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The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of February 1, 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.   American Crime Story (Series Premiere) Tuesday at 10:00pm on FX Why: 20 years ago, the O.J. Simpson trial was basically the only thing of interest going on in America. We weren't involved in any wars, Snapchat didn't exist, and reality television was in its infancy. Look, this trial was so big that my sixth grade class go to watch the verdict being read (yes, I am old!). Now, Ryan Murphy, the man who brought you Narcissism: The Show and Ugh, Theater Kids (not to mention Nightmare Fuel , and The Least Interesting Sorority Show Ever ) is bringing his particular brand of camp to the tale of O.J.'s glove, Judge Ito, and the Kardashians. It's going to be epic. Prepare to talk about: Oh man, like, everything? The glove! The getaway car or whatever that was! Judge Ito! Johnny Cochrane! How this insanity gave us the Kardashians (yes, for real)! Also, how yes, that really is John Travolta.   Madoff (Miniseries) Wednesday and Thursday at 8:00pm on ABC Why: Bernie Madoff stole a lot of money from a lot of people. Now they've made a miniseries about him! How very exciting for all of us. Unlike the O.J. trial, which has arguably faded in our national consciousness, Bernie Madoff is still fresh and relevant, which is probably why this is on ABC instead of the "sexier" FX. Either way, Richard Dreyfuss (ask my dad ), and Gwyneth Paltrow's mom (Blythe Danner) star as Bernie and Ruth, respectively, so it's got pedigree! It's LEGIT. Watch it and weep. Prepare to talk about: Whether you'd head up a Ponzi scheme if it could potentially make you very rich but also potentially send you to jail; whatever happened to the two-night miniseries; who Richard Dreyfuss is.   Super Bowl 50 & Kitten Bowl III & Puppy Bowl XII Sunday at 6:30pm/ET on CBS , 12:00pm/ET on Hallmark , and 3:00pm/ET on Animal Planet , respectively Why: It's the biggest television event of the year, and we don't even have to look at stupid Tom Brady and his man Uggs! Hooray for us for already being winners. Also, Coldplay is performing (hahahaha) with Beyoncé (yay) and Bruno Mars (a slightly more muted yay). If exactly zero of that is your cup of tea, why not tune into some adorable puppies or kittens romping with their chums in a box decorated to look like a football field? If you refuse to like that, you're probably the worst person and I'm sorry that you have no joy in your life. Prepare to talk about: The ads; the dogs; the cats; football, I guess; whatever happened to Left Shark.     Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of You can follow her musings on  Twitter . p { text-align: justify; }

The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of January 26, 2015

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.   Jane the Virgin Monday at 9:00pm on The CW Why: Because this show is delightful, and despite the incredible amount of drama/stuff that happens each episode, you can jump in without having seen it before and be totally caught up in the amount of time it takes to read this sentence. Also, there's a reason Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for her role here (hint: she's the best). Prepare to talk about: Whether Jane should be a teacher or a writer (subquestion: CAN WOMEN HAVE IT ALL?); what's up with Sin Rostro (translation: WITHOUT A FACE) and who could it be; how Joanna Kerns (of  Growing Pains  fame) directed this episode and what she's been up to for the last 20 years!   The Americans (Season Premiere) Wednesday at 10:00pm on FX Why: Forget Game of Thrones , forget  Mad Men  (and oh, how it pains me to write such words, because I love Mad Men  so damn much),  The Americans  is the undisputed best show on television. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys have so much chemistry as married Soviet spies in Reagan-era America, it'll soak your pierogies. Prepare to talk about:  How true believer Elizabeth wants to bring daughter Paige into the fold; and what Philip will do to keep that from happening; how Frank Langella is joining the cast as their new handler; what'll happen to the Jennings when the Soviet Union collapses in a few years (whoops, sorry for the spoiler).     Super Bowl XLIX & Kitten Bowl II & Puppy Bowl XI Sunday at 6:00pm on NBC , at  12:00pm on Hallmark , and  at  3:00pm on Animal Planet , respectively Why:  I dunno, people care about sports stuff, apparently. It's your call: watch two insufferable teams play each other for the right to call themselves champions of a league that is so corrupt we might as well call it the (We Give) No F**ks League, OR you can watch kittens and puppies romp. Prepare to talk about: Katy Perry's inevitable Taylor Swift diss during her halftime performance; how dogs are better than cats ; how cats are better than dogs ; how the Patriots cheated their way to the big game (sorry, Dad, it's true).     Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of You can follow her musings on  Twitter .

The 5 Most Important Cats on the Internet (and One Honorable Mention)

