Now See This Newsletter: TV To 'Destroy You' and More

11:38 AM 6/5/2020

by THR staff

I May Destroy You - Publicity still 2- H 2020
Natalie Seery/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 You See This newsletter. To receive the newsletter by email each week, click here.

  • Coel in Your TV Stocking

    Last week, I suggested seeking out Michaela Coel’s series-creating debut, Chewing Gum, on Netflix, and this week I’m recommending Coel’s new HBO half-hour I May Destroy You, which is extremely different in tone. A generation-defining exploration of identity and consent, it’s not a comedy, and the 12 episodes may play better in mini-binges than weekly installments. In any case, it’s a visceral and vital snapshot of contemporary thoughts on sexual assault, social media and more.

  • So Many 'Reasons Why'

    I still think that the first season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is a layered and complicated drama about teen suicide, but I’m vaguely amazed that the series, based on a book that was as close-ended as that first season, made it to four seasons. Netflix stopped sending out screeners in the third season and I stopped finding the show bearable around the same time, but … the final season premieres Friday!

  • Putting Things in Context

    Fellow THR TV critic Inkoo Kang and I had a conversation about TV’s handling of police brutality and the medium’s difficulties tackling these big issues, especially within the formulaic universe of broadcast procedurals. Among the offerings we recommended are documentaries that put the inequitable criminal justice system in context, including Ava DuVernay’s The 13th on Netflix and ESPN’s all-encompassing OJ: Made in America.

  • Black Cinematic Voices

    The Criterion Collection announced this week that it was making a series of financial contributions to organizations fighting racism in America and that the Criterion Channel streaming site would be moving a number of works from black filmmakers out from behind its paywall — including films from the likes of Julie Dash, Maya Angelou and Charles Burnett. 

  • Light Homework

    Lost in the shadow of acclaimed comedies like BoJack Horseman and Big Mouth, Netflix’s F Is for Family may be the best animated show nobody talks about. But if you enjoy foul-mouthed family hijinks, wonderful '70s domestic details and one of the best credit sequences on TV, you can catch up on the first three seasons before the fourth premieres next Friday. 

  • Got Anything Else Light?

    Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal makes it to Netflix this week (it was already on Amazon). Inkoo and I recommended it among other “foodie” shows in one of our “Quarantine TV” lists, so maybe you’re in the mood for an ultra-appetizing, ultra-gory story about a serial killer that had the tag line “Eat the Rich”? Or maybe not. 

  • Or, Let's Be Honest…

    Just watch CNN. Or MSNBC. Or your news channel of choice. And for another perspective, this week’s TV’s Top 5 is entirely an interview with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner Warren Leight discussing the state of the genre given the state of the world.

  • This Week's THR Staff Pick

    Senior writer Bryn Sandberg raves, "I can't get over how good The Great is. I was hesitant to watch because I love The Favourite and feared this somehow wouldn't live up to it — but I couldn't have been more wrong. Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult have completely won me over with their wit and charm. HUZZAH!"