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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Britney Ever After (Saturday, Feb. 18, Lifetime), movie: Britney Spears is a decent pop icon. She barely contributed to the writing of her own music; her singing is at maybe a semi-pro karaoke level; and her attempts at being “edgy” and the perpetual “comebacks” are as laughable as they are tiresome. But! To a generation of young women, Spears is still as important as Madonna was a decade prior. (Side note: Madge, it’s time to give it up … seriously.) A Lifetime biopic was inevitable, so here’s Britney Ever After, a cheap flick that stinks of rush-job non-urgency and, blech, Canada. (Production began just five months ago in Vancouver.) Since Spears’ entire life and career have been over-documented in the media, there are no new revelations in Britney Ever After other than a sad reminder that Kevin Federline was once a thing.

The Good Fight (Sunday, Feb. 19, CBS), series debut: “Remember how great The Good Wife was? Wasn’t Julianna Margulies awesome? And Archie Panjabi, Alan Cumming, Josh Charles and Jeffrey Dean Morgan? So how about a spinoff with none of those stars, on a pay-per-stream platform you’ve never heard of? Here’s The Good Fight!” CBS’ $5.99/$9.99-per-month All Access streamer was supposed to be good ’n’ launched by now with Star Trek Discovery, but that’s been pushed back to a star date in a galaxy far, far away. The Good Fight finds Wife attorney Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) starting over at another Chicago law firm and … I’m already asleep. Regular TV is already clogged up with legal dramas and Chicago procedurals; no one needs to pay extra for another.

Big Little Lies (Sunday, Feb. 19, HBO), series debut: Writer/producer David E. Kelley came back hard last year with Amazon Prime’s Goliath, a standard legal drama juiced with tight scripting and star power. Big Little Lies doubles down on the big names (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley, among several others), if not the writing; this could have easily been condensed from a seven-hour nonsensical series into a 90-minute nonsensical movie. The pretty, rich white folk of pretty, rich Monterey and their pretty, rich white kids at pretty, rich Otter Bay Elementary are embroiled in a who-among-us-done-it? murder mystery, impacting their daily lives of back-biting, gossiping and screwing (the parents, not the kiddies), and … who cares? The actors work their tiny, toned asses off, but Kelley’s cliché-soaked plot devices can’t be overcome.

Billions (Sunday, Feb. 19, Showtime), season premiere: The battle between semi-shady New York hedge-fund billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and frothily dogged U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) continues—cue the all-caps ACTING! Billions is dropping its second season of Big Money v. Big Law in a real-life political climate with eerie mirrors, though Bobby may not be as untouchable as the Cheeto-in-Chief: Chuck now has a smarter game plan in mind, while Bobby’s longtime ally—and Chuck’s wife—Wendy (Maggie Siff) has walked away from the men’s Season 1 wreckage, and Bobby’s heretofore loyal wife, Lara (Malin Akerman), might be next. It’s a soapy, twisting power struggle that, while not quite as unpredictable as current reality, digs its hooks in hard.

The Detour (Tuesday, Feb. 21, TBS), season premiere: In its debut season last year, The Detour took its National Lampoon’s Vacation inspiration and exploded it into countless directions over 10 half-hours as new weirdness about harried couple Nate and Robin (Jason Jones and Natalie Zea) was revealed in every episode. The road trip may be over, but Season 2 builds on last year’s cliffhanger revelation about Robin’s mysterious past by moving the family to Manhattan and introducing a new crop of guest stars to clash against (including John Oliver, Laura Benanti, James Cromwell and Jones’ wife/Detour co-creator Samantha Bee). I’ve already repeatedly told you to Hulu Season 1 … and now I am again.

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May is mostly a dead zone of season finales and reruns as TV gears up for the summer. (There’s no off-season anymore; get used to it.) But! Remember all those shows I’ve told you to watch harder in this very column? You know, the shows that are all readily available in various on-demand forms? Now’s the time to catch up! Here’s 12 to start with:

Wynonna Earp (Syfy): Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) is a modern-day descendent of Old West gunslinger Wyatt Earp, who was also a supernatural demon hunter (just roll with it), and she’s back in town to re-smite evil souls (or Revenants). It’s all true enough to the comic-book source, and Scrofano is a likable combo of badass and goofball.

