Watching: What to Watch This Weekend

“Fleabag Live,” sort of.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

I read this New Yorker interview with Fran Lebowitz yesterday, and after spending several minutes reflecting on the idea that Lebowitz and Toni Morrison watched the Menendez trial while on the phone together, I’ve been thinking more and more about this line: “[It] is a very startling thing to be my age — I’m 69 — and to have something happen that doesn’t remind you of anything else.”

I hope you’re OK. Here’s a 7-minute short about a cute house, but about other things, too. Have a safe weekend. “Killing Eve” is back, and so is “Saturday Night Live.”


This Weekend I Have … a Half-Hour, and I Miss Socializing

Issa Rae, left, and Yvonne Orji on “Insecure.”Merie W. Wallace/HBO


When to watch: Sunday at 10 p.m., on HBO.

Season 4 of “Insecure” kicks off as Issa (played by Issa Rae) hosts a party for work, though as always she can’t quite focus. Her friends are ostensibly there to support her, but they’re also demanding in their own ways, and romance woes are never too far from the surface for any of them. The show continues to be overinvested in Issa’s ex, Lawrence, but everyone knows the real emotional tension and story heft come from Issa’s tortured relationship with her BFF, Molly (Yvonne Orji), and their push-pull of loving each other but judging each other.


… an Hour, and I Like European Crime Shows

Tchéky Karyo on “Baptiste.”Two Brothers Pictures and all3media international


When to watch: Sunday at 10 p.m., on PBS. (Check local listings.)

If you loved the bleak but engrossing series “The Missing,” watch this spinoff that centers on the French detective Julien Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo). He gets roped in to investigating a girl’s disappearance in Amsterdam, and of course, once he starts pulling the thread, he discovers a whole new messy world of criminality. Season 1 of “The Missing” is perhaps the pinnacle of the dead-kid show, but this has less of that smothering sense of tragedy and more of a cloud of sadness, like the difference between velvet and lace.


… 80 Minutes, and I Hate Goodbyes

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in her one person show “Fleabag,” pictured here at the SoHo Playhouse.Sara Krulwich/The New York Times


When to watch: Starting Friday, on Amazon.

One of TV’s best and most interesting shows, “Fleabag,” started as a one-woman stage show, and now a staging of that theatrical production is available to download for $5, with proceeds benefiting British charities. There are a lot of differences between the stage show and the TV series; much of the plot here is similar to the first season’s, but the vibe is a little different, and the stage version is more specifically focused on sex. What is not different at all is how layered and compelling Phoebe Waller-Bridge is as a performer and writer, tapping into a volatility and vulnerability that are always in conflict but rarely in the ways you would expect.

Your Weekend Double Feature: Yorgos Lanthimos

Colin Farrell in a scene from “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.”A24

‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ and ‘Dogtooth’

The Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos specializes in lacerating black comedies about human corruptibility and malice, shot through with stylistic bravado and a keen ear for language. Lanthimos inched toward the mainstream with his most recent film, the wickedly entertaining period piece “The Favourite,” but most of his work leans toward abstraction and an even more unsparing vision of how people exercise power.

New on Netflix, Lanthimos’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (2017) stars Colin Farrell as a surgeon who is desperately trying to appease a disturbed teenager (Barry Keoghan) for reasons the film is slow to reveal, even as the young man terrorizes the surgeon’s wife (Nicole Kidman) and children. As the situation escalates, the film seems at first to be a simple revenge story. But the boy’s actions matter less than the surgeon’s response, which dodges personal responsibility so perversely that he consigns his family to a terrible, absurd fate.

The impact of destructive parents on their children also plays a central role in Lanthimos’s 2009 breakthrough, “Dogtooth,” now streaming on The Criterion Channel along with two of his other early Greek films, “Kinetta” and “Alps.” On a remote country estate, three grown children are permanently quarantined by parents who have instilled in them a fear of the outside world, reinforced by a made-up language in which common words have different meanings. As the truth becomes known, chaos erupts in violent and fitfully hilarious ways. — Scott Tobias

Stream “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” on Netflix. Rent it on Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play and YouTube.

Stream “Dogtooth” on The Criterion Channel. Rent it on Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play and YouTube.


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