This Week’s Top 5 TV Moments: Empires and De-Boots

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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 time, Empire takes 2015 by storm and Jon Stewart discusses the Paris attacks.

Lee Daniels Expands His Empire

Empire is not subtle; we know it’s loosely based on King Lear, for example, because a character compares his situation to the play in the first ten minutes of the pilot. What it lacks in finesse, though, the Fox blockbuster makes up for in campy fun, Timbaland-penned music, and the dynamite duo of Terence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. And, of course, it’s a network show with an almost entirely non-white cast — with the debut ratings to prove that diversity isn’t just an ethical imperative, it’s a savvy business move.

The Bravermans Hit 100

Parenthood is heading towards the end of its final season, but this week marked another major milestone: the series’ 100th episode, in which Zeek heads to the hospital for what appears to be a heart attack. Not a whole lot of game-changers, plot-wise, but plenty of the emotional messiness we’ve come to expect from the NBC family drama.

Jon Stewart Plugs “Team Civilization”

The issues surrounding French weekly Charlie Hebdo and its brand of satire are complex; the question of whether it had the right to carry out that satire without its staff being subject to a horrific shooting is not. In a short, two-minute monologue before his show, Jon Stewart offered a sober reminder that no matter how outraged he gets over his political opponents, senseless killing is on another plane entirely.

Portlandia Tells Its Feminist Origin Story

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s new approach to their show may not be enough to save it from its increasing irrelevance, but if there are any characters who we’re happy to see given the full-episode treatment, Toni and Candace are them. The fifth season premiere shows their past among the corporate sharks and their awakening to the feminist cause — which will, of course, culminate in their founding of the sanctimonious bookstore we all know and love.

Archer De-Boots

Dropping the “Vice” and getting back to spy basics, Archer introduces a couple of major changes into its sixth season: ISIS is now working for the CIA, ISIS is now no longer ISIS for reasons which should be obvious, and oh yeah, Lana and Archer have a kid. Archer bolts, of course, though he points out that he sort of has a right to: Lana used his sperm without his knowledge or permission, then sprang the news on him right when Abijean/AJ is born. Should make for an interesting addition to the always-complicated dynamic between the two animated spies.