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. As the new year picks up speed, television’s (slowly) emerging from its midseason hibernation; here’s how the networks are kicking off 2016.
American Crime Gets Topical
Network television’s entry into the anthology series trend, from 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley, returned for its second season this week with an intriguing premise: a high school sexual assault case with shades of Steubenville, but one where a male athlete is portrayed as the victim, not just the aggressor. Felicity Huffman and Regina King once again hold down the ensemble as the headmistress of athletic scholarship kid Taylor’s upscale private school and the mother of his teammate, respectively.
What If Elves, But Sexy?
Make no mistake: MTV is billing Shannara Chronicles as its grand entrance into the post-Game of Thrones fantasy boomlet, but at its heart, this is very much a teen show, complete with adolescent heartthrobs rebelling against their parents. Monday’s two-hour premiere introduced us to our three heroes — a sexy elf, a sexy half-elf, and a sexy human — and established their quest, not to mention their burgeoning love triangle.
Trevor Noah hasn’t quite figured out how to channel his outsider’s perspective on American politics into a reliably sharp Daily Show. But there’s no issue more representative of American insanity than guns, and hence no better opportunity for Noah to go after Republican candidates (ripping a hole in the space-time continuum by opposing Obama’s executive action before it was even announced) and Fox News anchors (refusing to believe Obama’s show of emotion in the face of child murder was authentic). The segment begins with a viral video of a raccoon, ends with “Are you fucking kidding me?!,” and stays perfectly outraged in between.
J. Lo Has Arrived
So we can finally start taking television seriously. Shades of Blue is… well, it’s a very basic cop drama, except the lead just happens to be played by one Jennifer Lopez. Put it in the same megastar-headlines-entertainingly-silly-network-drama category as Priyanka Chopra’s Quantico.
David Cross Gets In on Rebootmania
Possibly the only thing British-American wince-a-thon The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret has in common with the Star Wars is its recent revival. David Cross still stars as the ill-fated energy drink marketer in question, though a very different version of him, in the unexpected third season of yet another oddball comedy from IFC, which premiered the first of six episodes last night. Come for the Mr. Show co-mastermind, stay for supporting appearances from Sharon Horgan (now better known in America than she was in 2012, thanks to Catastrophe) and Will Arnett.