Gorburger is a superfan of Earth and pop culture, but his bloodlust keeps getting in the way.
Gorburger is a superfan of Earth and pop culture, but his bloodlust keeps getting in his way.

Is it just me, or are puppets everywhere this spring? And they're not just on TV for kids, they're on adult TV, too. The nerve! From Avenue Q's inclusion in Big Little Lies to the creepy drag queen sidekicks on last week's RuPaul's Drag Race, puppets have invaded. While some of them are friendly and hang out with Julie Andrews, others trash talk Tegan and Sara and hurt Moby. Now, I'm drawn more to the puppets in the latter group (because I also trash talk Tegan and Sara), but parents will want to steer their kids towards the Julie Andrews fluff. Of course, I don't have kids, so I don't really know what is or isn't kid-appropriate. (I mean, the little girl in Big Little Lies would definitely enjoy some snide towards Tegan and Sara.) You probably don't know what's kid-appropriate either, because this is Seattle and it's too expensive to have kids. If anything, you share a greyhound with your significant other, or you co-parent a german shepherd with your ex. Regardless, the point remains: these new shows aren't made for kids. (Teens, binge away.)

(Comedy Central, stream on the Comedy Central App)

Only Gorburgers most special guests get eaten (and maybe spit back up).
Only Gorburger's most special guests get eaten.

T.J. Miller's pet project, The Gorburger Show, is having a good year. After existing on YouTube for two seasons as produced by Funny or Die, The Gorbuger Show made the leap to Comedy Central with its premiere, "Vape Is Life," last Sunday at midnight. And it's great. Surprisingly great. Like a more coherent, mainstream Eric Andre Show, but with an alien. Plus, the special guests are cool people like Reggie Watts who do cool collaborations with other cool people like Thundercat.


While the teaser for the show is violently bizarre, the premise is straightforward: An alien named Gorburger has come to Earth and fallen in love with pop culture. In his attempt to understand society, he murders the hosts of a Japanese talk show and takes over so he can get to know the celebrities of our time. He loves Earth. So much. He even loves vaping and made me kind of love it, too. What is this puppet doing to me!? (Also, in regards to puppetry, five people operate the massive Gorburger. It's impressive.)

I'm not being hyperbolic when I say The Gorburger Show is currently my favorite TV show. It's funny, bizarre, and clever (but still commercial). In its Comedy Central premiere, Gorburger starts off by defining Reggie Watts' comedic style as "disinformationist," meaning "it's a little bit of truth, a little bit of lies... mixed together." This framing is a good way to look at The Gorburger Show as a whole. It manages to be both a straightforward, formulaic talk show and also a violent puppet horror fest.

T.J. Miller (who's kinda pretentious in a bro-y-I-Love-Nietzsche-way) calls Gorburger a "truly apolitical" talk show because Gorburger is an alien and has no political affiliations. That's rad, I guess, but also a bunch of bullshit because the show frequently features bits like Henry Rollins describing the political consequences of Citizens United. Nevertheless, despite T.J. Miller's huffy, braggart persona, the show's a real gem.

(HBO, stream on HBO Go)

A crude Waiting for Godot with animals.
HBO's potty-mouthed animated Animals. are getting a visit from... RuPaul?

I'm trying to like Animals., the moody, existential HBO animated series from the Duplass brothers that focuses on the rightly overlooked rodents and pests of New York City. A lot of it is banal, but there are unique, strange moments of clarity that stand out, like this exchange in the season 2 premiere:

Two fleas stand on a monkey's ass.

Flea 1
: Damn, dude. Sometimes it’s all too much.

Flea 2
: What do you mean?

F1: I was just thinking like there’s this monkey and we’re in his asshole... does he even know we exist? Probably not, you know? But then, does God even know we exist? And if he did know we existed, why would he even care about us?

F2: I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe we’re free. Just passing through. A great pause in a cosmic dance. We’re between planes of existence, you know? We’re ephemeral.

F1: We are ephemeral. It’s like I’m only a small reflection of the world I construct.

F2: Yeah, exactly!

F1: I am big! I’m the second tallest flea on this monkey’s ass. That’s gotta stand for something, right? Yo! I’m ephemeral! I don’t give a shit!

And then the fleas make out.

In moments like this, the show's a crass, horny Waiting for Godot, but with animals. The rest of the show, however, is confusingly mundane, although I guess that's part of the show's humor. Another confusing element: the stars who appear on the show. THERE ARE SO MANY LEGIT GUEST STARS. I don't know who the Duplass brothers (and Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, the show's creators / main cast members) sucked up to, but they've tapped everyone from Usher to Molly Shannon to make an appearance.

Currently in the middle of its second season, Animals. is about to premiere its most anticipated episode. Breaking away from its animated format, the show will premiere one live-action episode starring... RuPaul (yeah, really) as Dr. Labcoat. It's unclear how it'll all go down, and very little has been leaked, but it'll certainly be something strange and a good reason to catch up on the show.


And then there's Mystery Science Theater 3000. The time has come nerds. Y'all crowdfunded it, and now it's here. Apparently, 10 seasons, 197 episodes, and a feature film wasn't enough to satiate you cult fans, so the 14-episode revival season hits Netflix THIS FRIDAY. (That's tomorrow.) You happy now? We'll have to wait and see.

The lo-fi, rough around the edges feel of the original show is expected to remain, although there will be TBD fancier elements. Basically, if you like mocking cheesy garbage with your friends (which you do because the internet exists and social media is just a cesspool of people mocking cheesy garbage with their friends), you'll like the midwestern stoner nerd fantasia that is MST3K.

Other Premieres & Releases This Week

- Chelsea (The second season of the Chelsea Handler-hosted series returns with a new format on Netflix, April 14)
- Doctor Who (The last season of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor premieres on BBC America, April 15)
- Guerrilla (Six-part limited series featuring Idris Elba and following the black activist movement during 1970s London on Showtime, April 16)
- The Leftovers (Critically acclaimed drama has its third and final season premiere on HBO, April 16)
- Veep (Sixth season premiere on HBO, April 16)
- Fargo (Third season of the acclaimed FX show premieres April 19, jumping to the year 2010 and centering on a sibling rivlary)