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Three Shows to Look Out for and Catch Up On

By Joseph D'Andrea

With one of the very best shows to ever see airtime, “Better Call Saul,” coming to a close on August 15, it begs the question: what else on television deserves attention? Of course, if you haven’t seen the aforementioned “Breaking Bad” prequel, I would place that at the top of your watchlist. But in regards to current shows that have either begun recently or are closing in on a finale, here are three that are worth seeking out.

“The Rehearsal” Getting his start in Canadian television with his short-form skits as a news correspondent who would give not-so-informative reports, Nathan Fielder has continued to make viewers laugh and squirm at the awkward and comedic situations he creates. Over the course of roughly 15 years, Fielder’s dry humor became a comedic commodity for many, especially after his most mainstream success in the form of his Comedy Central show, “Nathan For You,” (2013-2017), which parodied reality TV shows centered around business advice. His new HBO production “The Rehearsal” hits similar notes as his previous show, dialing in on uncomfortable situations and the theme of loneliness, but it surprised fans by taking a deeper, and more philosophical look at the behavior of both others, and Fielder himself. Although “The Rehearsal” was presumed by some anticipating its premiere this past July to be a similarly hilarious display of the zany real-life people Nathan encountered in his other show, its high concept storyline—which centers around preparing real people for significant moments in their life through elaborate methods, hence the show’s title—has been met with praise by viewers and critics. With the short first season having concluded on August 19, a second season has already been renewed, and who knows what Fielder has in store next for viewers. Nevertheless, my main recommendation would be to seek out his past work, to get a taste of his style of comedy, and keep an eye out for what he has in the chamber. “The Rehearsal” is currently available to be streamed on HBO.

“What We Do in the Shadows” Based on the world and mockumentary style of the 2014 film of the same name, this show takes pride in being weird, and has stayed impressively consistent for its four seasons so far. Hinging its absurd humor on the film’s writer-director pair of Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement—who both executive produce the show—“What We Do in the Shadows” knows its strengths, and plays into its silly-sounding concept of what can be most simply described as being “‘The Office’ with vampires,” to the greatest extent. On top of its opportunistic pitch, the characters are brilliantly cast, with Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry and Natasia Demetriou portraying the three main vampires, Harvey Guillén as one of their bodyguards, and Mark Proksch as a different type of vampire—an “energy vampire” who gets his kick from drawing out boredom instead of blood. The actors bring so much to the already sharp and well-written back-and-forth, which makes the backdrop of the wild situations they’re put in even funnier. There is still unlimited creativity to be unleashed, even three and a half years in, and I have no doubt that it’ll continue to be just as enjoyable in the already-renewed upcoming seasons. The season finale of “What We Do in the Shadows” airs on Tuesday, September 6, at 10 pm on FX, and the show’s full run can be streamed on Hulu.

“Atlanta” Donald Glover’s dark comedy about rappers living in the show’s title city is one of the most unique pieces of television out there. Its first two seasons tread the line between being a mixture of drama with a comedic heart and witty one-liners, but lately it’s evolved into the most tonally bizarre show on television. It takes risks, showcasing surreal imagery on occasion, making you question how grounded the show really is, while weaving in subtle touches of comedy, and has once presented hard-hitting social commentary with a fairly-tale-like backdrop. However, this is not a complete surprise, with Glover saying in 2016: “I just always wanted to make ‘Twin Peaks’ with rappers.” To compare “Atlanta” to one of my favorite shows, “Twin Peaks”—a show which will confuse many viewers—in the way he did, Glover made me feel ready to commit myself to being an avid watcher ever since I first heard that quote. The show is heavy in its themes and metaphors, but never completely loses its special flair that allows it to still be thoroughly enjoyable. If you’re looking for a show that is up-front with its messages, but still produces several laugh-out-loud moments, tune in to “Atlanta.” The premiere of the final season of “Atlanta” airs on Tuesday, September 15, at 10 pm on FX, and its first three seasons are available on Hulu to be streamed.

In an age where there are a plethora of shows that are made with the intention to be binged by viewers, one should recognize that the ongoing golden age of television that we are in offers its fair share of captivating storylines and memorable characters, on a weekly basis, too. There’s plenty of television to be seen, so make sure not to miss these great shows.

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