Which TV series will your friends (and the entire internet) be talking about this week? Stay informed — or at least be able to fake it — with SideReel's weekly guide to The Most Important Shows on TV.
Why: True story: I started watching this show again only when I learned about the musical crossover. I get it. These episodes are either for you or they're not. They are very much for me. I even (mostly) liked the bananas Grey's Anatomy musical (fact: Sara Ramirez can saaang). This has been a long time coming. Greg Berlanti clearly loves an "event" and the Arrowverse is full of legit vocal heavyweights. Among those belting it out on this week's episodes of Supergirl and The Flash are the girl herself, Melissa Benoist (new Rachel on Glee), Grant Gustin (also a Glee alum), Broadway vets Jeremy Jordan and Jesse L. Martin, plus West End regular John Barrowman and Tony nominee Victor Garber. The baddie causing the music mayhem is Darren Criss, who isn't just reuniting with Glee costars, but also with college buddy and Flash regular Carlos Valdes.
Prepare to talk about: How unfairly Glee treated Melissa Benoist; her duet with Gustin, a "fun, comedy song" co-written by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom; the 'Nam-style flashbacks poor Chyler Leigh must have had when this was announced.
Why: Inspired by (so many!) recent real-life events, this ambitious limited series, conceived by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights), tackles race in America through the lens of the criminal justice system. Specifically, the show examines the aftermath of two mysterious, racially charged shootings in a small Tennessee town. The opening moments of the premiere see bullets flying after a police officer stops a motorist. The twist, if you want to call it that, is that the victim is an unarmed white man and the accused cop is black (the other shooting's victim is a black boy). The show follows several characters affected by the incidents, all of whom have their own versions of what happened. The strong cast includes Helen Hunt, Stephen Moyer, and Richard Dreyfuss. At the heart of the story are Sanaa Lathan (Prince-Bythewood's Love & Basketball) and Stephan James, who play the (typically mismatched) investigator and prosecutor on the cases.
Prepare to talk about: Where the show could go if it were to morph into an American Crime-style anthology series; the best name in entertainment: co-creator Reggie Rock Bythewood.
Grace and Frankie
Why: Last season, the show took a deep dive into the exciting and frightening world of homemade, all-natural, yam-based lube. So what are the friendies up to now? A line of adult toys for mature ladies, of course. You see, Grace and Frankie aren't like your scary German grandmother. They're adventurous, free women doing the damn thing. And the toy plotline allows the show to bring in some new blood. Peter Gallagher, who could be 50 or 70, plays a charming businessman going toe-to-toe with the ladies. The regular gang is back, including Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, whose (surprisingly cute?) characters are settling into their new home, and all the kids, plus guest star Ernie Hudson, who makes a charming love interest for Lily Tomlin's Frankie. As in the previous seasons, Grace and Frankie's developing friendship reaches a moment of serious strain. Will they get through it?!
Prepare to talk about: Senior sex; how great all the kids are, but especially my girl June Diane Raphael, whose sarcasm and judgment feed my soul.