Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, our TV critic Margaret Lyons offers hyper-specific viewing recommendations in our Watching newsletter, aimed at your needs, desires and tastes. Read her latest picks below, and sign up for the Watching newsletter here.
Watch This If … You Want Something Fun
When to watch: Now, on Netflix.
You want this ragtag gang of misfits to play in the big game? But they’ll never be ready in time! Why, they’d have to train nonstop! And start to work as a team! And get to know one another, and really understand one another — and now that you mention it, really understand themselves, too. And me? Why, I’m just a lowly nobody, coach, with some unconventional methods, but if you think I’m the only one who can lead this wacky bunch, well, I guess I could try ….
“GLOW” happily hits plenty of the expected sports-movie beats and several unexpected ones, and because it’s set in the early, mostly scuzzy days of women’s professional wrestling, it has an added scrappiness. Strong performances — especially from Betty Gilpin, Alison Brie and Marc Maron — help its world feel even more substantial and developed. “GLOW” typifies that high-achieving modern-dramedy blend of serious stories and light touch, but it isn’t fussy or needlessly depressing like some of its brethren. Instead, it’s a blast.
There are three 10-episode seasons, and each goes by in a flash. (Netflix ordered a fourth and final one pre-pandemic.) Prepare yourself for the possibility that watching the show will make you want to wrestle someone.
… You Want Something Serious
When to watch: Now, on Hulu.
I hadn’t rewatched this legal thriller in a long time, and oh boy — it was even juicier than I remembered. I got totally sucked in and greedily watched till dawn. Rose Byrne stars as Ellen, a promising young associate recruited by the powerful lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) to come work for her. But it doesn’t go how Ellen hoped. The show starts as a crazed, bloodied Ellen flees a fancy apartment building and then flashes back to a mere sixth months earlier, just as she joins Patty’s firm. Double-crossing and sneaky legal maneuvering abound, and so do much darker and more dangerous behaviors.
Season 1 is by far the best season, thanks in part to Ted Danson’s performance as its antagonist, a billionaire fighting a class-action lawsuit. The show is big on disjointed timelines, which was more unusual when the series premiered in 2007, and it has that rich potency that made TV so thrilling during the antihero era. If you ever dreamed of combining “Scandal” and “Breaking Bad,” watch this.