November is a month full of anticipation. You’re enjoying the cool fall air, the sights and sounds, and looking forward to the upcoming holidays. New television this month follows a similar pattern. We’ve got bright spots ahead, like the Gilmore Girls revival (!!!) and new episodes of the always killer Billy on the Street. It’s time to hunker down and enjoy some of the holiday treats in store.
Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60 (Netflix, premiering Nov. 4)
Dana Carvey’s greatest asset as a comedian is his remarkable ability to transform into almost anyone while still retaining his charm and amiable spirit. Carvey is probably best known for his character work on Saturday Night Live. Now Netflix has given Carvey the opportunity to show off his standup skills in a new special, Straight White Male, 60. Carvey shares his perspective on millennials, fatherhood and popular culture, while finding the time to sprinkle in some of his best impressions. Is Carvey breaking comedic ground with his material on these age-old topics? Maybe not, but he’s as delightful as ever.
Vanderpump Rules (Bravo, returning Nov. 7)
Vanderpump Rules stars most of the mean girls you went to high school with that moved to Los Angeles because people always told them they were pretty. After failing to gain traction in show business, these women (and men) have been working at the posh West Hollywood restaurant, SUR, as servers, hostesses and bartenders. Vanderpump Rules is technically a spinoff of the Bravo reality series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and it follows alpha female Lisa Vanderpump as she runs her restaurant, which has essentially become the Island of Misfit Toys. The drama is incestuous, and literally everyone is a horrible person, so the guilt of watching real people struggle completely evades the viewer. This show is all kinds of addicting and best watched on a Sunday afternoon in sweatpants — or left on in the background while you’re putting on makeup before going out.
Billy on the Street (truTV, returning Nov. 15)
Billy on the Street is the perfect cocktail of pop culture, acerbic humor and rapid-fire punch lines. Each week, host Billy Eichner and a celebrity take to the streets asking unsuspecting people lightning-round questions about popular culture. Eichner’s trademark is his unapologetic brashness, and he plays it to perfection. He takes the classic Q&A format and adds an ambush approach, producing brilliantly goofy and spontaneous results.
The Affair (Showtime, returning Nov. 20)
As its name implies, The Affair is messy, exhilarating, confusing and frustrating. I admit I’ve largely given up on this show because it’s so emotionally draining to watch. Ruth Wilson (Luther) and Dominic West (The Wire) have the searing chemistry of two people who shouldn’t be together but just can’t resist. They also sound like British people trying to do American accents, but I digress. The backdrops of Montauk and Manhattan highlight the chaos and ever-changing moods and circumstances of the characters in this series. In the most recent season, things have completely unraveled. I don’t recommend watching this one with your significant other.
Search Party (TBS, premiering Nov. 21)
What would you do if someone you know went missing, and no one else really cared? Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) deals with apathy in the millennial generation in this interesting new comedy from TBS. I find the premise to be refreshing, because it doesn’t sound like everything else on TV, and all the season 1 episodes will be able to be reviewed starting Nov. 21. This show looks mysterious, thoughtful and, above all, funny.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Netflix, Nov. 25)
Finally, the revival we’ve all been waiting for —- FOR MONTHS/YEARS. I first fell in love with Gilmore Girls in the seventh grade, and I’ve cherished every rapid-fire conversation, pop-culture nugget and heartfelt moment of the show since. While the details of the new episodes have largely been kept top secret, we do know from the trailer that Richard Gilmore has passed away (actor Edward Herrmann died in 2014.) This series reboot has been highly anticipated because of the dedicated fan base, which includes everyone from members of the press to celebrities. The cast of characters is so beloved because they feel real. Lorelei and Rory Gilmore are the heart and soul of the series, and Stars Hollow is our own little corner of the world that I simply can’t wait to get back to.