This Week’s Top 5 TV Picks

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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 bets for the coming week. This week, PBS airs a very timely portrait of Silent Spring author Rachel Carson; BET airs a three-part miniseries on the boy group New Edition; and the CW premieres its buzzy new Archie Comics series, Riverdale.


Tuesday: Rachel Carson

There’s never been a more urgent time to learn about the work of Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, the 1962 book that launched a movement to help protect and conserve the environment and its varied inhabitants. The book persuaded President John F. Kennedy to launch the first investigation into the harmful effects of pesticide use, which resulted in a slew of environmental protection laws and regulations — the kinds of regulations that are now under severe threat. Take a couple hours to familiarize yourself with Carson and the consequences of her work with PBS’s American Experience documentary Rachel Carson, airing on Tuesday at 8 p.m. We could use a reminder of what’s at stake (including PBS itself).


Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: The New Edition Story

BET is airing this “epic movie event” over three consecutive nights, and it begins on Tuesday at 9 p.m. — the day after New Edition will get a star on the Walk of Fame — with the first of three 90-minute installments. The first night introduces us to the OG boy band as kids growing up outside Boston in 1978. It’s a fairly conventional but very sweet story of dreams realized that hints at the drama and discord to come in the following episodes, which will air on Wednesday and Thursday. Keep your eyes peeled for Empire‘s Bryshere Gray as the adult Michael Bivins.


Wednesday: The Path

Season 2 of this Hulu original drama, available on Wednesday, digs deeper into the cult-ish religion at the heart of the series, called Meyerism. (If you haven’t seen the first season, Hulu’s giving you a big incentive by putting the entire thing up on YouTube.) The Path stars Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan as Eddie and Sarah Lane, members of the Meyer religion, which leads its followers up a metaphorical “ladder” to enlightenment — and which the show’s creator, Jessica Goldberg, has insisted is definitely not Scientology, nope, no way.


Thursday: Scandal

The first episode of Scandal‘s sixth season, which premieres this week, was filmed back in July, so don’t hold your breath for a totally ripped-from-the-headlines episode. Still, Scandal has become more and more inclined to take its stories from real-life political events since its largely procedural first season; Season 5 culminates in the cementing of two presidential candidates: First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), who has Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope on her side, and Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira). The Season 6 premiere, which airs on ABC Thursday at 9 p.m., will finally reveal the winner.


Thursday: Riverdale

The CW’s most anticipated new show this year is undoubtedly Riverdale, a dark and highly Twin Peaks-influenced take on the Archie Comics. As a hardcore fan of the comics as a kid, I have to be honest — I’m not crazy about the whole “dark twist” aspect of the series. It’s clear that the show is aiming to be the next big moody teen thriller, and if you separate the show’s origin material from the thing itself, it does a pretty good job. What can I say — the  most interesting aspect of this show for me so far is the fact that a bunch of teenage girls are very invested in a romance between Betty and Veronica. I dig it. Riverdale premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. on the CW.