Weed out the week4/22/2015
After “Are you still writing for that paper?” and “Why did I assume you were dead?”, the question I’m most often asked is “So, what’s good on TV?” Sure, I write a readily-available weekly column about what’s good on TV (and not-so-good), and produce a podcast (TV Tan — look it up on iTunes and Stitcher) covering the same, but you can’t be expected to keep up with it all.
You do, actually: Let’s pretend that daily “live” TV viewing didn’t several years ago and scroll through the week with a day-by-day breakdown of what to Watch (good stuff deserving of your attention) and, for the hell of it, Hate Watch (stuff so terrible that it’s fun to mock) right now.
Thursday: The network tried to kill its biggest hit by moving it to Thursday nights, but “The Blacklist” (NBC) is still a must-Watch. TV critics are divided on “The Comedians,” but I say it’s a worthy lead-in to “Louie,” and that’s all that matters (FX). On the Hate Watch front, there’s “Lip Synch Battle” (Spike), a “singing” competition that’s done away with singing altogether.
Friday: “Real Time With Bill Maher” and “Vice” (HBO) for politicos and news junkies, “The Soup” for pop-culture catch-upists, and “The Grace Helbig Show” for … not sure who this is for yet, but Helbig’s YouTube-to-TV transition is, more often than not, as funny as it is brain-implodingly awkward (E!). Hate Watch: “The Messengers” (The CW), wherein impossibly pretty CW actors fret about the Rapture and a desolate Friday-night timeslot.
Saturday: “Orphan Black” (BBC America) is one of the rare sci-fi dramas that lives up to its hype, just don’t be put off by all of the clone characters (most played fantastically by Tatiana Maslany) — if you can follow “Game of Thrones,” you can follow this. Same goes for the time-jumping “Outlander” (Starz), the lushly-produced Scot-drama that earns its nickname “Fifty Shades of Plaid.” For Hate Watching, “My Cat From Hell” (Animal Planet), because no one seems to realize that you can find a new, less-hellish kitty, oh, anywhere.
Sunday: Busy night, with “Game of Thrones,” “Silicon Valley,” “Veep” and “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO); “Mad Men” (AMC); “Salem” (WGN America); “Bob’s Burgers,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Last Man on Earth” (Fox); “Mr. Selfridge” (PBS); and now the new “Happyish” (Showtime) all vying for discerning eyeballs. Set aside some Hate Watch moments for “A.D. The Bible Continues” and “American Odyssey” (NBC); they’ve really earned it.
Monday: “Bates Motel” has cranked its simmering insanity up to full-tilt bonkers this season, while “The Returned” continues its supernatural slow-burn—together, they comprise the creepiest two-hour block of the week, not counting Sunday-morning news shows (A&E). Hate Watch “Turn: Washington’s Spies” (AMC), which is as obtuse as a tri-corner hat and somehow even duller than actual American history.
Tuesday: Catch up on your streaming — there are unseen episodes of “Daredevil” (Netflix) and “Community” (Yahoo Screen) still waiting for you. Hate Watch: “Powers” (PlayStation Network), the comic-book adaptation that can’t even.
Wednesday: Heard of “Big Time in Hollywood, FL”? It fills the sick-wrong-funny gap left by “Broad City” where “Workaholics” failed (Comedy Central). The obvious Hate Watch is “CSI: Cyber” (CBS), the stupidest depiction of tech-terrorism since every “cyberpunk” movie produced in 1995. CV
Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on TV Tan Podcast (iTunes and Stitcher), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.