Appointment Television

By Margaret H. Willison, Kathryn VanArendonk, and Andrew Cunningham

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: TV & Film

Open in iTunes

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 90
Reviews: 0


Appointment Television is a podcast about the TV you want to make time for. Every Thursday Margaret, Kathryn, and Andrew will revisit old shows, discover new ones, and debate everything from highbrow dramas to episodes of The Bachelor.

Episode Date
Ep 231 - Appreciating Evil and boldly going with Picard

This week we revisit CBS’s Evil, the Good One/Bad One entrant that has burrowed into our brains this year. Then, continuing down the CBS All Access rabbit hole, we talk about the first episode of Picard and how it will and won’t please fans of The Next Generation.




Feb 13, 2020
Episode 230: Off The Deep End with The Morning Show

THIS WEEK, we have some special treats for you!

First, as our improbably long bumper will inform you, we have a live show in Ohio coming up on Thursday, February 20th! Andrew, Kathryn, Margaret, and Andrew's other podcasting family Craig Getting (with whom he makes the exceptionally popular book podcast for teens, Overdue) are going back to the college that made us (summoned, perhaps, by a calling bell*) to debate the all-important question: which is better, TV or books? The show will start at 7:00 PM and end at 8:30 PM and you can find all further information right here:

Now with THAT out of the way, our second surprise! Andrew is only to be found in the first 6 minutes of today's episode, after which he is replaced by our beloved pal Christina Tucker of The Unfriendly Black Hotties, Pop Culture Happy Hour, and Autostraddle to discuss her deranged darling, The Morning Show. Is it good? Why does it think UBA sounds like a real TV network? Why is Christina so obsessed with Jen Aniston??? How would Christina rank all of Jen's breakdowns in this first season? Tune in and find out! 

*(Andrew is in this video, 5 points to Gryffindor if you can spot him) 

Feb 06, 2020
Episode 229: In defense of weekly releases

This week, the first order of business is a rundown of shows ending in 2020, and a plea to any listener who actually knows what's happening on Supernatural to please tell us about it. (Very briefly). 


Then, inspired by shows like Watchmen, Succession and with a gimlet eye cast toward The Witcher, we talk about weekly release schedules in the time of the Netflix binge. Weekly releases: we like them! And not just because we don't have time to binge shows on the weekends anymore! 

Jan 30, 2020
Episode 278: Bonnet Watch 2020 [airhorn sound]

Andrew’s baby started throwing up on him mere minutes before we were supposed to record so we present to you: Margaret and Kathryn’s BONNET WATCH. It’s about period shows where people wear bonnets. Certainly, this makes it easier to appreciate what Andrew adds to or subtracts from the podcast.



The Good Lord Bird:


Fun facts about John Brown:

Jan 23, 2020
Episode 227: Lodge 49 TV Book Club Comes To A Close

This week, we bring our discussion of Lodge 49's first season to a close, talking over episodes 7, 8, 9 and the complete and utter collapse of capitalist structures they represent. In the process we also touch upon: Bruce Campbell's most famous film role (his cameo at the beginning of the movie Congo, of course), the two types of people you find in corporate training seminars, the questionable efficacy of suicide threats as a debt reduction strategy, and the undeniable elan of flinging a silicone boob push-up at your former manager. We hope you've enjoyed hanging out with Ernie and Dud as much as we have.

Jan 16, 2020
Episode 226: Chatting about Dickinson with creator Alena Smith

A first for the ol' ATV crew this week! We chat briefly about Dickinson, which is far away the weirdest, funniest, strangest, best thing you can watch on Apple TV+. And then we're joined by its creator Alena Smith, a TV veteran who talked to us about the show's juxtaposition of period setting with modern vernacular, the experience of making a show for Apple, and about the big Dickinson-Cats crossover happening in Season 2. (Kidding! Or are we??) 

Jan 09, 2020
ATV Re-Run: Listener Q&A Week

Happy 2020, everyone! We're taking a week off, but just in case your resolution involved listening to more of us, we've dug up a classic episode from our archive! In episode 90, our first listener Q&A, we A some of your most pressing Qs (from 2017). Most of these answers are probably still applicable! Most of them.

Jan 02, 2020
Episode 225: A Christmas Prince 3 - The Royal Baby

It’s a Boxing Day miracle! As we do every year, we revisit the kingdom of Aldovia (now with much more about its history and geography revealed) to spend time fixing the simple and improbably Christmas-oriented problems of its royal family. This year, Aldovia needs to ratify a treaty with a neighboring fictional kingdom to avert war, and Queen Amber gives birth to a bouncing baby four-month-old.


Christmas Prince 3: The Royal Baby on Netflix:

Our first Christmas Prince episode:

And our second:

Dec 26, 2019
Episode 224: Mailbag and Lodge 49 Book Club part 3

Because we received some feedback on our Perfect Harmony segment, we dedicate the first part of this episode to discussing exactly what we mean when we say "bad one," and also we chat about Margaret's southern accent. (We do not celebrate Margaret's southern accent as anything other than "very entertaining to listen to.")


Next, it's Lodge 49 book club! This week: crushing debt,  anxiety about the future, capitalism, socialism, parasites both metaphorical and literal. 

Dec 19, 2019
Episode 223: A Decade of Television, Thoughtfully Considered

These WILL make sense in context.

This week, you get exactly what's on the tin as we, first among our kind in this novel approach!!, mark the decade's end by reflecting on the decade's #content. Which means:

  • We talk a lot about the challenges of novelty New Year's Eve sunglass design in the 2010s
  • We talk about how TV technology has changed with time!
  • Andrew shares helpful charts and infographics about how TV size has changed and how size and distance from the TV correlate
  • We share some of our favorite shows of the decade, and why!
  • And Margaret cries, OBVIOUSLY! 

We hope you enjoy it, pals. We love you guys.

Dec 12, 2019
Episode 222: Have you heard the good news of Baby Yoda and Lodge 49 book club 2

We return to The Mandalorian, because when we first discussed it, none of us knew about the great gift of Baby Yoda. The problem with this discussion is that Kathryn is the one who wanted to raise it, and then she leaves to deal with a childcare issue, and neither Andrew nor Margaret have seen The Mandalorian. Nevertheless they persist!


Following that situation, we return to Lodge 49 for a lively conversation about what happens when you find a corpse in your lodge that is *definitely* not a mummy. 

Dec 05, 2019
Episode 221: Watchmen Good, Perfect Harmony Bad

Hello everyone! To mark Thanksgiving, we your intrepid TV podcast hosts have gathered to discuss our final round of good one/bad one. This week it's Andrew's picks. We start with the good, HBO's Watchmen, and then continue on to the TURKEY (get it!!) of NBC's Pitch Perfect Harmony. No pauses indicating our inability to remember that show's actual title have been edited out. Come, join us, and find out why Jesus is the TRUE Eye of the Tiger. Discussed in the show:

Nov 28, 2019
Episode 220: Fall TV update and Lodge 49 book club 1

We come to you with some fall TV updates, which you should probably note are less updates than they are "things we were thinking two weeks ago and it turns out we'd probably have different things to say about them if we recorded it last night but we didn't!" The reason this segment is still coming to you is so you can hear Kathryn have an absolute meltdown over the word midichlorian. 

Then, it's the first installment of our Lodge 49 book club! We're discussing the pilot, which is dreamy and sad and funny and perfect. 

Nov 21, 2019
Episode 219: Good One/Bad One Continues with Emergence and Carol's Second Act

A fun thing you might not know about our *process* is that, as we record the episodes, we're supposed to pop notes into a thread in our Slack that contain, say, links to articles we mention in the podcast or notes about audio issues like "For some reason in the last two minutes of the podcast, Kathryn's mic cuts out almost entirely and like you can do your best to fix it, but there's really no way to, IDK." But this week's show notes thread contained only the following:

So here we all are together, just hanging in there, trying to make it better. Tune in this week for nothing pertaining to Weird Al, but much pertaining to: the progression of Andrew's baby's cuteness, babies who are worried about their social security, what a difference truly great actors make to the quality of your puzzle box mystery show, what age and wisdom can teach YOU, and oh so ever so much more. Please do @ us with any suggestions for lyrics to "Syndicated," and get ROLLING on our new TV Book Club: Lodge 49, which AMC cancelled the VERY DAY we recorded.

Nov 14, 2019
Episode 218: Good One Bad One returns with Evil and Almost Family

Hooray for good TV shows! Booo for bad TV shows! This week we're talking about FOX's Almost Family and CBS's Evil - see if you can guess which is the good one and which is the bad one! Hint: the bad one involves a show making light of medical sexual assault.  

Nov 07, 2019
Episode 217: The Good One-Bad One Pickening

In this episode, we discuss many topics such as: how are Mystery-flavor Dum Dums made? Is it possible to misuse the word "jawn"? And which pop songs does Andrew think could most easily be transmuted into Jesus-y praise ballads? But ABOVE ALL, we dedicate ourselves to naming, as has been our ritual for lo, so many Fall TV Seasons, which shows, both good and bad, we are going to be making each other watch for your benefit. 

Come with us on this journey.... if you dare!

Oct 31, 2019
Episode 216: Disney Plus and yelling about Succession

Have you heard of this HBO show Succession? No? Then you probably are not following Kathryn on twitter, where she has been yelling about it for months. Months! Recently Andrew has joined her in this obsession, and we also invited our friend Christina to come jump on the Succession celebration train. Plus: have you heard of Disney+? They are gonna have a lot of stuff on that platform!

Oct 24, 2019
Episode 215: Playing Catchup and TV Chit Chat

If you think an episode that would cause Margaret to assert “I think we’re more Appointment Friendship than Appointment TV” sounds like a good time then BOY is this week's show for you! Covered herein: The struggles of parenting and creating podcasts simultaneously! What this season of The Great British Bake-Off has to do with the sitcom What We Do In The Shadows! What on earth is going on with Apple TV! And could Quibi be... good?? A short silly episode that we hope you all enjoy. 

Oct 17, 2019
Episode 214: Music on TV with special guest Sophie Brookover

This week we talk about the delights and dangers of music on TV - the cost of it, the value of it, and how completely disastrous it is if a show uses the wrong music cue and it destroys a scene forever. We're joined by Sophie Brookover and also the glorious return of our beloved and much-missed Andrew!! 

Oct 10, 2019
Episode 213: Dadwood Book Club, The Final Frontier

One last push and we, our podcast, will have finally birthed a full set of Deadwood-centric paternity leave episodes. In this final episode of Andrew's paternity leave we discuss episodes 9-12 of Deadwood, S2 but also:

  • Why it was funny when we called Andrew's then unborn child Axl
  • How many times we have to say something in Slack before it becomes funny even if there's little to no humor inherent to it
  • How windows are just God's TV
  • Whether the Widow Garrett knows when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em
  • Irascible matchmaking 
  • And, most importantly, how old your newborn infant has to be before you can show them NBC's Kings

Thanks for sticking with through all this and yes, if you're wondering, Margaret is still crying over Andrew's son, and he's even more adorable than we'd hoped. NEXT WEEK: we return to our regularly scheduled programming! 

Oct 03, 2019
Episode 212: Dadwood book club part 3

Our paternity leave episodes have almost ended! This week we're talking about episodes 7-9 of Deadwood season two, next week we'll be discussing the end of the season, and then it's back to regularly scheduled fall programming. This week, we consider: telegraphs, horses, thoroughfares, and Cosmo-style quizzes about whether you're a Farnum or a Swearengen. 

Sep 26, 2019
Episode 211: Couples Therapy with Tara Ariano

This week on the podcast, we're joined by an extra (hot great) special guest: Tara Ariano, the founder of Television Without Pity (may it rest forever in peace), editor-at-large of Primetimer, podcaster extraordinaire, and personal joint hero of Margaret and Kathryn. We are, in fact, so excited to praise Tara for her many accomplishments that we barely remember to say her name!

In addition to schooling us on the parallels between Lodge 49 and Succession, Tara lets us know if the new Batman-spinoff show Pennyworth is worth it. And then the three of us dig into what we're REALLY here to discuss: the new Showtime original series Couples Therapy, with which it's safe to say we are obsessed. Join us to hear about therapist Orna Guralnik's expressive eyebrows, adorable dog, and astute insights-- as well as Margaret's strange connection to the show Married at First Sight, and what all three of us would do if Bebe Neuwirth wanted to drink our blood. If you enjoyed Tara as much as we did, you can find her any of the following places:

  • Recapping classic episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place on the Again With This podcast 
  • Analyzing the present season of Succession on The Sweet Smell of Succession
  • And being generally QUITE interesting and expert about TV at large on her general interest TV podcast, Extra Hot Great (where Kathryn appeared (and covered herself in no Game Time glory) on three episodes.)
Sep 19, 2019
Episode 210: Derry Girls with Sophie Brookover

Shift yourselves, wains, it's time to talk about Derry Girls! This week we're joined by culture maven Sophie Brookover to talk about this wee Irish sitcom that we love very much. Topics include: Bono, narrative structure, peace walls, teen girl tropes, why Sister Michael became a nun, and several incredibly persuasive book recommendations. 

Sep 12, 2019
Episode 209: Dadwood Book Club Discusses Deadwood, S2, episodes 4-6

And our Paternity Leave Project continues with a discussion of episodes 4, 5, and 6 of Deadwood S2. Learn: Kathryn's favorite Deadwood episode title! Joanie's inability to pick a good business partner! Our delight in the nuance with which Deadwood depicts historical prejudice! And ever so much more! Next week we'll be digging into episodes 7, 8, and 9.


