‘Only Murders’ may be over. But Selena Gomez’s summer is still coming to a boil

A young woman in a kitchen in a red-and-white polka dot dress
Selena Gomez in “Selena + Chef.”
(HBO Max)
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Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone still sharpening their knife skills.

As TV critic Robert Lloyd points out in his recommendation for innovative cooking show “Selena + Chef,” “Only Murders” star Selena Gomez picks up a knife again just as the team behind Hulu’s mystery-comedy is laying their weapons away for the off-season — a boon for those of us who like to see Gomez somewhere on TV at all times.

Plus, you’ll find shout-outs to “Never Have I Ever” and the “Orphan” prequel “First Kill,” our questions for author and “Everything I Know About Love” creator Dolly Alderton, our reader mailbag and more. As always, we want to know what you’re watching, so send your TV or streaming movie recommendations to with your name and location. Submissions should be no longer than 200 words and are subject to editing for length and clarity.



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Sian Brooke in "House of the Dragon."
(Ollie Upton / HBO)

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Don Bluth made animation history by leaving Disney. Looking back, he has no regrets: The legendary animator behind “Anastasia,” “The Secret of NIMH,” “The Land Before Time” and others reflects on his life, career and the influence of his hero Walt Disney.

How two Hollywood stars plan to save a team, and a town, ‘desperate for a lifeline’: In “Welcome to Wrexham,” Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney try to revive Wrexham’s soccer club — and the struggling Welsh town that depends on it.


The 75 best TV shows on Hulu right now, according to our experts: Plus, check out our regularly updated guides to the best shows on Netflix and HBO Max.

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Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times

Three teenagers sitting together on a sofa during game night
Anirudh Pisharody, from left, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Darren Barnet as Paxton Hall-Yoshida in Season 3 of “Never Have I Ever.”
(Lara Solanki/Netflix)

It’s not uncommon for once-buzzy TV series to fly under the radar as they settle in for the longer haul. And “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix), about an Indian American girl dealing with her father’s death, her mother’s expectations, her yearning to be popular and a chemistry lab’s worth of hot guys, is no different: Season 3 didn’t exactly set the internet on fire when it premiered this month. Instead, it introduced a dashing South Asian love interest (played by Anirudh Pisharody), deepened its examination of the adults’ fraught relationships and explored the pressures of the college application process. Heck, even Trent (Benjamin Norris), formerly a one-note burnout, has emerged as a character with depth. This is the benefit of growing older and wiser, of course, even if it means a sparkly new class captures the lion’s share of the attention: In slowing down and spreading out, “Never Have I Ever” has become one of the medium’s most fully realized high-school comedies. When the series graduates to the Netflix back catalog after its fourth and final season, it’s sure to be bittersweet. —Matt Brennan

With the end of this season’s “Only Murders in the Building,” those who need more Selena Gomez in their life — and who does not? — still have a place to go. The lively, friendly and informative “Selena + Chef,” which began in 2020 as a quarantine show in which the actor would use her time at home to learn to cook under the tutelage of professional chefs, recently began its fourth season on HBO Max. (Now, as then, the chefs appear via video.) Early episodes, still available, find Gomez comically unsure of herself, ignorant of how even her own stove works; she has acquired some skills in the interim and is taking on more complicated recipes — she handles a knife better than #bloodymabel. (As if to underscore her progress, Trois Mec’s Ludo Lefebvre, the first season’s first guest, is also the new season’s first guest.) Beyond the sunny, unaffected presence of Gomez — a stand-in for the viewer as she follows a diverse array of tutors through a diverse array of recipes — there is the evergreen pleasure of watching talented people at work, explaining the nuts and bolts of what they do. This season’s guests are set to include Nick DiGiovanni, Rachael Ray, Gordon Ramsay (always at his best when actually cooking), Priya Krishna and Matty Matheson, whom you may recognize as the handyman in “The Bear.”Robert Lloyd

Catch up

Everything you need to know about the film or TV series everyone’s talking about

A young woman sitting up on a bed in the movie "Orphan: First Kill."
Isabelle Fuhrman in “Orphan: First Kill.”
(Steve Ackerman/Paramount Players/eOne/Dark Castle Entertainment)

In 2009 nothing prepared audiences for the audacious reveal in Jaume Collet-Serra’s “Orphan,” in which the adoptive parents of 9-year-old orphan Esther discovered — spoiler! — that their new ward was actually a sociopathic adult woman with a rare hormone disorder, posing as a child.

