This Week’s Top 5 TV Moments: Hellos and Goodbyes

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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 week, we bid farewell to beloved characters, reality-TV institutions, and experimental dramas, and greet the dawn of a new rom-com season.

Goodnight, Nina

The Americans offed a major character this week in a devastating if not entirely unpredictable move. The death of Nina Sergeevna Krilova (Annet Mahendru), a former worker at the Soviet Embassy who’s been languishing in a gulag since the show’s third season, was coldly executed at the very end of the Wednesday’s episode via a gunshot to the back of the head. Nina is by far the most significant character to die on the show; her death feels like a statement, a warning that in the world of The Americans, no one is safe.

Goodnight, Horace and Pete

Louis C.K.’s experiment in hour-long drama — and TV distribution — ended on Saturday when he dispatched the final episode of his surprise series Horace and Pete. The first episode landed in the inbox of anyone who subscribes to C.K.’s email list back in February, and this unorthodox delivery system (and C.K.’s delightfully shambolic emails) came to define the show as much as its talky characters prone to long monologues and the dusty basement bar in which it was set. That people are still talking about the series despite a total lack of marketing, other than those emails, bodes well for whatever C.K. feels like doing next.

Goodnight, Idol

Well, that’s it. The end of an era. Someone named Trent Harmon was crowned the winner of the final season of American Idol this week in a finale that was perhaps most notable for its taped appearance by President Obama — who cast the show as a boon for American democracy (“and it taught America what it means to be pitchy”). I can’t say I’ll miss Idol exactly — I haven’t watched it regularly in seven or eight years — but I’ll miss it the way you miss the wallpaper in the bathroom of your childhood home. Oh yeah, that’s still there! Aww! (Although Ryan Seacrest’s send-off — “Goodnight, America. For now.” — suggests we may not have seen the last of Idol after all.)

Goodnight, OJ

The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story completed the run of its life on Tuesday with a predictable and yet still scintillating finale. The verdict? I find Sterling K. Brown, Sarah Paulson, and Courtney B. Vance guilty on the charge of delivering three star-turn performances. Sentence these actors to life on my TV screen!

Good morning, Catastrophe!

The best rom-com on TV is finally available for American consumption. The second season of Catastrophe, the British series created by stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, is streamable on Amazon in its entirety as of today. Binge all six episodes of this filthy, sweet, and just plain hilarious comedy. Like, now. I’ll wait.