on Amazon Prime, in no time.
This new Cinemax drama, based on the book series by Max Allan Collins, follows Vietnam vetMac Conway (Logan Marshall-Green) as he returns home to Memphis circa 1972 and attempts to adjust to life in the real world. But Mac was involved in a incident in Vietnam that’s rendered him a pariah in his hometown, and with limited opportunities for work, he soon finds work as a hit man. Quarry feels a little familiar to me — of course Mac’s wife (Jodi Balfour) takes her clothes off the minute we meet her — but if you’re in the mood for a meaty period crime drama, give it a try tonight at 10 p.m.
Saturday: Jeff Ross Roasts Cops
Yup, this one’s pretty self-explanatory: Roastmaster Jeff Ross takes on a bunch of cops in his latest Comedy Central special, an hour-long blend of documentary filmmaking and standup comedy (and, apparently, investigative journalism? We’ll see about that). Join Ross as he rides along with cops in Boston, interviews the top brass, speaks to protesters, and holds a roast right inside a Boston Police Department precinct. Shots fired, indeed. Tune in on Saturday at 11 p.m.
Wednesday: Documentary Now! Season 2
In the first season of this documentary parody series, stars Fred Armisen and Bill Hader — along with co-directors Rhys Thomas and Alex Buono — spoofed such disparate docs as Grey Gardens, Nanook of the North, and The Thin Blue Line. This week’s Season 2 premiere fittingly takes on a campaign classic, 1993’s The War Room, about Bill Clinton’s 1992 run for the White House, with an episode called The Bunker. The new season will also skewer 2011’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Juan Likes Rice and Chicken), the 1968 Maysles Brothers doc Salesman (Globesmen), among others. The new season premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. in IFC.
Wednesday: South Park Season 20
Twenty seasons! Holy moly! I can’t think of another comedy that’s still as fresh and funny as South Park is, two decades after those beloved little animated turds first graced our television screens. Trey Parker and Matt Stone don’t really have to work anymore, do they? And yet they continue to churn out some of the smartest, most cutting social satire out there, week after week, year after year. So far, 2016 has provided more than enough material for South Park to use against us; I can’t wait to see how Parker and Stone incorporate the mess of this election into the new season, which premieres on Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.