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

Queer Eye, Shrill, Catastrophe, and Arrested Development are the four horsemen of the second Streamapocalypse

Image for article titled Queer Eye, Shrill, Catastrophe, and Arrested Development are the four horsemen of the second Streamapocalypse
Photo: Christopher Smith/Netflix

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Queer Eye (Netflix, Friday): French-tuck in your shirts and grab a box of tissues: The Fab 5 are kicking off the return of Streamapocalpyse, gracing our screens to teach us all—yet again—how to cut avocados and to feel a little bit better about the human race in the process. This season, they’ve left their home base of Atalanta and turned their attention to Kansas City, as well as to a more diverse cast of “heroes.” Interior designer Bobby Berk hinted that unlike in the revival’s previous two seasons, this one will feature an even balance of men and women, joking in an interview with Variety,No offense to men, but we have so much more fun with women.”

We see no sign of favoritism in the heartwarming trailer below, which demonstrates the tone of indiscriminate love and acceptance that made us fall in love with the revival last year.

Also, JVN reads to a bunch of lil’ campers, and it is very cute.

Shrill (Hulu, Friday): Based on Lindy West’s memoir of the same name, Shrill stars SNL’s Aidy Bryant as Annie, “a fat young woman who wants to change her life—but not her body.” Instead, a press release promises that the series will show Annie “trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss” (Hedwig And The Angry Inch’s John Cameron Mitchell). Also starring Lolly Adefope, Julia Sweeney, and Luka Jones, the series amalgamates the experiences of its all-female writing team (Bryant, West, and Ali Rushfield), demonstrating how they’re frequently perceived and treated differently because of their weight, and gives Annie a complex narrative and sense dignity that women who look like her historically haven’t been granted onscreen (if they’re given a place there at all). And with a creative team that includes the likes of Obvious Child director Gillian Robespierre, Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein, and executive producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks, Shrill looks pretty damn promising. In her pre-air review, Danette Chavez calls it “short, sweet, and full of potential,” noting that “Bryant and Shrill push beyond a slice-of-life comedy to set Annie on a compelling and hilarious journey.”

Catastrophe (Prime Video, Friday): Sharon and Rob didn’t exactly choose this life. They definitely weren’t prepared for it, and they probably aren’t suited for it. But over the course of three seasons, they’ve tried to make it work, and this fourth and final season of BAFTA-winning, Peabody and Emmy-nominated comedy series marks the end of their story. While Sharon (Sharon Horgan) reckons with not being quite as healthy as she imagined she was, Rob (Rob Delaney) pays for his accident by attending AA meetings, doing community service, and applying himself to his career—things made all the more difficult by his persistent self-loathing, alcoholism, and dissatisfaction with life.

Notably, this season will also address Carrie Fischer’s death through that of her character Mia. While the series dedicated last season’s finale to Fischer, who acted on the show throughout seasons one through tree, we can likely expect more of a tribute to the iconic actress at Mia’s funeral. Erik Adams will be on hand to offer some losing thoughts.

Arrested Development (Netflix, Friday): We may not all have been happy to see the show return, but per our review, the revival finally (mostly) found its rhythm in the first part of its 5th season. The second half returns today with updates on the “smart” border wall development, a murder trail for Buster, run-ins with the gay mafia, and, apparently, Tobias becoming a “Golden Girl.”


According to David Cross, this will likely be the last we see of the Bluth family... although, after that mess of a New York Times interview, maybe that’s really for the best.

Regular coverage

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW, Friday, 9 p.m.)
Saturday Night Live (NBC, Saturday, 11:30 p.m.)


Wild cards

Love, Death & Robots (Netflix, Friday): This anthology of animated shorts might, at first glance, seem a strange project for David Fincher and Deadpool director Tim Miller to have taken on, and it’s one that, in all of its marvelous, frenetic, visceral weirdness, certainly grabs our attention. The episodes will be animated by a series of different artists and span several genres, only connected, apparently, by common themes of love, death, and robots. It looks, in a word, wild, each short sounding even stranger than the last. To give you a sense of what we’re looking at, here are a few episode descriptions listed in the press release:

  • “Want to see Hitler die in a variety of comically fantastic ways? Now you can. Welcome to Multiversity!”
  • “A young couple moves into an apartment and finds a lost civilization inside their antique freezer.”
  • ”Unleashed by an archaeological dig, a bloodthirsty demon battles a team of mercenaries armed with... cats?”
  • “After scientists accidentally breed super-intelligent yogurt, it soon hungers for world domination.”

You can sample these oddities, and others, in the thrillingly chaotic trailer below.

Turn Up Charlie (Netflix, Friday): We can’t guarantee that this comedy starring real-life DJ Idris Elba will be good (TV editor Erik Adams said after watching a few screeners that it is, in fact, very bad). But the very suggestion of People’s Sexiest Man Alive playing a struggling DJ-turned-manny does, at the very least, pique our interest.