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The ballad of Mickey and Gus (Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust) comes to a satisfying conclusion in the third and final season of Love on Netflix.

Whenever I watched this show, co-produced by Judd Apatow, I wound up binging it over the weekend it came out. In other words … I watched all of the episodes quickly—and happily. Rust and Jacobs have proven to be one of TV’s all-time-great, and most-realistic, couples since the show premiered in 2016, and I’m actually quite sorry to see their saga has ended. I would like to see a season of this every year until I die.

Season 3 starts with two episodes directed by Michael Showalter, who hit his big-screen stride with last year’s The Big Sick. Showalter starts the season off with sure footing, and the momentum continues thereafter. Apatow himself directs an episode, all of which are consistently hilarious.

On top of the entertaining Mickey and Gus dysfunction, Claudia O’Doherty continues getting laughs as Bertie, Mickey’s roommate. Season 3 spends more time on Bertie and her strange boyfriend, Randy (Mike Mitchell), a relationship as funny as the central one.

Mickey and Gus still fight all the way up to the show’s ending, which I found to be incredibly heartwarming … and a little insane. That’s how this show made me feel the entire time watching it.

Love is now streaming on Netflix.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

Love is in the air—unless that’s something else slowly choking the life out of you.

February is the month of Valentine’s Day, so what else is there to recommend but romantic(ish) comedies? There aren’t a hell of a lot of streaming series to connect with World Cancer Day or Chinese New Year, and we all know how damned touchy Presidents Day is anymore. (It’s also my birthday month, so feel free to send presents and cash c/o this newspaper.)

TV rom-coms have been around as long as Westerns, cop shows and a certain Sunday-night news program that runs for 60 minutes. (What’s it called again?) Consequently, there’s as much shit as there are spoils, but television has noticeably stepped up its game in the 2000s, producing more quality love-adjacent shows than all previous centuries combined. Just try and find a decent TV series from the 1800s; I’ll wait right here.

Here are eight love-adjacent comedies—there are way more, but I have as much faith in your attention span as I do my own—currently available in the streamatorium that are worth a cuddle:

You’re the Worst (Seasons 1-3 on Hulu): It’s sequential suicide to begin with The Greatest Comedy of All Time, but screw it: Here’s You’re the Worst! Chris Geere and Aya Cash play a pair of self-absorbed Los Angelinos who are profane, chain-smoking cartoon characters—in the best possible sense. Despite their exaggerated flaws and penchants for terrible, terrible choices, Geere’s pompous British novelist, Jimmy, and Cash’s semi-competent music PR agent, Gretchen, are smart, charming and, from the second they meet, obviously meant for each other. They could carry the show on their own, but YTW subtly expands into a full ensemble of characters who become instantly indispensable, most notably fantastic freaks Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Edgar (Desmin Borges). You’re the Worst is a dark, cynical, bitingly funny love story—but not necessarily a romantic comedy: Rom-coms don’t typically involve bathtub cocaine and spitting on vaginas.

Love (Seasons 1-2 on Netflix): You’re the Worst’s introverted cousin, Judd Apatow’s Love, is a love-it-or-hate-it affair, drawing wildly mixed reviews from both real people and TV critics (who, it should be noted, are not real people). Apatow has been making films for so long that we’ve forgotten his early TV shows (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared) wherein teens and 20-somethings relationshipped awkwardly. Love is an older, certainly-not-wiser closer of an unofficial Apatow trilogy, as well as a brutal/hilarious portrayal of modern dating. Aimless radio-station programmer Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) spends most of her time stoned, partying or obliviously falling out of relationships. When she meets up with recently dumped Gus (Paul Rust), it’s ... something at first sight. Love can be frustrating and messy (just like love!), but it’s also oddly addictive.

The End of the F***ing World (Season 1 on Netflix): Their censorship, not mine. Imagine a sweeter, British, teenage Natural Born Killers. Then purge it, because The End of the F***ing World ain’t that, or anything else you’ve ever seen. High school outcast James (Alex Lawther) has an urge to graduate from slaughtering animals to his first human kill; budding wild-child sociopath Alyssa (Jessica Barden) is desperate for a new non-conformist companion; a co-dependent young kinda-romance is born. Soon, the odd couple find themselves on a road trip/minor crime spree set to an exquisite soundtrack with no viable happy ending in sight (hence the eight-episode series’ title). As unpredictable as it is endearing, TEOTFW is a dark rom-com that plays like a four-hour movie with a definitive conclusion. (Read: A second season would just be psycho.)