As previously noted, while Andrew's dadhood was still hypothetical when the episode was recorded, it is now definite. We once again apologize for unmooring you in time. 

Sep 05, 2019
Episode 208: Paternity leave book club - Deadwood s2

It's a special edition of TV book club for Andrew's paternity leave! Welcome to Dadwood, our journey through Deadwood season two. This week we're discussing the first three episodes of the season, which Kathryn is aghast to realize means that there is no resolution yet to Al's kidney stones. Hang on to your gleets! 

Aug 29, 2019
Episode 207: Veronica Mars revival with guest Kate Racculia

In a rare Andrew-less episode of Appointment Television, Kate Racculia returns to talk with us about the revival season of Veronica Mars. Guess what! We have some critiques! At some point this also involves discussing Lodge 49 and reading character descriptions from the new HBO Joss Whedon show The Nevers, but really it's mostly about Veronica Mars. Be warned: we will spoil what happens at the end of this season! 

Aug 22, 2019
Episode 206: Stranger Things with Kate Racculia, Our Stranger Thing

On this week's episode of our every timely podcast, we're discussing season 3 of Stranger Things with special repeat guest Kate Racculia! Whose wit, charm, and Big Barb Energy you might recall from her appearance in our Stranger Things, S1 TV Book Club. Listen to find out what made Margaret want to throw her computer across the room in annoyance, why Andrew thinks capitalism is the strangest thing of all, how many times Kathryn can say the word serial before you absolutely must eat a bowl of serial or die, and the SURPRISE TWIST mention of Little Women you never see coming. If you are as struck with Kate as it is evident we are, follow her on Twitter or Instagram, or-- better still!!-- buy one of her great books:

Aug 15, 2019
Episode 205: Holey Moley and What the F is Pop?

On this week's episode we discuss both Pop TV, the channel that's now home to Schitt's Creek and One Day at Time, AND ABC's new #PeakSummer tv: the miniature golf/obstacle course show Holey Moley. Plus we address the all-important question: is listening to "mood music" when you bone down a super weird? 

Aug 08, 2019
Episode 204: Mailbag and The Deadwood Movie

Look, we accept that the order of this is going to be a little wonky. Paternity leave! Things got a little out of order. But this week we're going to talk about the Deadwood movie, even though we also announce that later this summer, we will be doing Deadwood season 2 as a paternity leave book club. Spoilers for Deadwood, a very old show!

Before we get to the Deadwood movie, and Kathryn waxes rhapsodic about all things David Milch, we do a brief mailbag segment where we talk about Blue Bloods! 

Aug 01, 2019
Episode 203: What we're watching on paternity leave and Emmys nomination chatter

In the last episode we've recorded before Andrew departs on paternity leave, we have a nice long talk about all the TV we're looking forward to catching up on. Spoiler: Margaret suggests we assign her stuff and then laughs heartily and the idea she might actually watch any of it. 

We also have a brief conversation about the 2019 Emmy nominations, and some thoughts on how far we as a culture have come in the past 10 years. 

Jul 25, 2019
Episode 202: Wheel of Time and The Good Fight Book Club Part 3

This week! We're checking in on Amazon's Wheel of Time series in light of fresh* casting news, answering one particularly novel mailbag question, and then wrapping up our Good Fight book club with a desultory conversation about episodes 7-10. A conversation which includes a lot more information than you'd expect about the classic 1989 family film, The Adventures of Milo & Otis.


*(when we recorded)

Jul 18, 2019
Episode 201: Big Little Lies with special guest Suzannah Rosenberg

This week we are deeply saddened that Andrew is not with us, and immensely joyful to welcome someone else in his absence: his wife Suz! We break down all things Big Little Lies, including but not limited to: why this season exists, who our favorite characters are, the dubious utility of dressing up as Bo Peep when you're giving therapy to a child, and Meryl Streep's teeth. 

Jul 11, 2019
Episode 200: The Bones Zone

For our big 200th episode, we hope you enjoy the backdoor pilot for THE BONES ZONE, our weekly podcast about the show Bones. It’s been a long road, folks, but we’re so glad you support us in our weird art.


“Emily Deschanel on Biggest 'Bones' Lessons”:


Jul 04, 2019
Episode 199: The Good Fight book club part 2

What if CBS All Access ... is good? We're pretty sure it's not but there are enough things about it now that we feel like it's worth discussing. We also chat about episodes 4, 5 and 6 of the first season of The Good Fight. 

PLUS, stay tuned for an extremely important announcement about our 200th episode regarding what Zone it will occupy.  

Jun 27, 2019
Episode 198: Fleabag S2 and all things Phoebe Waller-Bridge

This week's show is all about one of our favorite writers and performers, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. After talking about her current and upcoming projects, we dive deep into the masterwork that is season 2 of Fleabag.


PWB's HBO pilot:

PWB and rehabilitating James Bond:

Kathryn on Fleabag's wall-breaking second season:

Jun 20, 2019
Episode 197: Unlikely spinoffs and The Good Fight book club part 1

This week we're starting our latest TV book club, the CBS All Access / briefly CBS series The Good Fight! It's a spin-off of the long-running legal procedural The Good Wife, so we start with a little game where we try to come up with some especially unlikely or improbable spin-offs of our own. But when we turn to The Good Fight, we want to make things very clear: You do not need to have seen the original series to enjoy this show. Plus we will explain the very few Good Fight references you'll find here. We'll also explain the phrase "Chunk Palmer." 

Jun 13, 2019
Episode 196: Inane HBO interviews, What We Do In The Shadows, and whether mockumentaries are still allowed

Remember those little interviews they would air after every episode of Game of Thrones? And how they were always kind of bad? And how most HBO shows also do them and they’re almost always kind of bad? We talk about those.

We also chat about the mockumentary format by way of FX’s What We Do In The Shadows, a show that is (thankfully) funny enough to outshine a threadbare format.  


What We Do In The Shadows:

The Beets (from the cartoon Doug):

Jun 06, 2019
Episode 195: Shows everyone watches and no one talks about

We decided to talk a little about the shows most viewers do actually watch, that get decidedly less attention than many of the buzziest, prestige-iest series. We talk about some specific examples, including Blue Bloods, Grey's Anatomy, and The Goldbergs, but we also try to think a little about how these shows work, what the appeal is, and what we lose out on by just sort of forgetting they're always out there. 

Also, Margaret watches a show called Jonathan Creek for Kozy Mystery Korner, and we laugh quite a bit at his sweet sweet 90s boy hair. 

May 30, 2019
Episode 194: Our TV and our politics and our The Office reruns

This week we chat about a report correlating TV viewing habits (and viewers' feelings about specific shows) with their political views. Then we talk about how we, as a society, just can't quit our reruns of sitcom rerun standbys like The Office and Friends.


Get your politics into my TV:

People can't stop watching these old-ass shows:

But there's something about The Office (US):

May 23, 2019
Episode 193: Summer TV preview, plus William Shakespeare?

It's time to check in with a bunch of new and upcoming series for the summer, a segment that includes discussion of such things as: Good Omens, The Society, Big Little Lies S2, Veronica Mars, and The Boys. It's also a very special edition of a Patreon Forcening, featuring an episode someone asked *MARGARET* to watch. The world turned upside down. 

May 16, 2019
Episode 192: Picking Bones clean, and Netflix’s show Special
This week, we revisit TV's biggest news about its biggest show, which is of course the show Bones. Then, we chat about Netflix's show Special, which is worth watching in concept despite its uneven execution.
Bones update update:
The Bones lawsuit, explained:
Hulu’s Ramy:
Netflix’s Special:
Where Netflix let Special down:
May 09, 2019
Episode 191: Why was Game of Thrones so dark!?

First we talk a bit about Barry and Fleabag, two shows which we thought did not need second seasons. It turns out we were wrong! But then, we jump on the bandwagon for an actually timely episode about this week's Game of Thrones battle, so that Andrew can give us a nice little technology corner about why exactly no one could see any of Game of Thrones. Turns out it's... compression! Also, your bad TV lights. Also did you ever calibrate your TV? 

May 02, 2019
Episode 190: Killing Bear Grylls and Gaming Thrones By The Watercooler.mp3

This week, Kathryn finally settles her longrunning feud with wildlife expert-slash-goofball idiot Bear Grylls. Then, we gather around the watercooler to discuss the latest character to die on the final season of Game Of Thrones: the concept of watercooler television!! Of course, what is dead may never die.


You vs. Wild:

Is Game of Thrones the last watercooler show?

Is watercooler TV just dead, then???

Apr 25, 2019
Episode 189: Rom-com TV and Margaret's feelings on Shrill [uncensored]

Our first task this week is to help a patron in need of some recommendations for happy, slow-burning rom-com TV. At the beginning of the segment Kathryn laments how few options there are to provide this; several minutes later, many options are provided.

The main course of this episode, though, is an in depth conversation about Hulu's recent series Shrill, the Aidy Bryant-led adaptation of Lindy West's memoir. Margaret. Has. Feelings. 

Apr 18, 2019
Episode 188: Horny for sweets and the WGA thing

This week Andrew watches the first episode of Netflix’s Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman, a deeply weird Japanese show about a dude who gets horny for traditional Japanese sweets. Then we get serious and talk about the ongoing situation between the WGA and Hollywood agents, agents who may or may not be profiting too much off of the efforts of writers.


Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman:

The WGA’s fight with Hollywood Agencies, Explained:

How Hollywood Writers Feel About Leaving Their Agents:

Apr 11, 2019
Episode 187: Cozy mysteries and whatever the heck is happening at Apple TV

Margaret updates us on some new offerings in the Cozy Mystery category, including a review of the new spin-off of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and a brand-new Acorn series about mystery writers who, naturally, solve mysteries.

Then, we attempt to break down what is going on with the new Apple TV streaming service, including such important questions as: what does it cost? When will it be available? What will be on it? Will it be any good? (Spoiler: We have answers to almost none of those questions.) 

Apr 04, 2019
Ep 186 - Bones News Alert and Deadwood TV Book Club Finale

This week we hit all the HOT news about the long-canceled TV show Bones, and then we wrap up our TV Book Club about the first season of HBO's Deadwood (a show that we will, in all probability, revisit). 




Mar 28, 2019
Episode 185: Someone made Andrew watch Dr Facehands

There is also a second segment to this episode, in which Andrew, Margaret and Kathryn all pitch imaginary TV shows about good journalism, and as per usual Margaret has an eerie number of truly fantastic TV ideas. But the main event here is that a patron forced Andrew to watch a truly awful TV show called Do No Harm aka Dr Facehands, and it was magnificent. 

Mar 21, 2019
Episode 184: Deadwood and Dadwood (S01E07-09)

It's all Deadwood again this week, as we continue our latest TV Book Club. And stay tuned til the end of the show for a Very Special Announcement.



Kathryn Loves Deadwood And Has Thought Pretty Hard About It:

Malcolm In The Middle for some reason?:

Mar 14, 2019
Episode 183: Netflix personalization and Russian Doll

Is a picture of Natasha Lyonne holding a raw chicken the best way to sell you on watching Russian Doll? Netflix thought that's what would get Kathryn! We discuss the way Netflix personalizes its menus in order to hack your brain, and how creepy it is when brands act like people. Then we turn to a bigger discussion of Russian Doll, and how much we love it, and how it bears a resemblance to several other recent shows. 

Mar 07, 2019
Episode 182: Deadwood TV Book Club S01E04-06

This week it's all-Deadwood all the time. The show really starts coming into its own in these episodes, murdering its best-known historical figure and building out characters and just cussing until there are no more cusses to cuss.


Watch Deadwood dangit!!

Feb 28, 2019
Episode 181: TV Chemistry Fight Fight Fight!

Andrew and Margaret return to the skeptical and often controversial Kathrynth Circuit Court for a TV versus TV debate: what duo has the most TV chemistry? Kathryn makes a decision sure to infuriate truly everyone; please know that your hate mail will be received calmly and disregarded quickly. 

They then turn to a discussion of how chemistry works on TV, who has it and who does not. Many things are agreed upon, except for Kathryn's ruling. 

Feb 21, 2019
Episode 180: Kathryn Recommends, and Deadwood TV Book Club Part One

In this week’s episode we SAY that we’re going to keep Kathryn from simply reciting every episode of Deadwood in its entirety, but we don’t do a very good job. Kathryn also makes some more recommendations for loyal listeners.


CBS’s new… Frankenstein show????
Durrells in Corfu:
Schitt’s Creek:
Acorn TV:
Seth Bullock, Real Boy:
Sol Star, Real Boy:
Al Swearengen, Real Boy:

Feb 14, 2019
Episode 179: Patreon recommendation and Forged in Fire Knife or Death

We chat about some recommendations for friendly life-affirming reality shows, courtesy of our patron Kirk. But then we turn to an even *more* life-affirming reality show - something called Forged in Fire: Knife or Death. Everyone giggles an almost unbearable amount. (On the podcast, that is. People on Forged in Fire are very, very serious.) You would not believe how hard it is to cut through a giant hanging fish. 

Feb 07, 2019
Episode 178: Andrew watches Travelers, listener Bandersnatch pitches, and Star Trek Discovery S2

This week, Andrew gets to a request from one of our patrons and watches the pilot of Netflix's Travelers. Then, we chat about some listener-submitted ideas for Bandersnatch-style narrative adventures, and then Andrew is pleasantly surprised by Star Trek Discovery Season 2.


