Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, our TV critic Margaret Lyons offers hyper-specific viewing recommendations in our Watching newsletter. Read her latest picks below, and sign up for the Watching newsletter here.
This weekend I have … 40 minutes, and I like spilling secrets
When to watch: Sunday at 9 p.m., on Starz.
“Vida” returns for a third and final season this weekend, with its requisite sex, social strife and gossip. The sisters Lyn and Emma (played by Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada) are kind of getting along, which they both sense can’t last, and they deal with that in different ways, Lyn by squeezing harder and Emma by pulling away. Characters on “Vida” are very up in each other’s business, which is one reason this show is so good at rich, complicated interpersonal conflict: Everyone starts from a place of You think you know me so well, but you don’t.
… an hour, and I like excess
‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’
When to watch: Sunday 10:10 p.m., on Showtime.
This spinoff of the horror series “Penny Dreadful” moves the festivities to 1938 Los Angeles, where it takes on a little of everything: Nazis, Mexican mysticism, politics, racism, evangelism, demons, cop stuff, old cars that make funny noises, you name it. Natalie Dormer anchors the show as a creepy shape-shifter, and she’s flanked by strong performances from Adam Rodriguez, Rory Kinnear, Michael Gladis, Kerry Bishé and Nathan Lane among others. It’s possible the show has bitten off more than it can chew, but then again, demons can chew an awful lot.
… a few hours, and I need gentle comedy
If you’ve burned through shows like “Schitt’s Creek,” “Gavin and Stacey” and “New Girl,” watch this three-season Australian comedy. It’s about two BFFs, Emma and Daniel (played by Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor, both of whom also created the show), who live in rural Tasmania and work at Daniel’s mother’s real estate agency. It’s a cozy goof-off show, where characters make jokes for one another’s benefit, not the audience’s. “Before you go, can you do one thing for me?” Emma asks when she has a cold. “Can you watch a whole season of ‘Game of Thrones’ with me?” Relatable.