'Now See This' Newsletter: All You Need Is 'Lovecraft'

12:19 PM 8/14/2020

by THR staff

Lovecraft Country - Publicity Still - H 2020
Elizabeth Morris/HBO

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. To have it delivered to your inbox every week, sign up here.

  • 'Country' Grammar

    Premiering Sunday, HBO's Lovecraft Country is a fast-moving blend of pulpy genre elements — creator Misha Green doesn't stint on the haunted-house frights or monster movie gore — and provocative takes on systemic American racism in 1955 and today. It's smart and spooky and gross, and star Jurnee Smollett is spectacular. As I wrote, "This is a show that hooks you fast — and one toward which it's nearly impossible to be ambivalent." Plus, listen to Green discuss Lovecraft Country on this week's TV's Top 5 podcast.

  • Just for Kicks

    Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence was our guest on last week's TV's Top 5 podcast. His soccer-themed Apple TV+ comedy, co-created with star Jason Sudeikis, isn't always the most hilarious show, but it's an endearing half-hour with good performances — Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple are standouts — and a deep affection for underdog sports stories. 

  • They're Just 'Teenage Bounty Hunters,' Baby. Listen to Iron Maiden Maybe

    The title may sound shlocky, but Netflix's Jenji Kohan-produced teen comedy is a clever genre mashup in the vein of Veronica Mars and Sweet/Vicious (albeit not on the level of those two offerings), with likeable turns by stars Maddie Phillips and Anjelica Bette Fellini. THR's Inkoo Kang was a fan, calling it "winsome and well-crafted."

  • Too Crazy for 'Boys State,' Too Much of a Boy for Crazy State!

    Way back in the summer of 1994, I participated in the strange American Legion-fronted all-male civics lesson that is Massachusetts Boys State. I remember very little other than being elected comptroller of my "town" and missing most of the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase. So you can bet I'll be watching the acclaimed doc Boys State on Apple TV+ this weekend. THR's John DeFore, a Texas Boys State veteran, went through his own flashbacks when he reviewed the film at Sundance.

  • Other New Streaming Options

    What? That's not enough for you? After 18 years away, Eco-Challenge is back, now dubbed World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji on Amazon. I quite enjoyed the mixture of endurance racing competition and lovely HD photography. If you've been enjoying Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix, The Legend of Korra joins the service on Friday. And, this one is probably only for my parents, but here goes: The fifth season of the Danish comedy Rita hits Netflix on Saturday.

  • Retro Gaming Homework

    You know how some movies just get lost to the world, even in our age of myriad streaming options? Not The Wizard! The extended Nintendo commercial, one of those strange "I can't believe that movie not only existed but starred Christian Slater!" offerings, is available on HBO Max and it will whet your appetite for Netflix's retro video game docuseries High Score, premiering on Wednesday. The Wizard isn't actually featured in the series, mind you, but it darn well should have been. Maybe season two?

  • This Week's THR Staff Pic

    Assignment editor Jennifer Konerman raves, "My top show of the summer is easily House Hunters: Comedians on Couches. The show, hosted by Natasha Leggero and Dan Levy with their comedian friends as guests, is precisely what it sounds like, and when I just can’t mentally take another prestige drama on my watchlist, this fits the bill. Think: Every wackadoodle House Hunters couple getting roasted by quarantined comics who finally say out loud what you’ve been thinking all along: 'You can just paint that wall!'"