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, the live musical continues to gain territory, while Louis CK and Ryan Murphy each had a surprise up their sleeves.
Give Me More (Musicals)
Two years after NBC decided to revive the live musical as a fun holiday play for viewership, the trend has finally spread to another network and another season. Sunday’s Grease! Live seems to bode well for future efforts, on the part of both its own network (Fox also has a non-live Rocky Horror in the works) and others (ABC’s Dirty Dancing, starring Abigail Breslin). Audiences proved willing to put up with a three-hour runtime and two beige leads in return for the best-staged production yet — not to mention a supporting cast that included Carly Rae Jepsen, Vanessa Hudgens, and The Wire‘s Wendell Pierce.
Louie Goes Cheers
As is his custom, Louis C.K. surprise-released his latest project this Saturday — except this project wasn’t another comedy special, but a full-blown dramatic television show, which C.K. is financing and distributing himself (hence the hefty initial fee of $5 for the premiere). We’ll see where this goes, both creatively and financially, in the coming weeks, but with a supporting cast that includes Steve Buscemi as the Pete to C.K.’s beaten-down bar owner Horace and Edie Falco as their sister, fans certainly have good reason to keep watching.
O.J. Goes on Trial, Again
But Horace and Pete may not even be the biggest shocker in TV this week. That honor goes to the fact that American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, FX’s Ryan Murphy-produced dramatization of the infamous trial, is not a complete and unmitigated disaster. In fact, thanks to a host of stellar performances and clear, compelling writing from longtime screenwriting duo Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, it’s straight-up good. Tuesday’s premiere brought us right up to the Bronco chase, which is as good a reason to tune in next week as any.
Happy New Year
It’s almost mid-February, and the last of the network shows have finally returned from winter break. One of the final stragglers was also one of the most sorely missed: Fresh Off the Boat, which may be the first network sitcom in history to kick off its spring run with a Chinese New Year episode. The rest is pretty routine — Louis is hapless, Jessica is high-strung, and Grandma provides increasingly entertaining comic relief — but it’s good to have the Huangs back.
X-Files Brings the Funny
When its two most prominent guest stars are Silicon Valley‘s Kumail Nanjiani and Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby, you know we’re in for a revival of The X-Files’ sillier incarnation. And that’s exactly what Monday’s episode delivered, to the delight of some critics and the indifference of others. Back in monster-of-the-week form, veteran writer Darin Morgan took the opportunity get a little silly and a little meta for a mini-series installment that paid homage to one of the originals’ most underrated traditions.