Second Seasons of ‘The Girlfriend Experience’ and ‘Lady Dynamite’ and More TV You Must See This Week

Also new war series, Frankie Shaw’s biographical comedy, and a myriad of docs on pop culture.
Girlfriend Experience S
By  · Published on November 5th, 2017

Also new a new war series, Frankie Shaw’s biographical comedy, and a myriad of docs on pop culture.

This week, high-stakes dramas abound: a sultry acclaimed series returns with a spin; a new TV Western takes us back to the social unrest of the Depression; and a novel narrating a 48-hour firefight in the Iraq War gets the miniseries treatment. There is also plenty of pop culture documentaries, dedicated to jazz icons, contemporary street artists, and legendary music magazines. Finally, Maria Bamford and Frankie Shaw add the comedy element to the mix with their semi-autobiographical humor.

To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for November 5th –11th (all times Eastern):

The Girlfriend Experience (Starz, Sunday 9pm)

The second season of the acclaimed TV version of Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience promises to keep up the high-stakes drama and high production value, but it also ventures into new anthological territory. Writer-directors Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan introduce new settings and characters and split each episode into two parallel stories. One is set during the upcoming 2018 midterm elections and explores the relationship between a Republican Super PAC director (Anna Friel) and a professional companion du jour (Louisa Krause). The other follows a GFE worker (Carmen Ejgo) who relocates to New Mexico with witness protection and enters the world of career escorts. Even though we will see new faces like TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and director Harmony Korine among the cast, the focus remains sharp on the power dynamics between characters.

SMILF (Showtime, Sunday 10pm)

You might know Frankie Shaw as Shayla Nico, Elliot’s love interest in the first season of Mr. Robot, or maybe even recognize her from her Blue Mountain State days. But Shaw is also a familiar face in the Sundance scene. She made her break at the festival in 2010 with The Freebie, and five years later she won the Short Film Jury Award with SMILF (which stands for “Single Mom I’d Like to Fuck”). Her semi-autobiographical short film finds a new life as a comedy series — written, produced, directed, and starring Shaw herself — that follows a young actress as she tries to balance motherhood and an active dating life. She is accompanied by Rosie O’Donnell, who plays her mom, and Connie Britton, who takes on the role of her boss. SMILF offers a balanced combination of tender child-rearing moments with a straightforward approach to sex and romantic relationships.

Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge (HBO, Monday and Tuesday 9pm)

Rolling Stone magazine has been in business for more than 50 years. Easy to say, but it is also a complex achievement to understand, especially in a day and age where our relationship towards printed press has changed significantly. Directors Alex Gibney and Blair Foster explore the early start of the publication in the ’60s and how it became a cultural institution, as they also look back at over five decades of American music, politics, and popular culture. The documentary features interviews and anecdotes from founder Jann Wenner and other notable staffers, as well as performances from The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, The Sex Pistols, and The Clash, and music by Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, and Chance the Rapper. A two-night event that no rock or pop culture fan should miss.

Chasing Trane (PBS, Monday 10pm)

Adept jazz buffs and occasional listeners of the Whiplash soundtrack alike are aware of John Coltrane’s reputation as one of the most influential figures in the genre’s pantheon, and this week’s installment of Independent Lens delves into the life of the man behind the myth. Director John Scheinfeld traces the saxophonist’s path starting in 1957, a musical and personal turning point for the performer. Chasing Trane combines Coltrane’s own meditations narrated by Denzel Washington with home movies, studio footage, rare photographs, television appearances, and interviews with biographers, family, collaborators, and friends — among them Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, and Benny Golson — and musicians inspired by him, including Common, John Densmore, Wynton Marsalis, and Carlos Santana, as it follows his quest for spiritual transcendence through music.

