Unless you’ve been cut off from civilization for the past two months, you’ve heard of comedian Michelle Wolf. The stand-up comedian became nearly a household name after hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner in April, and pretty much annihilating the President and his staff. The controversial set gives a good indication of what viewers can expect on her new weekly Netflix series, "The Break With Michelle Wolf." The streaming giant's latest offerings also include an interview between David Letterman and Howard Stern, as well as the fifth season of “Arrested Development.”
Title: "The Break With Michelle Wolf"
Year it began: 2018
Where it can be seen: Netflix
Who’s in it: Michelle Wolf
Typical episode length: 30 minutes
Brief plot description: Comedian Michelle Wolf hosts a weekly series in which she tackles the latest news, interviews guests, and appears in comedy sketches.
Why it’s worth watching: “The Break” arrived on Netflix about a month after Wolf hosted White House Correspondents Dinner, and it is hard to think of better promotion. Her blistering performance on the dais proved that she is tough, smart and able to throw down against anyone and everyone. That spirit drives “The Break,” and it’s what makes the series a strong addition to Netflix’s comedy lineup.
The sketches are hit (the hilarious, career woman-as-world conqueror movie parody “Strong Female Lead”) or miss (an unfunny fake commercial for Amazon’s Alexa that demands to be fed lunch meat), but the most notable success in episodes one and two is Wolf’s opening monologue. The first episode features this great take-down of the NFL: “Cool it with the instant replays. Just get refs with good eyes, who can see things and make good calls. Then once you’re positive that those refs have good eyes, and can make the right call, see if they want to be a police officer.”
And yes, there is a Sarah Huckabee Sanders joke in episode one.
Also to consider
“My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.” David Letterman’s return to hosting on Netflix has been a joy from episode one, featuring Barack Obama. But the series hit its high point with the fifth installment, featuring legendary radio host Howard Stern. While Stern was a regular guest on both of Letterman’s network talk shows, and Letterman has often appeared on Stern’s radio show, there has never been a conversation as extensive, as deep, and as entertaining between these two media titans. No topic is off-limits, including childhood, career highs and lows, the merits of psychotherapy, and, yes, Trump. It feels like a conversation between two friends.
“Arrested Development.” The fifth season of the beloved series arrived on Netflix with a bit of whimper thanks to weeks of awful press involving a New York Times story in which the great Jessica Walter detailed an on-set clash with costar Jeffrey Tambor. The awkward interview saw the show's male costars seemingly unable to grasp the impact of Tambor’s behavior on Walter. The damage was so severe that some may choose to skip season five entirely. However, there is some good news: Season five is much stronger -- if less ambitious -- than season four. The season has been split in two, with the first eight now available, and there are great moments throughout. Many of them revolve around the series’ most likable pair, cousins George Michael (Michael Cera) and Maeby (Alia Shawkat). One of season four’s failings was keeping the Bluth family apart for too long, and this is certainly remedied in season five. It might not be classic “Arrested Development,” but there’s no doubt that it’s good to have the Bluths back.