Melissa McCarthy has been a Hollywood queen ever since Sookie St. James cried over strawberry shortcake on Gilmore Girls. But the past few weeks, McCarthy has been the darling of TV, especially TV you can stream. As the internet keeps reminding us, McCarthy's been killing it with her guest spots on Saturday Night Live, and she'll be hosting the show in mid-May. She's also been touring around talk shows, most notably as a guest on the anticipated season two premiere of Chelsea. McCarthy's even producing and acting in a series about her loser friends trying to get her attention because she's such a star (Nobodies). Really, IDK if anyone is currently more deserving of the title "Stream Queen" than Miss Sean Spicey. So, fellow bingers, shut yourself in this week and have a McCarthy Marathon. A McCarthyathon?
If you've been watching TV (or, like me, have a
loud, probably tipsy mother female relative with a penchant for potty-mouthed comediennes), you know about Chelsea Handler. She's peddled books, comedy specials, and her popular talk show Chelsea Lately ran for eight seasons on E! Entertainment. In her current life (I reckon she's on at least her sixth with the way she parties), Handler has a lucrative, special relationship with Netflix, where she recently created the excellent documentary series Chelsea Does and the semi-excellent, definitely controversial talk show, Chelsea. The latter returned for a second season last Friday, April 14th, with a new, revitalized format and the cast of Nobodies (see below) as guests. And... it's good! Or, at least, it's better than it used to be.
The first season of Chelsea was a curious experiment for streaming services. Netflix, riding high on its empire of award-winning scripted series, decided to venture into the world of talk shows. But could a regular, almost nightly talk show work on a streaming service? And if it did, what would that mean? Would something like Netflix News be next?
Well, we didn't get to figure that out because the first season of Chelsea didn't pan out as expected. Netflix found viewers binged the show and usually quit after streaming three or so episodes. So, for season two, the show's been reinvigorated. This time around, it's once a week on Fridays, an hour, and includes more field pieces and dinner parties. Basically, Chelsea is taking the best parts from Chelsea Does, which is a solid choice. Keep an eye on this one, because if it manages to do well, expect other streaming services to jump on board with similar programming.
(TV Land, streaming on tvland.com)
I think Hollywood's obsession with stand-up comedians has reached its apex, and Nobodies is its self-referential pyramidion. (A pyramidion is the top pointy part of a pyramid, and a pyramid is a useful symbol for Hollywood cuz of power structures and also, like, the Illuminati.) Nobodies is a comedy show about unpopular comedians who still hang out with popular comedians and they all talk about comedy shows. I mean, it rarely gets more comedy nerdy than this.
The basic plot is that three downtrodden comedians (Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, and Rachel Ramras, as themselves) are trying to get Melissa McCarthy to star in their movie. The show is built for comedian buffs (it has enough guest appearances from comedy stars to fill a fleet of Starline tour buses), but watching Melissa McCarthy treat her IRL friends like a bunch of nobodies will entertain even the average viewer. Plus, TV Land has already renewed the show for a second season (because what else are they doing?), so there'll be more of the show if you love it.
(NBC, streaming on nbc.com & Hulu)
The 42nd season of Saturday Night Live has been its best season in 24 years, according to laymen and Madeline Borge. Mostly because, well, the show's had plenty of material, from the improbable rise of President Burnt Orange Baby Hands to Putin's secret piss tapes. But while critics hash out if SNL is better suited for political discourse or surrealism, Kate McKinnon, Alec Baldwin, and (obvi) Melissa McCarthy have been serving career-defining impressions.
If you've been all uppity and ignoring SNL, here are my top three political favorites from this season:
(Jan. 21, 2017)
(Oct. 8, 2016)
(Feb. 4, 2017)
Truly, the best moment of SNL this season was McCarthy's debut of her Sean Spicey impression. Her performances have birthed many GIFs and ticked off
the leader of the free world (oh wait, that would be Angela Merkel) Burnt Orange Baby Hands. (Burnt orange, by the way, is the color elderly caucasian people turn when they visit southern Florida and forget to pack sunscreen.)
Spicer apparently sleeps during McCarthy's performances, which he wouldn't if he lived on the West Coast, because SNL just made a HISTORIC TIME CHANGE. For the first time in the history of the show, SNL has started airing live for all American viewers, as opposed to being recorded for Mountain and Pacific time zones. Of course, for those of us who watch everything online (oh hay, fellow stream queens), this time change is about as exciting as the new hosts of The Great British Bake-off.
SNL is on a break until May 6, which gives you time to catch up if you've been slacking. At the very least, spend a lunch break reviewing McCarthy's Spicey impressions (#McCarthyathon), because she's hosting the show on May 13.
- Bill Nye Saves the World (The science guy is back and on Netflix on Fri, April 21 with a new show that combines panel discussions and investigative science.)
- Silicon Valley (The fourth season of the popular HBO comedy series about a group of techie friends/entrepreneurs premieres Sun, April 23.)
- Genius (Nat Geo’s first scripted series focuses on one of history’s “great minds” each season. First season is Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein and premieres Tue, April 25.)
- Great News (Tina Fey and Robert Carlock premiere a new comedy with a similar premise to 30 Rock on NBC Tue, April 25.)
- The Handmaid’s Tale (10-episode Hulu original series based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name and starring Elisabeth Moss. Premieres Wed, April 26.)