The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of May 2, 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.


Houdini and Doyle: S1E1

Houdini and Doyle
(Series Premiere)

Monday at 9:00 p.m. on FOX

Why: Wrapping up its U.K. run, this unlikely period crime drama is just beginning in the States. Based on the real friendship of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the show leans into the very interesting dynamic between the famed American illusionist and escape artist, who delighted in exposing fraudulent mediums, and the man behind literature's leading rationalist (Sherlock Holmes), who was an avowed spiritualist. There's a procedural element as the duo teams up with Scotland Yard's first female constable to tackle possibly supernatural cases. But more interesting is the relationship between the two men, who start out on the show as frenemies and challenge each other with fun repartee. It's like a Victorian-era Mulder and Scully, but with more sexual tension. Just kidding. Maybe.

Prepare to talk about: Whether you're a Doyle or a Houdini; how many more ways we can bring the Sherlock universe to TV.


Grace and Frankie: S2E1

Grace and Frankie (Season Premiere)

Friday at 3:01 a.m. on Netflix

Why: Everyone's favorite septuagenarian duo is back! Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have incredible chemistry in their long-awaited on-screen reunion — no surprise there. But the show also has a rock-solid supporting cast. Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen are utterly charming, and June Diane Raphael is the MVP among the kids. Season 1 ended with a not-entirely-surprising dalliance between Frankie and her ex, so this season's premiere should explore some of the consequences. Also on the horizon: a new romance for Grace, in the form of Mr. Mustache himself, Sam Elliott. And more masterclass comedy acting from Tomlin, who's shown in the trailer delivering the hell out of this line: "I ran into him at the farmer's market when I was stalking him at the farmer's market."

Prepare to talk about: The Golden Age of Sam Elliott, who's become the senior heartthrob; how, try as you might, you'll never be as cool as Lily Mothereffing Tomlin.


The Good Wife S7E22

The Good Wife (Series Finale)

Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS

Why: Confession: I've never seen an episode of this show. But I know SO MUCH about it. Why? Not because of all the awards the series has won or the provocative questions it has posed. Because of all the insane behind-the-scenes Kalindrama. That's… not great. But that's The Good Wife. And true to form, Emmy-winning star Julianna Margulies recently teased that "fans are either going to love this or they're going to hate this, but there's not going to be an in-between." What does that mean? Will there be too much ambiguity or not enough? Will another beloved character be killed off? Does the episode's budget include CGI? Will Michelle Obama appear to promote her latest initiative? Again: I've never seen this show!

Prepare to talk about: Whether you loved or hated it; who appeared — and didn't appear — in the episode; whether we'll ever really know what went down.


T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel. He won't rest until he discovers the truth about Kalicia. Follow him on Twitter.


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Nela Suka
May 6, 2016 12:03PM EDT

what an excellent and seriously enticing summary of Houdini & Doyle. Defn adding that to the watch list!

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