Our TV Picks This Week From 'Barry' to 'Leguizamo Does America.' What You Should Know About The Shows To Watch For April 14
There's just too much stuff ... I don't know what to watch.
If you're an avid digester of TV, you've probably said or thought this every time you've flipped channels or scrolled — sometimes endlessly — through the menus of the streaming service of your choice. We've done —and, honestly still do — the same thing.
That's why each week, to help you master the power of choice, we bring in expert reinforcements on LAist's AirTalk, which airs on 89.3 and wherever you get your podcasts. Our weekly panel discusses the best and most intriguing stuff to watch, so that you won't be frozen (as much) with indecision.
This week, we're joined by Lorraine Ali of the LA Times, Dominic Patten, senior editor & chief TV critic for Deadline, and Cristina Escobar, TV critic & co-founder of LatinaMedia.Co.
Barry [Season 4, Final Season]
Airing on HBO & Streaming on HBO Max
"It's one of the shows that has taken a premise that could have been just a novelty, maybe a little kitsch, and really played it out to look at PTSD [and] all sorts of different issues. [Barry] also has kept the dark humor really going, so I'm really looking forward to this season." — Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times
The basics: Following the Season 3 finale, where Barry gets arrested for a previous crime committed in his hitman-turned-actor past. He's now spending his time in jail.
What it might remind you of: Not much, which is part of the show's appeal. A hitman finding new purpose as he grows older but eventually having to face his past is something that's been done before (think Leon: The Professional), but Barry takes that concept in a direction that feels more grounded and humorous.
Who's behind it: The show was created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, the show's lead and a longtime comedic actor who people have known about since his days on Saturday Night Live. Prior to Barry — which has won nine Emmys — Hader also showed some range in the film The Skeleton Twins.
Berg's credits include time executive producing Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Silicon Valley. He even co-wrote the screenplay for the 2003 film adaptation of The Cat in the Hat, a critically panned movie still near and dear to my heart.
When and where: Episode 1 of the final season airs Sunday, April 16 at 10 p.m. on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.
Read Lorraine's thoughts on Season 3 of Barry here.
Black Lady Sketch Show [Season 4]
Streaming on HBO Max
"What especially I think works about the show, besides Robin [Thede], an incredibly strong cast. The humor is relentless, [and] they also weave in iconography." — Dominic Patten, Deadline
The basics: A sketch comedy series led by comic, actress, and producer Robin Thede.
What it might remind you of: Thede's brand of humor provides the show with its identity. It offers the same clever humor you find scrolling through Black Twitter, which encapsulates the Black experience and is serves as the fuel for some of the viral comedy we see today.
Who's behind it: This is the creative brainchild of Robin Thede, whose most notable works include her talk show The Rundown With Robin Thede and The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, where she made history by becoming the first Black woman to be named head writer of a late-night talk show.
Thede's credibility is part of the reason Black Lady Sketch Show features cameos from Emmy-winner Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary) and Academy Award-nominee Angela Bassett. The show itself has its own trophy case, having won three Emmys.
When and where: All six episodes are streaming now on HBO Max.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel [Season 5, Final Season]
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
"I liked the final season. They did a nice job of being true to [themselves]. Wrapping up its characters [and] giving us some snapshots into the future that were really lovely." — Cristina Escobar, LatinaMedia Co.
The basics: Miriam "Midge" Maisel, a single mother of two, comes to find out she has a talent for stand-up comedy. In previous seasons, we’ve seen Midge hit highs and lows, but Season 5 sees her deal with a major life decision that could propel her stand-up career.
What it might remind you of: The comic tone of the 1950s-1960s, with fresh-faced folks speaking with mid-Atlantic accents and wearing beautiful costumes. While the focus is on comedy, there's plenty to drama to enjoy — the kind of drama you'd hear from your favorite gossiping auntie.
Who's behind it: The show was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Sherman-Palladino's credits include some long-running shows with similar dramedy tones, as she was a co-producer for Roseanne and the executive producer for Gilmore Girls.
When and where: Episodes 1-3 are streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.
Streaming on Netflix
"If you are a fan of Succession or if you like the idea of watching individuals fight it out for a hierarchy, Chimp Empire has it all." — Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times
The basics: Documents the lives of our closest living primate relatives — chimpanzees — which includes what they have to do to stay alive in their native Uganda.
What it might remind you of: Just about any nature documentary, which means beautiful camera shots and stellar narration: This time, it's Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali handling the voicework.
Who's behind it: The documentary is directed by another Academy Award winner, James Reed of My Octopus Teacher fame.
When and where: The documentary will be streaming on Netflix on Wednesday, April 19.
Leguizamo Does America
Airing on MSNBC & streaming on Peacock
"This deep dive into America that some of us know, but maybe don't know that well ... it's a beautiful travelogue as well as a history lesson." Dominic Patten, Deadline
The basics: Actor and comedian John Leguizamo travels to Latino hubs throughout the United States and Puerto Rico to experience what unique slices of Latin American culture they offer.
What it might remind you of: Documentary series' that deep dive into subsections of our populations in the United States — this time, we're locked in on Latino perspectives. This series does really solid job of presenting itself as a program that gets into the food and culture of many areas known to house a lot of Latinos from all walks of Latin American life.
Who's behind it: The docuseries is headed by multiple folks: Leguizamo, Ben DeJesus & Carolina Saavedra. For those unfamiliar, Leguizamo is also an outspoken advocate for the Latino community, using social media as a platform to call out the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry and uplift the voices of other Latinos.
When and where: Episode 1 airs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 16 on MSNBC. You'll also find it streaming on Peacock too.
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