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. There’s a lot to choose from this week — I had to leave off the the Season 4 premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Tuesday, Empire‘s Season 3 premiere on Wednesday, the premiere of Fox’s Pitch on Thursday, the Season 3 premiere of Black-ish, also on Thursday, and, of course, the Emmys on Sunday. Whew! Mark those down on your calendar, then check out these five new/returning shows.

Today: Fleabag

I tore through the six episodes of Fleabag ‘s first season, largely thanks to creator, writer, and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The series, which the BBC commissioned after seeing the stage version at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013, is about a young woman in London attempting to save her struggling cafe while juggling tempestuous relationships with her family members — and sex partners. Waller-Bridge punctures the “fourth wall” immediately and frequently, delivering wry asides to the camera, often post-coitally. All six episodes are is streaming on Amazon Prime as of today.

Today: High Maintenance

You don’t have to have seen the High Maintenance web series — about a random assortment of Brooklynites united by their weed dealer — to enjoy the new episodes that creators Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld made for HBO. If you have seen it, you’ll recognize some familiar faces from this new batch: The premiere, which airs tonight, features a couple fan favorites known as “the assholes.” Check it out tonight at 11 p.m.; the web series episodes are also available on HBO Go and HBO NOW, if you like what you see.

Monday: This Is Us

If you’re in the mood for a total schmaltz-fest, look no further than the new NBC drama This Is Us. The first episode follows a group of people who are all turning 36. A great cast, including Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, elevates not-so-great material, and there’s a clever twist at the end of the pilot. We could certainly use a new network family drama to obsess over. But be warned: This one comes with extra cheese. Tune in Monday night at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Monday: The Good Place

Kristen Bell is just so delightful in the new NBC sitcom The Good Place (I mean, and in general), it’s worth checking out for her charms alone. She plays Eleanor, who dies and, due to some sort of cosmic clerical error, is accidentally sent to “the good place,” where the skies are blue, the grass is green, and the frozen yogurt abounds. The Good Place was created by Parks and Rec‘s Mike Schur, and he’s made a version of heaven that’s full of hilarious details if you’re watching (and listening) closely. Ted Danson plays the “architect” of Eleanor’s particular slice of heaven. The Good Place premieres on Monday at 10 p.m.

Thursday: Superstore Season 2 Premiere

I so hope more people watch Season 2 of Superstore, a lovely NBC sitcom (wow I’m giving NBC so much love today!) that blossomed in the back half of its first season. Ben Feldman and America Ferrera star as co-workers at Cloud 9, a Walmart-like superstore in St. Louis, Missouri. They hate each other, but of course they love each other; Feldman and Ferrera have great chemistry. Under the guise of a goofy workplace comedy, Superstore has a lot to say about fair labor practices and the demoralizing effect of mega-corporations. It’s a lot of fun, I swear! Watch the Season 2 premiere on Thursday at 8 p.m.