The Long Road Home (Nat Geo, Tuesday 9pm)

If you are looking for a military drama along the lines of CBS’s SEAL Team, NBC’s The Brave, or the CW’s Valor, but with a stronger emphasis in real-life events, Nat Geo has you covered. This week, the channel is premiering the first two episodes of its eight-part miniseries adaptation of Martha Raddatz’s book, which follows the 2004 48-hour firefight in Sadr City, Baghdad, better known as “Black Sunday.” Starring Michael Kelly, Jason Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Jeremy Sisto, the story focuses not only on the ambush of American forces by the Iraqi insurgency and the subsequent rescue attempts, but also in the ordeal through the eyes of the soldier’s families.

Damnation (USA, Tuesday 10pm)

Westerns seem to be making a slow but steady (and much needed) comeback, under new guises or mixed in with other genres, like dystopian future action (Mad Max: Fury Road) or supernatural black humor (Preacher). Following this tendency of Western-esque approaches, arrives Damnation. This period drama set in 1930s Iowa centers on the rivalry between a man pretending to be a preacher (Killian Scott), who leads an uprising against an industrial magnate, and a professional strikebreaker (Logan Marshall-Green). Attesting for the show’s Western-influenced pedigree, Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie helms the first episode and serves as producer. A good alternative while we patiently wait for the return of Jesse Custer.

Lady Dynamite (Netflix, Friday)

Maria Bamford (Maria Bamford) is in a pretty good place in her life: she is keeping up with her meds as well as with her first functional relationship, she is getting back on the audition circuit, and she aims to de-stigmatize mental illness. But this doesn’t mean that the hyperactive surrealist shenanigans are a thing of the past (season). In this second run, outlandish comedy will definitely ensue. Joining Bamford in eight new episodes are guest stars Andy Samberg, Jenny Slate, Judy Greer, Jason Mantzoukas, Fred Armisen, Judd Apatow, Fred Melamed, Mo Collins, Weird Al Yankovic, and Randall (yes, the racoon).

Obey Giant (Hulu, Saturday)

The name Shepard Fairey might not ring any bells, but it is very likely that you have seen his work. Fairey is the multimedia guerrilla artist behind the Andre the Giant “OBEY” stickers and the “Hope” poster from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign – each of them having been parodied or remixed in popular culture in everything from a Harper magazine cover to BoJack Horseman. This documentary follows Fairey from his rise in the skateboarding scene to the political controversy that surrounded his best-known work, and explores the link between street art, activism, and politics.


Bob’s Burgers S8E4 “Sit Me Baby One More Time” (FOX, 7:30pm)

Outlander S3E8 “First Wife” (Starz, 8pm)

The Simpsons S29E5 “Grampy Can Ya Hear Me” (FOX, 8pm)

Ghosted S1E5 “The Machine” (FOX, 8:30pm)

Star Trek: Discovery S1E8 “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” (CBSAA, 8:30pm)

Family Guy S16E5 “Three Directors” (FOX, 9pm)

Shameless S8E1 “We Become What We … Frank!” (Showtime, 9pm) – season premiere

The Girlfriend Experience S2E1 “Leverage” (Starz, 9pm) – season premiere

The Walking Dead S8E3 “Monsters” (AMC, 9pm)

The Last Man on Earth S4E5 “La Abuela” (FOX, 9:30pm)

Curb Your Enthusiasm S9E6 “The Accidental Text on Purpose” (HBO, 10pm)

SMILF S1E1 “A Box of Dunkies and Two Squirts of Maple Syrup” (Showtime, 10pm) – series premiere

White Famous S1E5 “Life on Mars” (Showtime, 10pm)

Vice Principals S2E8 “Venetian Nights” (HBO, 10:40pm)


Rebecka Martinsson S1 (Acorn TV) – series American debut

Lucifer S3E6 “Vegas with Some Radish” (FOX, 8pm)

Supergirl S3E5 “Damage” (The CW, 8pm)

Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge (HBO, 9pm) – mini doc series premiere

Star Wars Rebels S4E7&E8 “Kindred” & “Crawler Commanders” (Disney XD, 9pm)

