Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A Who finale, a truly inspirational president, and what to stream on the 4th of July

Peter Capaldi (Photo: Simon Ridgway), Bill Pullman (Screenshot: Independence Day), Alison Brie (Photo: Erica Parise/Netflix)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 4. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Doctor Who (BBC America, Saturday, 8:30 p.m.): Spend part of your holiday weekend precisely as the founders intended: By watching a Scot battle bric-a-brac-covered robots. In Peter Capaldi’s last stand as The Doctor (until this year’s Christmas special), the time lord faces off against some of his most formidable foes, as multiple incarnations of The Master and an early generation of Cybermen get tangled up in a suitably epic season finale. It’s also a bit of a finale for our own Alasdair Wilkins, who’s regenerating into a new role as innovation editor at Inverse. Join Alasdair for one final trip in the TARDIS, and then return to your regularly scheduled Independence Day festivities.


Regular coverage

Orphan Black (BBC America, Saturday, 10 p.m.)
Fear The Walking Dead (AMC, Sunday, 9 p.m.)
Preacher (AMC, Monday, 9 p.m.)
WWE Monday Night Raw (USA, Monday, 8 p.m.)
WWE SmackDown! (USA, Tuesday, 8 p.m.)


Patriotic pick

Independence Day (E!, all day Tuesday): So, conditions in the real world have left you feeling, let’s say, less than proud to be an American. Millions are on the verge of losing their healthcare. Public infrastructure is failing at an alarming rate, just as private enterprise is ready to swoop in and take its place with ride-sharing offerings that amount to “the bus, but only if you can afford a smartphone.” The president of the United States is taking time out of his busy schedule of governance-by-spite in order to brag about turning a woman away from his private club because she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” It’s at low points like these that we give thanks for what remaining freedoms we have, freedoms of expression that allow us to respond to a leader in his native, vulgar tongue (Hey, President Trump: Fuck you and the chubby little wrist that’s testing the tensile strength of your shitty watch) and give us examples of our better nature to which we can aspire. It’s at low points like these that stirring words come to mind: “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive.” This weekend, we celebrate Independence Day and the inalienable human right to watch Independence Day eight times in a 24-hour period and dream about a reality in which the entire world unites to defeat a common enemy that seeks to (among other malicious aims) blow up the White House and everything it stands for.


Streaming picks

GLOW (Netflix): What is it about GLOW that makes it so immediately addictive? Those Day-Glo credits? The fantastic synth-fueled soundtrack? The ’80s time travel to the era of leg warmers, gigantic frizzy hair, and ugly cars? Seeing Trudy Campbell hook up with Harry Crane? Honestly, any one of those factors could sell us, but the combo makes GLOW an unbeatable force in the ring, ready for any number of hair-pulls and flying kicks. LaToya Ferguson’s coverage of the first season runs through July 2.


Gypsy (Netflix): This psychological thriller is new this weekend, and its presence here is for informational purposes only, because, oof, that premiere episode. Naomi Watts: Call for help.

Harlots (Hulu): No one needs reminding or incentive to watch Hulu’s other prestige drama about women’s bodily autonomy, so let us bend your ear about Harlots one more time. This Georgian-era drama’s deceptively lush exterior—powdered faces and candy-colored hoop skirts—belies its nuanced discussions of sex and power. And in Samantha Morton’s performance, you’ll find your next antihero. Finally, with just eight hour-long episodes, Harlots makes for the perfect romp on this long weekend.


Oh, Hello On Broadway (Netflix): It’s awesome that Nick Kroll and John Mulaney got to do 138 shows on The Great White Way as The Awful White Geezers Gil “Charmed, I’m Sure” Faizon and George “Person Of Interest In The Disappearance Of Donna Stern” St. Geegland. It’s a miracle that they then got to tape a performance of Oh, Hello’s Broadway run, which was purchased and distributed by a major streaming service. There’s not a whole lot to be grateful for in 2017, but being able to watch Gil and George scream their increasingly ludicrous demands to an unseen tech intern (“Will you go to a bodega and get me a box of Kashi Good Friends cereal? The highest, dustiest box you can find.” “Will you go to every pizza place in New York and bring me the most sun-faded headshot of Danny Aiello?”) on demand is one of them.

The Keepers (Netflix): It hasn’t consumed the cultural conversation like Making A Murderer did, but this Netflix documentary series does shed new light on the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, for whom former students seek justice, and asks why cases like Sister Cathy’s aren’t more vigorously investigated.


Orange Is The New Black (Netflix): The ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary recently returned for their fifth season, which takes place over the course of three days following the revolt that occurred in the wake of the tragic death of Poussey. While our own Danette Chavez has some reservations about the season, saying that the show kind of got lost in its own uprising, we like hanging out with Taystee, Gloria, Red, and Nicky so much that we’re willing to give it a go (Piper, not so much. Nobody likes Piper, except for maybe Alex). Even Danette admits: “Despite the chaotic start, the new season mostly upholds the series’ honest, humorous look at the prison populace.” That’s good enough for us, as the enclosed setting of OITNB somehow makes it perfect for a long weekend of binge-watching.

The Path (Hulu): Sometimes we feel like we’re the only ones watching The Path, or maybe that’s just because we have fallen into the trappings of the hypnotic Meyerist movement? Easy to see how that could happen, with the cast being led by Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan, and Hugh Dancy, each one more charismatic than the next, as they vie for control of the family movement that’s totally not a cult. While you explore your meditation options during this nice long weekend, curl up with two seasons of the suspicious modern-day hippies on the Path commune, which is not even the only Hulu show to reference “The Eye” in a somewhat menacing manner.


Red Oaks (Amazon): In its first season, this streaming dramedy followed a ritzy country club staff over the course of a summer, riffing on and saluting snobs-versus-slobs classics like Caddyshack and One Crazy Summer along the way. But in its second season, it became something altogether different, a depiction of romances and aspirations that, like the months between May and September, never pan out the way you want them to.

Sense8 (Netflix): The Wachowskis’ sci-fi drama had just hit its stride in season two when it was sadly cut by Netflix. But the second batch of episodes took the show from occasionally corny to uplifting, taming the more chaotic parts of the interweaving storylines to give us a much clearer picture of the sensates’ world. Sense8’s overtly progressive politics and earnestness might not be for everyone, but the excellent acting and action sequences almost certainly are. And now’s the perfect time to catch up, because Netflix has just green-lit a proper two-hour goodbye for the series.


Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp (Netflix): Summer is finally here, and our all-time favorite campers are returning next month in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, the trailer for which we might have already seen a dozen times. To get through that interminable wait time, why not visit (or revisit) last summer’s Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp on Netflix? All of our favorites are back: We get to see the romance of Andy and Katy blossom; there’s a camp musical, a conspiracy plot, Jon Hamm as an assassin, and an Outsiders-style rumble with the Socs across the lake led by Josh Charles, and so, so much more. You’ll practically be able to smell the Deep Woods Off and the Coppertone, so shotgun a PBR and settle down with the Camp Firewood crew.

Wild cards

The A.V. Club’s Best TV Of 2017 So Far: It’s a long holiday weekend, and we don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there has been a hella ton of good television in the first half of 2017. Lucky for you, we’ve listed 26 TV series for you to binge right now so you can catch up with all the series everyone else is talking about.


Share This Story