Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, our TV critic Margaret Lyons offers hyper-specific viewing recommendations in our Watching newsletter, aimed at your needs, desires and tastes. Read her latest picks below, and sign up for the Watching newsletter here.
Watch This If … You Want a Comedy
‘What We Do in the Shadows’
When to watch: Wednesday at 10 p.m., on FX.
If you miss the ensemble chemistry, doofy enthusiasm and arbitrary bureaucratic processes of “Parks and Recreation,” and if you can handle silly but frequent goriness, watch this vampire comedy set on Staten Island. At the end of last season (available on Hulu), Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) discovered that he’s a descendant of the vampire hunter Van Helsing, which complicates his current position as dutiful familiar.
“Shadows” isn’t a feel-good comedy in the sense that it has an important moral center and we all learn valuable lessons about safer sex and honesty. But it is feel-good in the sense that it genuinely feels good to give over to its silly and escapist style, to laugh at its slapstick and its more subtle asides. FX is airing two new episodes Wednesday, which is a nice treat.
… You Want an Action Drama
When to watch: Season 3 arrives Thursday, on Netflix.
The white-knuckle Israeli counterterrorism thriller is back for a third season (in Hebrew and Arabic, with subtitles; English dubbing is only for the Hebrew). I’m usually a big proponent of just jumping into shows, but start at the beginning with this one — there’s a lot going on, and characters work undercover in different capacities, so you really need to know who’s who. If you like the thrills of “24” but prefer the vibe of early (good) “Homeland,” or if your favorite parts of “The Americans” involve the various personas the Jenningses used, watch this. Each season has 12 meaty episodes, and they’re quite tense; make room for a comedy or game show for dessert.