Paul McInnes: The first few episodes of season four of Rob Delaney and Sharon Hogan’s “Catastrophe” have just aired. It’s a brilliant comedy from the UK which captures the chaos and calamity of a couple with children living in London. Delaney plays American Rob and Hogan, Irish Sharon whose work life and sex life seem to be derailed by a series of catastrophes and misfortune. The writing is both acerbic and hilarious.
Stephan Jarvis: I’ve been binging on awfulness over the Christmas period courtesy of random episodes from Red Letter Media’s “Best of the Worst” series on YouTube. It’s been running for years, but if you’re not familiar with the setup it’s pretty simple: the team grab a few beers then watch and critique various schlock that has ended up on VHS over the years. Plenty of low grade, unintentionally hilarious movies (usually horror, action or sci-fi with titles such as Deadly Prey) get ripped into. Plus spin-off episodes featuring lots of weird, uncategorized crap. Entertainingly bad and addictive.
Caroline Perrine: The Way brothers approached their six-part series, “Wild Wild Country,” with such skill that a viewer could easily feel themself being seduced and betrayed multiple times in one episode — by opposing people. The intersecting interview and footage-style exposé of Rajneesh’s community (or cult, if you will) as it built its little world and leaked into the surrounding counties of Oregon is a beautiful and haunting testament to the power of charisma, the relativity of morals and subjectivity of reality as exhibited in a clash of cultures.
Hannah Tamaoki: “The Good Place” came out with its third season last year on Netflix and I was just as thrilled to start binge watching again, fully expecting to becoming sleep deprived. The story starts off with the protagonist, Eleanor Shellshop, sent to the afterlife, called the Good Place, by Michael, who created this world for those who were morally “good” during their mortal life. Eleanor tries to hide the fact that she was mistakenly sent to the Good Place after she becomes aware that she doesn’t belong there, her actions on Earth having been the exact opposite of virtuous. To improve her malevolently-inclined behavior, she seeks help from a former professor of moral philosophy, Chidi Anagonye, in an effort to prevent being sent to the Bad Place. The ending of its first season had a huge twist and waiting for the next season was mentally exhausting. “The Good Place” is a fantasy-comedy and a light-hearted series, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself captivated.