Are you currently absolutely furious at your drunken sibling who has only two objectives in life (getting even drunker and cramming her hand down your boyfriend's pants)? Is your mom so passive-aggressive she posts public apologies for your behavior on Facebook? Does your dad shower you with gifts, love, and affection—after walking out on your family when you were six to only now show up on your doorstep with his 23-year-old girlfriend, who's too busy taking selfies to say hello?
Well turn that frown upside-down, Grumpy Gus! Because this week on TV, there are three shows featuring families waaaay more terrible than yours! Such as...
• Empire (Fox, Wed March 18, 8 pm). I'll admit I was slow to pick up on this drama about an African American family running a record label, because frankly, the idea sounded sah-noooozy. BUT I WAS OH-SO-WRONG. Empire is amazingly and hilariously over the top—kind of like a black Dynasty, or even better, a black King Lear. Patriarch Lucious Lyon (Terrrence Howard) is the CEO of Empire Entertainment, a wildly successful hiphop label. However, things poop the bed after he's diagnosed with an incapacitating disease, forcing him to decide which of his three sons will inherit his kingdom. Will it be the inexperienced young buck, the shy, gay middle son, or the highly educated but EXTREMELY MENTALLY ILL oldest sibling? (Pro tip: Pick none of the above!)
Piling on more drama is his evil arch-nemesis (played by Judd Nelson [!!]), and my early vote for the winner of 2015's Best Actress Emmy, Taraji P. Henson as his ex-wife Cookie. (She was sent to prison on a drug-running charge that originally funded Empire, and now she's back for a piece of that delicious pie—and GURL? She is NOT taking ANY MESS!) If you love crazy soap operas, satirical jabs at the hiphop industry, and people angrily sweeping everything off the top of their desks (my favorite pastime), catch all the previous episodes on Hulu, Amazon, or iTunes, and don't miss this week's hilariously entertaining SEASON FINALE of Empire!
• Bloodline (Netflix, complete season debuting Fri March 20). Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek are the owners of a beloved Florida Keys hotel, and parents of the perfect family... wellllll, perfect except for everyone harboring a dark secret, the family's black sheep threatening to expose them all, and a dead body currently in the trunk of the car. Other than that? Just like your family! (Yeah, not so perfect.)
• Neighbors with Benefits (A&E, Sun March 22, 10 pm). First things first: "Swinging" is a great American institution, and I have nothing against it. However, it would behoove you to watch the new swingers reality show Neighbors with Benefits with a large grain of salt. Supposedly based in a Cincinnati subdivision, which just happens to house a bunch of wife-and-hubby-swapping families, the various couples get together, seduce each other, have sex, argue about the way they have sex, and then start the whole process over again. Meanwhile their poor children are screaming, "MOM!! DAD!! You're EMBARRASSING MEEEEEEEEE!"
This Week on Television
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18
8:00 FOX EMPIRE
Season finale! In this two-hour season ender, Cookie schemes to put herself back on top!
9:00 VH1 WALK OF SHAME SHUTTLE
Debut! Kind of like HBO's Taxicab Confessions— except for the morning after! (Looks funny!)
THURSDAY, MARCH 19
9:00 ABC SCANDAL
A woman threatens to blab all of DC's sexiest secrets! (Sexier than Edward Snowden, I hope!)
10:00 NBC THE SLAP
Hector surprises Aisha with his darkest secret, while Aisha surprises Hector with... A SLAP!
FRIDAY, MARCH 20
11:59 TOON CHILDRENS HOSPITAL
Season premiere! It's five years later and the oversexed docs of Childrens Hospital are still the worst.
SATURDAY, MARCH 21
11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Comedian Kevin Hart hosts with verrry mysterrrrious musical guest Sia!
SUNDAY, MARCH 22
9:00 HBO GIRLS
Season finale! Caroline's plan for a home birth is a terrible one—though she doesn't seem to realize it.
9:00 AMC THE WALKING DEAD
Life inside Alexandria starts to mimic the outside world—which means more decapitations, yay!
MONDAY, MARCH 23
10:00 AMC BETTER CALL SAUL
Jimmy decides he'll do anything—anything—to win his case. Let your imagination run free.
TUESDAY, MARCH 24
12:30 CBS THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN
Debut! Meet Craig Ferguson's replacement on the Late Late Show, Brit comedian James Corden!
9:30 FOX THE MINDY PROJECT
Season finale! Who is the father of Mindy's baby? Somebody get Maury Povich in here, quick!