The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of September 5, 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.

 

Atlanta: S1E1

Atlanta
(Series Premiere)

Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX

Why: FX has been on a roll lately, airing some of TV's most interesting dramas and most original comedies. Falling into the latter category is Donald Glover's new show about a smart but underachieving father hoping to manage his cousin, an up-and-coming rapper (Brian Tyree Henry), in an attempt to correct course. A writer for 30 Rock in his early 20s, a standout on Community for five seasons, and a Grammy nominee for his work as Childish Gambino, Glover is one of those annoyingly talented multi-hyphenates. And there is no better place on TV for his sensibility than FX. Like many of the network's half-hour shows, Atlanta isn't a Tina Fey-style jokefest. At times it's actually depressingly dark. But it's intelligent, insightful, and timely television.

Prepare to talk about: How consistently incredible FX continues to be, less than 15 years after its push into original programming; the breakout performance by Keith Stanfield as Darius.

 

Queen Sugar: S1E1

Queen Sugar
(Series Premiere)

Tuesday at 10 p.m. on OWN

Why: Um, Ava DuVernay. That's why. The Selma director and FOO (friend of Oprah) chose this family drama, based on the novel of the same name, as her first major TV project. The series, which was renewed for a second season more than a month ahead of the premiere, follows three siblings who come together to take care of their father’s sugarcane farm after his sudden death. Rutina Wesley (True Blood's Tara) stars alongside Bianca Lawson and Glynn Turman. Hey, remember when OWN was shaping up to be Oprah's biggest disaster? Those days are long gone. Sure, it took an overreliance on Tyler Perry-branded schlock to move things in the right direction, but between Greenleaf and this new series, O is coming for another TV crown.

Prepare to talk about: How great Oprah would have been as Aunt Violet (alas, she had already committed to a recurring role in Greenleaf); the huge year DuVernay's about to have (check out her new documentary).

 

Son of Zorn: S1E1

Son of Zorn
(Series Premiere)

Sunday at 8 p.m. on FOX

Why: Because the broadcast networks need to take more risks. Because this is a post-BoJack world. Because Cheryl Hines is a national treasure. Because Tim Meadows deserves a hit. And because it just sounds like a rad show. It's a classic fish-out-of-water story: the animated He-Man-esque hero (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) leaves his cartoon island to win back his live-action family in Southern California (the perfect setting for a show that's half cartoon). That's right: Zorn, conqueror of the tribes of Agon and decapitator of the dark herdsmen of Grith, takes on his greatest challenge: his ex-wife's new fiancé (Meadows). This preview episode airs after the season’s first NFL doubleheader, so FOX clearly has high hopes. (So do I!)

Prepare to talk about: How oddly lovable this show is; the colorful lineup of first-season guest stars, including Nick Offerman and Keegan-Michael Key; Linda!

 

T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel. He's just going to the store. Follow him on Twitter.

Comments

5 comments

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zazerhContributor
Sep 2, 2016 5:40PM EDT

Nice to see Donald Glover back on TV!

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TelevisionFanboyContributor
Sep 2, 2016 6:59PM EDT

Atlanta looks so good! I'll be checking out all three of these premieres, thanks for the awesome list Tj!

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Sep 4, 2016 6:30PM EDT

Looks meh.

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Sep 5, 2016 12:08PM EDT

Important to whom? This section would be more popular if more shows are included even if with a shorter description, and facilitate the participation of Sidereel members.

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Sep 5, 2016 7:09PM EDT

@haldrey Just one man's opinion here. But for a wider-reaching look at the week's offerings from all of our editors and contributors, check out our This Week in TV feature: http://www.sidereel.com/this-week-in-tv

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