Now that the fall season is in full swing, there's a lot of TV to keep up with and the weekend is no different. But if you've exhausted your options and the Weekend Guide isn't doing for the remainder (and you already watched Transparent, obviously) here are some of Morning After's other top picks for the weekend.

The Comeback

A year after Friends ended (2004), Lisa Kudrow debuted this one-season HBO summer series, developed with her longtime creative partner Michael Patrick King (Sex & The City). Thirteen episodes later, the show was quietly canceled by HBO. But now, nine years after the final episode, oblivious Hollywood underdog Valerie Cherish is getting a second season.

Predating Episodes, Bitch in 23 and most of the rest of the "TV actor as person" genre by about a million years, the show took a found-footage approach to critiquing Hollywood obsessions, personalities, and excesses. Memorably, it also presented some of the first behind-the-scenes TV production stories we'd seen at the time: What TV is, how it gets made, and the people that make it. Now, that's nothing, but ten years ago it represented a pretty subversive transparency.

Not to mention it's rough as hell to watch, as Valerie's lack of self-awareness leads her into great success and unbearable humiliation (most of which she barely comprehends, of course). By looking through the lens of her documentary crew's eyes, catching backstabbers and well-wishers outside of Valerie's hearing or presence, we are gifted with a more complete understanding of her life than she, or any of us, will ever have. It's fucking devastating, and funny as hell.

Incredible word of mouth support and a long tail—due, in part, to its prescience—have made this show's original airdate almost impossible to believe as I'm writing this, but its cachet over the last year as a trendy show, beloved by urban legend The Gayz, has placed it gently and squarely in the public consciousness. If you haven't watched it in the near-decade since it first aired, you might be surprised by how well it's aged: Laura Silverman's turn as Valerie's beleaguered documentarian, in particular, is as effective and affecting as ever. (HBO Go, Amazon Prime)

Getting On

Renewed a couple weeks ago for a second season, this HBO comedy is based on a British comedy of the same name (fifteen episodes total, available on Hulu) and set in a long-term care ward of a hospital. That means old people, dying people, and very little vanity for any of the small group of workers we ever see: Temp-to-hire nurse (Niecy Nash), a lifer (Alex Borstein), a bureaucrat (Mel Rodriguez) and Laurie "Aunt Jackie" Metcalf as a nightmarishly complex doctor.

The low-profile, high-prestige nature of the project is intriguing, even if the setting and characters are off-putting at first. There's a lot of that particular HBO comedic awkwardness, that willingness to indulge in ugliness that, if you stick with it, generally ends up somewhere pretty moving. Over the first season's six half-hours, we come to inhabit these women's world of mostly silent patients and stressed-out families through the subtleties of labor: Think of it as an Office for those at or below the blue-collar line, universal in its irritations and indignities but maybe unparalleled in its occasional rewards.

Most important, I think, is the way this American reboot, simply by starring a person of color in the temp role, changes everything. Nash's character is wonderfully portrayed and a pretty wonderful woman, and her inclusion elevates the story—the interactions, the assumptions—to a uniquely American transcendence: My British BFF, almost immediately, asked: "Why's she so angry? She's not like this in ours." I still haven't shaken off the effects of the conversation that followed, viewing our culture through the lens of an experience we tend to think of as basically identical to ours. If the setting or characters turn you off, I'd still suggest watching it simply for that, for its brilliant and illuminating take on our particular history with privilege and race, told through a collection of lives that are usually rendered invisible. In a landscape filled with "US versions" that never really seem to stray from the source, more shows could stand to follow this one's lead. (HBO GO)

The L.A. Complex

This erstwhile DeGrassi spinoff gathers up a generation of Melrose Place imitators and tropes—the sexy youth-hostel apartment complex, the Hollywood wasteland, a singer and an actress and a dancer and a med student—and breathes new and heartbreaking life into them. Imported from Canada's CTV to the CW in the spring of 2012, the show ran for a total of 19 episodes, over two seasons.

To say the show had "heart" is to severely underestimate its bite, and perhaps explains its lackluster ratings, but it was smarter than that: It put a bunch of polite Canadian kids into the meat grinder, then watched them get beat to fuck, and grow. I remember describing it at the time as "Americans' idea of Canadians, stuck in a Canadians' idea of America" and I stand by that: The ultimate entry characters, no less complicated for being polite children, put into a hellish dystopia of sex scandals, compromises and pain. But the show never forgot to leave room for kindness, or hope, in that story: Something a lot of shows never learned in the first place.

One very cool thing the show did: Andra Fuller's Kaldrick King, a closeted and very successful rapper, spent the show's first season as the secret lover of one of the Canadian kids, which escalated to some very scary places. Come Season Two, the enormously compelling Kaldrick had become the show's central character, and his search for redemption (not to mention simple survival) became emblematic of the show's aims as a whole. Hey remember that CW show where the main character was a violent, gay black rapper? Wish you did, because he was fucking amazing.

Similar trades were made for other characters and storylines, as the second season saw fit to reboot itself, but in every case it was nearly as seamless. The world the show created was big, and beautiful, and ultimately a compassionate one: In the battle between art and ambition, art has to win, because people are naturally pretty great. Not a huge hook for a soapy CW show, granted—and hard enough to remember in real life—but then, if I told you what Gilmore Girls is about you'd laugh your ass off, too. (Netflix only)

Also Recommended

  • Review (Amazon Prime)—this Comedy Central mockumentary about professional critic Forrest MacNeil (played by show creator Andy Daly) was based on the Australian show Review with Myles Barlow (available on Hulu). Strong back-channel support had this positioned to be 2014's Nathan For You, until that show blew the hell up. Maybe next year. In the meantime, watch it, it's hilarious and spot-on insightful.
  • I'm Alan Partridge (Hulu)—Probably the best place to start with the many appearances of Steve Coogan's Alan Gordon Partridge, a parody sports- and newscaster who began life in 1991 in collaboration with the writers of the UK show On the Hour, including In the Loop and Veep's Scottish creator Armando Iannucci, if that tells you anything.
  • The Buccaneers (Netflix, Hulu, Prime)—An unfinished Edith Wharton novel that was completed from outline and notes by one author at the same time this miniseries was being developed, resulting in two very different narratives. Tiny 1995 baby versions of Carla Gugino, Mira Sorvino and True Blood's James Frain tell a story about the eponymous generation of American heiresses that inspired Julian Fellowes to create Downton Abbey and its future prequel.

[Image via HBO]

Previous editions of the Weekend Stream are here. You live in the future now! Almost any media you can think of, you can find from the chair you're sitting in. Even if you can't, take comfort in the fact that the amount of things you can't find online will never go up: Only down. In that spirit, Morning After asks: What are you streaming this weekend?