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, a nerdy reboot lands on Netflix; Veep returns to HBO, minus one veep; an apocalyptic drama begins its final season; and the third, Ewan-McGregor-filled installment of Fargo premieres. It may finally feel like spring, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your televisual duties. Watch on!
Now: Mystery Science Theater 3000
This ’90s cult series centers on a janitor trapped on a satellite by mad scientists who plan to take over the world — a plan that somehow requires him to watch a bunch of B-movies, which he riffs on along with his robot companions. Jonah Ray of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail is behind the Netflix reboot, which is streaming as of today. I won’t pretend to have seen it, but our film editor and resident MST3K geek Jason Bailey (sorry, Jason) seems mighty pleased.
Now: Documentary Now!
The second season of this hilarious and painstakingly created spoof-documentary series landed on Netflix a couple days ago, and it’s well worth your while. Each half-hour episode is a pitch-perfect parody of a documentary, with co-creators Bill Hader and Fred Armisen transforming themselves into a variety of characters — including, in the first season, Big Edie and Little Edie from Grey Gardens, in the episode Sandy Passage. The second season’s source material includes the 1993 political doc War Room and the Netflix series Chef’s Table, which the show spoofs in a standout episode called “Juan Likes Rice & Chicken.”
How will Veep possibly outdo the daily procession of embarrassment and shame that is the Trump Administration? Let’s be clear: It won’t. But the new season of HBO’s perennially hilarious political satire is back Sunday at 10:30 p.m. in fine form, picking up a year after Selina Meyer’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) humiliating loss to Laura Montez (Andrea Savage), who won the presidency via a Senate vote after a tied 2016 election. What a crazy set of circumstances that would be.
Sunday: The Leftovers
For real — you will never feel quite as bad about your life and the state of the world after watching an episode of The Leftovers. That’s not to say the series — about a mysterious Rapture-like event that results in the instant disappearance of two percent of the world’s population, and which was created by Lost‘s Damon Lindelof — is a slog. It’s certainly dark, and its subject matter is heavy, but as the show moved into its second season it abandoned some of its earlier gloom and became a much weirder, singular, more insightful series. The third and final season premieres this Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO, and it is spectacular.
The third “chapter” of this anthology series, based on the Coen Brothers’ 1996 film, centers on the “Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” Emmit Stussy, and his resentful younger brother, Ray — both played by Ewan McGregor. The older brother is a handsome, successful real-estate mogul; the other is a parole officer with a potbelly. For me, though, the real draw of Season 3 are new arrivals Carrie Coon — who also stars in The Leftovers — and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who’s left a BrainDead -sized hole in my heart. Fargo premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX.