The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of January 8, 2018

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.

 

This Is Us

This Is Us
(Midseason Premiere)

Tuesday at 9 pm on NBC

Why: To refresh your memories (and stop reading if you are behind on the show), the midseason finale ended on quite the cliffhanger: Kevin was arrested for driving drunk, with Randall's daughter Tess unknowingly also in the car - uh oh. Also, if you were paying attention closely, we've had to wait an extra week for this show's return, as it was originally slated one week earlier, but NBC decided to delay it. Frankly, I'm ready for Kevin to get help with his drinking and substance abuse problem (it went from 0 to addict in like 1.5 episodes, but now has been dragging for the entire season), and it seems as though he has *finally* hit rock bottom. In this midseason premiere, the family will come together to help each other face their demons (and let us not forget that Kate and Randall are still dealing with their own issues as well). This Is Is is a juggernaut for NBC - so no doubt everyone has missed it these last 6 weeks and has been looking forward to its return. Your wishes have been granted - happy crying!

Prepare to talk about: Oh yeah, when are they gonna tell us how Jack died?; Sterling K. Brown's Golden Globe; but seriously, if they don't tell us soon there will be a revolt!

 

Alone Together: S1E1

Alone Together
(Series Premiere)

Wednesday at 8:30 pm on Freeform

Why: Now that I'm of a certain age (no longer in my teens or early or late twenties), many of the series on Freeform no longer appeal to me. Don't get me wrong, I still love a great teen show, but my standards have just gotten a little higher over the years. Alone Together, however, is targeting a bit older of a demographic, which seems to be Freeform's overall new direction (guess they realized the twenty and thirtysomethings are much more appealing to advertisers), so I'm willing to give it a shot! The series was created by and stars Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo (as Esther and Benj), as misfit millennial aspiring comedians in Los Angeles (groan, maybe) who are platonic best friends, in a love/hate relationship. So basically, it sounds like Freeform wants their own version of Difficult People (R.I.P.). What made me a little more interested in this show is that it's produced by "The Lonely Island" (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer) AND has already been renewed for a second season, so here's to hoping it's at least a little bit funny? Chris D'Elia also appears in the pilot as Benji's older brother Dean.

Prepare to talk about: But will Esther and Benji really never get together?; will we see more of Chris D'Elia than in just the pilot?; what is the line between charming annoying and annoying annoying?

 

Electric Dreams: S1E1

Electric Dreams
(Series Premiere)

Friday at 3 am on Amazon

Why: Any lover of science fiction knows the name Philip K. Dick - he's a legend! And, even if you aren't familiar with his name, you're certainly familiar with his work, as everything from Blade Runner to Minority Report to The Man in the High Castle have been based on his works. Electric Dreams is an anthology series based on his short stories, produced by Channel 4 and Amazon. The first 6 episodes have already been released in the UK, but the series is becoming available on Amazon Prime for US viewers this week. Many big name actors appear in the episodes, including Greg Kinnear, Vera Farmiga, Steve Buscemi, Anna Paquin, Terrence Howard, and Bryan Cranston. Cranston, a huge fan of Philip K. Dick, also served as an executive producer of the series. One of the best parts about an anthology series is that you can pick and choose which episodes you watch based on which stories appeal to you (or the reviews), and you can watch them in any order. I'll be watching all of them, but if you want to, for example, only watch Cranston's episode, you can totally do that!

Prepare to talk about: Fine, go ahead and compare these to Black Mirror; which episode is the best?; how much had to be changed to modernize these stories?

 

Comments

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Jan 11, 2018 2:21AM EST

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

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Jan 13, 2018 8:34AM EST

no, they dream of rivers of oil and steampunk cities, LOL!

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Jan 13, 2018 10:37AM EST

I watched the first episode of Electric Dreams, "Real Life". I liked it. Looks like it could be a good show.

Ep1 actors: Nice to see Anna Paquin (will always be "Rogue" to me (X-Men)), Terrence Howard ("Djay" Hustle & Flow) and, she, you know, from that show (Rachelle Lefevre, "Julia" Under the Dome). Bonus points (which I didn't get) for recognizing Lara Pulver (Spooks, Sherlock, (ye gads!): Robin Hood).

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Jan 14, 2018 1:35PM EST

Can you add the ITV show Dark Angel? Just caught it and it was so good!

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Jan 14, 2018 2:22PM EST

^^^Oooooh, I've got to check that one out.^^^ Thanks for the TV tip.

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