Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Maybe this week Perry Mason will give us the Rhys/Maslany face-off of our dreams

Matthew Rhys, Tatiana Maslany
Matthew Rhys, Tatiana Maslany
Photo: Merrick Morton/HBO

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, August 2. All times are Eastern.

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Top pick

Perry Mason (HBO, 9 p.m.): Perry Mason has taken a definite turn for the better in the past couple weeks, but we’re still left wanting two things. The first is a proper Tatiana Maslany/Matthew Rhys face-off. It’s not as if these two haven’t shared any screen time at all—a quick scene in the last episode was a highlight, despite its brevity—but if they don’t get to point their incredibly expressive faces at each other and clench their jaws and be amazing before the show’s first season ends, it’ll be one of TV’s greatest missed opportunities. This week, Perry and friends begin to zero in on the Radiant Assembly, which makes it at least somewhat likely that the private eye and Sister Alice (Maslany) will go toe-to-toe. So, that’s thing one we need. Thing two is a drink.

Well, at least that’s settled. Allison Shoemaker will recap, Sazerac at the ready.

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Regular coverage

The Alienist: Angel Of Darkness (TNT, 9 p.m., back-to-back episodes)
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix): binge coverage continues

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Wild cards

Taskmaster (The CW, 8 p.m., U.S. premiere): “I think, what it is, in one sentence: It’s allowing grownups to do the things they did when they were kids again. And luckily, those grown-ups are comedians, so it’ll be entertaining for the audience. I really do feel that. When they can make a mess, or tear down a wall, or throw an egg, it’s all those things that you don’t do when you’re a grown-up.” Read the rest of William Hughes’ interview with Taskmaster series creator Alex Horne before the hijinks begin.

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Can you binge it? The first six seasons are available in full and for free on the show’s YouTube channel.

Connected (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete first season): Science reporter Latif Nasser digs into some of the many ways in which seemingly disparate places, people, elements, and aspects of life are inextricably linked.

United Shades Of America (CNN, 10 p.m.) and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO, 11 p.m.): As always, worth your time.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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