McKenzie & Co, from the golden age of CD-ROM games:
Netflix's Travelers:
Choose Your Own Adventure books, mapped:
Bootyspank was hard to make:
Extra Hot Great:
Anson Mount is Hot Mitt Romney:
Discovery S2:

Jan 31, 2019
Episode 177: Masked Singer and Killing Eve book club part 3

Before we discuss the final episodes of Killing Eve season one, we turn our steely, jaded gazes onto whatever the hell is going on with FOX’s new reality show The Masked Singer. It’s a dystopian fever dream! The judges are so terrible! We think one of them is T-Pain! But the end of Killing Eve is great, and so we talk about its greatness, Konstatin's daughter, and the fact that Eve's marriage is completely unnecessary. 

Jan 24, 2019
Episode 176: Bandersnatch and Sparking Joy

Netflix has us wrapped up in its warm, all-enveloping tendrils again this week - first, a chat about the choose-your-own-adventure-style Black Mirror outing Bindersplitch, and then we clean up our act with Marie Kondo.


How Butterspread came together:

Other, possibly better, Twine-based text adventures:

Video Games Did It Better:


What happens when a whole city KonMaris all at once:

Jan 17, 2019
Episode 175: Killing Eve book club part 2

We love Killing Eve so much that our entire episode is a book club spectacular. In this episode we discuss episodes 3, 4 and 5 of Killing Eve, and only immense restraint keeps us from spending the whole time quoting every line from each episode just so we can marvel at it again. 

Jan 10, 2019
Episode 174: TV superlatives and 2019 TV resolutions

Our year end/year beginning extravaganza is here, and we’re doling out the fake awards left and right! We go over genres like “best statement necklaces” and “time my mom was most right,” before continuing on to talk about how we want to watch TV better in 2019.


Sisters (the TV show):
The Durrels in Corfu:
HBO’s Barry:
Who What When Where Wine shirt:
Killing Eve:
Prue Leith on her love of necklaces:
Kathryn on Last Man Standing:
Superstore, again:

Jan 03, 2019
Episode 173: Motion Smoothing and Killing Eve book club part 1

Here at Appointment Television, we want you to ring in the new year the best way we know how: by making sure you've turned off motion smoothing on your and every other television you have access to. Accordingly, Andrew does a deep dive into what exactly motion smoothing is, and we all talk about how unexpected it was to find Tom Cruise as our guide to this question. Then it's time for a festive holiday book club: Killing Eve!! We talk about the first two episodes this week, and spoiler, we really like them. 

Dec 27, 2018
Episode 172: Dirty John and Winter 2019 Television

This week, Margaret watches some television! And tells Kathryn and Andrew about it. Then, we go through a list of the winter 2019 shows that we’re the most excited to see.

Dec 20, 2018
Episode 171: A Christmas Prince 2 - The Royal Wedding

In the long-awaited follow-up to our recap of A Christmas Prince from last winter, we bring you a full episode of coverage on A Christmas Prince 2: The Royal Wedding. We were deeply concerned that the Netflix Christmas movie would fail to live up to the, um, glories of the first one. But never fear - it is just as silly and awkward and nonsensical as the original. 

Dec 13, 2018
Episode 170: Good One Bad One - Sabrina and New Amsterdam

This week, we finally hit the last of our good and bad fall TV shows: Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and the NBC medical drama New Amsterdam. We don’t come away loving either of them?? But that’s how it goes sometimes.


On Nick Bakay, fellow Kenyon alum and voice of the original Salem:

New Amsterdam sucks:

New Amsterdam still sucks:

Dec 06, 2018
Episode 169: Final chapter of The Newsroom book club

We sweep toward the ignominious end of our book club of the first season of The Newsroom! No one is particularly happy to be here, but we are *extremely* happy it's done. 

Nov 29, 2018
Episode Classic: A Re-Run of our Favorite TV Themes

Happy Thanksgiving! Please enjoy this entry from our archives, an episode where we discuss standalone episodes and our favorite TV theme songs. 

Nov 23, 2018
Episode 168: Bad Interfaces, Good Content (Salt Fat Acid Heat and Patriot Act)

In this week’s show we complain for exactly as long as we want about the terrible bewildering interfaces we all need to use to watch TV right now, and then we talk about some good shows you should watch: Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat, and Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act.


Samin Nosrat’s “beauty uniform”:

The Patriot Act/Queer Eye Crossover Episode:

How Hasan Minhaj fits into our culture of performative dunking:

Nov 15, 2018
Episode 167: Foundational TV crushes and The Newsroom bookclub

We're joined by guest Christina Tucker this week, who covers from Kathryn (who got very sick on that recording day) and bravely subjects herself to watching three episodes of The Newsroom. Before we talk about that, though, Christina, Andrew and Margaret chat about their earliest TV crushes, a discussion that involves Christina waxing rhapsodic about Angie Harmon on Law and Order. Then its... you know. The Newsroom. Again. 

Nov 08, 2018
Episode 166: Mailbag Q&A Extravaganza

Kathryn battles through illness as we answer our way through YOUR most pressing TV questions! What TV tropes do we love? Which TV parents would we choose as our own? And what were our favorite shows a decade ago? All that and more, during a wonder respite from The Newsroom!


All of our questions, laid out in order!

Nov 01, 2018
Episode 165: Part 2 of our Newsroom book club

Lest we sully any other TV topic with proximity to a discussion of The Newsroom, this week our entire episode is dedicated to episodes 2, 3 and 4 of season 1 of Sorkin's disastrous work. There is much yelling, and gnashing of teeth. 

Oct 25, 2018
Episode 164: Surviving The Purge and being friended by God

This week we come back for another GoodOne/BadOne, in which we debate the parameters of The Purge TV series and are... surprisingly OK with God Friended Me, as dumb as it is.


The Purge:

God Friended Me:

Oct 18, 2018
Episode 163: American Vandal S2 and we sadly kick off our Newsroom book club

It's an episode full of ups and downs, as we discuss the delights of the second season of American Vandal (and also its few detractions, none of which are seriously troubling), and then turn to kick off our Newsroom book club with a discussion of the pilot episode. Gradually we begin to wonder why we have done this to ourselves, and Margaret goes on a glorious rant about "McKenzie McFucking McHale." 

Oct 11, 2018
Episode 162: Manifest is bad and The Good Cop is fine

This week, we watch two of our new fall premieres for an old segment newly christened Good One/Bad One. The Good One is The Good Cop, a Netflix show which is vaguely pleasant and generally inoffensive. The Bad One is Manifest, a vaguely Lost-flavored high-concept drama with an interesting premise and bad execution. Also, Kathryn does a Tony Danza impression that shows that when you shoot for the moon, even when you miss, you land among the stars.


The Good Cop:

Tony Danza on The Good Cop:


The Bad Fan Theory Internet Strikes Again:

Oct 04, 2018
Episode 161: Bad frustrating bad men at CBS and bad frustrating TV journalists

It's a bevy of badness this week, alas. We talk about the recent upheaval at CBS after Les Moonves's MeToo moment finally arrived, and point out some recommended reading for this era of revelation and anguish. We also have a recommendation for other guys who've been the subject of MeToo allegations who are now trying to creep back into the public sphere, which is: don't! 

From that cheerful topic, we move on to some more lighthearted yelling about TV journalists, namely, terrible depictions of female journalists on TV. Because it's a fest of awful, we also introduce our next TV bookclub... THE NEWSROOM.

Sep 27, 2018
Episode 160: New Horny Bake-Off and the Macaroni Rascals

This week we evaluate the new era (in the US, at least) of the Great British Bake-Off, which is still at the very least a Good British Bake-Off. Then we try to talk about other reality television shows but mostly end up yelling about the Bachelor again.


Where to find all of Noel Fielding’s shirts:

The New Jersey Life of Macaroni Rascals:

The Great British Baking Show on Netflix:

Sep 20, 2018
Episode 159: TV Narrators and some objectively sick wrestling moves

Andrew, compelled by a patron’s dollars, watches an episode of professional wrestling; Margaret and Kathryn learn a lot about someone named Joey Ryan and also that wrestlers can be like the Dred Pirate Roberts. We then have a chat about what makes for a good TV narrator, in which Kathryn gesticulates for a while about the new Lifetime series You, and we debate the relative merits of Carrie from Sex and the City versus JD from Scrubs.

Sep 13, 2018
Episode 158: Our 2018 Fall TV Preview Extravaganza

This week, a return to a time-honored tradition: we run down a bunch of fall TV shows and we each pick a good one and a bad one to watch. Enjoy! Or don't! 


Whiskey Cavalier:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina:

The Purge:

My Brilliant Friend:

New Amsterdam:


God Friended Me:


Sep 06, 2018
Episode 157: Making It and TV shows based on songs

Making It, the new reality TV show starring Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler, is exactly what we needed this summer, and we talk about it, its small growing pains, and how America finally figured out how to do a decent Great British Bake-Off rip-off. Then we yell, quite a bit, about how dumb it is to make a television show based on the song “Hey There, Delilah,” before pitching our own TV shows based on songs. Every single one we pitch would make a better TV show than “Hey There, Delilah.”

Aug 30, 2018
Episode 156: Picard Trek and Better Things TV Book Club Finale

This week we talk about the EXTREMELY EXCITING NEWS that Patrick Stewart is returning to TV as Jean-Luc Picard in a new Star Trek series, then we wrap up the last three episodes of our TV Book Club on Pamela Adlon's Better Things. 


The new Trek announcement:

Better Things:


Aug 23, 2018
Episode 155: Patreon recommendations and Trial & Error

Kathryn brings some new Patreon recommendations in this episode, this time for someone in search of some queer leaning scifi/fantasy shows. Then we talk about the extremely strange NBC sitcom Trial & Error, a true crime parody romp that made us laugh a lot. 

Aug 16, 2018
Episode 154: Kathryn Recommends Stuff and Better Things S01E05-07

This week, we take another trip to Kathryn's deep deep well of TV recommendations. Then, we continue our journey through episodes 5, 6, and 7 of Better Things.



Dear White People:


Playing House:


Better Things:


Aug 09, 2018
Episode 153: Talking Superstore and Sex and the City with guest Kamille Washington

Because Kathryn couldn't convince Andrew or Margaret to immediately drop all of their responsibilities and watch all of Superstore, and because Margaret felt that neither Andrew nor Kathryn could do justice to a discussion of Sex and the City, we have a guest who can help with both of those things! 


As is sadly inevitable for podcast guesting, we had some issues with Kamille's audio later in the episode, so there's a bit less of her than we'd like. Obviously you need more Kamille than this in your life, so please make sure to listen to an episode of the podcast she co-hosts, The Unfriendly Black Hotties, to get the proper Kamille dosage. 

Aug 02, 2018
Episode 152: Comedians In Cars Getting Schooled For Being Anachronisms, and Better Things S01E02-04

This week we climb into a figurative car and discuss the deal with Jerry Seinfeld's brand of comedy in 2018, and then we hit the next three episodes of Pamela Adlon's Better Things.


Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee may not be made for these times:

Better Things:

Jul 26, 2018
Episode 151: Handmaid's Tale wine, and how to ruin HBO

It was a frustrating and strange week in television news, so we cover the two topics that drove us the most bonkers: HBO's alarming town hall and the brief not-quite existence of a branded set of Handmaid's Tale wines. Please note that in spite of what Margaret suggests in this episode, we are no longer subjecting Andrew to copious alcohol consumption beyond whatever he chooses to consume for himself. 

Jul 19, 2018
Episode 150: Checking Our Email, and Better Things S01E01

This week, we dust off our ol' inbox to respond to a lot of comments-not-questions, and then we dive into our new TV Book Club segment on Pamela Adlon's Better Things.


Raising Hope:
The Rundown with Robin Thede:
Better Things:

Jul 12, 2018
Episode 149: What've we been watching lately?

On this summer holiday week, we have a short grab bag episode of chat about what we're currently watching. Andrew mentions black-ish and Quantum Leap, Margaret's watching a very strange French satire show that Kathryn has a hard time being persuaded by, and Kathryn's been watching a documentary about the New York Times. Plus, we announce our next book club - the first season of FX's Better Things. 

Jul 05, 2018
Episode 148: Trusting the Process, Travel TV, and Our Philly TV shows (LIVE)

We're live from the Philadelphia Podcast Festival this week, talking about travel on TV and then our own super pander-y visions for Philadelphia-based TV shows. 


What The Hell Is The Process:

The Philadelphia Podcast Festival:

Jun 28, 2018
Episode 147: Kathryn goes to ATX, and the characters TV chooses to kill

This week, Kathryn gives us her report on what went down at the ATX TV festival in Austin. Then, spurred by a recent Mo Ryan tweet thread, we talk about why TV chooses to kill so many of its all-too-rare women and PoC characters in the current “anyone can die” twist-and-shocker-heavy world of TV dramas.


ATX interviews via the TV Campfire podcast:

Kathryn’s interview on American Vandal Season 2:

An Oral History of Nana’s Party:

Mo Ryan on women and PoC characters dying on TV:

Apparently, not *anyone* can die:

Character TV deaths in 2015-16, tracked:

Jun 21, 2018
Episode 146: Netflix taste buckets and ER book club part 4

After a week's delay due to Kathryn sounding like a monster from a children’s movie, we return with full voices to discuss the final installment of our ER book club. Margaret swears she will never trust David Krumholtz again. First, though, we talk about some Netflix news and yell about the weird phenomenon of half seasons.

Jun 14, 2018
Episode 145: Roseanne gets the Kiss of Death, and our summer TV preview

This week, we talk briefly about Roseanne's terrible behavior bringing down her successful rebooted sitcom, delivering an unexpected (but not unappreciated) ATV Kiss of Death to yet another program. Then, we spend some time looking forward to this summer's TV; there's a surprising amount that you should add to your schedule.


