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A baker’s dozen of shows to binge during the holiday weekend

Tiffany Haddish and John Early in "The Afterparty."Apple TV+

It’s time to give thanks — for the good and great shows TV has to offer. Here are a few options, if you’re looking for a show to aid in digestion and distract you from all those pesky family politics.

1. “Chloe”

Social media meets thriller in this compelling six-part British miniseries. It’s about a depressed woman in her 20s named Becky who’s obsessed with an always-smiling woman — Chloe — whom she tracks closely on social media. When Chloe dies, reportedly by suicide, Becky takes on a new identity and insinuates herself into Chloe’s life to find out what happened. The story is good, but it’s all made irresistible by Erin Doherty’s lead performance as Becky. Doherty, best known for her work as Princess Anne on “The Crown,” is a shape-shifting marvel as she tries to fool Chloe’s posh friends. (Amazon)


Paul Walter Hauser (left) and Taron Egerton in "Black Bird." APPLE TV+

2. “Black Bird”

This miniseries, adapted by Dennis Lehane from James Keene’s memoir “In With the Devil,” is riveting, and, at six episodes, exactly the right length. It’s about cracks in the justice system and one man’s look into the heart of darkness. Taron Egerton stars as a slick guy jailed for drugs and guns who’s given a chance for early release if he can lure a serial killer — Paul Walter Hauser’s Larry Hall — into a confession. Ultimately, the show belongs to Hauser; I’m still haunted by his unnervingly sing-songy voice and his chunky Civil War muttonchops. Larry seems harmless at first, but the more time we spend with him, the more clearly we see the hatred toward women behind his glassy eyes. (Apple TV+)

3. “Devs”

The eight-parter is an ambitious, cerebral science fiction story that nudges you, “Black Mirror”-like, into big thoughts about technology and humanity. Too ponderous for some, but not for me, it’s about a Bay Area corporation developing something that could permanently alter the human experience (no spoilers here). The show is from Alex Garland, of “Ex Machina,” and it features a sleek look and a laden atmosphere. Nick Offerman stands out as an eccentric tech guru, gentle and, we can see, quite sad, but with an obsessiveness that can be maniacal. (Hulu)


From left: Joel Kim Booster, Maya Rudolph, and Ron Funches in "Loot." APPLE TV+

4. “Loot”

Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard of “Forever” created this warmhearted workplace comedy about a bored billionaire divorcee who decides to run a charitable foundation to keep herself busy. Ultimately, though, it’s a vehicle for Maya Rudolph, and it’s perfect for her. She works mock grandiosity with the charm of Martin Short, and she’s also present and moving during some of the more emotional scenes. The rest of the ensemble is a plus, too, including Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ron Funches, Nat Faxon, and Joel Kim Booster. (Apple TV+)

5. “Wedding Season”

In this eight-episode British series, Katie (Rosa Salazar) goes on the run after her fiance and his entire family are murdered at her wedding. Oh, and by the way, it’s largely a comedy. People think Katie is responsible for the massacre, not least of all because she hit the road with Stefan (Gavin Drea), the man she was having an affair with before the wedding. But there are twists at every turn, as the truth about the murders emerges. “Wedding Season” is a bit of a rom-com, too, as the two suspects try to determine whether they belong together while evading the cops. (Hulu)


6. “The Plot Against America”

This startlingly — and sadly — timely six-episode miniseries, based on Philip Roth’s 2004 novel, shows exactly how fascism can creep into a seemingly immune country like the United States. Created by David Simon and Ed Burns of “The Wire,” it’s an alternate history that has FDR losing the 1940 election to the antisemitic Charles Lindbergh, triggering a nationwide turn against Jews. “They’ve always been here,” one character says about antisemites in the United States, mirroring what many have recently said about white supremacists. “Now they have permission to crawl out from under their rocks.” We watch the crisis through the lens of one family, well-played by Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector, Anthony Boyle, Winona Ryder, and John Turturro, as a Southern rabbi who becomes unwittingly complicit with Lindbergh. But it’s the concept that will take your breath away. (HBO Max)

Zahn McClarnon as Joe Leaphorn in "Dark Winds."Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC

