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, NBC finally sticks the landing on a live musical and we notice a certain theme among critically lauded comedies.
Queen Latifah’s Oz
After two years of failed throwbacks to live network television’s 1950s heyday, NBC took a different approach to its third annual holiday special. Starring newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy and a murderers’ row of legendary talents — Queen Latifah! Common! Uzo Aduba! Ne-Yo?! — as her supporting cast, The Wiz Live! played out better with both critics and viewers than last year’s ill-received Peter Pan.
Empire Exits in Typically Dramatic Fashion
Empire has teetered dangerously close to getting out of hand in its second season, but its midseason finale still qualified as “an occasionally fantastic, thoroughly engaging, and exciting hour of dramatic television” — and the Lyons’ presence will be sorely missed until the hip-hop soap returns in 2016, now with 100% more Naomi Campbell. Till then, we have plenty of cliffhangers (pregnancy! marriage! whatever the show’s trying to do with Jamal’s sexuality!) to keep us waiting.
A Very Pfefferman Wedding
There’s still another week to go before Amazon releases the second season of Transparent in its entirety, but everyone’s favorite not-so-benevolent corporate dictator racked up some goodwill this week by releasing the premiere early. Opening with one breathtaking shot (a static, four-minute look at the Pfeffermans’ attempts to take a decent wedding photo) and closing with another (a tracking shot surveying the state of the family’s relationships), it promises nothing but good things for the nine episodes to come.
Tovah Feldsuh Is All Our Jewish Moms
This was a big week for dysfunctional Jewish families! I’ve already sung the praises of this Fiddler-esque number, but it’s good enough to deserve a spot on any weekly TV highlight reel. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: watch it, please.
Jimmy Makes His Grand Gesture
If you watch You’re the Worst and didn’t tear up at Jimmy’s Pillow Fort of Commitment, you don’t have feelings. If you don’t watch You’re the Worst, fix that — not because of ratings, since FXX has mercifully made the right call and ordered a third season, but because the comedy’s depression storyline has been so uniformly excellent, both in showing how Gretchen experiences it and in depicting Jimmy’s lack of understanding with empathy rather than judgment.