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Recommended Viewing for the Holiday Weekend and the Endless Pandemic Times

It’s time for a few words about entertainment, which we need more desperately than ever. Since the holiday will keep us indoors, here are some of the best shows my wife, Suzi, and I have watched in the last few weeks and months.

  1. Ramy: It’s unbeatable. The only disappointment is that we have only two seasons. This Hulu dramedy is funny and profound, with a little touch of genius. Hiam Abbass, who plays Marcia Roy (wife of Brian Cox’s patriarch, Logan) on Succession, steals the show as Ramy’s mom in two heartbreaking episodes. And Laith Nakli, as the obnoxious but vulnerable Uncle Naseem, is a revelation.
  2. The Good Fight: This brilliant CBS All Access spinoff of the long-running The Good Wife opens its latest season with Hillary Clinton in the White House; in this parallel universe, she’s trumped Trump in the 2016 election. It’s a what-if episode that takes us to unexpected places. At least none of them involve Jared Kushner.
  3. Never Have I Ever: Mindy Kaling’s high-school sitcom is a light, intelligent, comedic diversion from life’s unending anxiety. It follows three girls traversing the ups and downs of teenage existence and features the TV synch of the year, Cannons’ “Fire For You,” which highlights star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s first kiss.



  4. Chance: If you’ve been waiting for House’s Hugh Laurie to have his next great role, wait no longer. He plays a neuropsychotherapist in this San Francisco-set Hulu thriller, which boasts a mesmerizing performance by Ethan Suplee as Chance’s helpmeet, known only as D, and a noirish turn by Gretchen Mol. Dense, tense perfection.
  5. Sex Education: Another rollicking high-school comedy, this raunchy and hilarious British winner—featuring some of the small screen’s most endearing young performers—probes the sexual odyssey of youth in ways both ridiculous and deeply humane. Ncuti Gatwa, who at times suggests a young Billy Porter, steals the show; Gillian Anderson, a million miles from the X Files, has a blast as the boundary-violating sex-therapist mother of the show’s perpetually mortified protagonist.
  6. Hollywood: For Ryan Murphy fans, of which I am one, this entertaining fantasy set in the movie studios of postwar Hollywood opens slowly and builds up a serious head of steam, leading to a Quentin Tarantino-esque bit of wish fulfillment. Compassionate, idealistic and sexually polymorphous, it’s a wild smoothie of styles and influences. The cast and milieu are perfect for movie fans.



  7. Perry Mason: We’re only two episodes in, but HBO’s origin story of the ace TV barrister, set in 1931 L.A., has already got its hooks in deep. Its world is strongly reminiscent of Chinatown: dark, mysterious, sexy and bold. The superlative cast includes The AmericansMatthew Rhys, John Lithgow, Stephen Root, Lili Taylor and Orphan Black’s protean award magnet, Tatiana Maslany. Waiting a week to watch each new episode is torture; I want to binge the whole show now.
  8. The King of Staten Island: Judd Apatow’s character study of a fireman’s son (Pete Davidson) and his family and friends in the worst of all boroughs is a bit too long, but it’s an interesting, engaging tale with a stellar cast that includes Marisa Tomei. Days later, I find it has stuck with me.
  9. I Know This Much Is True: Mark Ruffalo fans will be riveted by this difficult but absorbing HBO series, in which the actor plays both brothers in a family tragedy. The performances by Ruffalo and standout Juliette Lewis are worth your time. And even though it’s on HBO, it has concluded its single-season run—so a binge watch is possible.
  10. Upload: My latest binge, on Amazon Prime, is a unique and often hilarious new spin on the afterlife: as a digital resort, where our hero—whose consciousness has been “uploaded” to the cloud for eternity—meets and falls in life with his customer-service rep from the physical world. It’s hard to explain, but totally fun.
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TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor Swift Taylor Swift Taylor Swift. Taylor. Swift.
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It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
MARY TRUMP
Family is everything.
BILLIE EILISH RETURNS
Unleash the giant spider!
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