Good morning, and welcome to this week’s Watch List.
Just real quick: Last night (Mar. 12) at 11 p.m. ET/PT — just before the Scarlett Johannson “SNL,” which featured swamp sorceress Lorde crying in an outfit made of toilet paper — Adult Swim premiered the fifth season of “Samurai Jack,” after a break of almost twelve and a half years. Additionally, in the wee hours the fifth episode of CBS All Access’s “The Good Fight” came out, and it’s still great.
Sunday, March 12: On “Bob’s Burgers,” at 7:30 on FOX, Eugene Mirman’s Gene Belcher gets into a corporate situation not unlike that of graphic designer Patience Phillips in the classic Halle Berry film “Catwoman,” but with chocolate instead of cosmetics — and he does not become part cat, sadly. In other comedy news: At 9:30 we get back to the Tandy group on “Last Man on Earth” after last week’s incredible Kristen Wiig-centric episode, and new episodes of “Girls” and “Crashing” lead into John Oliver on HBO starting at 10.
PBS is airing a documentary about documentarian Ken Burns at 8, in case you wanted to make a documentary about that. And speaking of documentation, 9 p.m. brings us a new “Big Little Lies” on HBO, in which Reese Witherspoon simply cannot digging into her own dirt and that of everyone around her; Showtime’s “Homeland,” in which famous jazz man Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) has the same problem; and the thirteenth season of Kardashian concern “Keeping Up” begins on E! “Time After Time” with the immensely appealing Freddie Stroma’s on ABC, and “Walking Dead” on AMC clocks in at 67 minutes, nearly all of which it will certainly require.
At 10, there’s buzzy Scientology/Celebrity Centre thriller “The Arrangement” on E!, “Billions” on Showtime, FX’s “Feud” — and the third season premiere of “American Crime” on ABC, which not only has Cherry Jones and Sandra Oh in it this year, but is all about “forced labor, sex trafficking, immigration, socioeconomic divides, individual rights and how we are all a part of an economy that often prospers on economic oppression.”
So… If you were already thinking it might be kind of hot for Canadian Sandra Oh to lecture you about how there is no ethical consumption under capitalism because all consumption under capitalism is theft — and I can’t imagine that you were not — it’s a date.
Monday, March 13: Three hours of “Bachelor” theatrics kick off at 8 p.m. on ABC, speaking of consumption under capitalism as we were, and two hours of the blind “Voice” auditions where they spin around in their little chairs crackin’ gay jokes. 10 p.m. is a new “Bates Motel,” the very good HBO Sundance buy “Cries From Syria,” and the season finale of robot show “Summer House” on Bravo.
At 10 also, a double shot of AMC’s fantastic soft-SF “Humans,” which always worries us. We love getting multiple episodes of our favorite shows but not when it feels like a burnoff, and next week’s the same thing, closing out Season 2. But considering it’s a British remake of a Swedish show and finished airing overseas back in December, maybe it’s nothing. It’s just that few shows are better than “Westworld” and it kinda seems you’d want to keep us moving toward the more thoughtful, compassionate and equitable future of “Humans” instead of like, “Black Mirror” — which is a great show, just not a great prescription.
Tuesday, Mar. 14: On the CW you have your “Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow” starting at 8, while “The Fosters” is all-new on Freeform. The 9 p.m. hour brings us “Outsiders” on WGN America, and of course the “The Is Us” finale on NBC, which will likely break Twitter and most certainly will be tearing up your family’s Facebook posts for at least 48 hours. At 10, a new “Americans” on FX and later in the night, a new episode of Hulu’s “The Path.”
Comedy-wise, there’s “New Girl” (a Megan Fox-centric episode, always great) at 8 on Fox; “Fresh Off the Boat” and the Season 2 finale of the authentically wonderful, highly endangered “Real O’Neals” on ABC starting at 9; at 10:30 on Comedy Central the delightful “Detroiters” continues, and at 10 on NBC, the first hour-long double-ep set of John Lithgow/Robert Durst comedy “Trial & Error.” Oh, and Spike premieres the new show “Adam Carolla & Friends Build Stuff Live” at 10, placed here with the comedies thanks to the risible implication that Adam Carolla… has friends.
Wednesday, March 15: The just-renewed (heck yeah!) “The 100” on the CW airs at 9 p.m., and there’s a new “Legion” (sixth of eight, for those keeping track) on FX at 10. Over on Syfy, another Wednesday means another set of the best shows on television, “The Magicians” and “The Expanse,” starting at 9.
