May TV Preview: Don’t Miss These 10 Premieres


Netflix rules May with a slew of new and returning series, not to mention standup specials from the likes of Maria Bamford, Norm Macdonald, and Tracy Morgan, who returns to the public stage this month after a near-fatal 2014 car crash. But the big news this month is the return — just 27 years later! — of Twin Peaks, the cult classic series that premiered on ABC (!) in 1990. Soon, viewers will be able to revisit the spooky, spirit-filled northwestern lumber town dreamed up by creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, who’ve returned to oversee the Showtime revival in its entirety. Now’s your one month warning: If you want to catch up with the original series, which ran for just two seasons, get thee to Netflix.

5/2: Maria Bamford: Old Baby (Netflix)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new special from Maria Bamford — and I’ve gone on the record with my preference for Bamford’s offbeat, unpredictable standup routines over her Netflix original series, Lady Dynamite, which premiered last year. In Old Baby, Bamford performs her brilliant oddities for audiences all over the place — in a living room, outdoors, in the aisle of a bookstore, and even on a stage.

5/6: Chris Gethard: Career Suicide (HBO)

Up until recently, Chris Gethard was something of a cult figure, best known as the host of The Chris Gethard Show, which began as a live show at UCB before moving to public-access TV. So it’s fitting that Gethard’s new one-man show for HBO began as an Off-Broadway play. In Career Suicide, Gethard muses on alcoholism and depression. It’ll be hilarious!

5/9: Norm Macdonald: Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery (Netflix)

This Canadian is very excited for the return of Norm Macdonald, who released a memoir last year called, Based on a True Story: A Memoir. The former SNL cast member could say basically anything and I’d laugh, so the bar is low here for me, but I still have high hopes for this new standup special, Macdonald’s first since 2011’s Me Doing Standup.

5/12: I Love Dick (Amazon)

Sharp, funny, and charged with a neurotic — and erotic — energy, I’ve been looking forward to Jill Soloway and Sarah Gubbins’s adaptation of the cult novel by Chris Kraus since Amazon released its first episode back in August. Kathryn Hahn stars as Chris, a filmmaker who accompanies her intellectual husband (Griffin Dunne) to an artist colony in Marfa, Texas — where she meets and falls for his advisor, Dick, played with maddening swagger by Kevin Bacon.

5/12: Master of None (Netflix)

When Master of None‘s first season premiered in 2015, I could never quite figure out why so many people were so excited about this comedy starring Aziz Ansari as a nice guy with a bunch of cool, nice friends who lives in New York and eats tasty food. But then I watched it all in a weekend, and watched it again a little while later, and realized that it is just so damn pleasant to be in the world of Master of None. In Season 2, Ansari’s Dev returns home to face the music after escaping to Italy.

5/12: Anne (Netflix)

As a Canadian I should be really excited about this Anne of Green Gables adaptation but I have to admit I never really got the allure of this one. But if you’re an Anne stan, there’s plenty to look forward to here — particularly the sensitivity with which the show handles Anne’s backstory as an abused orphan, and the fact that Anne was written and co-produced by Breaking Bad scribe and noted Canadian Moira Walley-Beckett.

5/16: Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive (Netflix)

This month marks the return of Tracy Morgan, who’s been understandably absent from the public stage since his devastating car crash in 2014. Now, he’s back with his first new hour of standup since 2014’s Bona Fide, and in his new special — cheekily titled Staying Alive — Morgan discusses his recovery process and how he fell for his physical therapist, as one does.

5/19: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Get ready for all the jokes: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s gag machine Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns to Netflix this month. In Season 3, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) — who moves to New York at the beginning of the series after being rescued from a doomsday bunker — continues her quest for personal fulfillment (and normal adult development) by enrolling in college.

5/21: Twin Peaks (Showtime)

Does this one need an introduction? Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks is without a doubt the year’s most highly anticipated series, and for good reason: The show comes nearly three decades after the premiere of the original — hands down the weirdest show to ever air on network television. All 18 episodes of the “new Twin Peaks,” as creator David Lynch describes it, were directed by Lynch himself, and he and his original collaborator Mark Frost had total creative control.

5/31: The Carmichael Show (NBC)

By the time the third season of this homage to Norman Lear premieres, it’ll have been a full year since the second went off the air. So we’re well overdue for some new episodes of this talky family sitcom created by and starring comedian Jerrod Carmichael. The Carmichael Show is an “issues” program, and while it generally shies away from preachy political statements, there has certainly been no shortage of fodder for its writers over the past year. It’ll be interesting to see where this season goes.