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

It’s Dowd-y Time on an Aunt Lydia-centric The Handmaid’s Tale

Ann Dowd
Ann Dowd
Photo: Sophie Giraud (Hulu)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, July 10. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu, 3:01 a.m.): This season of The Handmaid’s Tale has had its stumbles—it’s The Handmaid’s Tale’s way, if it didn’t stumble it would just be some handmaid’s tale, not The handmaid’s tale—but none of those stumbles have involved Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). Other than those she’s taken herself, that is. After being stabbed and shoved down a flight of stairs by Emily (Alexis Bledel) at the end of season two, she somehow managed to survive, first hustling around the handmaids on a little scooter like a murderous, self-deluded circus clown on the go, then navigating the world with a dangerous-looking cane. But whatever her mode of transportation, she remains one of the show’s most reliably menacing, yet consistently surprising characters—and given that she’s played by Dowd, that’s no surprise.

It’s the Dowd show this week, and we’ve got our tickets—and Allison Shoemaker’s recap—ready.

Regular coverage

Jane The Virgin (The CW, 9 p.m.)
Archer (FXX, 10 p.m.)
Snowfall (FX, 10 p.m.): third-season premiere, drop-in

Wild card

Harlots (Hulu, 3:01 a.m., third-season premiere): Hear ye, hear ye! Harlots is back! Harlots is back! It’s apparently “great actresses of the 20th-and-21st century” day here on What’s On Tonight, because the return of Hulu’s terrific period drama means that both Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville are back as well, though Margaret (Morton) was transported to America in chains and Lydia (Manville) is still cooling her heels in Bedlam. That makes room for the younger generation to snag some power, and this season, Alfie “Theon ‘Reek’ Greyjoy” Allen is joining the fray.

Should that trailer and the above text not make it clear enough, let us make it plain: we are most enthusiastic about good old Harlots coming back.


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!