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. This week, on top of the excellent docu-series Five Came Back — based on Mark Harris’s book about five WWII-era directors who documented the war — Netflix premieres another adaptation of a book about a teen suicide, 13 Reasons Why. Plus, new standup from Louis C.K., a new version of Archer, and TV’s juiciest mystery finally gives us some answers.

Now: 13 Reasons Why

This new Netflix series, streaming as of today, is based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why, about a high-school student named Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) who commits suicide and leaves behind a series of tapes that provide clues as to why she took her own life. The first two episodes were directed by Spotlight‘s Tom McCarthy; Selena Gomez was initially slated to play the lead role of Hannah, but instead took on an executive producer role, and the decision to cast relatively unknown actors to play the cast of teens was a smart one.

Tuesday: Louis C.K.: 2017

On Tuesday, Netflix releases Louis C.K.’s first new hour of standup since 2015 (well, hour and 15 minutes). Louis C.K.: 2017 was taped in Washington, D.C., and C.K. dresses appropriately for the location: In a suit and tie, eschewing his uniform of jeans and a black T-shirt. But it’s the same brilliant C.K. up on that stage, expertly walking the line between edgy and offensive and leap-frogging from controversial topics like abortion to his uneasy predilection for the movie Magic Mike. It might just be his best standup special yet.

Wednesday: Archer: Dreamland

In its eighth season, Archer reboots yet again as Archer: Dreamland, an eight-episode deep dive into the addled mind of Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), who is recovering from a gunshot wound and mourning the loss of his beloved Woodhouse. Expect heavy L.A.-noir vibes in this shortened, eight-episode season (The Maltese Falcon in particular was a big influence) as Archer and his gang of hapless-yet-brilliant spies take on new roles — and yet find themselves playing out the same dynamics. The new season premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX’s sister channel, FXX.

Sunday: Feud

Sunday’s episode of Feud: Bette and Joan centers on the 1963 Oscars, when Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) was nominated for her performance in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? but Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange), alas, was not. Lange is terrific in this episode as Crawford makes moves to assert her dominance at Hollywood’s mecca despite the fact that she’s not even nominated; keep your eyes peeled for a fantastic unbroken shot of Crawford leading an Oscar winner through the labyrinthine backstage area like she owns the place. Check it out Sunday at 10 p.m. on FX.

Sunday: Big Little Lies

Who the hell killed who?! This Sunday at 9 p.m., we’ll finally get the answers we’ve been waiting for when HBO’s Big Little Lies airs its series finale. What exactly happened on trivia night? Who’s dead, and who’s the killer? Are the parents at fault or the kids? Who has been bullying Amabella? Will Celeste finally leave her abusive husband? Will Madeline’s daughter go through with her trainwreck of a final “project”? YOU GUYS I CANNOT WAIT.