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

Not many things are better than this season of Better Things

Sydney Shiotani, Pamela Adlon
Sydney Shiotani, Pamela Adlon
Photo: Suzanne Tenner (FX)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, May 16. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Better Things (FX, 10 p.m., third season finale): In its third season, Pamela Adlon’s terrific series has somehow gotten even better. Here’s our own Danette Chavez on last week’s episode:

We’ve now reached the penultimate episode of Better Things season three, so there’s no better time to step back and look at the bigger picture, and just how skillfully Pamela Adlon has put it together. It’s a mosaic made up of distinct pieces that, even more so than in previous seasons, took some time to reveal just how well they fit together. Better Things has always been more episodic than serialized, but in season three, Adlon weds those two styles more seamlessly than ever before. Every installment works on its own, from “Nesting” to “Toilet,” and each new episode helps me understand the previous one better. Even when the themes being haunted and of letting go—both in the sense of detaching yourself from toxic people and cutting loose—weren’t always readily transparent (see again “Toilet”), a week’s worth of hindsight helped nudge those pieces into place.

This piece of the mosaic will be finished tonight. We wouldn’t miss it, and neither should you.

Regular coverage

The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access, 3:01 a.m.)
DuckTales (Disney, 3 p.m.)
iZombie (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, 9:30 p.m.)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1, 9 p.m.)

Wild card

Superstore (NBC, 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., fourth season finale): Speaking of finales we wouldn’t miss, this unassuming, smart NBC gem ends its fourth season tonight with back-to-back episodes, the second of which will see Amy and Jonah on opposing sides of a big issue while the dreaded corporate office shoves its well-manicured hands into our favorite branch of Cloud 9. And hey, the always-entertaining (if recently somewhat uneven) The Good Fight (CBS All Access, 3:01 a.m.) concludes its season, too.


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!