Married (Seasons 1-2 on Hulu): Judy Greer, Nat Faxon, Jenny Slate, Brett Gelman, Regina Hall, John Hodgman, Michaela Watkins—2014-15 FX series Married starred an alt-comedy dream team, so of course it was cancelled. Greer and Faxon play Russ and Lina Bowman, a long-married couple whose three daughters drain them of any impulse for Sexy Time—one of them, anyway, though Russ’ wife-“sanctioned” quest for a mistress only lands him a puppy. Married walks the line between sweet and caustic more smoothly as it progresses (Lina and Russ come into better focus as real people by the second episode, partially in contrast to their waaay damaged friends), and portrays long-term couplehood better than most any comedy seen before on TV. Watkins went on to headline Hulu’s excellent Casual, another contender for this list.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Seasons 1-2 on Netflix): There’s nothing else like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on TV—which is barely on TV itself, according to its sub-basement broadcast ratings. The musical-dramedy was originally developed for Showtime, but wound up on The CW, where you have to imagine your own profanity and nudity (though the show pushes network censorship boundaries relentlessly). The setup: Successful-but-lonely New York City lawyer Rebecca (Rachel Bloom, a former “YouTube star” with actual talent) impulsively moves to California to pursue/stalk her high-school sweetheart. True to its title, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t gloss over Rebecca’s mental issues, which grow more apparent and oh-shit-we’re-really-going-there as the series progresses—fortunately, there are plenty of musical uppers to balance out the dramatic downers.

Looking (Seasons 1-2 on HBO Go): Showtime’s Queer as Folk did all of the groundbreaking, taboo-shattering and whatever other-ings well some 15 years ago, but there hadn’t been a high-profile American drama centered strictly around gay men since. Looking wasn’t the new QAF, and it certainly wasn’t high-profile nor the gay answer to Girls and Sex and the City, as it was wrongly hyped; it was something new, different and already out-and-proud. The series followed the lives of San Franciscan Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and his circle of friends, none of whom rang false or over-the-top “TV gay,” just real people with real stories, romances and problems (and too many social-media accounts). Looking only lasted 18 episodes over 2014-15, concluding with a wrap-up movie in 2016—but hey, if Will and Grace can make a comeback …

Billy and Billie (Season 1 on DirecTV): From noted comedy auteur Neil LaBute (!) came the story of two New York step-siblings (Adam Brody and Lisa Joyce) succumbing to lust and falling in love—even in the obscure media environs of DirecTV’s Audience network, Billy and Billie was pretty much doomed from the start. But damned if Brody and Joyce didn’t give it their all with killer performances in this surprisingly engaging dramedy, which lasted all of 11 episodes and now only lives in DirecTV’s on-demand dungeon, lacking resolution. (The final episode was titled “Incesticide”—Nirvana references aside, did LaBute really expect Season 2?) If you’ll tolerate incest in your Game of Thrones and your PornHub (just admit it), Billy and Billie is a charming, occasionally heart-rending, alternative—and, come on, they’re only steps.

You Me Her (Seasons 1-2 on DirecTV): Since Audience found no audience for Billy and Billie, the next logical rom-comedic step was a three-way: You Me Her, an indie-flick-esque dramedy they promoted as “TV’s first polyromantic comedy,” starring Greg Poehler and Rachel Blanchard as a bored suburban Portland married couple who inadvertently end up hiring/sleeping with/falling for the same young female escort (Priscilla Faia). Naturally, they decide to bring her on full-time and make their marriage a threesome, because, Portland. It’s all funnier, and sweeter, than it sounds, and certainly not without drama and hurt feels. (Someone was bound to eventually be third-wheeled, and it’s not who you’d predict.) You Me Her returns for a third, and likely final, season in March 2018, after which I demand Audience’s next rom-com be about furries.

Bill Frost talks about television on the TV Tan podcast (BillFrost.tv) and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.

Published in TV

If you missed the first season of Love, an excellent romantic comedy series on Netflix, get on it. It’s a true gem.

Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust are back for a second season as Mickey and Gus, one of the most realistically clumsy couples ever depicted on film. Mickey is a drug and sex addict, while Gus is a nebbish nerd tutoring movie stars. They look like a strange, impossible couple, and they pretty much are—but they are also sweet together in a dysfunctional way, with Jacobs and Rust setting off constant comedy fireworks.

