What to watch this week


Peter Serafinowicz is The Tick

There may be a future version of this column that covers streaming content, and only streaming content, because that’s where we’re headed. (Some of you are already there; the Cord-Cutter Cabal constantly tells me, “But I don’t have regular TV anymore! What about me?”) In this foreseeable future, there will be no networks, only on-demand platforms where everyone watches whatever at their own pace—could be an HBO series from three years ago, could be last week’s Bachelor in Paradise, could be the latest TMZ report on Bachelor in Paradise STI stats, who knows?

Anyway… Party Boat (movie premiere Thursday, Aug. 24, Crackle) is an ‘80s-riffic movie about a party boat. You’ll probably check it out in 2021.

A Netflix comedy starring Kathy Bates as a marijuana shop proprietor? How could this possibly


Patrick Wymore/Netflix

Kathy Bates in Disjointed

suck? Possibly because it’s created and produced by the king daddy laugh-track hack himself, Chuck Lorre. Disjointed (series debut Friday, Aug. 25, Netflix) stars Bates as a Los Angeles “weed legend” who opens her cannabis dispensary with her recently-graduated son and a sundry of “budtenders.” Lazy, outdated hippie yuks and mellow-harshing canned laughter ensue. Disjointed is no Weeds or High Maintenance—hell, it’s not even The Big Bang Theory, Lorre’s pinnacle achievement in co-opting a richly eccentric niche of society and dumbing it down for ‘Merica. Bates bailed on American Horror Story for this?

I reviewed the first live-action take on cartoon hero The Tick back in 2001. That initial Fox failure is now a beloved cult item for legions of fans. For a new version of The Tick (series debut Friday, Aug. 25, Amazon Prime), creator Ben Edlund is back onboard and determined to make it stick this time, delivering a darker and slightly more serious tone—more Christopher Nolan Batman, less Adam West Batman. The shift showed in the 2016 Amazon pilot, and carries through the new series. Peter Serafinowicz is no Patrick Warburton, but this isn’t the same Tick. We’ll get over the absence of Bat Manuel.


Game of Thrones

Right about now is when the Thronies start losing it—and not just because last week’s episode

ended with the White Walkers acquiring their own weapon of mass destruction. This week, Game of Thrones (Season 7 finale 8 pm Sunday, Aug. 26, HBO) closes its penultimate chapter. Cue the handwringing:

“Why is this season only seven episodes long?” Because that’s how many they made.

“Why do we have to wait a whole year for the final season?” Because that’s how long it’ll take to produce it.

“But why does Game of Thrones have to end?” Because the show runners have to get working on their brilliant, already-so-well-received idea for a series about a Confederate United States.

“But what will I watch now? There’s literally nothing else on!” If only there were a guide, perhaps in weekly written form, recommending TV shows. If only.

Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, and tweets at @Bill_Frost.