Orphan Black (BBC America): In Season 4 of tense clone-soap Orphan Black, Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) investigates Beth, the deceased sister-clone whose identity she stole at the beginning of the series, as well as the origins of the clone conspiracy. Also, there are more clones, upping Maslany’s character load for the season to eight (and still no Emmy).

Hap and Leonard (Sundance): Hap and Leonard is a six-episode tale about ’80s Texans Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael K. Williams), a pair of luckless laborers dragged into a get-rich-suspiciously-easy scheme by Hap’s ex-wife (Christina Hendricks). The plan soon spirals into a cacophony of conflicting agendas and colorful characters, with Fargo-like comic-to-violent jolts.

Idiotsitter (Comedy Central): An unemployed Ivy Leaguer (Charlotte Newhouse) takes a baby-sitting job—but the “baby” turns out to be an adult wild-child heiress (Jillian Bell) under house arrest. As the series progresses (or regresses), it’s clear that Bell and Newhouse can do stoopid repartee almost as well as the Broad City ladies. All this, and a Channing Tatum cameo!

Baskets (FX): Chip Baskets (Zach Galifianakis), having flunked out of a prestigious French clown academy, returns to uncultured ’Merica to be a rodeo clown—and then it gets weird. (Chip’s mom is Louie Anderson in drag, for just one example.) Baskets is a funny-to-sad-to-funnier-to-sadder commentary on artistic failure and Western decline, but don’t be afraid.

Better Call Saul (AMC): Better Call Saul continues to be a minor-miracle follow-up to, and expansion on, Breaking Bad in a flawless second season, further transforming small-time lawyer Slippin’ Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) into medium-time legal shark Saul Goodman. Even better, Rhea Seehorn, Michael McKean and Jonathan Banks get equal time to shine.

Banshee (Cinemax): Season 4 will be the last for this gritty slice of Amish-country crime noir, so there’s hope for eventually catching up on Banshee. The twisted tale of an ex-con/thief (Antony Starr) who assumes the identity of Sheriff Lucas Hood in the small town of Banshee, Pa., has taken many a bizarre turn, but the outcome is always the same (and bloody).

Vinyl (HBO): Vinyl is as excessive and beautiful as you’d expect a collaboration between Martin Scorsese, Terence Winter and Mick Jagger to be, mixing Almost Famous’ music-saves earnestness with Velvet Goldmine’s visceral glam bombast and Boogie Nights’ druggy chaos—and cranking it to 11 in 1974 NYC. It’s not perfect, but neither is rock ’n’ roll.

The Detour (TBS): Jason Jones (The Daily Show) and Natalie Zea (Justified) star as harried parents on a family road-trip where everything that could possibly go wrong does—spectacularly. Sound like National Lampoon’s Vacation? It is, but far funnier than last year’s limp Vacation reboot—and usually dramatic Zea is a comedic revelation.

Billions (Showtime): Damian Lewis (as a charismatic hedge-fund billionaire) and Paul Giamatti (as a troubled U.S. attorney) churn bluster and testosterone Acting! against each other, but they’re not Billions’ most interesting players: Maggie Siff, as a psychiatrist-turned-performance-coach with an invisible, spooky command, could lead this series on her own.

Teachers (TV Land): Teachers is a part of TV Land’s makeover from reheated sitcom repository to smart comedy destination, and six-woman improv troupe The Katydids (their first names are all variations on “Katherine”) gender-flip Super Troopers into an elementary school, dosed with Broad City’s fearless, vanity-free pursuit of so-wrong laughs.

Not Safe With Nikki Glaser (Comedy Central): Comic Nikki Glaser gets right down to topics like “losing your virginity, masturbation and putting stuff in your butt!” Not Safe is a sex-and-relationships talk show with fellow-comedian gab and pre-taped bits—it’s been done before, but Glaser has the smarts and presence to rise to the level of Amy Schumer.

