Screen Time

3 Shows To Watch This Weekend

Welcome to Bustle’s weekly TV column, Screen Time.

TV streaming recommendations for 'The Gilded Age,' 'Scandal,' and 'Slow Horses.'
Barbara Nitke/HBO/Apple/Danny Feld/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

While many are concerned about limiting their screen time, as Bustle’s TV Editor, I’m not interested in reducing mine — I just want to improve it. And that starts with choosing better shows.

Nothing feels worse than finishing a hate-watch when you could’ve done something more productive. But nothing feels better than finishing a great show that’s enriched your life or shifted your perspective.

That’s why I’m launching Screen Time, a new weekly column. Every Friday, I’ll recommend three shows worth checking out (or rewatching for the zillionth time). Expect a wide mix of series — popular and underseen, new and old. And I promise, each and every one will be easily accessible on a major streaming platform.

For this first installment, I picked three very different shows, all of which I watched long after they were first released. Sometimes, things are better enjoyed away from the hype.

Something New: The Gilded Age

Barbara Nitke/HBO

HBO was on a roll late last year and into 2023, when House of the Dragon, The White Lotus, The Last of Us, and Succession kept viewers on the edge of their seats, week by week. Sadly, The Idol killed that streak, but with The Gilded Age’s second season now airing on Sunday nights, it’s time to return to appointment viewing.

As any good Downton Abbey fan will tell you, the series is the latest series from Downton creator Julian Fellowes. And as with his previous period drama, the lavish sets and intricate costumes pull you into The Gilded Age’s world, but the drama keeps you coming back for more. This time, though, the drama takes place stateside rather than in the UK, following heiresses and the nouveau riche as they vie for supremacy in 1880s New York.

The Gilded Age also happens to boast one of the best ensemble casts on TV right now (Carrie Coon! Christine Baranski! Audra MacDonald!). So it says a lot that, even among all that star power, Cynthia Nixon shines the brightest.

Nixon plays the unmarried Ada, sister and right hand to the steely Agnes (Christine Baranski). The kind and soft-spoken Ada — a far cry from Nixon’s Sex and the City character — mediates between younger and older generations, whether it’s convincing Agnes to allow their niece to attend a ball, or pursuing a romance despite society’s (ahem, her sister’s) misgivings. She may seem meek, but underneath that mousy exterior is one strong woman.

How to watch: The Gilded Age’s first season is streaming on Max. Season 2 airs a new episode every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on HBO and Max.

Something Old: Scandal

Danny Feld/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

So much has changed since Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal ended over five years ago in 2018, and the big question is: Does the ABC political thriller still hold up? Yes, yes it does.

Rhimes is known for putting her characters in exceptionally dramatic situations, and Olivia Pope’s (Kerry Washington) storylines are no exception. As a DC fixer who has a love affair with the president, Olivia’s always spinning a lot of plates. Whether she’s faced with a pulled-from-the-headlines scandal or a super complicated government conspiracy (B613!), the show will make you stop whatever you’re doing — scrolling on Instagram, playing level 11,873 of Wordscapes, washing the dishes — to see how Olivia manages to straighten it all out.

Her romantic entanglement with the most Democratic Republican president ever, Fitz Grant (Tony Goldwyn), is admittedly confusing in the beginning. One of Fitz’s first storylines is having a Monica Lewinsky-esque affair, and he’s honestly pretty manipulative. But in true Rhimes fashion, one flashback episode and a musical love theme will make you forget all sense and have you hooked on this pair’s tortured on-and-off romance. Who knows, maybe you’ll even join the still-strong fandom (hi, Olitz!) devoted to this ill-advised pairing.

How to watch: All seven seasons of Scandal are streaming on Hulu.

Something Out Of The Blue: Slow Horses


British espionage thrillers come in many flavors, whether it’s a classic James Bond movie, a comedy like Johnny English, or something quieter like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. If you’re looking for something with a bit of all these, Slow Horses on Apple TV+ is a must-watch.

The drama follows the group of “bad” spies relegated to Slough House (aka MI5 purgatory), overseen by the disgruntled Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman at his sloppiest). Of course, these “slow horses” quickly get entangled in a conspiracy, and must unravel it to save the country — and their own necks.

The beauty of Slow Horses is in its twisty, unpredictable plots. Just when you think the team has it right, a new revelation will totally spin them (and you) around. Or when you think a main character is safe, well, let’s just say don’t get too attached. It also helps that each season is comprised of just six tightly edited, highly bingeable episodes.

Bonus: With Thanksgiving approaching, you may be in need of something to watch with your parents, and Slow Horses is a crowd-pleaser. Your family will be even more thankful for you after you recommend this one.

How to watch: Slow Horses Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Apple TV+. Season 3 will arrive on Nov. 29, 2023.