Television is your friend. Don't ignore your friend! Find some quiet time this week, open a nice bottle of wine, and spend part of your day catching up with your friend, watching some of the best television shows and movies on streaming and live TV. If you're into horror, both The Walking Dead and American Horror Story return, on Sunday and Wednesday, respectively. If you're into having a laugh, two of my favorite comedies -- Work in Progress and The Other Two -- are back after long layoffs for their all-important second seasons. And if you'd like to get the family together, you have to watch the inspiring documentary Lily Topples the World.
Our list of editors' picks for the week of August 22-28 is below, but if that's not enough and you're looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, check out our picks for last week or sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, as well as our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.
Season 11 premiere Sunday at 9/8c on AMC
I still don't actually believe this, but AMC insists this is the last season of The Walking Dead. The zombie franchise, which was once the biggest show in the entire world, heads into Season 11 with several of its stars off on other projects, many others gone because their characters were killed off, and others back after leaving for a breather (welcome back, Maggie!). This time, the survivors will deal with the Commonwealth, a network of communities that have technology more advanced than the rest of the post-apocalyptic world. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the zombies won't be the problem this season, other humans will. Season 11 will be a supersized 24 episodes long; Sunday's premiere kicks off the first eight-part chunk of that. [TRAILER]
Season 2 premieres Sunday at 11/9c on Showtime
For a show called Work in Progress, the first season of Showtime's comedy came out fully formed as an insightful look at sexual fluidity and mental illness. Abby McEnany plays an exaggerated version of herself, a neurotic lesbian with anxiety, as she lives and works in Chicago and tries out the queer dating scene. Instead of being preachy, Work in Progress is both educational and poignant, while also being fall-on-the-floor-wheezing hilarious thanks to the Curb Your Enthusiasm-style cringey-ness of the situations Abby finds herself in. Achingly honest and brutally funny, Work in Progress is one of TV's most important shows. Now if Showtime would recognize that and air it earlier than 11 at night, that'd be great. [TRAILER]
Season 10 premieres Wednesday at 10/9c on FX, Thursday on Hulu
Ryan Murphy's long-running horror anthology is proving it still has some tricks up its sleeve with its tenth season, but I like to think that the franchise has recognized one of its greatest weaknesses: Seasons go on for too long! The brilliant solution here is to divide the season into two parts (hence the double feature), the first six-episode story titled "Red Tide" and the second four-episode outing titled "Death Valley." More killers, less fillers, baby! As with all things AHS, good luck figuring out what it's about. Best I can tell from the trailer is "Red Tide" involves some sort of creature and a Shining-style mental collapse of a writer, and "Death Valley" is about aliens. [TRAILER]
Wednesday on Netflix
You'd think that if anyone was free of scandal in this day and age of toppling over pedestals and banishing those we place on them, it would be totally chill painter dude Bob Ross, the creator of happy, little trees and host of PBS's The Joy of Painting. The painter's legacy has been untouchable, and he's found a new audience thanks to the internet, but just looking at the title of this documentary makes me nervous. Netflix has only released a 30-second teaser saying that it can't tell us about the mystery that is the subject of the film, which is either great marketing or a smokescreen. My only hope is if there is some scandal lurking underneath that glorious 'fro, he can paint his way out the corner and avoid cancellation. [TRAILER]
Thursday on discovery+
This crowd-pleasing documentary certainly pleased the crowds at film festivals, where it took home the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at SXSW and the audience award at the San Francisco Film Festival. It follows internet-famous Lily Hevesh, a domino artist, as she builds massive masterpieces of carefully balanced potential energy as the only female in her field. As Hevesh pursues her dreams of making a career out of her art, she uses YouTube as an outlet to get her work out there and find an equally creative community, adding more layers to this film -- the influence of social media, being your own boss -- than just "this person does cool things." It's one of the most satisfying things you'll watch all year. [TRAILER]
Season 2 premieres Thursday on HBO Max
There was a time when everyone was watching and talking about Comedy Central's The Other Two. That time was January 2019, but a few things have happened since then, and while not forgotten, The Other Two seemed to just disappear. Two and a half years later, it's back for Season 2 on HBO Max, continuing to follow siblings Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) as they live in the shadow of their immensely popular teenage brother who found fame as a YouTube heartthrob. Season 2 sees fame and success continue to evade Cary and Brooke and rub it in their faces, as their mother (Molly Shannon) becomes a huge talk show host. No word on whether Patrick Wilson's cousin or Justin Theroux's apartment make an appearance in Season 2. This is, without a doubt, one of the funniest shows on TV. [TRAILER]
Animated special Friday on Hulu
So much of the fun of PEN15 comes from watching Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine bring their 13-year-old selves back to life. The co-creators and stars play versions of themselves as middle schoolers opposite a cast of actual middle schoolers. Can the cringe comedy still work without that sight gag? As it turns out, yeah! PEN15's animated special finds Anna and Maya on vacation in Florida, where their insecurities start to get in the way of a good time. The episode uses animation to bring the girls' feelings to the surface, changing the way they look to match the way they see themselves. It's a painful throwback to teenage vacations gone wrong and a very fun throwback to early-2000s cartoons. -Kelly Connolly [TRAILER]