In other drama: “Arrow” on CW at 8, and while “Underground” on WGN rebuilds after that traumatic premiere at 10, Sundance premieres the always delightful “Hap & Leonard,” Season 2. And on FOX, two freshmen end their seasons starting at 8: “Lethal Weapon” and “Star.”
On cable at 9, two specials: The two-hour finale of sabermetric psychology experiment “Are You the One?” on MTV, and something called “Real Housewives of NYC: How They Got Here” on Bravo. It’s not clear what question that title is aiming to answer, but it seems unlikely that the answer itself won’t be very strange and awkward, in the most RHONY fashion possible.
The best Wednesday comedies are on ABC: “Speechless,” “Modern Family” and “Black-ish” roll out starting at 8:30 p.m., and at 10 on Comedy Central there’s the series finale of “Workaholics,” followed by the first season finale of the highly uncomfortable but enjoyable “Jeff & Some Aliens.”
The most interesting thing that both shows share is a simultaneous comfort with the marginal toxicity of basic-as-hell dudes, and an intellectual, undisguised contempt for same. “Workaholics” has always played around with those same Nirvana “In Utero” games about how awful its fans can be, while “Jeff” is just literally about that person. It’s time for “Workaholics” to go, but it should be acknowledged that it joins “Always Sunny” and “South Park” in the canon as it does.
Late night: Samantha Bee on TBS at 10:30, and at midnight PST the first season of Netflix’s buzzy Belgian “Beau Sejour,” about a teenage girl solving her own murder; and Crackle gives it the old college try with “Snatch,” a ten-episode series based on the 2000 Guy Ritchie/Matthew Vaughn followup to “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels” and starring Rupert Grint and “Gossip Girl’s” Ed Westwick, and about which all I have to say is that Westwick based his Cuban accent on that of worldwide musical phenomenon Pitbull. So.
Thursday, March 16 at 8 p.m.: Shondaland #TGIT as per usual — “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and vastly underrated “The Catch” –while over on NBC it’s the “Superstore” block with ”Powerless,” which seems like it’s finally getting there, followed at 10 by “Blacklist: Redemption,” which is also moving beyond simple competence into something more exciting. At 10, the penultimate “Baskets” on FX looks like another Martha-centric one, which you know does it for us, and Comedy Central premieres the third season of the well-night indescribable “Review With Forrest MacNeil.”
Every month has one free-for-all Thursday night, when the streaming services go ape, and this week seems to be March’s: Amazon’s stylish “24”-esque German import “You Are Wanted” comes out against “Marvel’s Iron Fist” and “Samurai Gourmet” from Netflix — who also drop their highly anticipated (and recommended) Sundance buy “Deidra & Laney Rob a Train” and the first season of “Julie’s Greenroom,” in which Julie Andrews sings to children who are puppets, case closed, no more questions Your Honor.
Friday, March 17: At 7 p.m., there’s a new Lion episode — dependably overwhelming and emotional, which given this season already is almost a threat — of “Steven Universe.” At 9 on FOX, a strange woman shows up to complicate the relationships on “Sleepy Hollow,” while over on the CW two very exciting things happen starting at 8: First the premiere of the thrillingly short fourth season of “The Originals,“ then “Reign” goes full “Atalanta” as Darnley goes to the mat for Mary in the Highland Games, while back in France, Catherine of Aragon’s (Megan Follows) on damage control now that her dumb emo kid’s gone full Vampire King. And on Showtime at 10 p.m., Natasha Leggero reports on the comedy scene from SXSW, where most likely it will still be raining, because it’s SXSW: It has never not been raining.
Saturday, March 18: Two pretty good Disney XD cartoons, “Star Wars Rebels” and “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” starting at 8, at 10 p.m. the Lifetime Movie “Double Mommy,” which is about that thing that can happen where you are pregnant with two babies at the same time, but not like how you would assume. Sometimes it’s a fun story like you might tell on a late-night Instagram video and delete later, other times – this being a Lifetime movie, you already know which one this is – it can be a tragic bummer how that happened. Nevertheless, it is called “Double Mommy,” and that works for us.
Second new “Samurai Jack” at 11, see above, and before we speak again there will be a fresh new “Good Fight” to talk about.
Have a great week!