The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of August 15, 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.


My Last Days: S1E1

My Last Days
(Special Event)

Wednesday at 9 p.m. on The CW

Why: Every once in awhile a TV show or film causes my icy heart to thaw and I... feel things. They're called feelings, I think. Usually it involves some Terms of Endearment-style mama drama. All it took was about 60 seconds of the teaser for this documentary series about people facing a terminal illness for my face to look like that frowny Snapchat filter. It's tough stuff, but it is so incredibly inspirational (there must be a German word for something that is both uplifting and depressing AF). This three-night special event, created and hosted by Jane the Virgin star Justin Baldoni, aims to "remind people that each and every one of us has the power to choose happiness and to make a difference — regardless of the hand we've been dealt." As one of the subjects says, "We're all gonna go. It's how are you gonna go out?"

Prepare to talk about: The incredible news one of the subjects receives; Baldoni's future as a filmmaker; how we're garbage monsters compared to these real-life heroes.


The A Word: S1E6

The A Word
(Season Finale)

Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Sundance

Why: This lovely six-part series focuses on a British family slowly realizing that five-year-old Joe is autistic and coming to terms with what that diagnosis means for him and for them. Early on we see how Joe uses music and other tools to keep people at a distance, and we see how his parents try to avoid reality, as when Alison desperately tries to prevent her son from being the first child to lose a group game at his own birthday party. It's very awkward and very understandable. Noisier, twistier dramas tend to drum up more media attention and Twitter love, but The A Word has been consistently winning throughout its run. In this first-season finale (thankfully, there's more in the works), Joe goes missing while Alison and Paul prepare to launch their pub.

Prepare to talk about: The adorable young actor at the heart of the show, Max Vento; what directions the second season will pull these engaging characters in.


Fear the Walking Dead: S2E8

Fear the Walking Dead
(Midseason Premiere)

Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC

Why: While it remains in the shadow of its predecessor, Fear the Walking Dead is moving a little more rapidly toward the more savage scenarios experienced by Rick Grimes and co. The second half of Season 2 kicks off with the separation of the Clark, Manawa, and Salazar families and Nick's solo journey. It also introduces some badly needed characters (including Prison Break's Danay Garcia as Luciana), who have a different view of the undead. This expanded world should open up more possibilities for the writers to drop characters into more treacherous terrain. One thing's for sure: there is trouble ahead.

Prepare to talk about: Frank Dillane's hair; how these apocalyptic shows are seeming less and less far-fetched.


T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel. His only weapon against a "walker" is sarcasm. Follow him on Twitter.



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Aug 15, 2016 2:41PM EDT

Please tell me Fear the Walking Dead is not worth catching up on. I have too many shows!

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Aug 16, 2016 2:59PM EDT

T.J. DeGroat felt like getting real this week! Be caureful when tugging at our heart strings T.J., they are attached to our tearducts

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