Weekend Binge Guide: March 2017

Have the weekend free? Going out is overrated! Binge-­watch one of these shows instead:

 

If you want to laugh:

 

The Good Place

See all reviews for The Good Place

Yes, the premise is clever and the twists are numerous, but above all else, this NBC series is really forking funny. It certainly helps that the whip-smart jokes are being delivered by such a strong cast, anchored by Kristen Bell, the perfect actress to play a likably "bad" girl, and Ted Danson, who's been a television MVP for 40 years. The absolutely perfect first season begins as Eleanor (Bell) realizes she's mistakenly landed in heaven after dying in a freak shopping cart accident. Hoping to keep the charade going, she tries to change her selfish ways. Bell is superb, swinging from aggressively terrible (especially in the flashbacks) to earnestly aspirational. And D'Arcy Carden is a true scene-stealer as Janet. Look out for the myriad background jokes, including Doug Forcett and the frozen yogurt obsession.

 

If you want to cry:

 

Jane the Virgin

See all reviews for Jane the Virgin

Undoubtedly and unapologetically the most romantic show on TV, Jane the Virgin is in the middle of a third season that has defied expectations, bringing one beloved character’s story to an unexpected close and moving the action forward in a surprising way. Those who aren’t watching this quirky, smart, and moving CW series should be. But do yourself the favor of starting at the beginning, so you can watch every second of Gina Rodriguez's performance. As Jane, she is funny, adorable, sexy, and more frequently than some fans would like, absolutely heartbreaking. Every so often you may find yourself wondering whether the writing is venturing into Shondaland territory, but it never actually does. And when the show does lean a little too far into melodrama, the cleverly meta narration gives us the wink we need to stay engaged.

 

If you want to scream:

 

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

See all reviews for Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

In a world with no shortage of things to be alarmed and outraged by, save a little anger for Scientology. To help fuel your rage, watch this eight-episode A&E docuseries, hosted by Leah Remini. You remember, she was a loud-mouthed charmer in The King of Queens, a loud-mouthed oversharer on The Talk (draaama), and now, in arguably her most important role, she's a loud-mouthed nemesis of the Church of Scientology. In the show, Remini meets with other former Scientologists to discuss their sad and shocking stories of physical and emotional abuse. Among the most upsetting stories is one that comes from the infamous Sea Org, a program that prohibits members from having children. Watching one member recall being pressured to end her pregnancy is a soulcrusher.

 

If you want to think:

 

The Young Pope

See all reviews for The Young Pope

Not just a TV show, this is an experience. At times funny, at times scary, The Young Pope provides Jude Law with a career-highlight role as Pope Pius XIII, formerly Lenny Belardo, the first American pope. A chain-smoking, secretive, right-wing Machiavelli with a love of gold jewelry and big hats, Lenny knows what's up in the Vatican, so he eschews the counsel of the slippery Secretary of State and brings in his surrogate mother, Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), to serve as his chief advisor. But even she isn't free from his doubts and tests of loyalty. From the mind of Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino, this is a wonderfully watchable series that hides heavy themes under its stylish surface. Among them: faith (obvs), morality, mortality, abandonment, loneliness, and love.

 

Comments

4 comments

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Mar 2, 2017 7:17AM EST

Any chance The Young Pope will grow on me if I hated the first two episodes? I mean, I see all the great reviews and want(ed) to give it a chance, but I really haven't been able to get into it so far...

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TelevisionFanboyContributor
Mar 2, 2017 10:52AM EST

The Good Place makes for a fantastic binge! When you say it had the perfect first season you are totally right.

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Mar 2, 2017 12:58PM EST

Ha. @visidereel slight chance, but probably not. Maybe give it one more? :)

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Mar 2, 2017 1:01PM EST

Lol. Yeah, thought so. I'll try ep 3 when I can muster up the courage, and I'll report back here!

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