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

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s brilliant Fleabag returns

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Photo: Steve Schofield (Amazon)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18. All times are Eastern. 


Top picks

Fleabag (Amazon, Friday, 3:01 a.m, complete second season): The first season of Fleabag, written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was a triumph, a riotously funny, sharp, and often heartrending series centered on a woman juggling grief, a wildly dysfunctional family, a failing business, and romantic and sexual misadventures with only one confidant: The person watching the series as it happens.

Here’s a miracle for you: The second season seems likely to be somehow, impossibly, even better than the first. Look for Danette Chavez’s recaps, appearing once daily—and if you somehow missed the first season, it’s a whopping six episodes, each under 30 minutes, so catching up won’t take long and we think it unlikely to be a choice you’ll regret.

Catch-22 (Hulu, Friday, 3:01 a.m., complete limited series): For something completely different, Hulu has the George Clooney-produced adaptation of Joseph Heller’s celebrated satirical World War II novel, a book that’s equal parts horrifying and breathlessly funny. Clooney also directed two episodes and plays a supporting role in the story of Yossarian Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), who just wants to fly enough missions to get home. Unfortunately, the obsessive Colonel Cathcart (Kyle Chanlder) keeps moving the goalposts on him. Look for Erik Adams’ season review soon.

Regular coverage

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Friday, 8 p.m.)
Saturday Night Live (NBC, Saturday, 11:29 p.m.): 44th-season finale

Wild card

Nailed It! (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): These are dark times, but you know what? We deserve happiness. We deserve light. We deserve cake, and cake-fails. In short, we deserve Nicole Byer and Nailed It!

See You Yesterday (Netflix, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): Our own Shannon Miller found much to admire in this piece of sci-fi from co-writer and director Stefon Bristol, praising its ability to find a “striking-yet-natural balance between genre concept and a harsh reality that is achingly familiar to the people who have to navigate it every day.”

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!