Welcome to Episode 139 of TV’s Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter’s TV podcast.
Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executive and other guests, and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).
This week’s five topics are:
1. Squid Game wins the internet.
The Korean-language original has become the internet’s latest obsession. Joining us this week is Rebecca Sun, THR senior editor of diversity and inclusion, to discuss the cultural significance of the series and what it means when a local-language original crosses over.
2. MLB playoffs!
The Red Sox (Dan’s team) and Dodgers (Lesley’s favorite) survived their respective win-or-go-home Wild Card games as Major League Baseball’s expanded playoff format continues to make for great television. Ratings-wise, both games were big winners, too.
3. Better Things endgame.
The FX comedy will wrap its run in 2022 with its fifth and final season as star, writer, director, showrunner and exec producer (and former TV’s Top 5 guest) Pamela Adlon leaves the door open a crack to return someday. In this segment, Dan says an early farewell to one of TV’s best comedies.
4. Showrunner Spotlight.
Ted Lasso co-creator and showrunner Bill Lawrence — our first repeat Showrunner Spotlight guest — to discuss the season two finale of Apple’s Emmy-winning comedy. The interview, which contains spoilers from the episode, also features Lawrence touching on how many more seasons are left in the series. “I’d love to the show to keep going but it’s going to only keep going as long as [Jason Sudeikis] feels like it’s a cool thing for him, not only to do creatively and professionally, but personally. People forget, it’s a dude with two kids and he is a great dad and to up your life over to London for half the year is tricky,” he says. “The cool thing about this show is when we started, we plotted out everybody’s beginning, middle and end of a three-season arc. I would say that this story is going to be over next year, regardless — even if the show finds another story to tell and goes on.”
5. Critic’s Corner.
As usual, every episode ends with Dan’s guide to what to watch (or skip) in the week ahead. This week, he offers reviews of Netflix’s Baby-Sitters Club, Apple’s Acapulco, Hulu’s Dopesick and more.
Hear it all now on TV’s Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email us with any topics or Mailbag questions you’d like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.