'Now See This' Newsletter: Follow the Weekend into the 'Dark'

11:19 AM 6/26/2020

by THR staff

I'll Be Gone In The Dark Still 1 -Patton Oswalt- Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of 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.

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  • 'Gone' Baby 'Gone'

    Liz Garbus’ docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark on HBO is an intriguing reexamination of the true crime genre, using Michelle McNamara’s book to give voice to the victims of the Golden State Killer — but also to explore our collective obsession with true crime. The hagiographic approach to the late McNamara didn’t always work for me — THR’s Inkoo Kang notes that McNamara “isn't dynamic enough as a traditional screen ‘character’ to hold such sustained interest” — but I still found the six-episode series emotionally effective and generally compelling.

  • Still in the 'Dark'

    But wait! I’ll Be Gone in the Dark isn’t the only “dark” release this weekend. Netflix’s twisty German thriller Dark returns on Saturday for its third and final season, and it remains a show that either you’ve never heard of or one that’s your favorite Netflix drama. For more confusion, or at least more darkness, there’s always Apple TV+’s Home Before Dark, a family-friendly mystery that didn’t get enough buzz this spring. 

  • Welcome Back 'Party'

    After 2.5 years of waiting patiently for TBS to decide to get out of the single-cam comedy business and for HBO Max to launch, Search Party is finally back for its third season. Everybody’s favorite sociopathic millennials return in fine, cringeworthy form in another examination of insularity and privilege that Inkoo describes as “strangely prescient of 2020.” And be sure to check out this week’s TV’s Top 5 podcast for an interview with Search Party showrunners Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers. 

  • Second to 'Nun'

    Based on trailers, it’s unclear how authentic Netflix’s upcoming Warrior Nun is going to be to the cloister experience, but if you want to prepare … get thee to a TV nunnery! Netflix’s The Keepers is a terrific true crime documentary with Sisters at its center. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus is one of the most visually ravishing movies you’ll ever see and it’s available on HBO Max. Plus, Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit are currently on Disney+.

  • Shabbat Shalom

    It’s never a bad time to celebrate specificity on the small screen, something I wrote about this week as it pertains to a recent run of unusually detailed shows revolving around Judaism. So check out, if you haven’t already, Amazon’s Hunters, HBO’s The Plot Against America and Netflix’s Unorthodox. For equally smart depictions of Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, respectively, watch Hulu’s Ramy, Netflix’s Never Have I Ever and Rectify, which aired originally on SundanceTV but is available on Netflix. 

  • Movies From Your Couch

    THR’s chief film critic David Rooney calls Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga “sporadically hilarious” and John DeFore deems My Spy “good-enough.” Those are free (if you subscribe to Netflix and Amazon, obviously), but for a few OnDemand bucks, you can also watch Jon Stewart’s Irresistible, which Rooney deems a “snappy political satire.”

  • This Week's THR Staff Pick

    Deputy editor Degen Pener writes, “I just watched Netflix’s seven-episode Italian series Curon in three evenings and was taken in by this moody supernatural drama. It’s about teenagers — lots of angst and drama — and their parents in a small town that’s beset by vengeful doppelgängers. It’s beautifully shot, but what also makes it enjoyable is that there’s a real restraint to how the mystery unspools. Too many supernatural dramas try to throw so much out there plot-wise these days and this one keeps its focus, achieving a tight psychological tension.”