Roseanne canceled because Roseanne Barr is racist:

Set It Up on Netflix:

Marvel's Cloak & Dagger on Freeform:

Pose on Netflix:

Sharp Objects on HBO:

Queer Eye on Netflix:

Kimmy Schmidt Season 4 on Netflix:

GLOW on Netflix:

The Bold Type on Freeform:

Younger on TV Land:

Jun 07, 2018
Episode 144: Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Law & Order TV Justice

We begin our conversation by welcoming back guest host Christina Tucker, who joins us to talk about the wild ride of Brooklyn Nine-Nine's cancellation and swift resurrection. We also talk about the tricky, complicated dynamics of storytelling designed to humanize cops. Afterward, it's the return of TV vs TV! Thanks to a patreon supporter, we spend some time considering the vitally important question of best SVU guest star. As per usual, Margaret comes slightly underprepared and Andrew brings jokes. 

May 31, 2018
Episode 143: ER book club part 3, and are we the kiss of death?

This week ATV welcomes back Christina Tucker to talk about the next installment in our ER book club, and it's a good thing we do because someone needed to make sure we fully appreciate Julianna Margulies. Before we get to ER, though, it sudden occurs to us that many of the shows we talk about on ATV... get cancelled?  

May 24, 2018
Episode 142: New Arrested Development, and what intelligence looks like on TV

This week we chat a bit about the recut S4 and forthcoming S5 of Arrested Development, a show we thought we'd seen the last of. Then, we talk about the different ways in which TV communicates intelligence.


The Arrested Development announcement:

"I make a lot of graphs":

The quintessential GIF:

May 17, 2018
Episode 141: Late-night Busy-ness and ER book club part 2

First: in some places during this episode, Margaret sounds like she's being played on an old dusty record player. We are sorry about that!

We chat briefly about how there should be more women in late night, which is both obvious and yet still a weirdly, unconscionably lopsided thing about TV culture. Happily, Busy Philips is going to have a talk show on E! Then we turn to the next in our ER book club, which includes a discussion of "Blizzard," "Love's Labor Lost" and "Everything Old Is New Again." If discussions of bad medical outcomes during labor and delivery is going to be upsetting for you... maybe skip some of this!


May 10, 2018
Episode 140: Alex Inc., Zach Braff, and working-class TV

This week, we finally finish up our 2018 TV overview by talking about the oft-delayed Zach Braff project Alex, Inc., which in the Margaret’s words was a show we could “barely hate.” We also talk about when America fell out of love with Zach Braff, and what non-Roseanne working-class TV looks like right now.

SHOW NOTES, such as they are: Alex Inc.

May 03, 2018
Episode 139: The Simpsons' problem with Apu and ER book club part 1

After The Simpsons' truly terrible response to criticism of its character Apu, we talk about what The Simpsons has done wrong, and how weird it is for a show to absolutely refuse to change over time. Then we talk about the pilot episode of ER for our latest book club, and Margaret and Andrew are very patient while Kathryn goes a little bonkers over tracking shots. 

Apr 26, 2018
Episode 138: "80% attention" recommendations and solving magical crimes

This week, Kathryn gives another round of TV recommendations to a listener who’s looking for a show she only has to mostly pay attention to. Then, we spend an hour with the magical ABC crime procedural Deception, and we detail both the kinds of magic we would like to see in future cases and the far-fetched occupations we’d like to see teamed up with the FBI.


Sports Night:





New Girl:



Apr 19, 2018
Episode 137: Quantum Leap and TV news anchors

In fulfillment of another patreon request, Andrew tells Kathryn and Margaret all about a two-part episode of Quantum Leap. This involves attempting to explain the premise of Quantum Leap, much to everyone's delight and confusion. Afterwards, we talk about news clips and news anchors on TV, which includes a celebration of Perd Hapley. 

Apr 12, 2018
Episode 136: Roseanne the person is bad and Roseanne the show is complicated

This is our Roseanne revival episode. We are unequivocal in declaring Roseanne Barr to be reprehensible; unpacking her show (and the response it has prompted, at least so far) is more complicated. Come and join us on this frustrating quest! 


The Roseanne reboot and ABC's "heartland strategy":

How TV depicts Trump supporters, explained:

When different viewers like the same show for different reasons:

On the divide between the old Roseanne Conner and the new one:

ABC tries to separate Roseanne the show from Roseanne the person's toxic political views:

Apr 05, 2018
Episode 135: TV renewal news and HBO's Barry

Thanks to a recent spate of TV renewals from Netflix and other outlets, we take a moment to celebrate the upcoming third season of One Day at a Time and talk about the campaign surrounding its renewal. Also, apparently, Nailed It! has been renewed, which we have no feelings about. 

Afterwards, we chat about the new HBO hitman comedy show Barry, starring Bill Hader. We like it! A lot!

Mar 29, 2018
Episode 134: The soulless spectacle of Nailed It, and more TV recommendations

This week, Kathryn and the gang deliver another round of TV recommendations based on listener requests. We then dive into the worst thing we have watched for the show in recent memory, the soulless Netflix baking competition show Nailed It.


This week’s TV recommendations:

NBC’s Life:





Dead Like Me:

And also there's Nailed It (please do not use this link to watch the show):

Mar 22, 2018
Episode 133: NBC's Good Girls, and what is TV criticism even for?

This week we kick things off with an overly self-aware discussion about the point of television criticism, who it's for, whether it makes sense to critique things like plausibility and character behavior, and how TV is in fact like books now. (Kathryn, somehow, does not combust). Then we talk about NBC's Good Girls, a show we want to like but also a show that doesn't seem to know what it is yet. 

Mar 15, 2018
Episode 132: ATV Lightning Round! Featuring Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cougartown, and bisexuality

This week instead of doing a little thing and a big thing, we do a bunch of little things. It's an ATV Lightning Round!


We're not fans of casting the same actor in two or more roles in the same project, there, we said it:

A woman is running Amazon's TV studios:

Cougartown is on Hulu now:

The show Younger is a thing!

Recently canceled queer shows that deserved better:

Stephanie Beatriz on Rosa Diaz's coming out:

Mar 08, 2018
Episode 131: Spring TV and Queer Eye

It's that time of year when a young TV fan's eye turns to what's happening in the world of spring television releases. We do a short round of selections, including the final season of The Americans, Heidi Thomas' Little Women, and the new NBC series Rise. Then we talk about the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye, which we are much more positive about than we thought we'd be! 

Mar 01, 2018
Episode 130: Wonder Woman and Slings and Arrows S01E05-06

This week, Andrew talks about his experience watching the old 70s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show, which occupies a space somewhere in between the campy action of 60s Adam West Batman and the campy action of the 80s A-Team. Then, we take one last trip to theater camp to wrap up our Slings and Arrows TV Book Club.


More on Wonder Woman:

Wonder Woman on Amazon:

Slings and Arrows Season 1 Episode 5:

Slings and Arrows Season 1 Episode 6:

Feb 22, 2018
Episode 129: This Is Unnecessarily Morbid and One Day at a Time S2

We catch up with the show that killed a beloved TV dad with a popular kitchen appliance on the night of the Super Bowl, This Is Us. We then talk about the fantastic second season of Netflix's One Day at a Time, and dig into a little about Rita Moreno, how the show does politics, and the frustration of amazing, inclusive, human TV shows that feel destined to languish unseen by most TV watchers. 

Feb 15, 2018
Episode 128: Kathryn Recommends More TV, and Slings and Arrows S01E03-4

This week, special guest Craig (of Overdue fame) joins the show to help Kathryn recommend a new round of shows to our generous patrons. Then, Craig lends us his theatrical expertise as we jump into episodes 3 and 4 of Slings and Arrows.


Show recommendations!

Adventure Time:

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries:

Orange Is The New Black:

Line of Duty:


Slings and Arrows S01E03:

Slings and Arrows S01E04:

Overdue, where you can hear Craig every week:

Feb 08, 2018
Episode 127: Black Mirror twiststravaganza

We return to the world of Black Mirror after a very long break, this time to do a swing through a few episodes of the new season. Each one of us watched a different episode, and we use this opportunity to play a little game - we describe most of the episode we saw, and the other two have to try to imagine what the inevitable Black Mirror twist will be. Kathryn watched "Hang the DJ," Margaret watched "Arkangel," and Andrew watched "USS Callister." Heads up: we definitely spoil all of them. 

Feb 01, 2018
Episode 126: Better Never Than Late, and Slings and Arrows S01E01-02

This week Andrew suffers through Better Late Than Never, a not-quite-reality show about old men being casually racist in a foreign country. Then, we chat about episodes one and two of Slings and Arrows, our latest TV Book Club. 


Better Late Than Never, which is truly terrible:

Slings and Arrows episode 1:

Slings and Arrows episode 2:

Jan 25, 2018
Episode 125: 2018 resolutions and TV to look forward to

We spend a few moments thinking about our TV resolutions for the new year. For Andrew and Kathryn it's mostly about specific TV they'd like to check out; for Margaret it boils down to "actually watch some TV." We then take a look at the field of new TV to look forward to in the new year, and pick out some of our most anticipated series, including Sharp Objects, Good Girls, and the truly concerning 9-1-1. Finally, we announce our next TV Book Club, Slings & Arrows!

Jan 18, 2018
Episode 124: The Dreadful Jeremy Piven and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

This week’s episode is pretty much what it says in the title - we briefly celebrate the unceremonious and thoroughly deserved cancelation of Wisdom of the Crowd, and then we talk about the pleasant surprise that is the first season of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.


Wisdom of the Crowd Canceled Amid Jeremy Piven Sexual Assault Scandal:

Me, Myself, and I also canceled:

Amy Sherman-Palladino talks Mrs. Maisel:

We need Hallmark movies because the world is a cold, uncaring place:

Jan 11, 2018
Episode 123: Five Came Back and a 2017 TV retrospective

Margaret actually watched some television! She shares that information with us, and we make appropriately impressed noises. 

We also think back on the year in TV, and the way 2017 shaped the stuff we watched, the stuff we stopped watching, and the stuff we watched but then completely forgot about. If you have not watched The Good Place, we do not spoil it! But you should really watch it. 

Jan 04, 2018
Episode 122: The Crown, and trying to make fetch (and a podcast episode) happen

This week’s abbreviated holiday week episode is all about characters that TV shows want to make “happen.” Sometimes shows and showrunners have a character or a performer that they want us to love who we just can’t love, and that would be fine if they’d just stop trying so hard.


Kathryn’s recaps of The Crown season two:

Jason Mantzoukas:

Fred Armisen:


Dec 28, 2017
Episode 121: A Christmas Prince

It's holiday time, so we dedicate the entire episode to a close reading of one of Netflix's forays into the wide world of dedicated Christmas programming: the Hallmark Christmas-style movie A Christmas Prince. Strap in for lying! Mothra! Negging! Jellied meats! Birther scandals! Romance! Tokenism! Constitutional crises! And so much more! 

Dec 21, 2017
Episode 120: TV to binge over the holiday, and Alias Grace

This week, Kathryn makes a new round of TV recommendations, just in time for the holiday break. We then check in with the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace, available on Netflix in the US.

TV recommendations!

Watch Alias Grace on Netflix:

Then read Kathryn’s piece on the ending:

Dec 14, 2017
Episode 119: Separating the art from the artist and Stranger Things 2 Book Club Part 3

In the ongoing discussion about how we feel when we find out artists are jerks (or worse), we talk about separating the art from the artist. This discussion happened in the context of Louis C.K., but we think you'll find it relevant for all of your most recent #metoo-era feelings. Afterwards, we wrap up Stranger Things 2 and talk about our thoughts on Bob the Brain, the awesomeness of Dustin, and the less awesomeness of episode seven.  

Dec 07, 2017
Episode 118: Lord of the Rings Redux and the Geico Caveman Show

This week we talk about Amazon’s attempt to make the next Game of Thrones by revisiting the spring from which Game of Thrones sprang, and the kinds of Tolkien-flavored shows we’d really like to see. Then, one of our listeners and Patreon donors makes Andrew watch the pilot for Cavemen, the super-regressive short-lived mid-2000s sitcom based on the old insurance commercials.

Nov 30, 2017
Episode 117: Tiny House Hunters and Stranger Things 2 book club part 2

This Thanksgiving, we're grateful for our Patreons, one of whom forced Andrew to watch an episode of Tiny House Hunters and then share that experience with us. It's pretty amazing. We continue along in our Stranger Things 2 book club, and discuss such things as: does Radio Shack still exist? And, why would you keep a baseball bat covered in nails in the trunk of your car? 

Finally, stay tuned at the end for some brief yelling about motion smoothing. 

Nov 23, 2017
Episode 116: A busy TV November and our favorite women who make TV

This week’s episode is all about the somehow weirdly busy November TV schedule, and then we boost the work of some of our favorite women working behind the camera (and why that’s important).

Nov 16, 2017
Episode 115: TV recommendations and Stranger Things 2 Book Club

Surprise! It's a new TV book club! We're returning to the world of Hawkins Indiana to talk about Stranger Things 2, and in this episode we consider the first three episodes of the new season. Before we get there, though, we run through a few personalized TV recommendations that've come in the ATV mailbag lately. For instance: what should you watch with your parents this Thanksgiving? 

Nov 09, 2017
Episode 114: Bad dicks, good dicks, and American Vandal

This week we really lean into the whole dick thing - first, we have an (admittedly couple weeks old) discussion about the ever-widening aftershocks of the Weinstein sexual assault allegations. Then, on a funner note, we talk for like half an hour about how much we love American Vandal.

