(adult swim/HBO MAX/VOD) Three housewives, each named Debra, get together for brunch and occasionally other activities in their vibrant suburban town of Lemoncurd. When together, they’re often passively-aggressively acting out against each other, indulging themselves in hedonistic activities, or partaking of bursts of violence, all while often adorned in white clothing and surrounded by similarly stark interior design.

These are the antics of adult swim‘s- THREE BUSY DEBRAS, aired in a half-hour block featuring two ten minute tales to bewilder and amuse. While THREE BUSY DEBRAS, the vision of Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari and Alyssa Stonoha, clearly comes from their improvisational roots, it feels like it has a self-imposed set of absurdist rules that gives the show a more mythic air.

Its reliance on often immature behavior, neediness, and willful oblivion to the wants of the more grounded folks around them reminds me of the extraordinarily silly character comedy STELLA, although unlike STELLA — which was delightfully nihilistic with its messaging — THREE BUSY DEBRAS is often unabashedly feminist, albeit often rendered through a very skewed sense of humor. For example, one episode in the second, current season, details several stories of Lemoncurd women in history, including the advent of ‘smoky eye’ when a woman in ‘one billion BCE’ (Before the Curded Era) garners two black eyes when she trips and falls face-first on a stone-built fire. The second tale in that episode celebrates Susan B. Shoppin’, who ‘bravely’ fought for the right of the women of Lemoncurd to be refused the right to vote.

The second season of THREE BUSY DEBRAS concludes this Sunday (May 22nd) at 10pm EST on adult swim/Cartoon Network, just enough time to catch up from beginning. However, if you’re pressed for time, I suggest jumping into the second season, as it feels sharper and wilder and well-honed. Or you can just watch at your leisure via HBO MAX, whichever suits your needs.


(adult swim/VOD) One of my favorite episodes of TV within the past five years has been JOE PERA TALKS WITH YOU’s -The Life of a Jack O’Lantern-, which was an early ep in the first season of the show.

The show introduces itself as Joe Pera (Joe Pera) acting as sort of a meek male, acting as a life instructor, trying to bestow his overly-earnest life lessons via a pseudo-docu-drama format. If that sounds a little too arch, a little too meta, it’s played utterly sincerely and with a straight face. It’s not for laughs, although there are a number of them, usually at Joe’s innocent antics. (For example, when he discovers THE WHO’s -Baba O’Riley-.)

While the first and second seasons of the show normally focus on Joe’s observations — apart from a few asides, including an exceptional season two finale where Joe learns a lot about his fellow co-worker/girlfriend Sarah Conner (Jo Firestone, also one of the show’s writers and not Linda Hamilton) — the third season backgrounds him in lieu for the ensemble they’ve built over the past two seasons, such as his best friend Gene and Sarah Conner. It’s a perfect example of a show’s creators and writers realizing ‘oh, we have something special here’ and exploring further, rather than following a rigid formula.

Season three is still on-going, but there’s one episode where Sarah comes home drunk from a meet-up she was invited to, and the entire eleven minutes of the ep are dedicated to Joe just listening to her recount the tale of her night, while also trying to feed her to sober her up. It’s the closest I’ve seen TV approach to say, the realism and tone of a Jim Jarmusch film.

It also helps that Sarah is an extraordinarily complicated character, with far more depth and a far more scarred life than Joe, and to watch him accept her for her complexities is a beautiful thing.

It’s also goddamn hilarious when it’s not pulling at your heartstrings. For example, this singular exchange from a career woman magician Sarah meets at a wine party:

“We need more women in STEM. And by that, I mean skateboarding, television, e-sports, and magic!”