Claudia O’Doherty is consistently hilarious as Mickey’s roomie, Bernie.

This has the feel of some of the better movies by Judd Apatow, who is a co-creator of the show—yet it just keeps on going and going. Season 2 is already up on Netflix, available for binge watching, while Season 3 has already been announced.

The ballad of Mickey and Gus is classic TV, and yet another positive story for Netflix. The streaming service has really gotten it together these last couple of years. 

Love is currently streaming on Netflix.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

Love (Friday, March 10, Netflix), season premiere: In its 2016 debut season, Judd Apatow’s Love received wildly mixed reviews from real people and TV critics (who, it should always be noted, are not real people) alike. I was on the positive side—but, then again, I also liked Will Arnett’s universally despised Netflix baby Flaked, so there’s obviously something wrong with me. Lovebirds Micky (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust) still aren’t exactly right, either, but they’re giving the committed-relationship thing a go with predictably messy/hilarious/sad results. Both Jacobs and Rust (and an ever-expanding guest list) are fantastic; at its best, Love plays like an introverted cousin of couplehood-is-hell MVP You’re the Worst. A great place to be in Season 2, and the haters are still gonna hate.

Samurai Jack (Saturday, March 11, Adult Swim), return: A long, long time ago, I wrote about a Cartoon Network series called Samurai Jack, which premiered way back in 2001. Also more than a decade ago, friends would ask me: “Are you still doing that little TV review thing?” with the same regularity that they do now … sigh. Anyway: Samurai Jack was a simply plotted tale of a time-traveling warrior fighting his way through monsters, robots and general dystopia, as well as all-powerful villain Aku. While the stories were rudimentary (or often indecipherable), Samurai Jack’s dense, mind-tweaking animation set a standard that’s still rarely matched today; Hulu the original five seasons, and behold for yourself. This final chapter of the saga looks to be up there with Logan in terms of brutality and finality. Catch up.

Trial and Error (Tuesday, March 14, NBC), series debut: How to follow the season finale of all-the-feels tearjerker This Is Us? With wacky midseason filler! Trial and Error, a probably-funnier-on-the-drawing-board hybrid of Making a Murderer and The Office, gives proven comedic talents (including John Lithgow, Jayma Mays and Sherri Shepherd) a prime setup, but little material to work with, emphasizing “small-town quirkiness” over what could have been biting comedy with a dark, media-overkill backhand (which It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia already did earlier this year). Lithgow goes big as a maybe-wife-killing poetry professor (!), but Trial and Error definitely won’t be a part of NBC’s comedy rebuild.

Hap and Leonard (Wednesday, March 15, Sundance), season premiere: Missed Season 1? Of course you did—it was on Sundance, and who has that? After you check out the six-episode origin story of ’80s Texas ne’er-do-wells Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams) on Netflix, come back for another installment of comic criminality that nearly rivals Fargo in sheer volume of WTF? twists. Hap and Leonard Season 2 picks up with a new mystery to unravel (the death of Leonard’s uncle) and a new cast of unsavory characters to butt heads with. (Spoiler: few not named Hap or Leonard made it out of Season 1 alive.) They’re just good(ish) guys in a bad, bad world; when you do get around to this series (because, again, Sundance), you’ll love ’em.

Modern Family (Wednesdays, ABC), contract crisis: Currently in its eighth season, Modern Family has (or had, depending upon when you get around to reading this) a problem: The contracts for stars Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jessie Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill are up, and signing them all for the inevitable Season 9 would be almost as expensive as a Trump weekend getaway—give or take bronzer budget. The obvious solution? Kill the adults off-camera in a plane crash during the show’s annual Disney-vacation infomercial episode, and refocus Modern Family on the kids. Haley, Alex, Luke, Manny and Lily could easily take over and Party of Five the situation—hell, I’d watch a Lily solo series, even. You’re welcome, ABC.

Published in TV

Michael Showalter is best known as one of the creators and stars of the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer and its prequel, the hilarious 2015 Netflix series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

He’s a veteran of legendary comedy troupes The State and Stella. In 2014, he co-wrote the funny rom-com spoof They Came Together, co-starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler; it was co-written and directed by his fellow State and Stella alumnus, David Wain.

In 2005, he made his feature-directing debut with The Baxter, a criminally underrated and charming comedy starring himself, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Williams and Justin Theroux.

Now, 11 years later comes his sophomore feature-directing effort, Hello, My Name Is Doris, starring the one and only Sally Field.

