Need a show to binge?

Two women stand in front of a chalkboard in a scene from "Abbott Elementary" on ABC.
Sheryl Lee Ralph and Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary.”
(Prashant Gupta/ABC)

Are we friends? I’d like to think so. You are reading this, after all. You may have even sent me a friendly email about this newsletter, even if to voice a complaint or simply ask why you’re receiving it. And I patiently explained that you may have joined the mailing list one night when you had one too many. Because that’s what friends do. They help you remember. They offer support. They don’t judge.

They also don’t ask you to pick them up at LAX. But then, you probably already knew that: A friend would never ask you to enter that particular circle of hell. A friend knows there are boundaries and respects their existence. A friend will help you download Uber.

I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter. Welcome! To quote Sofi Tukker’s “Best Friend,” let’s get going because we’ve got some s— to shoot.

Need a new show to binge? Emmy noms offer guidance

“The Old Man” has ended and you’re thinking about watching “The Bear” again because ... why not, chef? Still there are plenty of alternatives in this boundless streaming universe, as you’ll discover in this handy list of where to find all of this year’s Emmy-nominated programs, which comes on the heels of our guides to the 75 best shows on Netflix and the 75 best shows on HBO Max. And, yes, I take some issue with those rankings — “The Sopranos” at No. 5?? — but what are you going to do? This remains, for the moment, a democracy and friends can respect differences of opinions, even when they’re wildly off the mark.


As for this year, if you haven’t seen it, start with “Abbott Elementary” on Hulu. It’s funny, it’s heartfelt ... and the episodes are a breeze. Thirty minutes long!

Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini and Tony Sirico in the greatest show in the history of television.
Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini and Tony Sirico in the greatest show in the history of television.
(Barry Wetcher/HBO)

‘Full Frontal’ canceled after seven seasons

It doesn’t feel all that long ago when I was blasting Emmy voters for ignoring Samantha Bee and her essential talk series, “Full Frontal.” And they listened! She was nominated the very next year! Yay! Of course, she lost to John Oliver because voters only know how to check his name in this category ... but still. I was thrilled.

But that was then and, sadly, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” is no more, a victim of TBS’ “new programming strategy” and “some difficult, business-based decisions.”

The show’s social media accounts shared the news, striking the proper tone.

“After 7 seasons, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee will not be returning to TBS this fall. We’re so thankful for our loyal audience, our amazing team and that we got to annoy the right people every week — that there wasn’t wrestling or baseball or a very special episode of Big Bang.”

The follow-up: “To our loyal fans — we love you, you’re very special. Go home, and go home in peace.”

Is it too late to give the show’s writing team a special Emmy just for that line?

Samantha BEe
Samantha Bee of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.”
(Mary Ellen Matthews/TBS)

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Norman Lear celebrates a century

Speaking of great lines, Norman Lear turned 100 on Wednesday, and in a New York Times op-ed, the TV titan got off this line, which rivals anything on “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “One Day at a Time” and “Good Times.”

“Reaching my own personal centennial is cause for a bit of reflection on my first century — and on what the next century will bring for the people and country I love,” Lear wrote. “To be honest, I’m a bit worried that I may be in better shape than our democracy is.”

What else is there to say, but ... “Dy-no-mite!”

Happy 100th to Norman Lear!
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)


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Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.