7. “Dark Winds”

Based on the “Leaphorn & Chee” books by Tony Hillerman, this evocatively filmed and concise thriller is set in the Navajo Nation in 1971. Zahn McClarnon, with his steady gaze and weary demeanor, leads a strong cast, playing a Tribal Police officer in the difficult position of protecting his people while having to police them. He’s working murder cases on the reservation while facing micro- and macro-aggressions against Native Americans from outsider cops. It’s six episodes of goodness, and it has been renewed for another season. (AMC: available to stream on Amazon)

8. “Single Drunk Female”

This likable dramedy grew on me across its first season, as Sofia Black-D’Elia’s Sam leaves New York City and tries to get sober while living with her mother (Ally Sheedy) in the Boston suburbs. Life changes for Sam when self-medication is out of the picture, and, as she approaches 30, she begins to recognize how her hard drinking enabled years of narcissistic behavior. The supporting cast is great, with Rebecca Henderson a standout as Sam’s sponsor and Lily Mae Harrington a charmer as her Boston-accented bestie. (Freeform; available to stream on Hulu)


9. “Minx”

I had a great time watching this raunchy, culturally savvy, charming, and smart comedy. Set in the 1970s, it’s a fictional account of the creation of the first erotic magazine for women, with a feminist, Ophelia Lovibond’s Joyce, and a porn publisher, Jake Johnson’s Doug, teaming up to make it happen. The push and pull between them is entertaining, with Johnson particularly good as an underdog walking the line between sleazy and liberated. There’s a lot of nudity on the show, which you might expect from a story about losing the shame regarding our bodies and our desires. (HBO Max)

10. “A Very British Scandal”

This fact-based three-parter is a gas. Set in the 1960s, it stars Claire Foy at her very best — which is saying a lot — as the Duchess of Argyll, whose divorce from the duke (Paul Bettany) was notoriously ugly. One of the many allegations of adultery in the trial led, famously, to the admission of a photo of the duchess in flagrante with another man. Flashbacks of drug and alcohol abuse, a louche courtship, and big financial secrets come and go throughout the show, as the story reassesses the part that sexism played in the way the duchess was perceived and treated. It’s classy, and dishy. (Amazon)


Tiffany Haddish and John Early in "The Afterparty."Apple TV+

11. “The Afterparty”

I thoroughly enjoyed this goofy but also clever whodunit, set at a high school reunion where an alum — an irritating pop star played by Dave Franco — has been murdered. It employs the old “Rashomon”-like trick of giving us the same night through a different character’s perspective in each half-hour episode. But then it also attaches a different genre style to each retelling, to reflect the storyteller’s personality. Ike Barinholtz’s Brett remembers the night as if it were an action movie, while Sam Richardson’s Aniq recalls it as a rom-com. Throughout, irresistibly, Tiffany Haddish’s cop rolls her eyes as each person tells her their version of what happened. (Apple TV+)

12. “Anatomy of a Scandal”

The very busy David E. Kelley delivers a tabloid drama meant to be binged (so you don’t have time to think about plot logic). It’s a bit like his “The Undoing,” but even more like an airport or beach read than that HBO miniseries with Hugh Grant, Nicole Kidman, and Nicole Kidman’s coats. The six-parter is set in London, where a member of Parliament played by Rupert Friend is accused of raping an employee with whom he was having an affair. Sienna Miller is his wife, who stands by him, despite the affair. Meanwhile, Michelle Dockery, the barrister prosecuting the MP, is holding on to a few big secrets. (Netflix)

13. “Slow Horses”

Gary Oldman is outstanding as the hard-drinking, sour-tempered, slovenly, and brilliant leader of a group of demoted, sidelined MI5 agents. Adapted from the book by Mick Herron, the show is taut and takes its spy thriller cues from John le Carre as the crew stumbles into the politically charged kidnapping of an English man of Pakistani descent by far-right extremists. Watching Oldman go up against Kristin Scott Thomas as an MI5 boss is the kind of treat that more than compensates for some of the little tangles in the plotting. Season two arrives on Dec. 2. (Apple TV+)

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him @MatthewGilbert.