Streaming now (Netflix)
New Series: Says Netflix, original series House of Cards was a hit; says logic, the May 26 premiere of the new Arrested Development season will break the Interwebs. Between the two, there’s Hemlock Grove, an American Horror Story/Twin Peaks wannabe from slasher-flick auteur Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) that makes about as much sense as, well, the loonier stretches of American Horror Story and Twin Peaks. When a young girl is murdered in Pennsylvania steel town Hemlock Grove (sounds lovely), the two teen boys fingered for the crime—one of whom might be a werewolf, FYI—team up and go Supernatural Hardy Boys to find the real killer; much weirdness, terror and Famke Janssen (X-Men) ensue. Hemlock Grove is tough (OK, impossible) to follow, but it looks cool and the scares are legit—can’t ask more of a good American horror story.
Friday, April 26 (ABC)
One-Hour Season Finale: At least what could be Happy Endings’ final season got to play out on real TV: Fellow too-hip-for-the-network comedy Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23’s unaired final eight episodes will trickle out on ABC.com, Hulu and iTunes on Friday, May 17. In further good news for cult sitcoms, the USA Network reportedly might pick up Happy Endings should ABC ax it (related, The Only TV Column That Matters™ is still rooting for Adult Swim to grab Community from NBC and shear off 15 minutes). In conclusion: Watch hard. [Update: ABC has pushed the Happy Endings season finale back to May 3; two previously preempted episodes air tonight.]
Monday, April 29 (Showtime)
Season Premiere: Instead of the usual 10 or 12 half-hour episodes, Showtime is sending The Big C off to the great beyond in four full-hour installments—follow? Doesn’t matter; Cathy (Laura Linney) will meet her end at the bony hand of cancer or cancellation within a month, guaranteed. The fourth and final season of The Big C is a tearjerker, for sure, eschewing the forced comedy of the past few years and returning to what made Season 1 so good: real anguish, real laughs, real emotion. It’s still not perfect—this four-hour farewell could have easily been trimmed to 120 tighter minutes—but it’s a fitting goodbye for one of Showtime’s most unusual series. Now, somebody give John Benjamin Hickey his own show, already.
Tuesday, April 30 (Comedy Central)
Series Debut: Deceptively sweet-looking comedian Amy Schumer is one twisted, damaged, sick chick—why’d it take so long to get her a cable show? Inside Amy Schumer is not for the faint of heart who find no humor in foul-mouthed women who riff freely on vanity, one-night stands, racism, facials and “scat porn” (the series’ opening sketch finds Schumer on an audition call for “2 Girls 1 Cup”—if you’re unacquainted, go ahead and Bing it). Between her scripted vignettes, man-on-the-street interviews and stand-up segments, Inside Amy Schumer could be Comedy Central’s filthiest show ever. [Single tear] I’m so proud of you, ’Merica.
Wednesday, May 1 (ABC)
Series Debut: When Dad (J.K. Simmons) suffers a heart attack, it’s up to his perpetual-failure son (Kyle Bornheimer) to come home and take over his “Mr. Jiffy Fix” handyman business. The cast (which also includes King of Queens’ Leah Remini) ain’t bad, but Family Tools is only slightly funnier than seeing Ty Pennington nude. And, sadly, an indicator of where the network wants to take its comedies: out of the city, away from those edgy singles (the aforementioned Happy Endings, etc.) and into the suburbs with those quirky clans (the still un-replicate-able Modern Family). Just putting Family in the title doesn’t cut it, ABC.