How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?

Our TV critic recommends checking out a Tegan and Sara teen series, an underappreciated comedy and a serene backyard-farming show.

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By Margaret Lyons

This weekend I have … a half-hour and a guitar.

‘High School’
When to watch: Arrives Friday, on Freevee.

“High School” looks and moves a lot like other current teen dramas: It is set in the ’90s, heavily soundtracked and open about drug use and queer sexuality. It is also based on the memoir by Tegan and Sara Quin and follows identical twins (played by Railey and Seazynn Gilliland) in a Canadian high school who discover a mutual musical prodigiousness. The show is frank and unfussy, much less a glam stardom origin story than a thoughtful, prickly twindom tale. Individuation is a tough enough process in adolescence, and going through it as a package deal is a blessing and a curse. The first four episodes drop at once, and the next four arrive weekly on Fridays.

… a few hours, and I’m soft.

‘Playing House’
When to watch: Now, on the Roku Channel.

This sweetheart three-season comedy debuted in 2014 and has come and gone from streaming platforms, but it has never quite broken through into the comfort canon where it belongs. Maggie and Emma (Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair) are childhood BFFs, and when Maggie gets pregnant and leaves her husband, Emma moves back to Connecticut to support her and, you know, maybe, no big deal, reconnect with a former flame (Keegan Michael Key). The show is sweet and silly, thoughtful and bright. If you are on parental leave or going through any flavor of exhausting transformation, watch this.

… a few hours, and I’m over grass.

When to watch: Now, on HBO Max and Discovery+.

Jamila Norman is an urban farmer who helps people adapt their spaces into backyard farms. This show is serene and aspirational, and unlike a lot of other home-makeover shows, there’s not that sense of unquenchable consumption and ostentatious wastefulness. The “after” is always still a work in progress — a process, not an outcome, an ongoing meditation and commitment and not just another marble countertop. That said, “Homegrown” does share that hypnotic “you’ve always been watching this” bingeability that defines its Magnolia Network brethren.

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