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Our TV Picks This Week 'From Beef' 'To 'Succession.' What You Should Know About The Shows To Watch

Three people standing next to one another behind a yellow backdrop with the SXSW logo.
Lee Sung Jin, Ali Wong, and Steven Yeun attend Netflix's "Beef" premiere at SXSW this month
(Roger Kisby
Getty Images)
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Have you felt completely overwhelmed when deciding what new show to watch these days? Us too. There’s just so much content out there between network TV and numerous streaming platforms.

That's why we've asked a variety of television critics to join us each week on LAist's talk show, AirTalk, which airs on 89.3 and on-demand wherever you get your podcasts.

We know there are a ton of options, and we want to help you sift through them.

Joining us this week to help are Danette Chavez, Primetimer's editor-in-chief , and Angie Han, TV critic at The Hollywood Reporter.

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Listen here

TV-Talk: ‘Beef,’ ‘Succession Season 4, ‘Mae Martin: SAP’ & More


Streaming on Netflix

"I know it's a cliche, but I laughed, I cried, [and] I was incredibly moved by it. It feels like nothing else on television, I think because the creator has such a strong voice and such a good eye for detail."

— Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter
"It's compassionate without coddling characters or the audience, and it's a very different type of intimacy. Because it's the intimacy between these two people who have this very antagonist relationship."

— Danette Chavez, Primetimer

The basics: A road rage incident between two strangers — a failing contractor and an unfulfilled entrepreneur — sparks a feud that brings out their darkest impulses.

What it might remind you of: The show was shot in Los Angeles, and the premise definitely lends itself to it. Traffic violence in Los Angeles has become a growing problem, and the show's opening scene is a great depiction of what can lead up to such problems. It goes without saying that the premise is hyperbolic, but the show's ability to offer this glimpse into two folks' lives is more than what you'll find driving on the I-5.

Who's behind it: The show was created by Lee Sung Jin, and although this is his directorial debut, he has plenty of credits under his belt. He has producing credits on FX's Dave, HBO's Silicon Valley, and CBS's Two Broke Girls. All of these are comedies but do show some of his range, which is worth considering for the complex story you find in Beef.

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When and where: All 10 episodes release Thursday, April 6 on Netflix.

Mae Martin: SAP

Streaming on Netflix

"I feel almost pressured to describe it as raucous or rowdy because the criticism that's been levied at a lot of LGBTQ+ comics is that their comedy isn't funny so much as [its] poignant or illuminating, or even 'capital I' important. But SAP, in a word, is 'Enchanting'."

— Danette Chavez, Primetimer

The basics: Canadian comedian Mae Martin shares encounters and observations they’ve had, including how they got the nickname “bathwater” and having a British father.

What it might remind you of: Mae Martin was also the star of the Netflix comedy series Feel Good, which itself was a semi-biographical series that Martin created and co-wrote. So you'll find a similar type of humor in this but done in the punchy playfulness you expect in stand-up comedy.

Who's behind it: Aside from Mae being the main selling point of this comedy special, the show was also directed by Abbi Jacobson. Jacobson is best known for being the co-lead for Comedy Central's Broad City, one of the funniest shows of its time. If this all interests you then SAP is definitely a special worth checking out.

When and where: The comedy special is out now on Netflix.

The Power

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

"Sorry to make the pun, but I think it's missing that spark of something special. The beginning half of the show is especially slow."

— Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter

The basics: Based on the book by Naomi Alderman and set in an alternate universe, teenage girls all around the world gain the power of electrocution, giving them greater authority in the world around them.

What it might remind you of: Not sure if anything perfectly aligns with the premise outside of the book it's based on, which is a massive world-building narrative that includes characters from across the globe. The show itself tries to mirror much of the science fiction and dramatic elements you find in the book, whether or not it succeeds is up to you and your own personal taste.

Who's behind it: The show's credited creators are Naomi Alderman, Claire Wilson, Sarah Quintrell, and Raelle Tucker. Tucker, however, did have the unique opportunity in that she was also the show's showrunner. Prior to The Power, her credits included producing long-running shows like HBO's True Blood and Facebook Watch's Sacred Lies.

When and where: The Power premieres Friday, March 31 on Amazon Prime Video.

Tiny Beautiful Things

Streaming on Hulu

"It's definitely the kind of binge release that you're gonna need a box of tissues for."

— Danette Chavez, Primetimer

The basics: Clare, a writer, and mother who’s dealing with a difficult family life, finds success as an advice columnist. Although her life isn’t perfect, the column allows her to delve back into her past and take what she learned from those moments.

What it might remind you of: The show is a narrative-driven show that's based on Cheryl Strayed's book of the same name. The book itself is a collection of advice columns Strayed wrote under the pen name "Sugar." The show, however, is a touching family drama that also tries to keep itself lighthearted with its comedy, Kathryn Barger does a great job of toeing the drama-comedy line as the show's protagonist.

Who's behind it: The show's creator is Liz Tigelaar, whose credits include co-executive producing Apple TV+'s The Morning Show and the first couple seasons of ABC's Once Upon A Time.

When and where: All 7 episodes premiere Friday, April 7 on Hulu.

'Succession' [Season 4, final season]

Photo of a man lounging in a chair, speaking with a man who is standing.
Photo of Brian Cox and Matthew Macfadyen in HBO's 'Succession'
Airing on HBO and streaming on HBO Max
"It does kind of raise the stakes a little, and I have found that to be really interesting. I also wanna say that it is a very good season, I think, for Alan Ruck."

— Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter
"This show just rejects aspiration. It mocks, 'girl bosses' and executives who don progressive policies and suits."

— Danette Chavez, Primetimer

The basics: Media conglomerate Waystar Royco, headed by mogul Logan Roy, is close to being sold to a tech visionary in the show's fourth season, leaving his children on their toes as they all seek to take control over their family’s central form of power and relevance.

What it might remind you of: Last week I noted it's the perfect balance of what you want from a show about power and family dysfunction, relating it to Game of Thrones and Arrested Development. The first episode though gets into child-father dynamics that I think do bring more into mind Arrested Development Succession though taking a more serious approach with the Roy children and their power-hungry, hate-fueled father.

Who's behind it: The show's creator is Jesse Armstrong, whose other major television credit is co-creator of Peep Show, a long-running British sitcom that had similarly layered bits, although it's the mastering of episodic comedy is nothing like the 13-time Emmy award-winning dramedy.

When and where: Episode 1 of Season 4 is out now on HBO and HBO Max; the next episode releases on Sunday, April 2 at 9 a.m. PT.

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