'Now See This' Newsletter: A Sincere 'Voice' and an Uncanny 'Valley'

11:15 AM 7/10/2020

by THR Staff

Courtesy of Apple TV+

Welcome to Now See This, THR chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg’s weekly viewer guide newsletter dedicated to cutting through the daunting clutter of the broadcast, cable and streaming TV landscape! Comments and suggestions welcome at daniel.fienberg@thr.com.

This is a web version of THR's Now See This newsletter. Sign up to get new editions delivered to your inbox each week, here.

  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    Courtesy of Apple TV+

    You should not expect irony or edginess from the latest collaboration between Waitress: The Musical writers Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson; indeed, Apple TV+’s Little Voice is sincere, sentimental and earnest. Some elements, the love triangle in particular, don’t really work, but the songs and New York City locations certainly do. Also check out Bareilles and Nelson’s conversation on this week’s TV’s Top 5 podcast.

  • Down in the ‘P-Valley’

    Courtesy of Starz

    Katori Hall’s theatrical Starz drama P-Valley is a sweaty, pungent and provocative glimpse at the lives of strippers at a Mississippi Delta dive. It’s a racy, proudly feminist series that THR’s Inkoo Kang calls “so variously accomplished you don’t know what to praise first.”  

  • Streaming Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks and Andy Samberg

    Jessica Perez/Hulu

    Disney+ dominated last weekend’s streaming movie landscape with Hamilton, but this weekend offers a wider range of blockbusters to watch from your couch. THR’s David Rooney calls Netflix’s graphic novel adaptation The Old Guard “a boldly assured step” for director Gina Prince-Bythewood and salutes Apple TV+’s Greyhound as “a taut action thriller that exerts a sustained grip.” Hulu’s Palm Springs, meanwhile, was one of the hits of Sundance 2020, where John DeFore called the twisty comedy “a very fun place to get stuck.”

  • Honoring Ennio Morricone

    Franco Origlia/Getty Images

    To say that Ennio Morricone compiled an epic list of credits over his decades composing for film and TV would be an understatement. We’re talking 400+ credits. Morricone’s lone competitive Oscar win was for The Hateful Eight, available on Netflix, where you can also watch The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. My favorite of his scores is Once Upon a Time in the West, which is streaming on HBO Max.

  • Looking for Something Under-the-Radar?

    Michael Parmelee/FX

    Inkoo and I ran through the main drama/comedy/limited series Emmy contenders and offered dozens of actors and shows that deserve recognition (and, sadly, may not get it). If you’ve somehow seen them all? Damn. Take a well-earned break and read a book!

  • Some Arthurian Homework

    Courtesy of Netflix

    Next weekend’s biggest new premiere might be Netflix’s Cursed, the latest revisionist take on the Arthurian legend. If you want to make sure you’re caught up on the basics, the BBC’s Merlin is one of the rare shows available to stream basically everywhere, from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon. Starz’s sexier Camelot is only available if you have Starz or the Starz extension of Hulu, but it features Eva Green and she makes all things better.

  • This Week’s THR Staff Pick

    Netflix

    Associate Editor Sharareh Drury raves, “In Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s charisma shines through her character Devi, and solidifies why this is an actress and character I wish I’d seen growing up. What I've loved about this series is how it smashes stereotypes — Devi is smart and nerdy, but she's also cool and confident. It's about time we had this representation on television (and I'm eager to see more).”