Nov 02, 2017
Episode 113: The good Mayor and the idiocy of the crowd

This week we're continuing our "good fall TV / bad fall TV" voyage with some really, truly, exceptionally bad TV: CBS's Wisdom of the Crowd, a show so bad that it decided the best way to solve crime was to invent a worse version of reddit. Before we get there, though, we take a look at a much more promising new series - The Mayor. Who could've thought a campaign run as a joke would actually be a funny premise in 2017! 

Oct 26, 2017
Episode 112: Return to the mailbag and farewell to Kings

This week we jump back into the mailbag to chat about, among other things, queer TV couples and other stuff we missed in previous episodes. Then we say a fond-ish farewell to NBC’s Kings, a one-season wonder that nevertheless lasted way longer than it had any right to.

Oct 19, 2017
Episode 111: Patreon, bad fall TV, and Star Trek Discovery

The big news this week is the launch of our patreon! We would so appreciate your support to help us continue this podcast, and let us keep improving and growing. But just as important is the first installment of our fall TV 2017 good show/bad show selection. As you may have guessed, Me, Myself & I is not a good show, but you'll need to tune in to find out how we feel about the new Trek. 

Oct 12, 2017
Episode 110: One-season wonders and Kings S01E07-10, with special guest Jackson McHenry

Vulture editor and Kings enthusiast Jackson McHenry joins us this week for a discussion of our favorite one-season TV shows, those poor creative projects that made it to the screen but just couldn't hang. And speaking of, we move on to episodes 7, 8, 9, and 10 of our TV Book Club on NBC's 2009 drama Kings.

Oct 05, 2017
Episode 109: Amazon is not great at making TV, but Rob Lowe is

After some recent announcements from Amazon on its TV programming future, we talk a little about how it seems to have no idea what it's doing, and why you can't just decide to make the next Game of Thrones and expect that to happen overnight. In more successful TV news, we then chat about a series called The Lowe Files. This essentially involves us just repeating lines from The Lowe Files.

Sep 28, 2017
Episode 108: A Grand Discussion of Grand Designs and Kings S01E03-06

This week we spend some extra time waxing poetic about a show we've only mentioned in passing so far—the long-running Channel 4 home renovation show Grand Designs. After that, we return to the land of Gilboa for our continued tour through NBC one-season wonder Kings, a series that ran for exactly as long as it probably should have.

Sep 21, 2017
Episode 107: Outlander and TV couples

Outlander is back for its third season - without any spoilers for season three, we get into some of the show's flaws, what works about it, and why we're willing to extend it lots of goodwill even when it's also a bit nonsensical. Inspired by the characters from Outlander, we talk a little about what makes for a good TV couple and some of our favorite examples. Oddly they're all from Michael Schur shows?


Sep 14, 2017
Episode 106: TV fashion and NBC’s Kings, our most obscure TV Book Club to date!

This week we kick off with a discussion of the TV costuming that we like, the people who make it happen, and the people who write about it. 

We then grant one of Kathryn’s longstanding wishes and start in on our TV Book Club about NBC’s Kings, a weird and fascinating show that never should have existed but somehow, improbably, does.

Sep 07, 2017
Episode 105: Game of Thrones thoughts and The Bold Type

Because there just is not enough discussion about Game of Thrones in the world already, we talk a little about some of the issues we've had with the show's most recent season, and why it can be frustrating when a fantasy show doesn't have internal logic. We then turn to a show we've been enjoying much more than we expected - Freeform's new series The Bold Type. 

Aug 31, 2017
Episode 104: Sexy Broad City Sex Toys and Less Sexy Returning TV Shows

This week we attend to our privates and yours with an extended and completely pro bono discussion of the new line of Broad City sex toys. Treat yourself. 

We then move on to a significantly less sexy topic: the returning TV shows that we’re most excited about. If neither of these chats get your motor running, I’m not sure what will.

Aug 24, 2017
Episode 103: How to make the Bachelor franchise better

After the deep frustration of watching the Bachelorette finale, we talk about how the franchise failed its first black lead and the particular missteps of the final episode. Given the unpleasantness of that season, and of the direction of the franchise more broadly, we then share ideas for how we'd improve the series. 

Aug 17, 2017
Episode 102: The best and the worst of the fall premieres

This week the three of us look at all the brand-new shows that are coming out this fall and pick some winners and losers—show’s we’re excited for (or at least interested in) and shows that seem determined to be as bad as they could possibly be. We’ll be revisiting all of our favorite and least favorite pitches later this fall, so pay attention!

Aug 10, 2017
Episode 101: Confederate nonsense and grief on TV

We have a real upper of an episode for you this week. First, we discuss the controversy around the recently announced new HBO project from the creators of Game of Thrones. We are decidedly underwhelmed. In our second topic, we talk about the way television deals with stories about illness, death and grief - frequently not very well, as it turns out! 

Aug 03, 2017
Episode 100: The 100th episode

In honor of our 100th podcast episode, we're spending most of this week's show talking about 100th episodes! It has traditionally been the magic number for syndication, a phenomenon we dig into in depth; we then talk about shows that we would never, ever want to see make it all the way to 100 episodes.

Jul 27, 2017
Episode 099: Please Like Me Book Club Part 3

Our final maternity leave episode is the wrap-up for our Please Like Me Book Club, and we talk about the final two episodes of the first season. Geoffrey is a real sports boy, Niamh continues to be *the worst*, and at the end, things get unexpectedly poignant. 

Jul 20, 2017
Episode 098: Handmaid’s Tale wrap-up, lady parts, and menses

This week we share our final thoughts on season one of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale adaptation, and talk about our hopes and fears for the second season. Then, we dive headlong into the way menstruation is handled on TV - both the better, more incidental/passing references in some recent shows and the exaggerated jokey references in most others. 

Jul 13, 2017
Episode 097 - Please Like Me Book Club Part 2

Here's our second of three episodes on the first season of the Australian comedy Please Like Me! This week we talk about episodes three and four, in which the show gradually reveals its beating heart and Niamh once again proves to be Just The Worst.


Jul 06, 2017
Episode 096: Bachelor in Paradise grossness and what we watched on maternity leave

After our recording hiatus, we come back to talk about some really gross, disturbing, concerning stuff surrounding this season of Bachelor in Paradise. Heads up - this includes some descriptions of alleged sexual assault. We talk about our collective lack of surprise that this has happened and how this makes us feel about the franchise more broadly. If this discussion is not something you're comfortable listening to (trust us, we get it), please skip ahead to 21:55, where we talk about all the things we've been watching over our break.

Jun 29, 2017
Episode 95: Please Like Me Book Club Part 1

For a brief maternity leave hiatus, we're doing a lightning-round TV Book Club - the first season of Australian comedy Please Like Me. In our first episode we talk about episodes one and two, and chat about coming out stories, awkwardness, the comic potential of suicide attempts, and Margaret's fear that she's actually Niamh. 

Jun 22, 2017
Episode 094: Shows to catch up on and social justice criticism

The first part of our conversation this week is about the shows we intend to watch during our recording hiatus, a wide-ranging list of stuff we really should have gotten to by now. Then we talk about socially conscious TV criticism, how it breaks from previous traditions of criticism, and how issues of representation and social justice affect our viewing habits.

Jun 15, 2017
Episode 093: Star Trek TNG Book Club: The End

Our trek through the stars comes to a conclusion this week, as we chat about the double-length time-hopping series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation. How does series newcomer Margaret feel about this sci-fi touchstone? Does the finale help to make up for the pilot? And how would we rate every character's old age makeup? 

Jun 08, 2017
Episode 092: When TV gets tech so wrong you just can’t ignore it

This week, we zoom and enhance on how TV uses modern tech to tell good stories (or to do the opposite, as the case may be). Why doesn’t anyone on TV lock their phone with a passcode? What does it say when a character leaves their phone’s sounds on? And are crime shows even trying to get it right?

Jun 01, 2017
Episode 091: Star Trek TNG Book Club: Q Week

This week we spend a little more time with Q, everyone’s favorite trickster (Captain Picard notwithstanding). As the series went on, Q was softened and given more dimensions than he had in early appearances, and he was helped along by his chemistry with Patrick Stewart. This will all be good stuff to keep in mind as we warp toward the finale!

May 25, 2017
Episode 090: Listener Q&A week!

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! This week we hit the pause button to do a little navel gazing, getting into some listener questions about how we met and how our show came to be, and then we dive a little deeper into what we like to watch and how.

May 18, 2017
Episode 089: Star Trek Borg Week

It's Borg Week on Star Trek TV Bookclub! We skip our usual short segment so that we can cover four episodes of Borg-y goodness, which includes thoughts on why Picard is such a fitting Borg opponent, what exactly is going on with Guinan's hats, and why no one thought to program "this is what a Borg cube looks like" into the Enterprise computer. Margaret and Kathryn also have several thoughts about Picard's wardrobe and physique. Spoiler: they are complimentary thoughts. 

May 11, 2017
Episode 088: Our least favorite tropes and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale

This week we start things off by talking about conventions, tropes, and storytelling techniques that get in the way of the action and pull us out of shows we otherwise really like. Then, we chat about what makes Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation unique and effective, even in a field crowded with Peak TV dramas.

May 04, 2017
Episode 087: Star Trek Gettin' Comfy Week

We've got four Star Trek TV Book Club episodes to get through this week, so it's All Trek, All the Time. We cover some TNG greatest hits, including the much-lauded episode The Inner Light. We may or may not have some feelings about the costuming choices there. Kathryn has some thoughts about poker. 

Apr 27, 2017
Episode 086: A farewell to Girls, and a hello to finales

This week’s show is about endings. Resident professional TV critic Kathryn VanArendonk tells us how she feels about HBO’s Girls wrapping up, and then the three of us discuss the finales that we feel wrap their respective shows up right (and also wrong).

Apr 20, 2017
Episode 085: Talking about Mrs Maisel and TV we've fallen out of love with

After speculating wildly about the new Amy Sherman-Palladino pilot for Amazon, we watch and discuss the first episode of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and talk about how it (mostly) exceeded our expectations. We then move to a discussion about television we once loved, and then found our affections had soured. 

Apr 13, 2017
Episode 084: Checking in on TV in Trump’s America, and Star Trek TNG Week 2

This week we do the briefest of check-ins with the state of TV in Trump’s America—specifically, the post-election cancellation of Reza Aslan’s ABC sitcom about a Muslim-American family.

Then, we jump to warp with week two of our Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Book Club, in which we discuss season 1’s The Big Goodbye, season 2’s Measure of a Man, and season 3’s Yesterday’s Enterprise.

Apr 06, 2017
Episode 083: Streaming services showdown

We begin this week with a TV vs TV, in which Margaret and Kathryn go head to head in a debate about the best way to spend your money if you're only going to buy a single standalone streaming service. Many elements are considered, many factors are weighed, and in the end, no one's particularly happy about the decision. (Except the winner). From there we move into a broader discussion of the proliferation of streaming outlets, with a particular focus on CBS All Access and Seeso. 

Mar 30, 2017
Episode 082: A newbie's guide to Star Trek: TNG, and watching its ridiculous pilot

We've got just one thing on our minds this week - Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's our newest TV Book Club, and we'll be watching a series of hand-picked episodes from its seven-year run over the next few weeks to introduce Margaret (and, hopefully, some of you!) to its charms.

Sadly, those charms are largely absent from its sprawling, messy pilot. It's a poorly paced, poorly plotted, and incompetently assembled collection of parts that bears just a superficial resemblance to what the show would later become. But! It's important for continuity reasons, and it'll make it all the more fun in a couple weeks when we start getting into the good stuff. 

Mar 23, 2017
Episode 081: Amazon pilot season and the spring TV avalanche

Did you know that Amy Sherman-Palladino has a pilot for a new series streaming on Amazon? Yeah! We consider the potentially dubious wisdom of that project and imagine how we'd advise Jeff Bezos on its prospects. For our second segment, we consider the brutal onslaught of new TV that'll be appearing over the next several weeks, including new shows like Handmaid's Tale and Feud, and returning series like Catastrophe, Better Call Saul, and Veep. 

This week we also promo our next TV Book Club - Star Trek: TNG! We'll be discussing the two-part pilot episode for episode 82, so hop on the bandwagon!

Mar 16, 2017
Episode 080: This Is Us (Kate Edition), and a quick visit to Riverdale

We get started this week with some listener mail that takes issue with our characterization of Kate from This Is Us; we don't AGREE with the listener, but we do take some time to more fully flesh out our talking points from before.

After taking about an extremely unfair and damaging iTunes review, we then spend some time in the Archie-meets-Pretty-Little-Liars world of The CW's Riverdale, a small town about sexy teens, the people who want to have sex with them, and the mysterious murders they commit.

Mar 09, 2017
Episode 079: Big news in Bachelor world and the end of Fargo TV book club

This week we talk about the recent announcement that The Bachelorette has cast its first black lead, and dissect the weird spoilery timing of that announcement. We consider why this is an important milestone for the franchise, and why it's total nonsense that ABC actually be applauded for it. 

We also turn to the end of our Fargo TV book club, discussing the final three episodes of the first season. It's hard not to spend the entire segment just jumping up and down and squealing about how great the show is. 

Mar 02, 2017
Episode 078: Wishbone and TV vs TV, Best Book-to-TV Adaptation Edition (Live show)

First up, an apology: this is a recording of our recent live show at the Free Library in Philadelphia, and unfortunately the audio quality falls far short of our normal standards. We have learned a very important lesson about Having Contingency Plans and Packing Extra Equipment, and we should hopefully be able to avoid a repeat of this in the future. 

