The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of February 1, 2016

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.


American Crime Story: S1E1

American Crime Story (Series Premiere)

Tuesday at 10:00pm on FX

Why: 20 years ago, the O.J. Simpson trial was basically the only thing of interest going on in America. We weren't involved in any wars, Snapchat didn't exist, and reality television was in its infancy. Look, this trial was so big that my sixth grade class go to watch the verdict being read (yes, I am old!). Now, Ryan Murphy, the man who brought you Narcissism: The Show and Ugh, Theater Kids (not to mention Nightmare Fuel, and The Least Interesting Sorority Show Ever) is bringing his particular brand of camp to the tale of O.J.'s glove, Judge Ito, and the Kardashians. It's going to be epic.

Prepare to talk about: Oh man, like, everything? The glove! The getaway car or whatever that was! Judge Ito! Johnny Cochrane! How this insanity gave us the Kardashians (yes, for real)! Also, how yes, that really is John Travolta.


Madoff: S1E1

Madoff (Miniseries)

Wednesday and Thursday at 8:00pm on ABC

Why: Bernie Madoff stole a lot of money from a lot of people. Now they've made a miniseries about him! How very exciting for all of us. Unlike the O.J. trial, which has arguably faded in our national consciousness, Bernie Madoff is still fresh and relevant, which is probably why this is on ABC instead of the "sexier" FX. Either way, Richard Dreyfuss (ask my dad), and Gwyneth Paltrow's mom (Blythe Danner) star as Bernie and Ruth, respectively, so it's got pedigree! It's LEGIT. Watch it and weep.

Prepare to talk about: Whether you'd head up a Ponzi scheme if it could potentially make you very rich but also potentially send you to jail; whatever happened to the two-night miniseries; who Richard Dreyfuss is.


Super Bowl 50/Kitten Bowl III/Puppy Bowl XII

Super Bowl 50 & Kitten Bowl III & Puppy Bowl XII

Sunday at 6:30pm/ET on CBS, 12:00pm/ET on Hallmark, and 3:00pm/ET on Animal Planet, respectively

Why: It's the biggest television event of the year, and we don't even have to look at stupid Tom Brady and his man Uggs! Hooray for us for already being winners. Also, Coldplay is performing (hahahaha) with Beyoncé (yay) and Bruno Mars (a slightly more muted yay). If exactly zero of that is your cup of tea, why not tune into some adorable puppies or kittens romping with their chums in a box decorated to look like a football field? If you refuse to like that, you're probably the worst person and I'm sorry that you have no joy in your life.

Prepare to talk about: The ads; the dogs; the cats; football, I guess; whatever happened to Left Shark.



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



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Feb 1, 2016 5:10PM EST

This is going to be an amazing week of television. Two celebrity high profile crime shows and the puppy/kitten bowl as a reminder the world is a wonderful place! Awesome as always Leah!

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Feb 1, 2016 7:55PM EST

I think a kitten bowl party may be in order for me this Sunday! Unfortunately though I'll have to pass on everything else this week, crime shows aren't my cup of tea

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