Now 2022 brings good tidings for lovers of over-the-top genre cinema: a new era of bonkers horror is dawning. Cue up more Esther in the Paramount+ prequel “Orphan: First Kill,” which boasts even campier turns than the original and hinges on the return of lead actor Isabelle Fuhrman, who was just 12 when she starred in the first film.

The first “Orphan” and its batty twist launched a preteen Fuhrman into the canon of great creepy kid movie villains. Now 25, with a Spirit Award nomination under her belt for last year’s “The Novice,” she reprises her role playing an even younger version of Esther.

Wait. What?!

You read that right. Using forced perspective, gauzy lensing, body doubles, stilted shoes on Fuhrman’s co-stars and a delightfully wanton disregard for realism, director William Brent Bell guides this maniacal cinematic treat through a conventional setup as Esther cons her way into a wealthy family by posing as their missing daughter.

But twists upon twists, and a juicy performance by Julia Stiles as the family’s matriarch, place “Orphan: First Kill” in league with the 2021 cult hit “Malignant” and the upcoming “Barbarian” — welcome evidence that studio horror is ready to make a turn for the deliciously outrageous. —Jen Yamato

Guest spot

A weekly chat with actors, writers, directors and more about what they’re working on — and what they’re watching

A woman in a short sparkly dress, jacket, and feathered top hat standing in an alley
Emma Appleton as Maggie in “Everything I Know About Love.”
(Matt Squire/Peacock/Universal International Studios Limited)

Dolly Alderton worked in TV long before her first book, 2018’s “Everything I Know About Love” (Peacock) became a series. She’s served as story producer on the U.K. reality soap “Made in Chelsea,” created behind-the-scenes videos for “Peep Show,” even struck a path in development. But if the very millennial romantic comedy based on her memoir is a homecoming of sorts, it’s one in which Alderton, now the creator, writer and executive producer, has a lot more authority. The successful columnist, author and podcast host stopped by Screen Gab to discuss what she’s watching — and the very millennial romantic comedy that inspires her. —Matt Brennan

What have you watched recently that you are recommending to everyone you know?

“Hacks” (HBO Max). It’s so funny and clever. And the first show or movie that’s ever made me want to go to Vegas.

What’s your go-to “comfort watch,” the movie or TV show you go back to again and again?

Old musicals. Particularly Shirley Temple ones. “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” (VOD, multiple platforms) is my hangover cure.


“Everything I Know About Love” is billed, among other things, as “a raucous girl gang show” — which conjures images of everything from “Golden Girls” to “Sex and the City.” What films or TV shows in that vein are most important to you and why?

“Frances Ha” (Prime Video) is so important to me because it was the first depiction I had ever seen of friendship as an epic, central story in a woman’s life.


Recommendations from Screen Gab readers

A man and his three children, dressed in private school uniforms
Carla Diaz, from left, Diego Martin, Martina Cariddi and Manu Rios in “Élite.”

The newsletter is so informative and so enjoyable. There are so many amazing series on Netflix and Prime Video and others that it’s impossible to know or to follow all of them without lots of research.

The articles of the actors and behind-the-scenes also help us decide what to watch among the countless shows.


We especially love series and we are now watching a Spanish production on Netflix, “Élite,” that is beautifully acted and very exciting.

Thank you for an excellent publication.

Shelley Butler

What’s next

Listings coordinator Matt Cooper highlights the TV shows and streaming movies to keep an eye on

Fri., Aug. 26

“Diary of an Old Home” (Discovery+): Owners of historic homes give you the guided tour in this new renovation series.

“Drive Hard: The Maloof Way” (Netflix): Buckle up for this new reality series about one very car-crazy SoCal family.

“Me Time” (Netflix): When the wife and kids are away, stay-at-home dad Kevin Hart will play in this 2022 comedy. With Mark Wahlberg.

“Partner Track” (Netflix): A young Asian American lawyer (“Teen Wolf’s” Arden Cho) tries to have it all in this 2022 comedy-drama set in NYC.


“Rental Redo” (Discovery+): Rental properties get the renovations they so sorely need in this new series.

“Samaritan” (Prime Video): A washed-up superhero (Sylvester Stallone) gets a shot at redemption in this 2022 action drama.

“See” (Apple TV+): This futuristic drama starring “Aquaman’s” Jason Momoa is back for a third and final season.

“Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby” (Prime Video): The Atlanta rap phenom is profiled in this new documentary.

