There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This time, Transparent steals the show while Outlander follows up its Big Episode with a midseason finale.
Amazon Breaks Into the Prestige Streaming Game
Now that we’ve all had a week to burn through Transparent, it’s clear that the family dramedy is exactly what Jill Soloway says Amazon wanted it to be: the equivalent of Netflix’s House of Cards or Yahoo’s sixth season of Community, an announcement that Amazon Prime has arrived in the exploding universe of not-TV TV. Regardless of what service it’s on, though, Transparent is one of the year’s best shows, with incredible performances from Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman, Gabby Hoffman as her daughter Ali, Judith Light as her ex-wife Shelly, and many, many others. There’s plenty about gender and sexuality, of course, but there’s also family, Judaism, Los Angeles, and most important of all, Bradley Whitford.
Terry Crews Snags Breakout Role as “Ticking Bomb”
The second season premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine wasn’t a blockbuster event — the show is quickly developing into a comfort-food sitcom, albeit of the best possible kind — but it certainly lives up to the show’s remarkably strong freshman outing. There’s Sergeant Terry impersonating everyone from an angry prostitute to a seven-year-old boy so the squad can learn how to handle different kinds of constituents, a B-plot so enjoyable it threatens to overshadow Jenny Slate’s brief guest appearance as a mob mistress. And Chelsea Peretti continues to bring it as Gina, the secretary whose sexual blunder has demoted her spirit animal from wolf to naked mole rat.
SNL Brings Out a New Weekend Update Crew
Chris Pratt and Ariana Grande headlined this weekend’s SNL premiere, but comedy geeks were far more interested in the sketch show’s new cast members. Michael Che is Weekend Update‘s latest co-host, but the segment also showcased newcomer Pete Davidson, a 20(!)-year-old whose blowjob monologue raised some eyebrows. To ease the transition, outgoing anchor Cecily Strong turned up to showcase one of her most popular characters (and her talents outside the Weekend Update Desk), the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.
Claire Randall Just Can’t Catch a Break
With last week’s sex-tastic wedding episode, Outlander had a tough act to follow for its midseason finale. But “Both Sides Now” does an admirable job, seeing Claire and Jamie get it on once again, Claire stab a dude, and Claire almost, almost reunited with her 1940s husband Frank. But Frank’s own ancestor gets in the way, and Claire is dragged away from the magic rock at the last possible second. Life is rough for time-traveling Englishwomen! Anyway, that’s the last Outlander we’re getting until April, so let’s pour one out for the best sex scenes on cable.
Played by Patricia Arquette, Sally Wheet was the boldest, brightest, and longest-lasting of Boardwalk Empire protagonist Nucky Thompson’s various partners. But this week, Sally fell victim to the show’s need to tie up its narrative threads in time for the series finale in just a few short weeks. So she had a run-in with some Cuban rebels on the way home from a business negotiation, freeing Nucky to reunite with his estranged wife Margaret back in Atlantic City. Goodbye, Sally; we’ll be pouring out some Bacardi for you.