Hello, friends. This recommendation list is a day late - forgive me. Work this week was bananas. I didn't even realize I had forgotten to publish this week's round up until I was making my breakfast this morning.
We're in the fun part of the annual TV schedule where the trashiest shows return for the summer. I am here for it. Here's a quick reminder of a few things coming up:
- Wednesday, May 19 - Several Bravo shows returned this month and next up is the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Kyle Richards' sister, Kathy Hilton, joins this season and I can't wait to see their dynamic. We'll also witness the downfall of Erika Jayne.
- Wednesday, May 26 - The Bold Type comes back to Freeform (formerly ABC Family). It's about three best friends who work at a magazine, based on Cosmopolitan. It's smart, funny and socially conscious.
- Monday, June 7 - The Bachelorette returns to ABC with Katie Thurston as the woman seeking love. Chris Harrison is out as the host, replaced by franchise alums Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams.
- Friday, June 18 - Have you watched the Spanish high school drama Elite on Netflix? It's like Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars, set in Spain. Season four is coming in mid-June, so catch up now ahead of the premiere.
I have two new suggestions for you this week. Let's chat about 'em!
1. Shrill (Hulu) - Last week, Shrill returned for its third season on Hulu. Aidy Bryant stars as Annie, a plus-size woman navigating work, friendship and love, all while striving for body acceptance.
I have to admit, when I watched the first season of this show, I wasn't hooked. I thought I'd love it instantly based on reviews from friends, but I found it slow and uninspiring. However, this season it felt like the show came into its own, had a clear, bold voice and portrayed relationships of all types with honesty and emotional depth.
I related to Annie's "Will we? Won't we?" dynamic wth her love interest, Nick. It's painful when one person interprets every interaction as flirtatious, while the other person is blissfully unaware. That was . . . hard to watch.
I loved Fran's story line (Annie's roommate and best friend from college). She's in a relationship that's getting more serious and realizing she has some things to work through before she can really let someone in. E.R. Fightmaster plays Fran's girlfriend, Em, and is a welcomed addition to the cast.
In the final episode, both Annie and Fran are stumbling through tough moments in their romantic relationships, bringing them back together to give each other a shoulder to lean on. The finale leaves the door open for a season four and I really hope there is one! I went from being lukewarm on this show to wishing for more episodes.
Also, whoever selects the music for Shrill deserves an award. It always strikes exactly the right tone and I was even introduced to a few new songs I wanted to download immediately.
2. The Serpent (Netflix) - My dad was visiting last week and let's just say he isn't into my usual TV and movie genres. I had been saving The Serpent, knowing he'd only tolerate something in in the mystery / thriller category.
The show is based on real-life events, inspired by the story of thief, murderer and master of disguise, Charles Sobhraj. Set in Bangkok, Thailand, he lures rich travelers to his hotel, drugs them and steals their money (and usually their identities too).
Things get interesting when Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg begins a search for two missing backpackers, leading him to Sobhraj and uncovering many more disappearances and deaths along the way.
The first few episodes of the show are slow and they flash back and forth in time in a way that's confusing and hard to follow. But, by episode four, Knippenberg's investigation heats up and you find yourself on the edge of your seat wondering if he'll have enough evidence to make an arrest.
There are eight episodes, each an hour long. For me, this was way too scary to watch alone, especially at night. Keep that in mind!
If you're curious how much of the story is true, this LA Times piece does a great job breaking it down.
There you have it. This week's picks! Happy weekend, everyone.