It's Thanksgiving, and we're here to discuss the beloved holiday tradition of the Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes. Kathryn loves them, Andrew is dubious, and Margaret is a happy medium. Kathryn goes long on the relationship between bottle episodes and the Thanksgiving structure, and we discuss Friends, The West Wing, and Bob's Burgers among other holiday classics.
This week we have kick things off with a discussion of the comedian-driven sitcom, inspired by Aziz Ansari's Netflix original series Master of None and Louis CK's excellent FX show Louie. You really should watch both of them.
After that, we wrap up our TV Book Club series on the first season of Black Mirror, a show that we ultimately didn't like as much as some people do. The last installment, "The Entire History of You," takes an interesting premise and squanders it on a tired old story while asking us to sympathize with a questionable dude in the process. No thanks?
We open our episode this week with a discussion about the earliest shows we can remember watching even thought we either hated them or hated ourselves for watching them. Andrew has an ongoing love/hate relationship with The Simpsons, Margaret remembers a specific season of Must See TV with stunning clarity, and Kathryn has fallen back into a dangerous Tyra-themed habit.
Andrew and Kathryn then turn to a TV vs TV debate about the best television to watch when you're in a nondescript, underwhelming hotel room. For Kathryn, it's all about the magic of HGTV, while Andrew argues for anything that involves a mystery box of ingredients or Gordon Ramsay. Judge Margaret's wisdom prevails.
We kick things off this week with a discussion of the Bechdel Test and its strengths and weaknesses as a method of evaluating the kinds of shows we talk about. It's useful sometimes, just not always.
Then we launch right into our next installment of TV Book Club, this time about the second episode of Black Mirror. This episode included a more fully realized sci-fi dystopia, but its treatment of its female characters is more than a little problematic. It also kind of borrows its main point from the movie Network.