Field plays the title character, an oddly dressed cubicle-dweller who falls in love with a much-younger man (Max Greenfield) at the workplace. This results in strange workplace fantasies and a gloriously awkward friendship between the two.

Showalter recently took the time to talk about working with Sally Field, the future of Wet Hot, and what it’s been like to work with other screen legends.

Doris started as a short film. Doris and the Intern, by Laura Terruso, who went on to write the feature script with you. Did Laura always intend for the Doris character to have a feature film? Was this a sort of Whiplash situation, where a director makes a short as a pitch for a feature?

No … no. I was teaching screenwriting at the NYU (Tisch School for the Arts) graduate film school, and Laura was a student—not one of mine, but she was around. She made the short film, and I just thought the main character was really funny. We became friends and started talking about writing something together. After much trial and error with other ideas, we actually came back to: “What if we expanded Doris into a feature?” It wasn’t at all Laura’s initial intent to make Doris into a feature, but I started to see the feature version in my mind. She created that character, and then we took that character and ran with it.

The short is a little darker and sillier than the eventual feature.

In the short, Doris is just kind of a kooky old lady who gets a crush on a younger guy. For the feature, we added the friendships, and the hoarding, the whole hipster angle and the mother and brother. We imagined a whole new world around her and a new story.

At what stage in the production did Sally Field get involved? Did you write the expanded Doris part with someone like her, or her specifically, in mind?

Not her specifically, and only because I would never have assumed she would do the movie. She’s a Hollywood icon. You don’t assume someone like her would do a little movie like this. I mean, she’s not someone who does a lot of independent film. She’s never done one, as far as I know. During the process, we did feel like, “Wouldn’t it be unbelievable if Sally Field could play this part?” because it’s perfect for her. The Doris character is this amalgamation of so many qualities that Sally Field possesses. So we sent the script to her agent, thinking nothing would come of it, and then this amazing thing happened in that she read it and responded to the material. The rest is history.

I was looking back at Sally Field’s career. She hasn’t really headlined a comedy since 1991’s Soapdish.

Yeah, I know.

Doris has a lot of dramatic punch to go with the laughs. Did the script always have that strong dramatic element, or was it an adjustment you made after Sally got involved, knowing that she could knock the dramatic stuff out of the park?

The script always had the dramatic scenes in there. It was always written to be funny and sad. Getting an actress like Sally really made the movie everything it could possibly be. She took the role and ran with it. If it was going to be a great actress, but not one necessarily of Sally’s caliber, then it was going to be more about making a great movie that people really like, but maybe that character wouldn’t be loved as much as it will be now that Sally is in the role. When Sally said she would do the movie, immediately, my role was to just give her everything she needs to do her work. My job as director was to help her, and give her whatever support she needed to deliver the performance she wanted to give and was capable of giving.

There is one scene in particular featuring Sally and Stephen Root as her brother, where Doris has a bit of a meltdown. That’s a real turning point in the movie. It’s a pretty brutal moment for a comedy.

Yeah, we liked the idea that the audience would be convinced the brother was a bad guy. And then Stephen gets to show that the character has this different side to him, and all of the sudden, you realize that nothing in the film is quite as it seems, and nobody is exactly how we think they are. That scene is kind of the scene that sets up how the movie is going to end: Doris is going to have to get herself out of that house, and out of her situation somehow.

Max Greenfield, hilarious as the brother in They Came Together, plays John, the object of Doris’ office crush. Was his involvement in Together what got him involved in Doris?

Yes! I met Max while making Together. Obviously, he’s a kind of hotshot young actor. It was great when we got him for that film, and he and I became quite friendly. At the time we were making Together, I was writing Doris, and he was just perfect for the John character. Max actually was the first person to sign on for Doris.

He has terrific chemistry with Sally Field. You believe that two people who are three decades apart actually might have a shot romantically. Now, I get a sense that Sally Field must bring an amazing, positive energy to any film set she is on.

Completely. I mean, she’s a hard-worker, and she’s a no B.S. kind of person. It’s not like she’s George Clooney, pranking everybody on set. She’s all business, and she’s very serious about the work. And she expects the same of everybody else.

I think I’ve had a crush on her since I was about 10 years old, up until … well, let me think … now. I still have a crush on her now.

Yeah, me too. Me too. When you were saying the relationship between her and Max is convincing, it’s, like, not very hard to act like you could have a crush on Sally Field.