For those of you who listen, it's still a good show! We talk up beloved 90s TV dog Wishbone, and debate the merits of letting a talking dog re-enact literary classics. Then, guest judge Craig Getting joins us to help us decide which is the best book-to-TV adaptation. 

Feb 23, 2017
Episode 077: Gay blasts from the past and Fargo S01E05-07

This week, upcoming remakes of both Will and Grace and Queen Eye For The Straight Guy show us that just because you CAN reboot something doesn't necessarily mean that you SHOULD. Then, we revisit the frigid, murderous Midwest for another installment of our TV Book Club segment on season one of FX's Fargo.

Feb 16, 2017
Episode 076: We don't care about The Young Pope, and Fargo TV book club Part 2

After mentioning HBO's The Young Pope in our episode on notable new TV for winter 2017, we return to discuss the depths and breadths of Andrew's distaste for it. Kathryn attempts to provide some cinematic context for the show; some singing is involved. We then pick up with the second installment in our Fargo book club, discussing episodes two through four. Topics include viscera, the purpose of viscera, pure evil vs pure goodness, and locusts. 

Feb 09, 2017
Episode 075: Vice President of Our Hearts and This Is Us (w/ Christina Grace)

On this week's show we're joined by Christina Grace of the Unfriendly Black Hotties podcast (@theblackhotties on Twitter) to talk about ex-Vice President Joe Biden's odd turn on SVU earlier this season; it doesn't really make any sense but it's also a reminder of a less bleak time. We also dig way into the surprisingly effective schmaltziness of This Is Us.

Feb 02, 2017
Episode 074: Fargo TV book club part one and why no one is ever cold on TV

Have you ever noticed that people are rarely cold on TV? We did! Well, some of us did, and Andrew has some (reasonable) questions about whether that's even an interesting thing to notice, much less talk about. Regardless, talk about it we do.

We then move onto the inspiration for our cold TV thoughts, the first part of our book club on the FX show Fargo. This week we look at the pilot, and talk about the differences between it and the Coen brothers' film, representations of evil in naturalism, and what it sounds like when you fake an orgasm with a Minnesotan accent. 

Jan 26, 2017
Episode 073: Whether to watch the Inauguration and One Day at a Time

Inauguration Day looms, so we've devoted a good chunk of this episode to discussing whether you should watch Donald Trump on Friday. It's a spirited discussion, but not a bad one. 

We then move to a lighter subject: namely, Netflix's modernized-yet-anachronistic reboot of Norman Lear's One Day at a Time. 

Jan 19, 2017
Episode 072: Mapping American TV and Previewing New Shows for 2017

A few weeks ago the New York Times published fascinating maps of American TV fandom, and ATV is ON IT. We look at the Upshot's maps of where different TV shows are popular, and talk a little about diversified viewing, why people like American Dad or Family Guy but not both, and what shows people watch in Colorado. 

Afterwards we look at shows we're thinking about for 2017, including One Day at a Time, The Young Pope, and The Handmaid's Tale. Andrew, to some podcasters' regret, makes some Borat jokes. 

Jan 12, 2017
Episode 071: Hygge detectives and returning TV in 2017

We kick off our first show of 2017 by talking about “hygge,” the Danish concept recently popularized by New York Times thinkpieces but originally popularized by Margaret’s newsletter Two Bossy Dames. Kathryn has an extremely exacting definition of hygge that may or may not wreck it for Andrew and Margaret.

Then, we check in with some of the shows that will be returning in 2017, both those that we examined as part of our fall TV preview and some older favorites with winter and spring premiere dates.

Jan 05, 2017
Episode 070: Christmas Special Roundup and Cranford TV Book Club Part 3

In a not-quite-timely seasonal episode, we talk about our favorite Christmas specials and Andrew and Margaret get into a fight about fictional snowmen. Andrew speaks up for the Rankin and Bass classics, and Kathryn hearkens back to a lost Angela Lansbury treasure. 

For our final installment of the Cranford TV Book Club, things with Dr Hotbutt get quite complicated, and we talk about the importance of muslin with a fine, close weave. 

Dec 29, 2016
Episode 069: Shows we missed in 2016 and TV programming in the age of Trump

As this truly questionable year winds down, the crew talks about the TV shows that they missed the first time around that they’d like to sit down and catch up on during the holiday break.

Then, we talk about some quotes from the head of ABC’s entertainment division. Art so often reflects the age it’s made in, and as we go forward we’ll see TV respond to the reality of Donald Trump’s election in both potentially good and potentially disappointing ways.

Dec 22, 2016
Episode 068: Search Party and Cranford TV Book Club part 2

This week we kick things off with a discussion of the TBS show Search Party and how great it is and how everyone should watch it.

We then move on to the second part in our TV Book Club on Cranford, covering episodes 2 and 3. Cow pajamas and Loch Lomond sing-a-longs are involved. 

Dec 15, 2016
Episode 067: Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life

This week, we'll lead you into an all-out, no-holds-barred discussion of Netflix's Gilmore Girls revival. Will you follow? Anywhere that we tell you to? 

The short version is that Rory is a monster, Lorelai is Lorelai, and Kelly Bishop is a national treasure.

Dec 08, 2016
Episode 066: Abortion on TV and Cranford TV Book Club Part 1

For the first segment this week, we look at two recent depictions of abortion on television on Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Although we think they're both important, we talk about the differences in those stories and the few things we wish one show had done differently. As a part of this conversation, we touch on why it's so vital for TV to tell these kinds of stories, and we also discover that Margaret's not entirely sure about the pronunciation of the word "gallant."

Our second segment is the kick-off for our newest TV Book Club - the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford. Margaret and Kathryn are already way in the tank for this show, but we do our best to restrain ourselves in the discussion of the miniseries' first episode. Andrew still has some reservations, which he expresses partly through fanfiction.

Dec 01, 2016
Episode 065: Why TV and TV criticism still matter, and comfort shows

In light of our feelings about the 2016 US presidential election, we work through some of our feelings and have a conversation about how notionally “frivolous” TV and TV criticism are still important, and how they will continue to be important going forward.

Then, we go into some comfort TV shows that you can use to make yourself feel just a little better if you’re feeling as bad as we are. And also: dick jokes??!

Nov 24, 2016
Episode 064: Debating the best TV homes

As a break between TV book clubs, we turn to a broader topic this week - houses and apartments on TV. We kick things off with a TV vs TV debate between Andrew and Kathryn over the best, most memorable TV house. As per usual, Margaret is forced to make a somewhat arbitrary but ultimately binding decision. There are no take-backs in TV vs TV court.

After the debate, we turn to a bigger discussion of the role of houses on TV. What makes a good one? What makes a TV home distracting? Which is better, Joey and Chandler's apartment, or Monica and Rachel's? Is there a difference between three-cam sitcom houses, and single-cam ones? What about dramas versus comedies? 

Nov 17, 2016
Episode 063: Making the next great TV show and Veep S01E06-08

This week we kick things off by making three of the next great TV shows using a fun tool of the same name from The Ringer. Then, we wrap up our TV Book Club segment on Veep, something that seemed a lot more fun before we had to confront our present political reality.

Speaking of that, this episode was recorded in mid-October when this devastating loss seemed all but impossible. We make jokes to that effect toward the end of the show. They’re hard to listen to now, but we’re leaving them in on the off chance that it helps any of you remember what it was like to feel normal.

Nov 10, 2016
Episode 062: Fleabag, and Ben and Lauren, Happily Never After

For the final installment of our fall Good TV/Bad TV series, we first look at the British show Fleabag, which is now available for streaming on Amazon. Andrew and Margaret have seen all of the short series, and discuss its unusual protagonist, the show's uncanny ability to find emotional depth in minor characters, and the pleasure of identifying yourself inside deeply unappealing characters. 

We then turn to different but even less appealing characters for Kathryn's Bad TV selection, the ostensibly real people of Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?. Unfortunately for Andrew, Kathryn and Margaret are too delighted with how terrible this show is to truly commiserate with his misery at being forced to watch it. Still, everyone agrees that it is remarkably terrible television. 

Nov 03, 2016
Episode 061: ABC's Speechless and Veep S01E03-05

This week we open with a chat about the first couple episodes of ABC’s Speechless, a zany family sitcom in which one family member has cerebral palsy. It’s satisfyingly progressive and fresh in a lot of ways (and it’s oddly regressive in a couple of others).

We then move on to the next batch of Veep episodes - our appetite for lusty cussing is as healthy as ever, don’t even worry about it, but it’s not like the show is COMPLETELY perfect.

Oct 27, 2016
Episode 060: Designated Survivor and Abominable MacGyver

We return to our fall Good TV/Bad TV series, this week with a look at the not-quite-a-24-reboot Designated Survivor and the not-quite-a-functional-TV-show, CBS's new MacGyver reboot. We talk about Designated Survivor's useful role as a silly security romp, its Obama-era politics, and the importance of acting with and without glasses. We then talk about the pilot Andrew's chosen to inflict on us all, the first episode of the new MacGyver. Spoiler: we are not fans. 

Oct 20, 2016
Episode 059: Politics on TV and Veep S01E01-02

We're all about politics this week, both real and fictional. After some chatter about televised debates, we talk about some of our favorite totally-political-but-not-about-politics TV shows. Then, we kick off our newest TV Book Club segment on the first two episodes of the first season of HBO's Veep.

Oct 13, 2016
Episode 058: The Good Place and the other place

In our continuing coverage of new TV series for fall 2016, we take a closer look at one promising new series, and begin our tour of the three terrible shows that we've selected to force each other to watch. For our promising show, we talk about the first few episodes of NBC's new comedy The Good Place. We take apart the things we like, the things we'd like to see improve, and speculate about the kinds of obstacles The Good Place might face in the future. 

Our first Bad TV Choice was selected by Margaret, who's elected to force Kathryn and Andrew to watch the pilot of a new CBS legal procedural, Bull. As anticipated, it is terrible. Much yelling ensues. 

Oct 06, 2016
Episode 057: Donald Glover's Atlanta and fall TV boners

This week we take a dive into Donald Glover's Atlanta, a show which is currently running its first season on FX. It's the latest in a vein of odd-yet-deeply-personal comedies, very much in the vein of Louie and Master of None (and you can also see hints of it in shows like FX's Better Things, a Pamela Adlon-Louis CK joint). 

From there, we move into fall TV shows that we're excited about—there are some returning champions and some fresh faces. And then each of us picks a pretty-bad-looking fall TV show that we'll be making the others watch and discuss in the coming weeks.

Sep 29, 2016
Episode 056: Breadxit, class and TV consumption, and everything is terrible

We tackle some tough issues in this week's episode, beginning with a deep mourning for the loss of Mel and Sue from the Great British Bake-Off. We talk about what they mean to that series, the larger upset at the BBC generally, and how tragic it will be if the Bake-Off takes a sharp turn towards the commercial. 

Our second segment is in response to a note from a listener, who wrote in to ask about a portion of our live show episode. It's a tricky and important question, and we take some time to try to unpack our relationship with shows like The Bachelor, our "liberal art hazmat suits," and some of the many ways TV inflects issues of class and audience. Kathryn gets a little too mired in current politics, Margaret has a metaphor about buggy whips, and Andrew longs for an alternate universe where rather than the Bachelor, we were all members of a Joe Millionaire Nation. 

Sep 22, 2016
Episode 055: Bad TV Kids and Stranger Things S01E08

This week it's all about kids, starting with the TV kids who make us roll the eyes and go "ugh, TV kids" the most.

Then we wrap up our Stranger Things edition of TV Book Club, talking about everything we liked and a handful of things we wish had been handled differently. Here's looking forward to season two!

Sep 15, 2016
Episode 054: Live from the Philly Podfest 2016, TV bars and the best TV live audiences
This week's episode is a recording of our live show at the 2016 Philly Podfest, where we had a fabulous time talking about TV bars inside of Philadelphia's great Tattooed Mom Bar. We unpack the role of bars as "third spaces" on TV. We consider the ways that bars bring together different segments of the population, act as meeting places and entries to civilization, and are good places to watch TV. We talk about our favorite TV bars, and also pick what fictional bar we'd most like to be a real place.
For our second topic, we bring in special guest and familiar ATV voice Craig Getting to adjudicate the first ever TV vs TV vs TV. In deference to our live audience, the issue before the TV court is the best variety of live TV audience. Margaret creates a fictional audience member named June to support her argument, Andrew talks about the audience as judges, and Kathryn dispenses trivia about Lucille Ball's mother. 
Sep 08, 2016
Episode 053: Mystery solving teens and Stranger Things S01E05-07 w/ guest Kate Racculia

Our friend Kate Racculia joins us this week to talk about why teens and kids are such good detectives, and to weigh in on all things Stranger. We talk about Veronica Mars, Scooby Doo, and Nancy Drew, and we try desperately to stop Andrew from reading Inspector Gadget fanfic out lout. In the third installment of Stranger Things TV Book Club, we go deep on representation in fiction and The Cult of Barb. Margaret admits her love for Hopper, we all swear unending fealty to Dustin, and Kate helps us keep our Curiosity Doors open. 

Sep 01, 2016
Episode 052: The Standalone Episode and TV Theme Song Extravaganza

The underwater episode of BoJack Horseman prompts our opening discussion this week, but you'll want to STAY TUNED because AFTERWARD we talk about TV theme songs so much that you'll never want to hear another TV theme song again! Or maybe you will, because TV theme songs are wonderful. 

Aug 25, 2016
Episode 051: TV topics medley, Stranger Things TV Book Club Part 2, and some rocky humor

For our first segment, we start out with the intention of discussing the currently airing season of Great British Bake-Off as a follow-up to our previous TV Book Club. We do that, but we also stray through several other topics, including Kathryn's TV hookup and Margaret's TV crushes. 

