The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of August 22, 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.


Casual: S2E13

(Season Finale)

Tuesday at 3 a.m. on Hulu

Why: Honestly? Because of Rachel. But this really has been one of the beacons of light in a dark, post-Game of Thrones summer. And yes, for those keeping track, Casual's premiere was one of the Most Important Shows, too. Now, this is another of those "difficult" shows featuring pretty unlikable people doing terrible and/or stupid things. Each of the three main characters is self-absorbed and self-destructive. But the writing is fantastic and the actors are superb. The entire ensemble is so strong, but it really all comes down to the woefully underrated Michaela Watkins, who shows off her range in ways she hasn't in previous TV work. (I would gladly watch an entire episode of Valerie battling that hallway couch.) In this week's finale (directed by Fred Savage!), Valerie and Alex may finally come to terms with their relationship with their father.

Prepare to talk about: Laura becoming one of TV's most frustrating teens (but in the context of this show, it sort of works); whether the ladies will actually get a place of their own; if Leon will ever be more than an occasional audience surrogate.


Adam Ruins Everything: S2E1

Adam Ruins Everything
(Season Premiere)

Tuesday at 10 p.m. on truTV

Why: Real talk: I did not know anything about this man or his show until I learned that his second-season premiere would feature SideReel fave and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom. That, my friends, is enough to become an Important Show in this garbage summer. Fortunately, Adam Conover's brand of edutainment is legit funny and this episode's Hollywood truth bombs land with a satisfying thud. As Bloom notes, "anybody would look fantastic if they had a pit crew of hair and makeup experts Frankenstein-ing them for six hours." The episode even gets into the economics of the red carpet: "My stylist tells me what to wear," Bloom explains, "and then the designer's marketing team says yes or no, depending on whether or not they think I'll sell the product." Ha! It's funny because it's disgusting.

Prepare to talk about: Rachel Bloom's Emmy snub and how we're still not over it; that red carpet elbow cam.


MTV Video Music Awards: 2016

2016 MTV Video Music Awards

Sunday at 9 p.m. on MTV

Why: The VMAs have created so many incredible TV moments, from Madonna's "scandalous" "Like a Virgin" performance to Madonna's "scandalous" kiss with Britney Spears and some thirsty background singer. Don't forget about Kanye making Taylor Swift famous or Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley bringing sexy back with their very natural, very hot PDA. And my low-key fave: Ms. Diana Ross grabbing Lil' Kim's breast. Boop! Well y'all, get ready for another legendary moment, because Britney Jean Spears is returning to the stage for the first time in a decade. That's right, Britney's back with a world-premiere performance of "Make Me…" featuring something called G-Eazy? Also performing is another gay icon: Nick Jonas. He too is sharing the stage with a rapper. Jonas and Ty Dolla $ign (Mr. $ign to you and me) will perform "Bacon," an ode to Williamsburg's hottest new food truck. In addition to the performances, Rihanna will receive this year's Video Vanguard Award. The show’s prestigious Video of the Year category pits Beyoncé against Adele, Justin Bieber, Drake, and Kanye Kardashian.

Prepare to talk about: Britney's sharp dance moves and silky-smooth live vocals; the annual tradition of Kanye and Taylor Swift being in the same room; what's going on with Hiddleswift.


T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel. He wants a no-holds-barred Britney autobiography more than anything. Follow him on Twitter.



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Aug 23, 2016 4:27PM EDT

I adore Michaela Watkins, she's a comedic genius. Her work on Married, In A World, and SNL was hilarious (especially Bitch Pleeze). I'll have to give Casual a shot!

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Aug 24, 2016 7:29AM EDT

Adam Ruins Everything is an apt title, as it is one of the few shows that still affects me on a daily basis. That and watching Nightmare on Elm Street alone as a child.

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