The cast also includes Tyne Daly, Natasha Lyonne, Peter Gallagher and SNL’s Kyle Mooney. You also have musician Jack Antonoff (of Fun., Bleachers and Taylor Swift fame) making his feature-acting debut as Baby Goya of the fictional band Baby Goya and the Nuclear Winters. Is the music he plays in the film specifically created for it?

Yes. Laura and I wrote the song titles and created the character of Baby Goya and then cast Jack. We basically asked Jack if he would consider writing songs, based on these song titles, in the character of Baby Goya. So you hear two songs in the film by Baby Goya and the Nuclear Winters. One is “Dance, Rascal, Dance” and the other one is called “Lasers and Lace.” He wrote those songs with his band Bleachers, and that’s his band Bleachers in the movie with him.

You are doing a lot of directing jobs besides Doris. I just watched the episode of Love, the new comedy show from Judd Apatow, which you directed for the Netflix series. What is it with Netflix all of the sudden? Four years ago, you would be lucky to find Phantasm 17 streaming on a Saturday night, and now it’s the comedy hub of the universe.

I know.

With your episode of Love; The Baxter movie, Coop’s troublesome plight in Wet Hot American Summer; They Came Together; and now Doris, you are becoming the king, modern architect of awkward romantic comedies.

Oh, thank you.

You also got to direct yet another project for Netflix, an episode of Grace and Frankie, starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

Yes, and I think Sally Field helped me get that job. She’s friends with Jane Fonda. I told her I was up for the gig, and she said, “OK, let me e mail Jane right away.” So Sally e mails Jane Fonda and says, “He’s great; you should work with him!”

Just like that, you’ve found yourself working with three legendary screen actresses in the last couple of years. Did you get to show Lily Tomlin your incredible re-enactment of her epic I Heart Huckabees battle with director David O. Russell? The shockingly authentic one you did with Paul Rudd on your Internet series The Michael Showalter Showalter?

Funny you should ask, because I didn’t even think about doing that. No, I was just too intimidated to barely say anything. All of these great actresses are so intimidating, even though they are all very nice people. They are completely humble in every sense, but they just don’t realize that for someone like mem who grew up watching them and fantasizing about one day being in the industry, they just don’t know they are intimidating. And why should they? They’re just people. It’s so exciting to work with all of them. They are just so fantastic.

I have to ask a Wet Hot American Summer question. The prequel, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp came out last year on Netflix and was a resounding success. Do you think there could be more?

100 percent … I think it’s going to happen.

Oh, wow!

99.9 percent I think it’s going to happen.

Uh oh … that’s less than 100 percent! Maybe another prequel where you are all in your deep 50s playing teenagers? Do you think it will happen quickly, like, in a year? Or will it take more than a decade like the last time?

You can take this however you want, but I have no comment on how long it’s going to take.

Do you have any parting words regarding Doris?

I hope people see it. I think it’s a good movie, and I’m really proud of it. I think it’s something everybody can enjoy. Sally Field gives an amazing performance that nobody should miss.

Given the dramatic undertones in Doris, can we expect a more purely dramatic effort from you?

I would love to do that.

Hello, My Name Is Doris is now playing at four theaters across the valley.

Published in Previews and Features

I binge-watched Netflix’s new series Love—the latest by producer Judd Apatow—and it stands as further proof that Netflix is becoming the king of TV comedy.

Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs are terrific as Gus and Mickey, two people who meet by chance at a convenience store and become friends. Friendship progresses into other things—and that progression happens in a crazy, unpredictable, very R-rated way.

Rust is a revelation as the nerdy Gus, a tutor at a TV studio where they are filming one of those dopey witch shows. Jacobs, so good on Community, proves she has much to offer with her wild turn as a radio-station employee with a shitty boss (Brett Gelman) and just a few addictions.

As their courtship begins, Gus sort of pines for Mickey, but things change over the course of 10 episodes, as he gets a little more confidence in himself—and notices she’s a bit of a jerk. The first season ends in a satisfying way—and since Netflix has already ordered a second season, you know you’ll be getting more good stuff.

Other performers include a hilarious Claudia O’Doherty as Bertie, Mickey’s polite and slightly deranged roommate. Iris Apatow is proof that nepotism can be awesome as Arya, a child actress prone to tantrums, yet somehow more intelligent than anybody else on the set. Briga Heelan is sweet and funny as Heidi, an actress who is complicating things between Gus and Mickey.

