TV’s new series and seasons are upon us, which translates to nights of stretchy pants, snacks, and shipping for the next few months. (Raise your hallelujah emoji hands.) That’s why this week–and for the foreseeable future–we will be recapping our favorite TV shows by discussing relevant themes, outfits, and feels.
Not every show we love has had its season premiere yet (as if we’d forget Bob’s Burgers), so consider this week orientation. Next week, though? It gets real.
***If you haven’t watched new episodes of The Mindy Project, Scream Queens, Empire, Scandal, or How to Get Away With Murder yet and want to be surprised, do not read further! This is your spoiler alert!***
The Mindy Project
I love a show that moves quickly, and I love it more when we don’t feel like we’re being dragged along without a choice. Enter: this week’s episode of The Mindy Project, in which #relationshipgoals personified, Dr. Mindy Lahiri and Dr. Danny Castellano, welcome their first born, Leo. Their son’s birth occurs just a week after Mindy was barely showing and Danny was in India, meeting Mindy’s parents. Months in Mindy’s world speed by in seconds, but honestly? It’s perfect.
Welcoming Mindy’s first-born at the top of the season allows for way more narrative legroom as the season moves on. But also, it’s an important reminder of how much can happen in such a short amount of TV time. At the start of the second season, Mindy was in Haiti with a pixie cut, convinced she’d met the one. (Nope.) And even last season, the fate of Mindy and Danny was up for debate; hell, at the start of that season, we didn’t know whether Mindy and Danny would make it through. (Well, we did. But I was still worried.) This week, Mindy comes to terms with the fact that having a baby is scary, and, despite preparing for nine months, neither she nor Danny were entirely ready.
But, that’s life, right? It moves pretty fast…almost as quickly as some of our favorite TV shows. —Anne T. Donahue
I can’t tell whether I adore Scream Queens or kind of loathe it. The show is campy horror playing on texting, tweeting, and “MOM“-ing on the internet, but it’s reeking of middle-aged male ideas of who teen girls are today. The first two episodes aired back-to-back on Tuesday, setting up the backstory on all the potential reasons why a person dressed as a Red Devil is attempting to murder an entire sorority at Wallace University. While there were genuinely hilarious moments–“I’m a candle vlogger”–there was also some weird, basic humor that made light of race and sexuality that was too bad to even be called satire (like Chanel No. 1, played by Emma Roberts, calling the sorority’s maid “white mammy”). Let’s have a moment of appreciation, however, for Jamie Lee Curtis killing it as university dean Cathy Munsch and shredding every sharp interaction with Roberts. Shout out to the gratuitous scene of my one true boyfriend Nick Jonas working out. (I highly recommend also reading our own Hazel Cills talking about Scream Queens’ #whitegirlproblems over at Grantland!) —Brittany Spanos
There is no better soap opera currently on our TV screens than Empire. The musical TV drama is back for its second season, with more cameos in one episode than most shows have throughout an entire season. Episode One gives us so much: deceit, sex, snarky one-liners that were tweeted to the tenth power, and a side of murder.
Within the episode’s first three minutes, viewers catch Swizz Beatz MC-ing a #freelucious concert, appearances by Rev. Al Sharpton and Don Lemon, André Leon Talley letting Lady Lyon know that her dress is so last season–all while Lucious watches on from a flat-screen TV in the clink. There were a few moments that left me scratching my head—like when Cookie referred to her ex as a tampon, when she descended from the sky into a cage dressed in a gorilla costume, and how Chris Rock, who played gangster Fred Gathers, was introduced and offed all in one episode.
Jamal Lyon has gone from Lyon cub to leader, replacing his father. Andre Lyon is back to being about his business, though his sins are haunting him in his dreams. One important thing to note is that while those dreams may suck, he did wake up shirtless and sweaty. I drooled a little. —Taj Rani
Wait. WAIT. Are Olivia and Fitz finally going to be together, officially? Right when it looks like that may be the case–Fitz delivers his wife divorce papers–Oliva tells Fitz to wait, as if US WAITING FOR FOUR SEASONS ISN’T ENOUGH. “The minute we go out into the world, we stop being you and me,” she tells him. “How can we make it work in public when we can barely make it work in private?” Before I could say, “Yassss,” Sally Langston broadcasts that private photos of the adulterous, on-and-off couple have leaked. The episode closes with Langston asking Fitz to explain himself. Sally is late, by the way. –Erika Ramirez
X-Men’s Jean Grey made an appearance on the season premiere of How to Get Away With Murder. Well, not Jean Grey, more like Famke Janssen, who plays Eve here. On the first episode of the second season, we’re introduced to Eve: She’s Annalise Keating’s old friend from law school and former lover. YES, LOVER. Plot twists on plot twists. After sharing an intimate moment with Annalise, Eve takes on the role as the defense attorney for Annalise’s former ex-lover, whom she framed for the murder of her husband. The drama doesn’t end there, because how could it? It’s a Shonda Rhimes–directed show! The episode ends with a peek into two months from now, with Wes running out of a suspected client’s mansion as shots ring out. Annalise is seen bleeding out, laying on the kitchen floor. Nooooo! —Erika Ramirez ♦