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 five best bets for the coming week. This week: The debate of the century! Hillary and Trump finally go head to head in the first presidential debate this Monday, an event that’s expected to draw 100 million viewers. You might want to get Season 3 of Transparent out of the way and binge it over the weekend on Amazon Prime; the whole season is streaming as of today.

Now: Transparent Season 3

It’s heeeeeere! The third season of our beloved Transparent has arrived, and it’s spectacular. At a Q&A during the premiere of the show at the Toronto Film Festival, creator Jill Soloway described the first three episodes as the first act of the new season, so if you can, carve out some time to watch them all at once. I don’t think it’ll be difficult to convince anyone to binge this one, though; the Pfefferman family’s just too much fun to be around, although the first episode features just Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) and functions as a kind of prelude to the rest of the season. All of Season 3 is streaming on Amazon Prime as of day, along with Seasons 1 and 2, if you need to catch up.

Now: Debate Wars

Warm up for Monday’s presidential debate with Debate Wars, a new original series from NBC’s comedy streaming service Seeso. The show, taped live before a studio audience, features teams of comedians who debate each other on topics far less pressing than the fate of the country (Babies vs. Old People; Vacation vs. Staycation; Internet vs. In Real Life). In the first episode, Aparna Nancherla and Guy Branum argue fervently in favor of pie, while Jena Friedman and Judah Friedlander come to the defense of cake. The debates are moderated by a stone-faced Michael Ian Black; they’re like watching your funniest friends take a joke way too far, in the best way possible. All six half-hour episodes are available to stream on Seeso today.

Monday: The debate!

Alright, time to get real: The first presidential debate of the 2016 election takes place on Monday night at Hofstra University in New York, and it’s going to be a doozy. The event is estimated to be the most-watched presidential debate ever, with 100 million Americans expected to tune in across platforms. Speaking of, if you don’t have cable TV, there are plenty of options to stream the 90-minute debate: You can watch it on Hulu; Facebook Live, in partnership with ABC News, which will present two hours of commentary before the debates begin; YouTube, which has partnered with PBS, Telemundo, and The Washington Post; or through the websites of individual news outlets, such as CBS News, Buzzfeed News, The Huffington Post, Politico, C-Span, and The Wall Street Journal. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, you can even watch it on Snapchat. No excuses, people! The debate begins at 9 p.m. EST.

Tuesday: Drunk History Season 4 Premiere

Drunk History returns on Tuesday with the theme “Great Escapes.” Duncan Trussell gets more than drunk to tell the story of Timothy Leary’s escape from prison in 1970; Steve Berg describes how William Willis helped an innocent man escape from Devil’s Island in 1938; and Doug Jones recounts the fascinating (and very on-brand) story of Charles Joughlin, the chief baker on the Titanic who drank so much whisky, the alcohol kept him warm in the frigid waters of the Atlantic. Pour yourself a cocktail and enjoy, this Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. And keep tuning in — an upcoming episode will feature the story of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr’s rivalry, narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda himself.

Wednesday: Younger Season 3

Could Sutton Foster be more adorable? Apparently not, if her performance on Younger is any indication. The premise of Younger, a TV Land original from Sex and the City creator Darren Star, is just slightly ridiculous: Foster plays Liza Miller, a 40-year-old mother of a teenage daughter who lies about her age to get an entry-level job in the publishing industry after a divorce prompts her to reboot her career. Not many actual 40-year-olds could conceivably be mistaken for 26, but Foster, a Tony-winning triple threat, does have freakishly smooth skin. Her effortless charm easily smooths over the series’ sillier edges, and co-stars Hilary Duff and Debi Mazar are delightful as always. Season 3 dives right into the love triangle set up at the end of Season 2, between Liza, her 20-something ex-boyfriend, and her 40-something boss — who still doesn’t know Liza’s secret. Catch the Season 3 premiere on TV Land this Wednesday at 10 p.m.