TV July 11-13: Aziz Ansari, Rip Torn, Elementary, RuPaul Drag Race in Montreal, Rick Rubin’s Shangri-LA and Tacos

Before I get to the paltry summer edition column, such as it is I know way to sell it Duguay, I will try to compensate for an oversight. I failed to tell you that Aziz Ansar’s new comedy special has arrived on Netflix. You can watch Right Now right here. I hope you do watch it. I have and I recommend it. I’ve also read a bunch of “reviews” which are mostly weird. It’s all making me do some deep thinking (and shouting into the void of my living room). As a result I feel an opinion coming on, which is why even mentioning the show got stuck in my buffer, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I’m ruminating. I’ll let you know.

Thursday July 11

Elementary (CBS and Global at 10pm ET). In the episode funnily titled Miss Understood, “Holmes and Watson search for an ulterior motive when Cassie Lenue (guest star Allie Ioannides), a brilliant young criminal they helped put in prison, seeks their help in solving a murder.”

Friday July 12

The TV show I most want to have watched from the beginning and really need to get on top of is RuPaul’s Drag Race, described by no less than the Washington Post as, “more than a TV show. It’s a movement.” Is Friday my moment to catch up, like, in the flesh? The RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 Tour hits Montreal Friday night, starting at 8 pm at the Olympia. Tickets ($71.28 and up) here. “See your favorite Season 11 Queens work that runway and show off their fiercest looks.” On the bill: Yvie Oddly, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Brooke Lynn Hytes, A’kiera Chanel Davenport, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, Shuga Cain, Mercedes Iman Diamond and Scarlet Envy. If the pageantry of those names doesn’t confirm it, here’s how Drag Race is described by the show itself: “It takes more than pageantry and ‘resting on pretty’ to be crowned as America’s Next Drag Superstar. Each week competitors go wig-to-wig to showcase their best skills where they may be required to perform, model in a photo shoot, and prepare a themed runway look before facing the judges. At the end of each episode, the contestants selected as the bottom two must ‘lip sync for their life,’ with one contestant each week eliminated and asked to Sashay Away.” Netflix has the show through Season 10 so far. You can also check in on OUTtv and hey, do you want to be on the upcoming (2020) Canadian version, Drag Race Canada? Because they’re taking names at Send you audition in now! And vamp and vogue and pose and GO!


Shangri-La premieres Friday from 9-10pm ET on Crave, it being a “four-part docu-series is a collaboration between Morgan Neville, legendary music producer Rick Rubin, and director Jeff Malmberg. With Rubin’s iconic studio in Malibu as the backdrop, the series focuses on creative conversation and the emotional side of music-making.” I geek out on artists talking about art. If that’s not your bag of Cheetos, no judging.

Comicstaan season 2 (debuts on Amazon Prime on Friday): “Aspiring comedians from all over India compete to see who will be the future of funny. Mentored by the biggest comics in the country, find out who will be crowned the winner of Comicstaan.”

JODIE COMER ALERT: My Mad Fat Diary (starting Friday on Gem with Seasons 2 and 3 dropping July 19 and Aug. 23) “takes a warm, hilarious and honest look at teenage life from the perspective of an overweight sixteen-year-old girl in mid-90s Lincolnshire (U.K.). Adapted from Rae Earl’s real-life diary and book of the same name and starring Sharon Rooney (Dumbo) in the BAFTA Scotland Award-winning lead role, the series is written by Tom Bidwell (Watership Down). It’s a coming-of-age show about a fat, funny girl who – despite a bonkers mother and her own mental health issues – has a huge lust for life and a burning desire to get laid. Co-starring BAFTA Award-winning actress Jodie Comer (Killing Eve).”

Replay (starting Friday on Gem): “What if you could repeat the most important day of your life until you perfected every moment? Receiving her one birthday wish, Allison Lee (Lyndsy Fonseca, Agent Carter) gets more than she asked for when she’s stuck repeating an epic 25th birthday bash that just went down in flames. Also starring Tyler James Williams (The Walking Dead, Dear White People) and Cyrina Fiallo (Good Luck Charlie).”

Snack time? Taco Chronicles debuts Friday on Netflix: “A tribute to the mighty taco: its history, significance in Mexico, global appeal and varieties: pastor, carnitas, canasta, asada, barbacoa and guisados.”

Saturday July 13

Artie has died. Rip Torn, who played the best damn talk show executive producer in a show about a show that ever was, has gone to the great beyond, where he is presumably laughing breathlessly with his Larry Sanders Show co-star, Garry Handling. Let’s all make ourselves a Salty Dog (thank you E for the excellent recall and Esquire recipe link). If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to watch them both way back, CTV is streaming six seasons, god bless them. Me, I will be putting the DVD for Defending Your Life into the payback machine. Basic plot: Guy (Albert Brooks) dies, and while awaiting judgment in heaven, falls in love with a saintly woman (Meryl Streep) while Torn plays a lawyer helping the “little brains” defend their lives in the court of heavenly judgment. I’m not selling it very well but it changed my life. Or at least a month of my life, pretty sure. He was great. xoxo Rip.

See you Sunday.

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