As long as the city is on PAUSE, we're going to publish a guide every week offering different viewing recommendations—at least partially based on what's playing in the background of my apartment. The first week, we recommended a few baseball-themed shows including Brockmire, along with some brand new series. Then we looked at some classic TV comedies that will have you singing odes to your night cheese (or just humming the Cheers theme song). Last week, we focused on some classic television dramas that are worth immersing yourself in. And this week, we recommend a pair of modern revisionist westerns, plus a propulsive new romcom premiering this week, and an Oscar-winning film making its streaming debut this week.


I've probably spent approximately a third of my life convincing people to watch Deadwood, a show that deserves to be included in any conversation about the greatest shows in television history. It is as if Shakespeare wrote a western—just with far more profanity—and is at its core about the formation of America through the lens of a disreputable mining town abandoning lawlessness for the greater good. It's about the compromises and disappointments of America, but also about how individuals can rise above mere self-interest to form a community. With every poetic monologue and unexpected knifing, creator David Milch juxtaposed the vulgar with the empathetic in creating his masterpiece. And its filled with hard-earned wisdom that resonates: “Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair, or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you've got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man...and give some back.”


Clearly some of us need something a little less intense to watch—in that case, you should check out FX's Justified, now streaming in full on Hulu. It's (initially) an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's short story "Fire in the Hole," which centers on deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant's best role ever, give or take a Seth Bullock) returning to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. The first season sets the tone of this great crime series, which is mostly filled with episodic cases-of-the-week; season two introduces larger ongoing narrative storylines (and gives character actress Margo Martindale one of her greatest roles). That pacing is continued in each following individual season (for some reason, the even seasons tend to the best ones). Lots of memorable side characters frequently reappear throughout, but the show never gets too bogged down in convoluted storytelling. In addition to Olyphant, whose charm is as undeniable as his hilarious one-liners, it also stars Walton Goggins who is at his career best as Given's nemesis Boyd Crowder.


A new show premiering this weekend that you should check out is Run, a comedy/thriller starring Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson that was created by Vicky Jones and executive produced by Jones' frequent collaborator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who also has a small part in the show). It is decidedly not a western, but rather an incredibly sexy romcom that is unrelentingly propulsive—as befits a project from a Fleabag collaborator, it also has a darker, existential underlying story. Wever, who has been a scene-stealing character actress for well over a decade now, finally gets the lead role she deserves, and it's everything you could hope for: frustrating, mysterious, flirtatious, withholding, and ridiculously seductive. Her chemistry with Gleeson is off the charts as well. I've seen five of the seven episodes of the show, and loved finding a new show with such an unusual take on the romcom genre.


Parasite, one of the absolute best movies of 2019, has begun streaming on Hulu today—can you believe it was only a little over a month ago that it won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director?! It's the perfect time for you to watch it, or rewatch it (it's a HIGHLY re-watchable film). As we noted previously, Bong Joon Ho's riveting and twisted film follows a poor South Korean family who quickly hatch a cunning scheme to insert themselves into the household of a rich family...and then things get really strange (the less you know ahead of time, the better). Besides being one of the most unexpectedly thrilling movies of the year, Parasite asks the audience to question their own sympathies—who really is the parasite in these relationships?—right up until the very poignant ending, which adds an even deeper emotional level to the proceedings. It's also the best constructed film of the year, where every plot twist is foreshadowed or reflected in the camerawork and shot selection, peaking with a sewage rupture that is practically biblical.