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Colony (Thursday, Jan. 14, USA), series debut: Throw yet another quality log on the There’s Too Much TV fire—and from USA, of all places. (One season of Mr. Robot doesn’t make ’em a prestige network just yet.) Set in a dystopian near-future … wait, come back! … Colony stars Josh Holloway (Lost) as a hunky ex-FBI agent torn between aiding the mysterious alien overlords’ Earth minions in keeping a lid—literally—on Los Angeles (for the strong-armed safety of his family), and remaining with his fellow facial-hair enthusiasts in The Resistance. (There’s always a Resistance.) The setup is naggingly familiar (not just in futuristic sci-fi, but also the recent Nazi-retro Man in the High Castle), but Holloway and co-star Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead) sell it convincingly, and the impressive special effects suggest that NBCUniversal didn’t blow all of its money on Syfy’s The Expanse, or on the hairspray budget of NBC’s Telenovela.

Idiotsitter (Thursday, Jan. 14, Comedy Central), series debut: An unemployed Ivy Leaguer (Charlotte Newhouse) breaks down and takes a baby-sitting job—but the “baby” turns out to be an adult wild-child heiress (Jillian Bell) under house arrest in the mansion owned by her parents (Stephen Root and Jennifer Elise Cox). It only sounds like a super-niche Web series because it was: Bell and Newhouse originally created Idiotsitter for Comedy Central’s digital CC: Studios in 2014. It doesn’t arrive as fully realized as fellow web expat Broad City once did, but Idiotsitter is probably the best comedic companion that the equally juvenile Workaholics (which drops Season 6 right before it) has ever had.

Angie Tribeca (Sunday, Jan. 17, TBS), series debut: Despite a confusing rollout plan (a 10-episode Season 1 marathon premieres tonight, then repeats for 20 hours, followed by “Season 2,” premiering Jan. 25), not to mention confusing-er commercials that portray the comedy as a dead-serious crime procedural, Angie Tribeca is the original series that finally delivers on TBS’ ancient “Very Funny” promise. (OK, the new series that finally delivers—Conan and American Dad were technically hand-me-downs.) Unlike relatively realistic cop comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and CSI: Cyber, Angie Tribeca (starring Parks and Recreation’s Rashida Jones as the titular detective) embraces the full-tilt farce of ’80s classics like The Naked Gun and Sledge Hammer!, where nothing’s too silly. (She works for the Really Heinous Crimes Unit, and her partner is named Jay Geils, another sly ’80s reference.) Another Angie Tribeca victory for comedy: TBS’ marathon will displace more than a few Big Bang Theory reruns.

Billions (Sunday, Jan. 17, Showtime), series debut: Headliners Damian Lewis (as charismatic and arrogant hedge-fund billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod) and Paul Giamatti (as principled and troubled U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades) churn plenty of bluster and testosterone Acting! As! Hard! as they can against each other—but they’re not Billions’ most interesting players. Maggie Siff, who’s held her own alongside alpha males before in Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men, plays Chuck’s wife, Wendy, a psychiatrist-turned-performance coach who helped Bobby build his empire and has an invisible, spooky command over everyone around her; she could lead this series on her own. Likewise, Malin Akerman, as Bobby’s wife, Lara, turns in a surprising performance that flips from sweet to Satan incarnate with the bat of an eye. The heart of Billions is the righteous, macho clash between the men, and how their dichotomous personalities (Bobby may not actually be a bad guy, while Chuck sometimes comes off like a supervillain with kinky sex habits) fuel the fire, but keep an eye on the women.

Just Jillian (Tuesday, Jan. 19, E!), series debut: There was absolutely no need nor demand for a reality series centered around fitness-magnate Jillian Michaels, her partner and their kids, but that’s the genre E! is doubling-down on in 2016: Inconsequential Fluff Posing as Important Stuff. They’re lesbians! They’re parents! They’re as spontaneously wacky as the next tightly scripted family with a TV crew! Who cares? Do we really need another one of these shows? While Just Jillian is blissfully free of Kardashians, and certainly less dangerous to the health of TV ’Merica than The Biggest Loser, it’s just as empty and useless as the other lesbian E! series that precedes it, Total Divas. Wait … the Divas aren’t lesbians? Then what’s the point of that show? I’m so lost without The Soup

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