Super Bowl counterprogramming has reached West Side Story levels this year, as there is both a Puppy Bowl   on Animal Planet AND a  Kitten Bowl over on Hallmark. Now, we're not saying that you have to choose sides, but, we're kind of saying you can't be both a Shark and a Jet (this probably could have been a sports metaphor, but this author only knows about cats and musicals). If you're Team Dog, you can head on over to Leah's roundup of the Top 5 Most Important Internet Dogs . However, if you're on the correct side of this internet smackdown, check out this list of the 5 Most Important Internet Cats:   1. Maru Maru on YouTube While  not even on Mashable's radar  as a Top Internet Cat, as far as THIS expert is concerned, Maru is #1. Maru - known for his proclivity towards boxes - was a pioneering Internet Cat Celebrity (and like all cool things, hails from Japan). Additionally, while internet cat fame can be fleeting, Maru has remained relevant since 2009.     2. Grumpy Cat Grumpy Cat on Facebook Grumpy Cat (actual name:  Tardar Sauce)  is the undeniable Queen of Social Media with over 3.3 million Facebook Likes.   Grumpy Cat (who even has a manager) has Justin Bieber levels of Klout, though she's much less of an a-hole. In reality, Grumpy Cat is said to be " calm and actually really nice". Her permanent grumpy face is merely a facade - the result of  feline dwarfism and an under bite.         3. Lil BUB Lil BUB on Instagram As Tyra Banks says, "Beauty is Imperfection". Lil BUB is a  "perma-kitten," a dwarf  and a polydactyl cat.  She also suffers from  os teopetrosis (yes, that's a thing), but none of this has held her back in life. While Bub hasn't quite yet achieved the cachet of Grumpy Cat, if internet cats were stocks, Lil BUB is a BUY. She had an especially hot 2013, including  a documentary premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.     4. Nyan Cat Nyan Cat on Youtube Nyan Cat is not a real cat, but a YouTube video of a cartoon cat with a Pop Tart body, scored with an infectious Japanese pop song as he leaves behind him a space trail of rainbow (Translation: unadulturated joy). Currently, the original Nyan Cat video (and there are numerous remixes) has over 105 Million views on YouTube, which is damn impressive.     5. Sockington Sockington on Twitter Sockington (also known as Sockamillion), like Maru, gets instant cred for being an old-school internet cat, as he has been active on Twitter since 2007. Sockington is an 8 year old domestic shorthair who looks...pretty average. Perhaps this is why his fame doesn't lay on the image-centric Instagram or YouTube, but on Twitter. Sockington RULES Twitter, with over 1.3 million followers. According to MSNBC, Sockington's tweets are mocking Twitter's "online time-wasters", though we think they're pretty purrfect.     Honorable Mention: Keyboard Cat Keyboard Cat on Know Your Meme Keyboard Cat is Fatso, a posthumously famous (he died in 1987) orange tabby cat who appeared in the viral video "Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat". This video features Fatso wearing a blue shirt and "playing" the keyboard (Fatso in reality does not have musical training; it is his owner) and is frequently inserted into videos in order to indicate failure. Keyboard Cat himself is anything but a failure, as the video  appeared on The Daily Show/Colbert Report  in 2009.     Again, if unmoved by this list of Internet Cats, you can check out its counterpart,  The 5 Most Important Dogs on the Internet (and One Honorable Mention) , though Grumpy Cat does not advise it.       Rachel Levy   manages various content and products for The fiercely real cat-love of her life, Allie, lives happily in South Florida with her parents. Though Allie decided that the Internet Cat Fame Game was not for her, you can follow Rachel on  Twitter .

The 5 Most Important Dogs on the Internet (and One Honorable Mention)

We're big fans of the Puppy Bowl here, but this year's competing Kitten Bowl has created an internal battle here at SideReel. Some think cats are the better animal. Those people are wrong! Dogs are far better. To prove it, we've come up with a list of the five most important dogs on the internet. Think of this as the Super Bowl of Internet Animal Supremacy. After reading this list, I have no doubt that you'll agree that dogs are far superior to cats. 5. Corgnelius Corgnelius on Instagram Corgnelius is quite possibly the internet’s favorite Pembroke Welsh corgi (and that’s a high bar, as the internet loves corgis). Even my dad (who hates dogs) would love Corgnelius.         4. Maymo Maymo on YouTube Maymo is a bad dog! He’s a lemon beagle who can’t help but get into trouble—and may just have been the pooch to make dog-shaming famous. All dogs have their quirks, but Maymo’s basically the hound-equivalent of Zooey Deschanel: adorkable to the extreme.       3. Boo Boo on Facebook First name: Boo. Last name: The World’s Cutest Dog. This Pomeranian certainly has a distinctive look that some find irresistible and others find creepy. He’s one of the only dogs out there with a verified Facebook account, but still finds joy in everyday things. After all, he’s still a dog and he still lifts one leg at a time.             2. Yes, This is Dog Yes, This is Dog on Know Your Meme This is Dog is the Miss Manners of telephone etiquette! Just look at how polite he is. He should be used to teach children how to answer the phone (LOL like kids today even know what phones are really for).         1. Doge Doge on Imgur Ah, Doge. This inner monologue of a rescued Shiba Inu rendered in Comic Sans has spurred countless imitators (just search " rob ford doge " if you want a long, hard laugh) and has even been the inspiration for the crypto-currency Dogecoin . Let's see LOLCats top that.         Honorable Mention. Lentil Lentil on Facebook Lentil is a young French bulldog who was born with a cleft palate. He ate through a tube for months before he was able to get surgery to help him, and now he's an "ambassadog" who works to remove the stigma associated with cleft palates! If Lentil were a person, we'd all aspire to be more like him.       Are cats more your thing? (Sigh.) Check out our list of the most important internet cats!       Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of She has an adorably neurotic dog named Spud who happens to live with her parents in New Jersey—coincidentally the site of this year's Super Bowl . You can follow her musings on  Twitter .

Reel TV News: Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz File For Divorce - 2/9/11

Rachel's got the scoop on today's most buzzed-about news stories, including Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz's recent split! The pop-punk duo are filing for divorce due to irreconcilable differences. Bummer! In other news, Ed Westwick does some damage control by clearing up rumors that he has no intention of leaving Gossip Girl just yet. Could it be his contract talking, or does he really retract what he said about being really ready to do something else? Also, for those of you who tuned into the Puppy Bowl last weekend, you're definitely not alone! Puppy Bowl VII raked in a record-breaking 9.2 million viewers! Check out the full news in the link below! Reel TV News: 2/9/11