Our second segment is the second installment in the Stranger Things TV Book Club, covering episodes 2-5. While we do eventually get to some deeper discussions about the show's influences, its depiction of gender, and the role of Eleven, we have to dig through some conversational quarries to get there. 

Aug 18, 2016
Episode 050: Match Game’s Charming, High-Functioning Alcoholism, and TV Auteurs

On tap for this week: Thorough examination and praise of the boozy antics on ABC's Alec Baldwin-hosted Match Game reboot. Then, a discussion of Auteur TV based on the alleged behind-the-camera turmoil at Netflix's Baz Luhrmann-helmed The Get Down. Also, Margaret is just tipsy enough for it to be funny.

Aug 11, 2016
Episode 049: Close-reading the Gilmore Girls teaser and Stranger Things TV book club kick-off

For our first segment this week, we pick apart the new teaser for the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls. Topics include: Amy Schumer's celebrity timeliness, nostalgia, smartphones, teaser editing, and corpse flowers. The bulk of our episode, though, is a look at the first episode of Netflix's Stranger Things, our newest selection for TV Book Club. We talk about its movie influences, its popcorniness, the celebrity persona of Winona Ryder, and Dungeons and Dragons. There is also a moment when Margaret and Kathryn sing Toto, and we'd like to apologize for that. 

Aug 04, 2016
Episode 048: Bachelorette Blowout! Fantasy League, Meat Chad, and TV vs TV

This week is all about our favorite reality show hobby horse, The Bachelor/ette franchise. This is Andrew's first season watching, and the gang talks about the way their Rose Buddies-inspired fantasy league has affected their viewing. 

Then we fire up the ol' TV vs TV cannon to settle that age-old debate: which is actually a better show, The Bachelor or The Bachelorette?

Jul 28, 2016
Episode 047: Checking in with animated TV, and Orange is the New Black Season Four

After a bumper crop of responses to our segment on animated TV shows, we talk about some of the comments we received. We highlight a few listener suggestions for other animated shows to check out. 

Our big segment this week is a spoiler-filled discussion of Orange is the New Black's fourth season. We talk about some of the controversies surrounding the last handful of episodes, about the difficulty of negotiating OITNB's interest in the Black Lives Matter movement, about TV's troublesome Bury Your Gays trope, and about whether we think the season works as a whole. To no one's surprise, Piper is still a huge bummer. 

Jul 21, 2016
Episode 046: Nielsen ratings, OITNB, and when TV eats its own tail

Nielsen ratings—the things we use to determine how many people watched a given TV show, not reviews of TV shows by families named Nielsen—are still widely used and Netflix just gave us a rare peek at its ratings for the season four premiere of Orange is the New Black, but how useful are they, really?

Then, using OITNB as a springboard, the gang talks about how characters on TV (and TV shows themselves) use references to movies, music, books, and other TV shows. When is it useful character development? When is it lazy writing? When is it just played for laughs? And what current TV shows would your favorite Star Trek characters be REALLY into? 

Jul 14, 2016
Episode 045: Animated TV shows, plus TV dealmakers and dealbreakers

For our first segment this week, we talk about half-hour animated TV shows, and why we don't spend much time talking about them. Andrew, with some assists from Margaret, tries to explain to Kathryn why animated TV shows are worthy watches, particularly shows like Bob's Burgers, Home Movies, Clone High and Venture Brothers. 

In light of Kathryn's animated TV reticence, we turn to a consideration of our TV dealmakers and dealbreakers. What things about a TV show will make us tune in, regardless of any other aspect of its production? (For Margaret, is it a costume drama? Then yeah, she's there.) What things about a TV show will make us tune out and never look back? Andrew lets loose some Joss Whedon feelings.

Jul 07, 2016
Episode 044: Juice Patrol, The Mayonnaise Incident, and Great British Bake-Off S01E08-10

In this week’s show, things start innocently enough. Kathryn and Margaret talk about ESPN’s O.J.: Made in America, which is a documentary that we talk about as a companion piece to the fictionalized American Crime Story about O.J. Simpson that wrapped up earlier this year.

Then, the gang moves on to the final stretch of The Great British Bake-Off, where things rapidly become surprisingly sexual. You’ve been warned.

Jun 30, 2016
Episode 043: Looking forward to summer TV, and what is the deal with recaps

Summer is upon us, and we talk about some of the summer programming we're most looking forward to watching. Margaret's interested in the new Baz Luhrman show The Get Down, Andrew's thinking about catching up with Mr Robot, and we all wonder why TBS won't let us watch Playing House in some easily accessible streaming place.

Our main discussion this week is about the secondary television market - recaps, post-show discussions, series-specific podcasts, and all forms of immediate TV criticism. We talk about what works and what doesn't, why we like TV criticism, and what kinds of recaps we seek out. Margaret and Kathryn are wistful about the late, lamented Television Without Pity, and Andrew tells us how TV recaps are like a tree.  

Jun 23, 2016
Episode 042: The Americans Season 4 was excellent, and also Great British Bake-Off S01E05-07

We revisit several old stomping grounds this week—first it's back to Nashville, which hadn't been revived when we recorded this but has been as we write this. Then, we gush a bit about the latest season of The Americans, which we covered in our last TV Book Club. And finally it's on to our current TV Book Club, the still-charming, pastry-filled world of the Great British Bake-Off.

Jun 16, 2016
Episode 41: Spring cancellation bloodbath and TV trailer mockery

It's spring, the time when a young man's fancy turns to cancelling television shows that have been underperforming for quite a while, but which had survived until now because no one really understands the current TV paradigm. We run through several of the recent TV cancellations, and discuss whether or not they'll really be missed. After chiding Margaret for being part of the Agent Carter problem, we move on to a discussion of trailers for new network TV series in the fall. Spoiler: some of them are very, very bad.

Jun 09, 2016
Episode 040: Vulture's UnREAL panel and Great British Bake-Off S01E02-04

Kathryn and Margaret attended Vulture's panel on season two of UnREAL, which arrives this month. Then we move on to the next part of our TV Book Club segment on The Great British Bake-Off (or "The Great British Baking Show" to Americans). We are, for better or worse, not quite as nice as the people on the show.

Jun 02, 2016
Episode 039: CBS's Star Trek Streaming Problem, and Procedural TV vs TV Madness

CBS is suggesting that the only way to access its new Star Trek series will be through its streaming service, and we talk about why that seems like a terrible idea. At some point, we'll no longer be willing to sign up for new streaming services whenever they debut, and CBS All Access might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. 

We then turn to the main task of the day - another TV vs TV lightning round, this time on the topic of procedurals. We pass around the judge's wig to consider such questions as: which is the best procedural premise? Who's the best side character? Do will-they-won't-theys make procedurals better or worse? And thanks to Andrew and Kathryn's deep knowledge of a particular series, TV v TV becomes a Bones-a-palooza. 

May 26, 2016
Episode 038 - Reality tropes and Great British Bake-Off S01E01

The gang kicks this week's show off by talking about their favorite reality show tropes—when the shows start making your root for or against certain characters, when people are or aren't there to make friends, and when you know in your bones that someone is about to be sent home.

They then move over to the first episode of the only (easily, legally available in the US) season of The Great British Bake-Off, listed on Netflix as "The Great British Baking Show" even though we refuse to refer to it by its legally mandated name. Needless to say, we are completely done in by its charm, even if some of the contestants give us the weirds.

May 19, 2016
Episode 037: In Praise of iZombie and Food on TV

After an impressively great second season, we talk about what makes CW's zombie procedural mystery iZombie so much fun. Shows that meld procedural beats with long arc stories over the course of a season are so hard to pull off well, so we talk about what makes iZombie work, and how strong its season finale was. 

We jump from there to a discussion of the delightful food prep montages on iZombie, and then broaden our consideration of how TV depicts food. Margaret brings up Hannibal, Andrew talks about Bob's Burgers, and Kathryn raises her fists in fury at yet another dumb House of Cards food scene. In an attempt to find a baseline for what we consider to be "good" and "bad" food, Andrew asks us to name our worst meals. Kathryn's is pretty troubling. 

May 12, 2016
Episode 036: The Myers-Briggs Hat and Kimmy Schmidt Season 2

This week we dive into the real-world Sorting Hat that is the Myers-Briggs personality test, where we find out what personality traits we share and which we don't (spoilers: Margaret and Kathryn are polar opposites).

Then we dive into the second season of Tiny Fey and Robert Carlock's The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a sophomore season that starts weak but picks up steam as it chugs along. Tina Fey isn't always the best at taking criticism, but damn can she deliver a funny one-liner.

May 05, 2016
Episode 035: The Appeal of the Rewatch and Historical TV

Thanks to a question from a listener, Andrew, Margaret and Kathryn revisit the idea of rewatches and try to take apart exactly what draws us to rewatching certain series, episodes, and scenes. We think about Mad Men, Outlander, Veronica Mars, and the pleasures of doing research on the shows we love.

Next, inspired by our Americans book club, we consider historical television series, and think about the differences between historical miniseries and open-ended historical series. We talk about Outlander, Wolf Hall, Downton Abbey, John Adams, The Hour, and more. What is the difference between a miniseries and a series in this instance? How are television shows influenced by their source material? Aren't all histories false narratives we impose on events to make ourselves feel good? And also - Margaret makes a near-fatal error.

Apr 28, 2016
Episode 034: Sorting Jane the Virgin, The Americans S01E10-13, and #Winestunts

Big episode this week! First off, Andrew is continuing his #Winestunts odyssey from last week, which as Kathryn pointed out was something that he chose to inflict upon himself. It results in a lot of love.

While that continues, the crew introduces a new segment in which they sort their favorite TV characters into their probable Hogwarts houses, starting with perennial favorite Jane the Virgin. And we come to the thrilling, wig-tastic conclusion to the first season of FX's The Americans. Enjoy!

Apr 21, 2016
Episode 033: Apology Tour and Hating the One They're With

In response to all of the lovely reviews and apology requests we've received, we do a tour through some listener apologies, and Andrew makes a bid for even more apologies by voicing some thoughts about Firefly. In our long segment this week, we talk about what happens to a television show when a TV love interest alienates viewers. We consider Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, as well as Sex and the City, Friends, and more. Are all male-centered love triangles dramas, while female-centered ones are comedies? 

While we discuss this, Andrew makes good on his promise to procure and consume an entire bottle of Tituss Burgess's Kimmy Schmidt-inspired wine, Pinot by Tituss. #WineStunts ensue. 

Apr 14, 2016
Episode 032: The Babineaux and The Americans S01E06-09

Lots of genre shows have a character who isn't in on the central secret - not because they're dumb, usually, but because of contrivances that serve the plot. We've dubbed this archetype "The Babineaux" in honor of one of our favorite recent examples. 

After that, we talk out the next leg of our TV Book Club discussion of FX's The Americans. The tension amps up in this run of episodes, and episode nine in particular begins a steady escalation that will carry us all the way to the finale.

Special guest Sophie Brookover joins us this week to help us talk everything out! You can read more of her and Margaret's work in the weekly Two Bossy Dames newsletter, which you can find at

Apr 07, 2016
Episode 031: Tossing Salads and the Unicorn Age of Comedy

Once again we return to our Hatewatch segment, which this week, we're calling Hatewatch of Cards. Kathryn talks about House of Cards' most recent season and one particular meal prepared by Claire Underwood. We also kick off our Apology Tour with an apology that's been a long time coming. 

For our long segment, we consider Mo Ryan's recent Variety piece on the dominance of television comedies, and talk about whether comedy is ascendant on TV today, and why. We breeze through a long list of amazing comedy on TV right now, talk about TV drama's over-reliance on sad white men, and think about whether comedy ages better than drama. 

Mar 31, 2016
Episode 030: TV of Our Bygone Youth and The Americans S01E02-05

This week we all learn more about each other and ourselves by talking about all the kids' TV we watched as kids. Some of those relationships were healthier than others.

Then, we move on to a still-entertaining but much bleaker subject: episodes two through five of the first season of FX's The Americans. 

Mar 24, 2016
Episode 029: The Problem of Network TV Ads and Spring TV Updates

Inspired by a recent article by Sydney Ember about the changing role of advertisements on network TV, we consider the problems of the network TV ad model more broadly. Should there be sponsored segments? Should there be native advertisement? Should shows just run longer to cram more marketing goodness in? We then look at the spate of current and upcoming TV offerings. Andrew complains about Game of Thrones, Kathryn recommends Outlander, and Margaret reveals some surprising information about Jackie Chan. 

Mar 17, 2016
ATV APB: Wine Matthews and Pinot Noir

Today's APB is all about wine, specifically viewed through the lens of Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys' thoroughly charming-looking Wine Show and a certain actor's new line of pinot noir.

Mar 15, 2016
Episode 028: How to Get Away with Hatewatch and The Americans S01E01

This week, Margaret lays out in detail JUST how frustrated she is with "the one piece of the Shondaverse [she] still engage[s] with on a weekly basis," which is just as vitriolic and frustrated as you'd expect.

After that, we launch into our next TV Book Club selection, the pilot of FX's The Americans. Spies are more fun than lawyers, at least in this episode. 

Mar 10, 2016
Episode 027: TV vs TV Sitcom Showdown

This week, we start things off by dipping into our mailbag to talk about your excellent Gilmore Girls podcast comments, and we brag about our amazing, personalized line of ATV cocktails. Then we turn to the big event: an epic, TV vs TV sitcom-themed battle, in which we pass around the white powdered judge’s wig to adjudicate some of the most vital sitcom debates of our time. Which is the best sitcom theme song? Who is the worst Kramer? And why does Margaret apologize to the guy from the B-52s? 

