The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of January 19, 2015

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.


The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore: S1E1

The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore (Series Premiere)

Monday at 11:30pm on Comedy Central

Why: Because the very funny Larry Wilmore is taking over The Colbert Report's old slot! Sure, he'll eventually be up against the former host of Report, but Comedy Central is still where we all (or at least we few, we happy few, we band of viewers) go for the REAL news of the day.

Prepare to talk about: Is it possible that The Daily Show has spawned yet another powerhouse host (except for oafish and deservedly forgotten Craig Kilborn)? Who makes Wilmore's amazing glasses and how do you get some? When is Jessica Williams going to get her own show? Did they really have to call it The Nightly Show?


The Vampire Diaries: S6E11

The Vampire Diaries              (Midseason Premiere)

Thursday at 8:00pm on The CW

Why: I'll be honest here: I know very little about this show other than that it's the platonic ideal of CW dramas, the kids today really like it, the two main dudes in it are regular brothers AND vampire brothers (how did that happen, by the way? You're not born a vampire, except in the last Twilight movie and even then it's like, come on), and that they both want the girl, whose name I know to be Elena. The point here is that you don't have to watch it, you just need to know the bare minimum to sound like you watched it. That is the entire point of this feature. You've all learned my secret.

Prepare to talk about: How CRAZY it was that Elena (the aforementioned girl) was kidnapped by Kai, and is probably fine because without a certain level of stasis this show can't go on; why Kai is so evil; seriously, what's the deal with Kai?! (Just pose these questions rhetorically and let the other person in the conversation talk.)


Sons of Liberty: S1E1

Sons of Liberty (Mini-Series Premiere)

Sunday at 9:00pm on History Channel

Why: Because you love America, but more importantly, you love the History Channel's reenactments, especially when Dean Norris (of Breaking Bad  and Under the Dome fame) is playing OG Ben Franklin. Also, they hauled Steve Guttenberg out for this! STEVE GUTTENBERG! 

Prepare to talk about: How they hired an irishman to play George Washington (though I mean, Mr. First President wasn't born an American, so maybe we shouldn't care?); what (if any) beer jokes the guy playing Samuel Adams gets to make; why, in promotional materials for this, Paul Revere was branded "The Thug" because that seems pretty harsh, right? It's not like he was a hockey player (though that would have been awesome/hot).



Leah E. Friedman is the editor of You can follow her musings on Twitter.



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Jan 16, 2015 6:35PM EST

Love the talking points on Sons of Liberty. I really think we need to talk about how hot Sam Adams is too, though - the picture on his beer bottles really don't do him justice.

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Jan 16, 2015 8:46PM EST

I forgot Steve Guttenberg even existed. Hey, remember how hilarious the idea of men caring for a baby was? HA!

I think Larry Wilmore might be too dour for me.

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