This weekend, I have… a few hours, and I love to scream.
When to watch: Now on Hulu.
Easily among TV’s most cacophonous shows, FX’s “The Bear” is a textured and tender story of passion, conflict and determination. Jeremy Allen White stars as Carmy, a needy, fat celebrity chef who takes over his family’s Italian beef sandwich shop in Chicago after his brother’s death. Everything is a mess: the kitchen is filthy, debts are piling up, and the staff’s default mode of communication is screams of rage.
But that just means there’s room to grow. Ayo Edebiri gives one of the best performances of the year, as a green but brilliant young conductor, and even when the show hits traditional beats, it’s never quite what one might expect. The musical supervision is suffocating and literal, and some of the accents work poorly, but I devoured all eight episodes in one sitting.
…four hours, and I want something fancy.
When to watch: Now on Netflix.
This four-part Polish series (in Polish and French, with subtitles or dubbed) would be worth watching for the costuming and production design alone, but luckily it’s also a great story, simple yet polished. , like the luscious wrapping paper of a luxury boutique. Andrzej Seweryn stars as Sylwester, a Parisian tailor by day and a drag queen by night. When he receives a letter from the granddaughter he didn’t know he had about the sick daughter he abandoned, he returns to Poland to make things right.
“Queen” has a vibrant visual style, with lush costumes and bright primary colors, but it still feels real life, as if the cobalt blue bathroom was a choice the characters would actually make. If you want something poignant but joyful, watch this.
…six hours, and breaking up is hard to do.
When to watch: Now on Sundance Now.
The third and final season of “The Split” picks up several months after the end of season 2; Hannah and Nathan (Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan) prepare to sign divorce papers, but given that they and most of the show’s characters are divorce lawyers, crossing the Ts isn’t a small business. Many dramas, especially British ones, find their friction in the characters’ inability to say what they want. This season of “The Split” is much more about indecision than inarticulation – characters often relish the opportunity to air hard truths, if only they knew what they were.
If you miss “The Good Wife,” or want rich drama that leans soapy but still has emotional integrity, watch this.