Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, our TV critic Margaret Lyons offers hyper-specific viewing recommendations in our Watching newsletter. Read her latest picks below, and sign up for the Watching newsletter here.
This weekend I have … 15 minutes, and variety is the spice of life
One of my favorite annual outings in the Before Times was going to see all the Oscar-nominated short films, one of so many simple pleasures that won’t be simple again any time soon. In the meantime, this collection of 25 shorts scratches a similar itch with quirky fiction, potent autobiography and compelling snapshots of interesting people doing interesting work. The films cover a lot of different ground, some more successfully than others, but the overall package illuminates the human condition with a tender reverence.
… a half-hour, and I like when unqualified white men sail to success
When to watch: Starting Friday, on Apple TV+.
Jason Sudeikis stars as Ted Lasso, a guileless American football coach enlisted to coach a British soccer team, something he’s never done and knows nothing about. The show hits every “Mighty Ducks” or “Major League” kind of beat — are you telling me his unconventional methods are working?! — but it does so in such a sunny, earnest way that it totally won me over. If you wish “Notting Hill” had an extended universe, or if you wish “Brockmire” were more PG, or if cynicism is turning the insides of your bones into sand and you just, like, need a break, watch this. The first three episodes arrive on Apple TV+ Friday, and the subsequent seven will be released weekly; it’s definitely too many episodes, and they would all benefit from being shorter, but again: Sometimes it’s nice to be nice.
… many, many hours, and I’m feeling so cooped up
When to watch: Now, on Netflix.
If the last several months have made you into a withered miniature of yourself, watch “Grey’s Anatomy” and embrace an opportunity for abundance. The show, still starring Ellen Pompeo, is scheduled to start its 17th season this fall, which means there are hundreds of episodes and thousands of characters — more romance and more heartache than a dozen other shows combined, enough for it to be your favorite show and your least favorite show at different points. It is a comprehensive, interactive encyclopedia of all human emotion.