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The Emmys are almost here, TV fans, but before we get to all of those official and fancy prizes, we’re going to be delivering our weekly load of superlative nods to those shows that most got our attention this week. Enjoy!
Tensest dinner scene: No show does a family meal sequence quite like Succession. The most recent episode saw the Roys trying to win over members of the Pierce family in hopes of taking over their media company, despite the fact that their politics, passions, and personalities are completely polarized, and it went over like a lead balloon. As each member engaged their designated target — orchestrated by Logan (Brian Cox), of course — their collective case of foot-in-mouth disease began showing symptoms, from Shiv (Sarah Snook) accidentally insulting the educational pursuits (and “penis dog”) of one guy to Connor (Alan Ruck) lambasting the “deep state” affinities of another, it was exactly the kind of glorious disaster that makes this show a must-watch. There’s a lot to flesh out about the episode, of course — what should we make of Logan’s icy reception to Shiv’s announcement?! — but the intensity and many pratfalls of the dinner scene could easily serve as a centerpiece for the entire series because it was just that revelatory and true to the characters involved.
Saltiest shutdown: There’s also a lot to talk about when it comes to the latest episode of The Affair. How about Helen (Maura Tierney) living her life on that karaoke stage? How pitiful is the Montauk bar scene in the flash-aheads? And why does Sasha’s (Claes Bang) face look so different from one scene to the next? Perhaps the most important development is that the toxicity that has been brewing between Sasha and Noah (Dominic West) finally boiled over, and although Noah previously clung to his illusion of control over the Hollywood adaptation of his book, Sasha ripped that right out from under him and slept with his ex-wife. As a result, Noah was reduced to a shrieking weirdo who was banned from the set. Noah has thoroughly lost his grip on pretty much every person in his life and his own story now, so we have a feeling we’re about to witness a pretty spectacular downfall (again) with him.
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Wildest walk of shame: Why Women Kill continued to tug at the complicated narrative threads set up by its three leading ladies this week, but while two of the stories were toeing some slightly serious territory, the snafus for Simone (Lucy Liu) were nothing but hilarious. After she and her barely-legal boyfriend were mistaken for a prostitute and a john by the police, they decided to use a neighbor’s house for their next romp instead of meeting at a distant motel, and … it did not go well for them. After said neighbor returned home unexpected, Simone had to call up her own husband to stage a distraction for her to escape the bedroom, and her humiliation was magnified by the fact that the encounter also revealed her paramour to her chuckling hubby, who was just chuffed to see her squirm away from the scene. This is good stuff.
Weirdest couple moment: The premiere of Mr. Inbetween Season 2 started out on an, erm, interesting note. The FX dark comedy returned to find Ray Shoesmith (Scott Ryan) engaged in a surprisingly serious conversation with Ally (Brooke Satchwell) about just how comfortable couples should get with each other when it comes to their bodily functions. Let’s just say the show’s foley artists must have had a very weird day at work when they had to put together all the flatulation sound effects that accompanied the scene because eeek.
Brainiest binge: Netflix’s latest docuseries gets you deep into the squishiest bits of the human brain, with narrator Emma Stone taking audiences on a very different journey through the mind than she did in Maniac with The Mind, Explained. Chances are, it won’t be quite as much of a head trip as what we experienced (watched is not a strong enough word for that show) with Maniac, but it’ll still be a fun one for the cranial crowd all the same.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)