Saturday, Aug. 17 (BBC America)
Series Finale: When the beloved first Being Human vampire-werewolf-ghost trio of Mitchell, George and Annie left the show rather awkwardly and Syfy’s Americanized version of the show turned out to be surprisingly not-sucktastic, the original British series was left for—sorry, gotta do it—dead by many fans. Too bad, because the incoming supernatural threesome proved to be every bit as charming, sympathetic and funny as their predecessors, even if there were few storylines left to play out. Still, the final episode of Being Human, coincidentally titled “The Last Broadcast,” is one of the best-written and most powerful of the entire series, a twisty and frequently dark hour that finds Hal, Thom and Alex in a world-in-the-balance showdown with the Devil himself. As good as the American Being Human is, it’ll probably never dare go where the Brits did with this one.
Thursday, Aug. 15 (AMC)
Series Debut: This week’s “That’s a Show?” award goes to Owner’s Manual, wherein two dudes attempt dangerous challenges like flying stunt planes, driving trains and brewing beer(?)—but here’s the twist you already saw coming: One follows the instruction manual; the other follows “his gut.” The network that brought you Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead (and Hell on Wheels—really, it’s still a thing) sorta stepped up its lagging reality-TV game with this because, face it, there was no stepping down from Small Town Security. Me, I’m holding out for the “Defuse a Bomb” episode.
Polyamory: Married & Dating
Thursday, Aug. 15 (Showtime)
Season Premiere: Try and follow this: San Diego married couple Michael and Kamala are in a four-way relationship with married couple Tahl and Jen; Tahl and Jen are both bisexual; Michael and Kamala are both dating people outside of the foursome; likewise, Jen is dating another man on the outside; Tahl, new to bisexuality even with a name like Tahl, is seeking out a boyfriend. Joining the reality-doc series in Season 2 (yes, 2) are Los Angeles married couple Chris (an MMA fighter/trainer) and Leigh Ann (a pole-dancing instructor), who are in a “triad” relationship with 24-year-old Megan. Even with blatantly (but still oddly watchable) scripted situations and staged scenes, Polyamory: Married & Dating is a convincing argument against polyamory, marriage and dating … or for it, if you’re stuck with those boring ol’ Sister Wives—right, Kody Brown?
Heroes of Cosplay
New Series: It’s short for “costume play,” nongeeks—I know, I was hoping for an underground subculture based around Cosby Show fan fiction, too. Heroes of Cosplay spotlights sci-fi/anime/videogame fans who’ve somehow found even more hours in the day to waste, constructing elaborate costumes based on their favorite imaginary characters in order to best one another at convention contests and “make a name for themselves in the competitive world of cosplay.” Now, before you dehydrate yourself weeping for our country, it should be noted that the craftsmanship and passion displayed on Heroes of Cosplay is impressive and infectious; the rest of you might be swayed by six simple words: Hot nerd girls in skimpy costumes.
Wednesday, Aug. 21 (A&E)
Series Debut: The Only TV Column That Matters™ may have been too quick to hand out the “That’s a Show?” award. Reality series Modern Dads follows four suburban Austin, Texas, stay-at-home fathers whose sad-ass group is “like a fraternity,” says network PR, “but this time around, all-nighters, babes in your bed, empty bottles and projectile vomit carry a whole new meaning.” With ya on the last one, A&E.