What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Sally4Ever’ and ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’
Julia Davis’s dark comedy “Sally4Ever” has its HBO debut. And the final episode of “Parts Unknown” airs on CNN.
What’s on TV
SALLY4EVER 10:30 p.m. on HBO. The British comedy creator Julia Davis’s latest show is as likely to make you cringe as it is to make you laugh — and that’s by design. Catherine Shepherd stars as Sally, a marketing executive who has a boring boyfriend (Alex Macqueen), numbing job and, soon after the show begins, a new girlfriend (Davis), all at the same time. The boyfriend becomes the fiancé; the rest of the above stays the same, and things go from there. Davis previously created the British series “Camping” (recently adapted in America), which Sam Wollaston of The Guardian called “gloriously, boldly bleak.” In his review for The New York Times, James Poniewozik suggests that this new series cranks up that dial even further. “‘Sally4Ever’ is the kind of comedy so dark it pushes straight through bleakness to a morality-play clarity,” Poniewozik wrote. “It’s an unflattering, fluorescent light on the manifestations of human self-interest and weakness.”
ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN 9 p.m. on CNN. The chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain’s career as a journalist started in Manhattan, after an essay for The New Yorker led to a book and helped guide him from the life of a chef to the life of a culinary reporter. The final episode of “Parts Unknown,” after Bourdain’s death in June, brings him back to Manhattan, with an episode on the Lower East Side. He visits the bar Max Fish, the Italian staple John’s of 12th Street and the Ukrainian diner Veselka, among others. It’s the final chapter of Bourdain’s career as a journalist, which allowed him to show reveal new and strange aspects of the culinary world. “I love the sheer weirdness of the kitchen life,” Bourdain wrote in The New Yorker in 1999, “the dreamers, the crackpots, the refugees, and the sociopaths with whom I continue to work; the ever-present smells of roasting bones, searing fish, and simmering liquids; the noise and clatter, the hiss and spray, the flames, the smoke and the steam.”
THE TREASURE (2016) on Hulu. The Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu is back in theaters this month with “Infinite Football,” a soccer documentary that Glenn Kenny named a Critic’s Pick. His “The Treasure” also received that distinction. An absurdist comedy, the film follows a Romanian man (Cuzin Toma) who is one day told of a buried treasure by his neighbor (Adrian Purcarescu). The two decide to locate it. “‘The Treasure’ is like the work of Samuel Beckett’s long-lost Balkan cousin,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times, “Bleak, stoic and suffused with a flinty, exasperated empathy for its ridiculous characters.”
MONSTER’S BALL (2002) on Hulu. A challenging drama, “Monster’s Ball” centers on the relationship between two characters: Leticia (Halle Berry), a waitress, mother and widow, and Hank (Billy Bob Thornton), a corrections officer. That premise is made extraordinarily complicated by the fact that Hank was involved in the execution of Leticia’s former husband, Lawrence (Sean Combs).
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