This weekend I have … a half-hour, and I want something hypnotic.
‘Painting With John’
When to watch: Friday at 11 p.m., on HBO.
The artist John Lurie returns for a third and final season of his mesmerizing collage series, which braids his music, paintings and musings into one of TV’s most evocative and distinctive shows. “The world is getting to me lately,” he sighs in the season premiere. “I really thought by this point the human beings would be doing better.” Then he shares a tiny but transporting story and somehow the cloud lifts. If there’s another show that can make you tremble with wistful tears and also includes two solid minutes exclusively of people chanting the word “potato,” I haven’t seen it.
… an hour, and I want an exciting drama.
‘The Lazarus Project’
When to watch: Sunday at 8 p.m., on TNT.
Time-loop stories are having a moment right now, often as a way for a depressed character to ask themselves, “Is my life just monotonous repetition?” Here, it also an opportunity to ask, “Can a motorcycle drive through a window?” Paapa Essiedu stars as George, an app developer who gets swept up with an organization than can turn back the clock — but only to July 1 each year. Few people can recognize that it is happening, and “Groundhog Day”-ing six months rather than 24 hours is draining in ways George can’t predict. The show has a tense political-thriller energy early on and eases into a surprising emotional depth. If you miss “Orphan Black,” watch this.
… a few hours, and I like dark comedy.
When to watch: The first three episodes are available now, on Amazon.
This Australian series begins with a dead body in the sand and chugs along from there with all the grim stares, windy beaches and testy locals you’d expect — but rather than another bleakness marathon, it’s a vicious comedy, like if the characters on “Broadchurch” were cracking jokes constantly. Kate Box stars as the strait-laced cop paired with a loud dingus partner, desperate to solve the case before the Winter “Feastival” but thwarted by both criminal scheming and by amorous sea gulls obscuring CCTV footage. If you want a murder show but are exhausted by, you know, murder shows, try this.