“Watcher” (Shudder): An American ex-pat (Maika Monroe) in Bucharest draws unwelcome attention in this chilling 2022 thriller.

Sat., Aug. 27


“Summer Under the Stars” (TCM, various times): The monthlong series continues with an all-day salute to screen icon Marilyn Monroe.

“Game, Set, Love” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A former professional tennis player meets her match in this new TV movie.

“Bodyguard Seduction” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): She … will always … love him — unless he’s actually the one who’s been trying to kill her in this new thriller.

Sun., Aug. 28

“Little League Baseball World Series” (ABC, noon): They’ll be swinging for the fences in the championship game from Williamsport, Pa.

“The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family” (KOCE, 8 p.m.): This new three-part docuseries recalls the Tudor-era clan whose daughter Anne famously lost her head.


“Danger in the House” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): A home healthcare worker makes herself a little too at home in this new thriller.

“2022 MTV Video Music Awards” (MTV, other channels, 8 p.m.): Rap superstar Nicki Minaj is singled out for special honors at the annual ceremony.

“90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?” (TLC, 8 p.m.): The reality franchise entry is back with new episodes.

“Guilt” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): See who, if anyone, gets their comeuppance this time ’round as this British mystery drama returns.

“My Life As a Rolling Stone” (Epix, 9 p.m.): The band’s late drummer, Charlie Watts, is remembered in the series finale.

“Animal Kingdom” (TNT, 9 p.m.): It’s the end of the line for the Cody clan as the crime drama wraps its run.

Mon., Aug. 29

“POV” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): The 2021 documentary “Faya Dayi” explores the impact of a cocaine-like plant on the daily lives of Ethiopians.


“Keep This Between Us” (Freeform, 9 and 10 p.m.; also Tuesday): A young woman recounts her experiences with a teacher who crossed the line in this new four-part special.

“America’s National Parks” (Nat Geo, 9 p.m.): Country music’s Garth Brooks is your guide in this new five-night event series. First stop: the Grand Canyon.

“My True Crime Story” (VH1, 10 p.m.): This docuseries about everyday people who found themselves on the wrong side of the law returns.

Tue., Aug. 30

“The Patient” (FX on Hulu): A therapist (Steve Carell) is held captive by a serial killer in this new drama. How does that make you feel?

“Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul” (Netflix): Wanna bet? An NBA referee who wagered on games he was officiating pays the price in this new documentary.


“Rise of the Bolsonaros” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): Controversial Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s ascent to power is charted in this new docu-special.

Wed., Aug. 31

“I Came By” (Netflix): “Downton Abbey’s” Hugh Bonneville plays a respected jurist with a secret he’d really rather keep if you don’t mind in this 2022 thriller.

“DC’s Stargirl” (The CW, 8 p.m.): Our young heroine (Brec Bassinger) is back in action for a third season.

“Tales From the Explorers Club” (Discovery, 9 p.m.): The exploits of Shackleton, Hillary, et al are celebrated in this new series hosted by Josh Gates.

“Guy’s Ultimate Game Night” (Food Network, 9 p.m.): It all goes down in the so-called “Flavortown Lounge” in this new competition series.


“CMT Storytellers” (CMT, 10 p.m.): Darius “Don’t call me Hootie” Rucker performs on the concert series.

“No-Recipe Road Trip With The Try Guys” (Food Network, 10 p.m.): They’ll have to fake it while they make it in this new culinary competition.

Thu., Sept. 1

“The Shell Collector” (Fox Nation): A widowed mother of two gets a second chance at romance in this new TV movie.

“Love in the Villa” (Netflix): An American tourist (“Vampire Diaries’” Kat Graham) finds romance in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, in this new TV movie.

“Pantheon” (AMC+): A teen discovers her deceased dad was uploaded to “the cloud” in this new animated sci-fi drama.

“The Secrets She Keeps” (Sundance Now): The imported mystery drama starring “Downton Abbey’s” Laura Carmichael returns for Season 2.


“Who Invited Them” (Shudder): They don’t need no stinking invitations to your housewarming party in this 2022 thriller.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” (Prime Video, 6 p.m.): Everybody’s Tolkien at me in this new fantasy series set in an age long before the events of “The Hobbit.”

“It Couldn’t Happen Here” (SundanceTV, 10 p.m.): The small-town true crime series hosted by Hilarie Burton Morgan returns.

“Race for the Championship” (USA, 10 p.m.): Get up close and personal with NASCAR’s finest in this new reality series.