The final season premiere of “Better Call Saul” this week was appointment television for some – that is, if appointment TV is still a thing in today’s disrupted media landscape.
Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson are founders and co-executive directors of the ATX Television Festival, which has its “11th Season” coming up in six weeks in the Texas capital city. While both are TV lovers, they have slightly different viewing habits and program opinions. For one, there’s the issue of binge-watching.
McFarland tends to oscillate between binge-watching and taking her time.
“This is a very long debate that we have,” McFarland told Texas Standard. “I actually think I have switched. I used to be a binge modeler, always. I now think the show … tells me what it should be: should I watch it all in one bite or watch it weekly?”
Gipson tackles shows with a somewhat relaxed pace.
“So my version of binging is, even if something has been released all, you know, dropped at once, I will still spread it out probably over two to three weeks, and do an episode at a time every couple of days. So I self-pace myself,” Gipson said.
Here’s what they are binging (or not) right now:
– “Better Call Saul,” AMC: McFarland says she watched all of the seasons at the beginning of the pandemic and has been waiting for two years for new episodes.
“I love it so much,” she said. “I love it more than ‘Breaking Bad’; it’s surpassed for me. I think Rhea Seehorn, specifically, is just amazing.”
– “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” HBO: Creator Robin Thede is coming to Austin for this year’s ATX Television Festival.
“It’s not usually my thing, but it is pretty hilarious … it’s like condensed ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketches,” McFarland said. “And I love it.”
– “The Dropout,” Hulu: Gipson says she has been taking her time watching this one, and is currently in deep.
“It is so good,” Gipson said. “Amanda Seyfried is phenomenal, and I very much enjoy the ride, even though ‘based on a true story,’ you kind of know where it’s going, it’s still done so well that it has you on the edge of your seat, even if you know the end.”
– “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” HBO: McFarland says she wasn’t interested in the concept at first but found herself quickly hooked. A second season is now in the works.
– “I Love That For You,” Showtime: McFarland and Gipson got a preview as part of preparations for the ATX Television festival. It’s set to premiere April 29.
“It’s Vanessa Bayer, who came from ‘Saturday Night Live,’” McFarland said. “It is based on her a little bit, on her true story. Apparently, she had cancer as a young girl. It’s got Molly Shannon in it, and it’s a home shopping network series, like, she becomes a home shopping network host, right? But she’s told people that she has cancer again, and she hasn’t; she’s lying. And it’s this half-hour. It’s hilarious.”