The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of September 4, 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.

 

American Horror Story: S7E1

American Horror Story: Cult
(Season Premiere)

Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX

Why: This will be the first season of AHS with no supernatural elements. That's right, kids. This world we live in has gotten so scary that we no longer need to involve the supernatural. Here are just a few things that Ryan Murphy has teased this season will incorporate: the election, clowns, bees, and...Lena Dunham? Sure, why not! She'll be playing Valerie Solanas in one episode, who attempted to shoot Andy Warhol. Evan Peters, btw, will be playing seven characters, including 6 famous cult leaders (we're talking Charles Manson, Jim Jones...). That's crazy impressive, unless you're Tatiana Maslany. As someone who has only dabbled in AHS, I'm digging the new direction of this season; it seems like the perfect opportunity to jump back into the show.

Prepare to talk about: Why clowns get such a bad rap; which cult leader is most deranged; Cher (maybe, but fans think that this tweet implies an AHS guest spot).

 

The Orville: S1E1

The Orville
(Series Premiere)

Sunday at 8 p.m. on FOX

Why: Some people just love Seth MacFarlane's humor (and think Family Guy is the funniest thing on TV). I'm definitely not one of these people. That being said, I really want to like this series, because I love Star Trek, and there is not nearly enough sci-fi comedy out there! The Orville is set 400 years in the future on the titular ship, and while it appears from the trailer to be a straight Trek spoof, is actually thought to be more of an homage to not just Star Trek, but other famous science fiction series such as The Twilight Zone. The Orville is an hour-long show being billed as a science fiction comedic drama. Therefore, while there will still be jokes, it's my understanding that the series will be less scattershot and more plot-driven than a show like Family Guy, which if pulled off successfully, actually sounds quite delightful! MacFarlane is also a self-proclaimed science-fiction nerd and has hired an executive producer who worked on multiple Star Trek series, so if nothing else, these guys care about doing right by the source material.

Prepare to talk about: Can Seth MacFarlane succeed at live-action TV; which Star Trek series will perform better - The Orville or Star Trek: Discovery (even though we really don't need to pit them against each other since they are so different); if we can ever really forgive MacFarlane for A Million Ways to Die in the West.

 

The Deuce: Season 1E1

The Deuce
(Series Premiere)

Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO

Why: Can we really look away from anything James Franco does, even if we want to? Ok, we probably can, but *this* one is on HBO and from David Simon (The Wire), focusing on the rise of the sex industry in New York beginning in the early 70s, so in this instance we definitely cannot. And did we mention that Franco is playing a dual role - both sympathetic struggling bartender Vincent *and* his sleazy con man brother, Frankie (which really sounds like the most perfect Franco role). The Deuce also stars the always excellent Maggie Gyllenhaal, if James Franco isn't really a selling point for you. If nothing else, this show will have a killer soundtrack, but HBO really needs another hit, since Game of Thrones is at the end of its life (and Westworld is awesome, but won't be back until 2018), and this series is probably its best shot, so we may as well give it a chance!

Prepare to talk about: Which James Franco is the best James Franco; how crazy-different NYC was in the 70s, but also how obsessed shows are with making New York "a character"; how nothing will ever be able to replace Game of Thrones.

 

Rachel is the product manager of SideReel, and she will never apologize for loving Star Trek: Voyager.

Comments

4 comments

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Sep 6, 2017 1:50PM EDT

From what I have seen of the new season of American Horror Story: Cult the woman pictured is just a pathetic snow flake. She needs to grow up. I deal with those idiots at work, I won't deal with those morons on my tv.

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Sep 8, 2017 4:59PM EDT

I already saw episode 1 of AHS:Cult. I liked the election reaction reenactment/parody. And (no spoilers) the first clown thing was a nice treat. I'm in, especially now I just read that Evan Peters gets to have fun with multiple characters. I thought he was excellent in AHS:5(Hotel) as James March.

The Orville? I'll try it. I don't watch MacFarlane's other stuff (Cosmos doesn't count here), so I'm going in blind as far as type of humor this will have.

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Sep 10, 2017 4:59PM EDT

I couldn't make it through the last season of AHS and it looks like I'm done with this season after the first episode. If AHS is trying to make any kind of political statement, it is doing so at the shallow end of the pool. I *might* peak at the next episode, but I've removed it from my tracker so will likely forget about it.

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Sep 11, 2017 10:19AM EDT

Hey, The Orville was pretty strong on comedy (and stars), though it slowed down a bit during the drama segments. Production & effects quality was off the chart, looking (very intentionally) like squeaky-clean Star Trek wonderland. Looking forward to more.

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