1. Your weekly streaming recommendation: Terriers

    For each week in the month of April, we’ll be recommending a binge-watchable TV show you might not have check out yet. This week: Terriers, an FX dramedy about a pair of scruffy PIs.

    One of the great virtues of video-on-demand is the opportunity to devour a TV show that deserved a lot more love when it originally aired. UnlikeFirefly, Arrested Development, or Veronica Mars, there’s virtually no hope for a belated revival of FX’s one-season wonder Terriers — but anyone who makes time for the 13 episodes we did get will be richly rewarded for it.

    Terriers follows a pair of scruffy, unlicensed private investigators attempting to scrape by in a small California beach town. Donal Logue plays Hank Dolworth, a recovering alcoholic who’s mourning the self-inflicted losses of both his career and his marriage; Michael Raymond-James plays Britt Pollack, a onetime criminal who has managed to turn his life around. As the partners fumble and banter their way through the lowest of low-rent cases, they accidentally uncover a larger conspiracy that could threaten everyone and everything around them. It also had one of the best TV theme songs in recent history.

    Terriers is alternately funny, tense, heartbreaking, and as twisty as any classic noir, with two stellar lead performances. Unfortunately, the show’s innate complexity also meant that FX never quite figured how to make it. Even near-universal critical accolades couldn’t attract enough viewers to earn Terriers a second season renewal — which is all the more maddening when you consider that the rise of DVR and video-on-demand platforms might have been enough to earn Terriers a loyal audience and another season if it had premiered just one or two years later.

    Fortunately, Terriers' first season works just fine as a standalone piece of television. The TV landscape is overrun with shows about cops, detectives, and killers, but Terriers stands out by making the dynamics between the characters far more compelling than any crime they’re solving. If you’re intrigued by the idea of a series that captures the beachside noir of Veronica Mars, the thoughtful character work of Mad Men, and the quick, savvy banter of Joss Whedon at his best, do yourself a favor and give Terriers a spin.

     

  2. Are you a fan of Veep and salty language? You should check out The Thick of It.

     

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  4. The Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts
     

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  6. I just want to say that I am not a racist. I don’t even see race — not even my own. People tell me I’m white and I believe them because I just devoted six minutes to explaining how I’m not a racist.
     


  7. It really wraps it all up. We not only get to see them meet each other for the first time but also we’re jumping forward into the future so we get to see these characters and their relationships twenty years in the future.
     

  8. Watching not one, not two, but three Bar Refaelis simulate sex with a puppet is apparently too hot for Israeli daytime television.
     

  9. Never before have we been such compulsive multitaskers, blogging and tweeting using multiple devices and smartphones anywhere and everywhere, from trains to cafes.

    It seems a little backwards, then, that one of our top post-workday hobbies is enjoying the complex storylines of TV series such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and House of Cards, which engross us for hours on end.

    The science behind our insatiable need to binge-watch TV

     

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  11. To commemorate the winter season, we’ll be suggesting a different Netflix streaming recommendation set in the snow each week in the month of January. This week’s snowy movie: Chasing Ice, a gorgeous, troubling documentary about glaciers.

    We’re lucky to be in the midst of an amazing time for documentaries, but there’s a downside to having all those quality films at our fingertips: The possibility that some truly deserving docs will end up falling into the cracks. I suspect that’s the case for Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice, which follows photographer James Balog as he goes around the world documenting glaciers that are rapidly disappearing due to the effects climate change.

    If you’ve heard of Chasing Ice at all, it’s probably because of its Oscar-nominated song “Before My Time,” which was performed by Scarlett Johansson. But while the implicit endorsement of an A-list celebrity never hurts a documentary, there’s more than enough to recommend about Chasing Ice on its own merits.

    A documentary that tackles global warming might sound like a tough sell — particularly less than a decade after Al Gore’s much-discussed An Inconvenient Truth. Fortunately, there’s more than enough to separate Chasing Ice from its more famous predecessor. For one, it’s visually stunning: Balog’s time-lapse cameras capture glaciers that were once bigger than downtown Manhattan, which have gone through unprecedented erosion in just a few years. Balog, who was initially a climate change skeptic, describes this early effect on glaciers as “the canary in the global coal mine," and the evidence his camera captures — which Balog has made it his life’s work to publicize — is both awe-inspiring and frightening to behold.

    But while Chasing Ice comes down firmly against any climate change skeptics, it’s not a mere political screed, either. Balog is a fascinating figure in his own right: A longtime nature photographer who’s willing to risk inflicting irreversible damage on his own body in order to document the effects of climate change. Chasing Ice might sound like something you’d watch in a high school science class, but it’s never dull; between the tragic beauty of its imagery and the fascinating figure at its center, this is the rare documentary that makes an important argument without sacrificing entertainment.

    Watch a trailer for Chasing Ice, and listen to Scarlett Johansson’s rendition of “Before My Time” here.

    Subscribe and listen to all of The Week’s mini-podcasts here.

     


  12. Patrick, Agustin, and Dom have partners of various ethnicities, ages, and social groups. They discuss politics or social issues in passing, just like the rest of us. They don’t exist to teach us lessons or preach about gay rights, nor to incessantly navel-gaze about their problems. They’re just three regular guys who happen to like guys. In 2014, that’s (sadly) still remarkable.
     


  13. It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem.
    — 

    Lena Dunham, answering a critic who “doesn’t get” why she’s “naked, at random times, for no reason” so often on Girls.

    Lena Dunham’s body reveals the naked truth about our distorted values