Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Love (Friday, March 10, Netflix), season premiere: In its 2016 debut season, Judd Apatow’s Love received wildly mixed reviews from real people and TV critics (who, it should always be noted, are not real people) alike. I was on the positive side—but, then again, I also liked Will Arnett’s universally despised Netflix baby Flaked, so there’s obviously something wrong with me. Lovebirds Micky (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust) still aren’t exactly right, either, but they’re giving the committed-relationship thing a go with predictably messy/hilarious/sad results. Both Jacobs and Rust (and an ever-expanding guest list) are fantastic; at its best, Love plays like an introverted cousin of couplehood-is-hell MVP You’re the Worst. A great place to be in Season 2, and the haters are still gonna hate.

Samurai Jack (Saturday, March 11, Adult Swim), return: A long, long time ago, I wrote about a Cartoon Network series called Samurai Jack, which premiered way back in 2001. Also more than a decade ago, friends would ask me: “Are you still doing that little TV review thing?” with the same regularity that they do now … sigh. Anyway: Samurai Jack was a simply plotted tale of a time-traveling warrior fighting his way through monsters, robots and general dystopia, as well as all-powerful villain Aku. While the stories were rudimentary (or often indecipherable), Samurai Jack’s dense, mind-tweaking animation set a standard that’s still rarely matched today; Hulu the original five seasons, and behold for yourself. This final chapter of the saga looks to be up there with Logan in terms of brutality and finality. Catch up.

Trial and Error (Tuesday, March 14, NBC), series debut: How to follow the season finale of all-the-feels tearjerker This Is Us? With wacky midseason filler! Trial and Error, a probably-funnier-on-the-drawing-board hybrid of Making a Murderer and The Office, gives proven comedic talents (including John Lithgow, Jayma Mays and Sherri Shepherd) a prime setup, but little material to work with, emphasizing “small-town quirkiness” over what could have been biting comedy with a dark, media-overkill backhand (which It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia already did earlier this year). Lithgow goes big as a maybe-wife-killing poetry professor (!), but Trial and Error definitely won’t be a part of NBC’s comedy rebuild.

Hap and Leonard (Wednesday, March 15, Sundance), season premiere: Missed Season 1? Of course you did—it was on Sundance, and who has that? After you check out the six-episode origin story of ’80s Texas ne’er-do-wells Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael Kenneth Williams) on Netflix, come back for another installment of comic criminality that nearly rivals Fargo in sheer volume of WTF? twists. Hap and Leonard Season 2 picks up with a new mystery to unravel (the death of Leonard’s uncle) and a new cast of unsavory characters to butt heads with. (Spoiler: few not named Hap or Leonard made it out of Season 1 alive.) They’re just good(ish) guys in a bad, bad world; when you do get around to this series (because, again, Sundance), you’ll love ’em.

Modern Family (Wednesdays, ABC), contract crisis: Currently in its eighth season, Modern Family has (or had, depending upon when you get around to reading this) a problem: The contracts for stars Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jessie Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill are up, and signing them all for the inevitable Season 9 would be almost as expensive as a Trump weekend getaway—give or take bronzer budget. The obvious solution? Kill the adults off-camera in a plane crash during the show’s annual Disney-vacation infomercial episode, and refocus Modern Family on the kids. Haley, Alex, Luke, Manny and Lily could easily take over and Party of Five the situation—hell, I’d watch a Lily solo series, even. You’re welcome, ABC.

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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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Party Over Here (Saturday, March 12, Fox), series debut: Fox’s history with late-night comedy programming ranges from near-great (1995-2009’s MadTV; 2006-09’s Talkshow With Spike Feresten) to passable (the current Animation Domination High-Def) to WTMFF? (1993’s The Chevy Chase Show, one of the most famed flameouts in TV history). Party Over Here has near-great potential: It’s a sketch-comedy half-hour from The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone) and Paul Scheer (The League, NTSF:SD:SUV), mixing live-in-front-of-a-studio-audience bits with filmed shorts while being fully aware of the elusive target audience: “In an age where most Millennials don’t even know what a TV is, we’re really excited to be getting into the TV business,” Scheer says in the Fox PR. At least Party Over Here won’t be going directly up against Saturday Night Live … right?

Crowded (Tuesday, March 15, NBC), series debut: After tonight, NBC will sentence Crowded to die on Sundays with The Carmichael Show—when was the last time any network besides Fox sustained a half-hour comedy on Sundays? Who besides a TV critic would know such a stat? Why am I talking to myself? Anyway: Crowded is yet another “multi-generational family comedy,” and a lazily written waste of the talents of Patrick Warburton (Rules of Engagement, every cartoon ever), Carrie Preston (True Blood), Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly), Mia Serafino (Shameless), Stacy Keach (everything) and Carlease Burke (Ballers), so it’s easy to see why NBC has zero faith. But, as he proved through, what was it, 58 seasons on Rules of Engagement, Warburton can bring the funny to even the bleakest, laugh-track-ridden sitcom hellscapes, and Preston ain’t bad, either (as she proved in Showtime’s late, great Happyish). Just don’t get attached to Crowded.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (Wednesday, March 16, CBS), series debut: No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Quit trying to make a Criminal Minds “franchise” happen already! Five years ago, CBS launched, and crashed, the ill-advised Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and the memory of Forest Whitaker and Janeane Garofalo straining to tolerate the show and each other still burns. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, an international-FBI twist, at least has a better cast (including CSI:NY’s Gary Sinise and Forever’s Alana de la Garza), but still little reason to exist, because we already have a perfectly good Criminal Minds—even if the current Season 11 has been more uneven than a stack of dead hookers in an alley behind a Wichita waffle house (which I believe will be CM’s season-finale case).

The Americans (Wednesday, March 16, FX), season premiere: When last we left The Americans, Ronald Reagan was giving his infamous 1983 “Evil Empire” speech, and couple of actual Americans had been made aware of the true identities of “Americans” Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) as undercover Russians working for the KGB. The big question at the onset of Season 4 is: Who will meet their inevitable end first? Pastor Tim (Kelly AuCoin), the mutual-friend-of-Jesus of distraught daughter Paige (Holly Taylor); or Philip’s FBI informant, Martha (Alison Wright)? Let’s say Pastor Tim—dude’s creepy, even by early ’80s standards.

Hap and Leonard (Wednesdays, SundanceTV), new series: Further proof that There’s Too Many Shows: The premiere of SundanceTV’s Hap and Leonard slipped right by me—and I never miss anything even remotely connected to Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks! Based on a series of novels by Joe Lansdale, Hap and Leonard is a six-episode story about 1988 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 (Hendricks), who has a lead on a cool million residing at the bottom of a river from a botched heist 20 years earlier. But what seems like a simple plan (or the 1998 flick A Simple Plan) soon spirals into a cacophony of conflicting agendas and colorful characters with Fargo-like comic-to-violent jolts. Catch up on Hap and Leonard now; the other Too Many Shows can wait.

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