The show’s episodes flow into one another, so it feels like one long movie. Apatow’s work tends to be on the long side—and I’ve never had a problem with that. Maybe this was supposed to be a movie at first, and Apatow realized it was going to be lengthy. If so, it was a good call to make this a series, because every one of the 10 episodes is a gem. 

Published in Reviews

Love (Friday, Feb. 19, Netflix), series debut: Gillian Jacobs was always Community’s most-underrated player, a reliable source of dark snark who functioned as a counterpoint to Joel McHale’s, well, darker snark, and who was rarely forced to play the “pretty blonde” card. In her first real headlining gig, in Judd Apatow’s Love, she plays a character even less motivated than Community’s Britta: Here, she’s aimless radio-station programmer Mickey, who spends most of her time stoned, partying or obliviously failing out of relationships. When she meets up with recently dumped Gus (Paul Rust), it’s … something at first sight. Apatow has been making films for so long that it’s easy to forget his early TV shows (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared), on which male and female teens and 20-somethings coexisted awkwardly while trying to Figure Out Life. Love is an older, none-the-wiser final entry in this unofficial Apatow TV trilogy, and the most brutally/hilariously accurate portrayal of modern dating since Aziz Ansari’s surprisingly fantastic Master of None. Bonus props to Netflix for not dropping Love’s 10 episodes on Valentine’s Day.

Pregnant at 17 (Saturday, Feb. 20, Lifetime), movie: Chelsea (Orphan Black’s Zoé De Grand Maison) is 17, pregnant and in love—too bad she’s a high-school dropout, and her 50-something (!) married (!!) boyfriend Jeff (Pretty Little Liars’ Roark Critchlow) now wants nothing to do with her because, you know, gross baby. Meanwhile, Jeff’s wife, Sonia (Melrose Place’s Josie Bissett), finds out about all of this and, instead of plotting stone-cold revenge as you’d expect in a Lifetime movie, takes pity on the poor knocked-up teen and befriends her. But! No sooner than you can spell polyamory … go ahead, I’ll give you a minute … a dark, dangerous figure from Chelsea’s past turns up to endanger her eff’dup new “family”! Keep ’em coming, Lifetime.

Girls (Sunday, Feb. 21, HBO), season premiere: Maybe you’re aware that Season 5 is the next-to-last for Girls; maybe you fell out of love with Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna a while ago and thought the series was already long over; maybe you’ve only heard of the show in relation to that Kylo Ren guy from Star Wars: The Force Awakens; maybe your dad changed his HBO Go password—I don’t know your deal. Anyway: As long as creator/star Lena Dunham is smart enough to avoid Sex and the City’s legacy-destroying mistakes (making a terrible follow-up theatrical movie; making an incomprehensibly wretched follow-up to that follow-up that plays on 20 screens daily in hell; etc.), Girls’ place in TV history is guaranteed. Oh, and Marnie (Allison Williams) is getting married, so that should be a trainwreck.

Superstore, Telenovela (Monday, Feb. 22, NBC), season finales: When both of these new NBC comedies sneak-preview premiered in December 2015, Telenovela looked like the survivor, while Superstore appeared to be an ill-conceived waste of talent. Eleven episodes later, Eva Longoria’s Telenovela is working waaay too hard for too few laughs, while America Ferrera’s Superstore has become an effortless ensemble comedy that actually lives up to most of its surface comparisons to The Office. The ratings correspond, meaning there’s far more likely to be a second season of Superstore than another round of Telenovela. Enjoy the big hair and boob tape while you can.

Nicole and Jionni’s Shore Flip (Wednesday, Feb. 24, FYI), series debut: The list of tolerable ex-MTV personalities is a short one: There’s former Singled Out host Chris Hardwick, now of Comedy Central’s @Midnight and every possible AMC post-show talker they can justify (Talking Saul? Really?), and a certain retired VJ who presides over Fox Business Network’s Kennedy (she’s the Caustic Queen of FBN—which is saying nothing, but she’s still as entertaining/annoying as she was in the ’90s). That’s it. There’s also not a more radioactively disdained past MTV property than Jersey Shore, so who greenlit a house-flipping series co-hosted by idiot oompa loompa Snookie—sorry, “Nicole”—and her equally witless husband, Jionni? The same network that brings you Kocktails With Khloe (Kardashian), of course. Maybe E! is no longer the epicenter of stoopid …

Published in TV