The Gifted S1E6 “got your siX” (FOX, 9pm)

Independent Lens: Chasing Trane (PBS, 10pm) – documentary TV premiere

Scorpion S4E7 “Go With the Flo(rence)” (CBS, 10pm)


The Mindy Project S6E9 “Danny in Real Life” (Hulu)

The Flash S4E5 “Girls Night Out” (The CW, 8pm)

Lethal Weapon S2E5 “Let it Ride” (FOX, 8pm)

NCIS S15E7 “Burden of Proof” (CBS, 8pm)

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow S3E5 “Return of the Mack” (The CW, 9pm)

Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge (HBO, 9pm) – mini doc series finale

This Is Us S2E7 “The Most Disappointed Man” (NBC, 9pm)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine S5E5 “Bad Beat” (FOX, 9:30pm)

The Mayor S1E6 “Will You Accept This Rose?” (ABC, 9:30pm)

American Horror Story S7E10 “Charles (Manson) in Charge” (FX, 10pm)

Damnation S1E1 (USA, 10pm) – series premiere

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World S1E6 “Rocky Road” (ABC, 10pm)

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders S1E7 (NBC, 10pm)

The Long Road Home S1E1 (Nat Geo, 9pm) – miniseries premiere


Danica (Epix, 8pm) – sports documentary premiere

Riverdale S2E5 “Chapter Eighteen: When a Stranger Calls” (The CW, 8pm)

The Blacklist S5E7 “The Kilgannon Corporation” (NBC, 8pm)

Law & Order: SVU S19E6 “Unintended Consequences” (NBC, 9pm)

Criminal Minds S13E7 “Dust and Bones” (CBS, 10pm)

Mr. Robot S3E5 “eps3.4_runtime-error.r00” (USA, 10pm)

The A-Word S2E1 (Sundance, 10pm) – season premiere

You’re the Worst S4E11 “From the Beginning, I Was Screwed” (FXX, 10pm)

Broad City S4E7 “Florida” (Comedy Central, 10:30pm)


Gotham S4E8 “Stop Hitting Yourself” (FOX, 8pm)

Grey’s Anatomy S14E7 “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” (ABC, 8pm)

Supernatural S13E5 “Advanced Thanatology” (The CW, 8pm)

Arrow S6E5 “Deathstroke Returns” (The CW, 9pm)

Project Runway S16E13 (Lifetime, 9pm) – season finale part 1

Scandal S7E6 “Vampires and Bloodsuckers” (ABC, 9pm)

The Orville S1E9 “Cupid’s Dagger” (FOX, 9pm)

Van Helsing S2E6 “Veritas Vincit” (Syfy, 9pm)

Better Things S2E9 “White Rock” (FX, 10pm)

Ghost Wars S1E6 “We Need to Talk About Abigail” (Syfy, 10pm)

How to Get Away With Murder S4E7 “Nobody Roots for Goliath” (ABC, 10pm)


Lady Dynamite S2 (Netflix) – season premiere

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend S3E5 “I Never Want to See Josh Again” (The CW, 8pm)

Once Upon a Time S7E6 “Wake Up Call” (ABC, 8pm)

Active Shooter: America Under Fire S1E7 (Showtime, 9pm)

Jane The Virgin S4E5 “Chapter Sixty-Nine” (The CW, 9pm)

Marvel’s Inhumans S1E8 “…And Finally: Black Bolt” (ABC, 9pm) – season finale

The Exorcist S2E6 “Darling Nikki” (FOX, 9pm)

Z Nation S4E7 “Warren’s Wedding” (Syfy, 9pm)

Superstition S1E4 “Through the Looking Glass” (Syfy, 10pm)


Obey Giant (Hulu) – documentary premiere

Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks (Oxygen, 7pm) – documentary premiere

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency S2E5 “Shapes and Colors” (BBC America, 9pm)

Pocket-sized cinephile analyzing things as a hobby.