‘Fantasmas’ Is the Best Show on TV Right Now


This week:

  • Inside Out 2 doesn’t disappoint.

  • You need to be watching Fantasmas.

  • The week’s best singing.

  • My king won another tournament.

  • The best casting idea ever.

The Show You Should All Be Watching

Julio Torres is a genius. He’s the weirdest genius we have right now in pop culture, and I’m so grateful that he’s being given a platform. Amid the chaos of everything in the world, we need weird voices! Strangely, they’re what help us feel normal.

Torres is a former Saturday Night Live writer who created the HBO comedy Los Espookys and wrote, directed, and starred in the movie Problemista. His new series Fantasmas launched last week, and is, for me, HBO’s most important show and the one I consider appointment viewing. (Sorry to House of the Dragon, which is apparently a big deal.)

Fantasmas is a continuation of Torres’ unique comedic perspective: turning the mundane into a fairy tale, exploding simple concepts into dreamscapes, and through fantasia underlining the basic humanity beneath injustice. His work is bizarre and surreal, and also is some of culture’s clearest dissections of queerness, immigration, and class.

Fantasmas starts with the argument that there should be a crayon the color of “clear.” The first episode also makes points about the gig economy, the housing crisis, and the significance of the letter “Q.”

So much of television these days is algorithmic—created based on what research says you should like, with the knowledge that you’ll enjoy it. For a show like Fantasmas to exist as the manifestation of the phrase “what the fuck?” is a miracle. Please watch it.

Come On, Get Happy

Ben Platt reopened the renovated Palace Theater with a residency, the highlight of which has been a duet with a different guest star each night. Kelli O’Hara sang a Joni Mitchell song with him, Rachel Zegler performed a song from Waitress, and Alex Newell launched “Suddenly Seymour” into a vocal stratosphere that hasn’t been heard before.

The performances have all been jaw-dropping, but I can’t get over this week’s duet with Cynthia Erivo. Platt and the future star of the Wicked movie recreated Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland’s performance of “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again.”

This, people, is singing.

The Perfect Celebrity

It is my understanding that all famous people are terrible. So it is refreshing that we have Carlos Alcaraz in this world. To be so young, and also perhaps the greatest athlete in the world right now is one thing. But to also be so humble, and find joy amidst the intensity of the system that surrounds him? Anyway, here is Alcaraz following up his French Open victory by taking a photo with the ball boys and girls who worked with him during the tournament. It is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

A Perfect Idea

If they don’t make a Notting Hill sequel where Nicholas Galitzine is the son of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant’s characters, then what is even the point of having the internet?

What to watch this week:

Inside Out 2: Don’t have any anxiety over whether this sequel is worth watching. (Now in theaters)

The Boys: This continues to be the most fun and most shocking TV series. (Now on Prime Video)

Fresh Kills: The best mafia movie in years. (Now in theaters)

What to skip this week:

Love Is Blind: Brazil: Please stop this show from its global reign of terror. (Wed. on Netflix)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.