There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This round, a slew of premieres on ABC and the scene(s) we’ve all been waiting for on Outlander.
Hey Look, It’s Portia de Rossi in Shondaland!
Also Nan Flanagan, a refugee from another show that tends to fly off the rails. This week brought the return of Scandal to TV and, within its fictional universe, Olivia Pope to Washington (she and Jake had holed up off the coast of Zanzibar). Mellie’s a total mess, the Gladiators have dispersed, and in Olivia’s absence, her ex — who happens to be the president — attempted to commit suicide. And yet all this added up to a relatively restrained premiere by Scandal standards! Minus the whole vote-for-my-bill-and-I’ll-let-you-sexually-assault-my-aide plot line.
Viola Davis Gets Away with Murder
… or tries to, as the pilot of Shonda Rhimes’ latest production (not her creation — take note, Alessandra Stanley) sees a group of her students burying a body before flashing back to four months earlier. A typically slow-paced, low-stakes start to a series from the people who brought you Scandal! Viola Davis’ performance as lawyer and law professor Annalise Keating is the main attraction here, and it’s good enough to make the pilot worth watching based on Davis alone. Plus the Scandal lead-in makes for prime Thursday night marathoning.
Black-ish Throws a Bar Mitzvah
The pilot of Larry Wilmore’s (for now — he’s leaving for The Minority Report soon) new sitcom is full of excellent gags: protagonist Andre gets promoted to senior vice president… of his company’s “urban” division; his son Andy wants to play field hockey; his coworker asks him how a black guy would say “good morning.” The show topped it all off with a full-blown bar mitzvah, which (obviously non-Jewish) Andy wants so he’ll fit in with his mostly white friends. The gag is a perfect summation of a heartfelt family sitcom that’s not afraid to be ballsy, making Black-ish one of the more promising shows of the fall season thus far.
Presenting Key & Peele‘s Guide to Gay Wedding Attendance
The highlight of the Comedy Central sketch show’s fourth season premiere is basically a four-minute-long riff on the Black-ish joke mentioned above, except instead of one guy asking how a black person might make a casual greeting, it’s an entire family asking how gay dudes get married. The answer, of course, is “just like everyone else,” but that doesn’t stop people from asking about “gay hymns” and “the straight section.”
Jamie ‘n’ Claire Take It Off
Last but certainly not least: the Outlander episode we’ve all been waiting for! Ron Moore rewarded us for six weeks of sexual tension with not one, not two, but three sex scenes, not one of which could even remotely be construed as non-consensual! Surely a record for cable. Anyway, Jamie and Claire got married, drank a lot of whiskey, and finally, finally had sex. It was very hot, and very centered on Claire’s pleasure, and generally a great, realistic depiction of what good sex looks like — sort of the opposite of Girls, a great, realistic depiction of what bad sex looks like. Read what the Internet’s newest boyfriend, Sam Heughan, has to say about it in our interview.