The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of August 7, 2017

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.


Difficult People: S3E1

Difficult People
(Season Premiere)

Tuesday at 3 a.m. on Hulu

Why: If you thought Julie and Billy were disgusted before, just wait. This year's tagline is: "all the rage." The third season of Hulu's delightfully mean comedy begins with a three-episode premiere. The difficult duo jump right in, throwing snark and disdain at everything from depression to gay conversion therapy to Woody Allen. Besides creator Julie Klausner and sudden "it boy" Billy Eichner, the divine Andrea Martin returns as Marilyn, who's as self-obsessed as ever and has landed a book deal; James Urbaniak is back as the ever-patient Arthur, who is faced with a bummer of a work commute to the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre in Florida, where PBS has relocated its productions; and pint-sized comedy king Cole Escola appears as Matthew, who welcomes his ex-wife — yes, ex-wife — to town. She's played by Vanessa Williams, in a bit of casting perfection. Among the other guest stars: Stockard Channing, Rosie O’Donnell, and John Cho as a love interest for Billy.

Prepare to talk about: How terrible this show about garbage people would be if it weren't so truly funny; Billy Eichner coming for all the TV roles; Andrea Martin's recent domination of the mom market.


Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update: S1E1

Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update
(Series Premiere)

Thursday at 9 p.m. on NBC

Why: Last season was Saturday Night Live's most successful in two decades, by multiple measures, so it's no surprise that NBC wants to milk its cash cow a little more. But it's not just about money. Every summer there are a few stories we truly do wish SNL were around to spoof. This summer? There are DOZENS. Thankfully, Colin Jost and Michael Che will be on the air for at least a four-episode run, taking on Washington and… well, mostly just Washington because have you even been paying attention? Joining them will be special celebrity guest stars as well as other SNL performers. Sadly, two Update regulars left at the end of the season, so don't expect Drunk Uncle (Bobby Moynihan) or Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy (Vanessa Bayer) to show up.

Prepare to talk about: How SNL has its own staff of talented performers, so no, we don't need an appearance by Mario Cantone or Rosie O'Donnell or any other rando who bears a passing resemblance to a politician; the show's 22 Emmy nods, matching Westworld for the most nominations this year.


Get Shorty: S1E1

Get Shorty
(Series Premiere)

Sunday at 9 p.m. on EPIX

Why: Ray Romano, somewhat surprisingly, has become the best and most interesting of the 1990s comedian-turned-actors, with a fantastic dramatic arc on Parenthood and a role in this summer's beloved The Big Sick. Chris O'Dowd has quietly excelled since his international breakout role in Bridesmaids, creating the delightful Moone Boy and more recently killing it in The Incredible Jessica James. The fact that they have teamed up to lead this adaptation of Get Shorty is reason enough to check it out. Before you fret about another movie-to-TV hack job, the drama is loosely based on Elmore Leonard's darkly comedic crime novel (which was made into the 1995 movie). Think less Rush Hour and more Fargo. In this new series, O'Dowd plays a hitman who tries to leave his criminal past behind and become a movie producer, in part to win back his recently estranged family. He meets Romano's character, a washed-up producer of crappy movies whose desperation to stay relevant prompts him to partner with the newcomer.

Prepare to talk about: Hollywood and how dumb everyone there is, at least in the show; the violence — the showrunner has said he was inspired by The Sopranos in that regard.


T.J. DeGroat is the editor of SideReel. He's ready for the Romanassaince. Follow him on Twitter.


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Aug 8, 2017 9:57PM EDT

Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 3 has just been released on Netflix too (last week, for those who missed it)
.. So what happened in Washington, and will international people find it funny? Nice list though T.J.

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