The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of March 28, 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.

 

Empire: S2E11

Empire
(Midseason Premiere)

Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on FOX

Why: Confession: I really could not with this show when it returned for Season 2. Sure, I was as Cookie-obsessed as the rest of them. But the Empire fatigue was real. Fortunately, I'm back on board the crazy train. And just in time for the midseason premiere. The return of FOX's hip-hop soap promises a Cookie-Camilla confrontation, more of Lucious Lyon's complicated back story, and, thankfully, fewer guest stars. Seriously, one of this fall's episodes featured Vivica A. Fox, Alicia Keys, and Rosie O’Donnell. With all due respect, they can all take a seat. Except Oprah, obviously. I'm ready for Cookie's auntie/cousin/former cellmate to roll into Chicago New York to inspire and/or terrify us.

Prepare to talk about: Cookie's looks (both varieties); Lucious' next-level anger at Hakeem; Naomi Campbell's "acting" career; whether ratings rebound; the Smollett family (because why not?).

 

Lopez: S1E1

Lopez (Series Premiere)

Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. on TV Land

Why: TV Land's newest original comedy series is a bit of a departure, both for the network and for the star. It's George Lopez meets Curb Your Enthusiasm with a dash of Louie. Within the first 60 seconds of the premiere, there are visual gags and jokes firmly planted at the intersection of race, class, and celebrity. But, you know, they're "heh" funny, not "ha ha" funny. With both "white-man problems" and "brown-man problems" to lampoon, the series should have plenty of material to mine during its 12-episode run. And Lopez is definitely willing to pull a Degrassi and go there — note the early mention of taking a kidney from his wife and then divorcing her. Ouch and ouch.

Prepare to talk about: All the new Spanish slang you'll be picking up, vato; a solid cameo by former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

 

The Walking Dead S6E16

The Walking Dead (Season Finale)

Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC

Why: The ominously titled "Last Day on Earth" may be the series' most epic season finale yet. Coming in at a supersized — and soul-crushingly tense — 90 minutes, viewers will have even more time to fret about the fate of their faves. Especially with the introduction of comic book supervillain Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his friend Lucille. And by "friend" I mean the barbed wire-covered baseball bat he carries around to wreak havoc on enemies. And by "wreak havoc" I mean bash in their heads. Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick, recently described how he felt when he read the script: "I was so angry and frustrated and I felt sick." So… good luck getting through it, y'all.

Prepare to talk about: Another effing cliffhanger (the "cliff-hangerist," according to Lauren Cohan); how AMC deals with the notoriously foul-mouthed Negan; LUCILLE!

 

T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel. He owns all four seasons of Felicity on DVD. Follow him on Twitter for occasional Keri Russell photos.

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