Weekend Binge Guide: September 2016

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

 

If you want to laugh:

 

Pulling

See all reviews for Pulling

Sharon Horgan is having a moment. She's nominated for a writing Emmy for Catastrophe, the sharp and witty comedy she created with Rob Delaney. And she's behind the new HBO show Divorce, which is bringing Sarah Jessica Parker back to TV (along with Thomas Haden Church). Horgan is becoming a star in the U.S., but her career breakthrough in her native Great Britain was the 2006 BBC series Pulling, about the terribly funny and awfully messy love lives of three single women. In some ways, it can be watched as a spiritual prequel to Catastrophe, albeit a harder, cringier version (if you can believe it). But still laugh-out-loud funny, thanks to incredible performances from the three lead actresses, especially Rebekah Staton as the daft but lovable Louise. It's ribald, hilarious, and even occasionally touching.

 

If you want to cry:

 

My Last Days

See all reviews for My Last Days

Is there a word — maybe in German — for something that is both uplifting and depressing? Because that's how I would describe this documentary series about people facing a terminal illness. Within seconds you'll go from tearing up to smiling like a goon as you watch real-world hero Claire talk about living with cystic fibrosis. Actually, "talk" doesn't do her justice. She connects the dots. A YouTuber and TEDx speaker, 19-year-old Claire is very comfortable being on camera and describing herself in a way that is both real and positive. Discussing death, she said, "We have no control over it, but what we do have control over is whether or not we are proud of our own lives." Also featured is "Darth Vader" (he explains the name), who has battled leukemia for 14 years but has still managed to complete 37 half-marathons, and Isabel, a 21-year-old who was told she wouldn't live past 20.

 

If you want to scream:

 

Homeland

See all reviews for Homeland

I understand if you gave up on this show during its crazy Venezuelan detour. But, you guys? Season 4 was one of TV's great rebounds, and Season 5 was even better. Truthfully, nothing Homeland does will top the tension and excitement of the first season. But the Emmy-winning Showtime series remains one of television's most suspenseful dramas. Back to Season 5: The globe-trotting show drops Carrie and co. in Berlin, where — surprise — all is not right. In another timely storyline, set two years after the previous season, Carrie's an ex-agent working for a philanthropic foundation, but she finds herself pulled back into her old life. Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, F. Murray Abraham, and Rupert Friend all are superb. But arguably the season's best performance comes from Miranda Otto, the CIA's badass Berlin bureau chief.

 

If you want to think:

 

The Wine Show

See all reviews for The Wine Show

If you don't think wine is a topic worth thinking about, you're exactly the type of person who should watch this show. Hosted by the devastatingly dashing duo of Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys, known to some TV-lovers as Mr. Lady Mary and Mr. Keri Russell, respectively, this ITV show expertly balances wanderlusty travel porn moments with educational — yet still fun — reporting. Goode and Rhys aren't experts, which is great because it gives the wine-curious audience a way in, but there are actual specialists (shout out to Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer) who travel the world telling stories about different wines, the places they're made, and the people who make them. Like a good rosé, the show has attracted some sass from snobs, but it is wonderfully accessible and absolutely refreshing.

 

Comments

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Sep 2, 2016 12:24AM EDT

Woo T.J. Love the new categories format

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Sep 4, 2016 5:05AM EDT

Isn't the word you're searching for My last days tragicomical? If not, I'm afraid it doesn't exist such a word, at least in German.

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TelevisionFanboyContributor
Sep 4, 2016 6:51AM EDT

Homeland really got it's act together this last season! It definitely makes for an exciting binge.

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