Mar 03, 2016
Episode 026: Hiding TV Pregnancies and Bunheads S01E14-18

We kick things off this week by talking about the three weird tricks that TV shows employ to write pregnant actors into their shows, whether they're working it into the plot, hiding it, or otherwise.

Then we wrap up the Bunheads epoch of our TV Book Club segment. We mourn a show that was cut down in its prime, simultaneously praise and puzzle over its perhaps-fatal quirks, and like ranch chips.

Feb 25, 2016
Episode 025: Awards shows, celebrity culture, and whatever happened to Ricky Gervais

It’s the height of awards season, and inspired by Ricky Gervais’s performance at the 2016 Golden Globes, we have a discussion about watching awards shows. We consider the distasteful parts of following celebrity culture, and Kathryn and Margaret try to convince Andrew that celebrity gossip isn’t just dumb fluff. We have a wide-ranging discussion about the social usefulness of celebrities, and return to the way awards shows give us a stage to work out Big Issues. Finally, we turn to this year’s Golden Globes to ask, "Ricky Gervais - what happened to you?” 

Feb 18, 2016
ATV Bulletin: Sutton Foster on Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow Podcasters

We introduce a special new feature, the ATV Bulletin, where we address important news of the day (or, you know, news of the last couple of days). In this short episode, we discuss the recent announcement that Sutton Foster will appear on the Netflix revival series of Gilmore Girls. In addition, Margaret brings us an extremely important question to consider: which citizens of Stars Hollow would have a podcast, and what would that podcast be about? 

Feb 15, 2016
Episode 024: Preconceived Notions and Bunheads S01E09-13

This week, Kathryn's sister Laura joins the gang to help talk us through life as a teenage ballerina. It turns out Amy Sherman-Palladino's Bunheads gets a lot of the details right, even if the dances are a bit too polished for this age and skill level. 

Bunheads really finds its feet in this run of episodes—in between singing its praises, we also talk about how we approach shows that have been recommended to us by others. Do we actually watch them, and how do those recommendations change our viewing experience? 

Feb 11, 2016
Episode 023: The Super Bowl and Sports as TV Events

In honor of the Super Bowl this week, we have a wide-ranging discussion about sports and television, featuring returning guest and Overdue podcast brother Craig Getting. We talk about all the ways that sports fandom can be troubling, and all the things that make sports such compelling televisual entertainment. Highlights include: our personal sports narratives, Margaret’s description of cultural sports fandom, what it’s like to follow athletic careers like soap operas, and eventually we actually let Craig talk about football. 

Feb 04, 2016
Episode 022: The simple joys of Masterchef Junior and Bunheads S01E04-08

This week, Andrew shares with the group his continuing love of Masterchef Junior, which leads to a mini-celebration of that rare animal, the Non-Cynical Competition Reality Show.

After that it’s back to the TV Book Club mines for episodes 4-8 of the Freeform (nee ABC Family) one-season wonder Bunheads. Does the show get past its rough opening episodes? So all the teenagers start to feel like fully realized characters? Is “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” originally a They Might Be Giants song? We answer all these questions and more!

Jan 28, 2016
Episode 021: Talking and watching TV, and what's new about binge-watching

Margaret, Kathryn and Andrew answer a listener mailbag question and discuss all the many nuances of when it is and is not okay to talk while watching television. Andrew reveals a rule in his house about what you’re allowed to say while watching Game of Thrones, and Margaret discusses the tricky ins and outs of being a veteran watching with a newbie. They then turn to the main topic: whether streaming television is a new genre and how binge-watching changes our opinions of shows. This topic is spurred on by Alan Sepinwall’s interview with Transparent creator Jill Soloway, James Ponewozik’s piece Steaming TV Isn’t Just A New Way to Watch, It’s a New Genre, and Willa Paskin’s discussion of binge-watching Master of None.

Jan 21, 2016
Episode 020: TV Resolutions and Bunheads S01E01-03

To help kick off 2016, we talk about our TV-related resolutions. For Andrew, it's to watch more of the shows Kathryn and Margaret have recommended to him; for Margaret, it's to be more like Andrew.

Then we move on to our TV Book Club discussion of the one-season wonder Bunheads, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino of Gilmore Girls fame. It's a rough start to the series - the setup is awkward and the first few episodes are consumed with making it work. But rest assured, it gets better.

Jan 14, 2016
Episode 019: Return of Bashville, High Wire TV, and the Wall of Plot

We kick off the episode with the brief return of our Bashville segment, in which Margaret (surprisingly!) praises a recent change on the ABC series Nashville. Next, we turn to our primary discussion of the week, a concept we call High Wire TV. We define this idea in a few different ways, and consider the broader pitfalls and possibilities of TV that tries to do everything all at once. Andrew talks about Game of Thrones, Kathryn praises Jane the Virgin, and Margaret brings up How to Get Away with Murder and the broader Shonda-verse. All of this feeds into Kathryn's growing realization that she has way too many thoughts on this topic, and we end with an introduction of our new TV Club series, the ABC Family show Bunheads

Jan 07, 2016
Episode 018: A Very Murray Christmas, TV Christmas specials, and holiday melacholy

In this week’s ATV, we discuss the new Netflix Christmas special, A Very Murray Christmas, and the inherent flaws in a celebrity Christmas special built around a depressive, alcoholic character who’s not great at singing. We also talk about the Christmas special as a genre and touch on some of our favorites, including A Colbert Christmas, the Rankin and Bass classics, Charlie Brown, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas


We then inaugurate It’s a Wonderful Life as a retroactively official TV Christmas special, and move on to discuss some of the emotionally fraught aspects of the holiday. Margaret and Andrew were gift receiving monsters at one point, Kathryn cried at the wrong part of Bridge to Terabithia, and we make some space for those of us who are just trying to muddle through somehow. 

Dec 24, 2015
Episode 017: Game shows and Tennessee Business

Special guest host Craig Getting of Overdue fame joins us this week for a discussion of game shows, those reliable workhorses of the daytime-and-early-evening TV landscape. We talk the hosts and formats we like, and the ones we think we would do the best on.

Craig also tells us about his (sometimes faulty) strategies for solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles, and the time he was robbed of the chance to be on the show.

Dec 17, 2015
Episode 016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and TV's most damaging ironic titles

This week we discuss The CW’s new series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Margaret is a fan, and Kathryn and Andrew have some reservations. Margaret tries to assuage their fears by discussing the show's strengths, and Andrew admits he has liiiiitle a crush on Rachel Bloom. Kathryn’s generally weary of television’s depictions of women as “crazy,” but she’s willing to give the show more time.

Then we move on to a slightly unfortunate TV vs TV, in which Kathryn and Margaret have a misunderstanding about the nature of the debate before finally settling on TV series most damaged by their jokey ironic titles. Margaret argues for the cut-down-in-its-prime one season series Trophy Wife, while Kathryn chides Andrew for his complete disinterest in a good show just because it's called Cougar Town. 


Dec 10, 2015
Episode 015: MST3K, Endless Reboots, and a Fall TV Check-In

On this week's episode, we dig into the recent Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Star Trek reboot announcements and share our deepest hopes and fears. We also share the shows we'd actually like to be see remade, though the list of properties that are ripe for a reboot that aren't already being rebooted is getting short.

Next, we move on to a midseason checkup on some of the shows we mentioned in our overview of Fall TV. For Margaret, it's Supergirl, which is well-intentioned even if it's sometimes a little too on the nose. For Andrew, it's The Muppets, which is still frustratingly milquetoast. And Kathryn has unexpectedly found herself drawn to the TV continuation of the film Limitless, something that spawns a limitless number of jokes.

Dec 03, 2015
Episode 014: Thanksgiving TV, bottle episodes, and the Butterball hotline

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. 

Nov 26, 2015
Episode 013: Master of None, the Comedian Sitcom, and Black Mirror S01E03

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?

Nov 19, 2015
Episode 012: Baby's first hatewatch and the best TV to watch in hotel rooms

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. 

Nov 12, 2015
Episode 011: The Bechdel Test and Black Mirror S01E02

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.

Nov 05, 2015
Episode 010: TV Halloween costumes and the best Halloween episodes

Join us for our Spooky Halloween Spectacular! Margaret, Kathryn and Andrew discuss what TV-themed costumes they would create if they had all the time and money in the world. Margaret has a brilliant costume, Andrew's costume choices require some very specific facial hair, and Kathryn reveals that she is truly terrible at coming up with costume ideas. 

Kathryn then returns to her controversial judicial podium to decide between Margaret and Andrew's compelling arguments for best TV Halloween episode. It's a very spooky nail-biter. 

Oct 29, 2015
Episode 009: Bashing Nashville, Black Mirror S01E01, and the return of the dead-eyed sex pigs

This week’s show sees the return of Hatewatch Watch, here renamed “Bashville” because of all the hate that Margaret has to aim at ABC’s Nashville.

We then move on to the newest installment in our TV Book Club series, the first episode of Black Mirror. It is, how you say, not what we were expecting. Andrew also explains the art of faking an orgasm, which you should be able to use if you ever find yourself in a Black Mirror-esque situation.

Oct 22, 2015
Episode 008: The Carmichael Show, All in the Family and Monica the Medium

This week, we talk about sitcoms and social issues as Kathryn makes Andrew and Margaret watch The Carmichael Show and they wonder what the heck she was thinking. Once we're all on the same page, Kathryn discusses the way The Carmichael Show reminds her of Norman Lear's All in the Family, and we talk about the importance of having TV shows on the air that we don't necessarily like.

We then turn to a show Kathryn bets you did not know existed: ABC Family's Monica the Medium. Andrew reveals that he has witnessed a medium reading, Kathryn recommends a ghost-hunting realtor, and we agree that Margaret would make a great medium. 

Oct 15, 2015
Episode 007: The Muppets, TV tropes, and dead-eyed sex pigs

This week we continue our examination of fall TV by jumping into the first two episodes of ABC's The Muppets. Our verdict is mixed but mostly negative, and we share our concerns about the show's tone and format.

We move on to a mailbag about Kathryn's controversial ruling last week, and then close out with a talk about TV tropes and why it's not always bad when they work out.

We're also trying a new experiment: for the next few weeks we're going to try posting slightly shorter shows every week rather than one long show every two weeks. If it goes well for us (and you!) we'd like to keep doing it, so let us know what you think.

(Apologies for Andrew's audio this week, there was a mic problem that clears up about a third of the way in.)

Oct 08, 2015
Episode 006: Best Bras and Terriers S01E11-13

Kathryn moderates a debate between Andrew and Margaret about TV's best, primarily non-sexual female friendships—Kathryn must choose between Abby and Ilana from Comedy Central's Broad City or Emma and Maggie from USA's Playing House. 

Then, Andrew tells everyone about a gem of a show from former professional wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura, the show bids a fond farewell to Terriers, and we make our next TV Book Club announcement.

Sep 24, 2015
Episode 005: Fall TV Preview and Terriers S01E08-10

Andrew, Margaret and Kathryn add on to the pile of fall TV previews with a rundown of new series they're excited about, new series they just don't quite get, and returning shows they're looking forward to seeing again. After a brief dip into the mailbag, TV Bookclub returns with a discussion of episodes eight, nine and ten of the much mourned one season wonder, Terriers. 

Sep 10, 2015
Episode 004: TV Seasonality and Terriers S01E05-07

Last week Margaret and Kathryn argued about the best summer reality TV show; this week, we sadly wave goodbye to summer with a discussion about TV seasonality and whether it is fading away. Andrew and Kathryn share their TV-trawling discoveries with a brief chat about Airplane Repo and Bait Car, and then we all return to TV Bookclub to talk about episodes five, six and seven of Terriers. 

Aug 27, 2015
Episode 003: Summer Reality TV and Terriers S01E02-04

Ah, summer, the time when TV usually takes a break from trying too hard. In this week's TV vs. TV segment, Margaret and Kathryn try to convince Andrew of the value of two experimental, off-the-wall summer reality shows: Whodunit, or For Love or Money.

After letting Kathryn talk about how awful Celebrity Family Feud is, we then move on to the second, third, and fourth episodes of Terriers, that FX buddy cop show with the dumb name that was cancelled before its time.

Aug 13, 2015
Episode 002: Art of the Rewatch and Terriers S01E01

In episode two of Appointment Television, we tackle the art of the TV rewatch. Why do we do it? What do we watch? How do we feel about these shows and these characters the second or third time around?

In the second half of the episode we call the first meeting of the TV Book Club - this week, we talk about the pilot of Terriers, a one-season wonder from FX. It's got a bad name, but it's a diamond in the rough among buddy cop shows. We'll be watching episodes two through four for our next show, so you definitely have time to catch up!

Jul 30, 2015
Episode 001: Pilot

Welcome, friends, to Appointment Television! 

The first subject we tackle in this, our inaugural episode, are the mechanics of “behind-the-scenes” TV shows. These are the shows that attempt to show you the way something works—maybe it’s a radio station! Maybe it’s the White House! Maybe it’s a sketch comedy series! In any case, these shows use their real-world settings to drive stories that may or may not become increasingly detached from those same settings.

Our second segment this week is a little something we like to call “TV vs. TV.” These are debates where two of your hosts present an argument to the third host, who then uses her or his infinite wisdom to determine a winner. This week, Andrew and Kathryn let Margaret settle that age-old question: which Star Trek series is best, The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine?

Jul 16, 2015