Weekend Binge Guide: July 2017

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

 

If you want to laugh:

 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

See all reviews for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The term "national treasure" gets thrown around a lot. But Rachel Bloom is the real deal. I know it, TV critics know it, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association knows it, and now it's time for you to find out how talented the lead actress and co-creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is. Bloom has created a network show that is excruciatingly truthful and uproariously funny. It tackles an incredible variety of subjects both dark and light, from mental health and self-loathing to summer camp and party buses. Oh, and it's a musical! Featuring songs that are actually good! Honestly, I wasn't sure how Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could possibly live up to Season 1's incredibly high standard, but it did. And the Season 2 finale absolutely solidified the series' place as one of the best on TV, with incredible callbacks and a powerful setup for the third season.

 

If you want to cry:

 

The Leftovers, Season 3

See all reviews for The Leftovers

The final scene of the final episode of the final season of this Peak TV gem is among the most moving I've ever seen. With so much quality television, it's silly to complain about Emmy snubs, but it would be a travesty if Carrie Coon's tearful, emotional performance were ignored (again). Justin Theroux supports Coon beautifully during this exchange, and has his own remarkable turns throughout not just this episode but the show's entire three-season run. The first season, closely based on Tom Perrotta's 2011 novel, is a stunning, moving, complex tale of ordinary people reacting to an extraordinary event. But it was dark, which may have kept some viewers from giving it a shot. In Season 2, without the book to reference, the show reached new creative heights. Season 3 is surprisingly fun and light. And after all the complaints Damon Lindelof has heard because of that frustrating Lost finale, he truly delivered this time.

 

If you want to scream:

 

Class

See all reviews for Class

First, you don't need to be an obsessed Whovian to watch this Doctor Who spin-off. It adds an extra layer of fun, but it's not a necessity. You just need to be down for a rollercoaster of a sci-fi show, combining teen drama, alien mythology, a little romance, and a lot of badassery. The series follows a group of students at a London high school who are forced into an uneasy partnership (there's sort of a Breakfast Club-meets-Buffy vibe) to help stop their school — and the world, really — from falling apart. The season's Big Bad is the Shadow Kin, an alien race that first emerged through a tear in space-time at the school's prom night, after which things got super complicated. There's no word yet of a second season, but the excellent finale reveals that a particularly creepy Doctor Who villain has become a powerful presence at the school.

 

If you want to think:

 

Downward Dog

See all reviews for Downward Dog

ABC never seemed to be behind this show fully, so its recent cancellation isn't a big surprise. But it's a shame because this is a total joy. But keeping it the realest, this series is not for everyone. First, we're in talking-animal territory — complete with CGI'd mouth movement. Second, this pup can come off as kind of a whiny bitch at times. But! This is an inventive and charming take on (late) millennial life, as seen through the eyes of a doggo. Nan, played by Allison Tolman, is trying to balance an increasingly demanding job with her complicated personal life. Making things better or worse, depending on his mood, is Martin, voiced by co-creator Samm Hodges, who gives the dog an uptalky This American Life vibe. Again, it's not the easiest sell. But it's a smart and surprisingly thought-provoking show worth checking out.

 

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Jul 3, 2017 9:28PM EDT

Being Mary Jane Season 4 just got added to Netflix. I'm behind so that's my new binge.

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Jul 11, 2017 7:48AM EDT

I can't read the article. It that normal?

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Jul 26, 2017 1:42AM EDT

Use Chrome . IE used to give me same problem @titichris

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