Thursday, May 16 (NBC)
Series Finale: Hang in there—the longest goodbye on television is almost over. Like most of you, The Only TV Column That Matters™ has stuck with The Office because, even though it’s never recovered from the loss of Michael Scott (curb your enthusiasm for a Steve Carell finale cameo tonight, BTW), it’s still the funniest show on Thursday night without Parks or Recreation in its title. Even though the nine-years-in-the-making Dunder Mifflin documentary has finally aired—what’s the budget at the local PBS affiliate, anyway?—the “crew” is still filming what is tonight’s final episode, which includes a wedding, wrap-up interviews and, in my opinion, not enough Erin (because there’s never enough Ellie Kemper). Goodnight, Scranton!
Monday, May 20 (Fox)
Series Debut: Three estranged siblings (Scott Foley, Becki Newton and T.J. Miller) stand to inherit $20 million from their recently passed father (Beau Bridges)—if they play an elaborate set of “games” he’s left behind and, wait for it, learn Valuable Life Lessons to, wait for it again, Become Better People. Mostly funny stuff, once you get past the idea of a math professor having $20 million and Newton even being the same species as Foley and Miller, much less their sister. Oddly, The Goodwin Games will be paired up with Raising Hope reruns on Mondays—for those of you playing at home, Fox hasn’t aired comedies on Monday since … ever? Maybe don’t get attached.
Monday, May 20 (ABC)
Series Debut: Kristin Lehman (The Killing) and Louis Ferreira (Breaking Bad) star as detectives investigating murders-of-the-week. Wait, there’s a twist: The killer is IDed at the beginning of the episode; Motive, as the name implies, is about (or aboot, since this is a Canadian production) why they did it. Yeah … you totally just lost the Castle crowd, ABC.
Monday, May 20 (Sundance)
Season Finale: You should have been watching this, and not just because it’s hyped as “from the producers of Breaking Bad.” The six-episode Rectify follows a week in the life of Daniel Holden (Aden Young), just released after serving 19 years in prison for rape and murder. New DNA evidence got him out of the joint, though it’s still unclear whether he committed the crime or not (I’m not a lawyer; don’t ask me about double jeopardy). Naturally, everyone in his small Georgia hometown has a divergent opinion—even those in his own family, including Abigail Spencer, who’s heartbreakingly fantastic here as his big sis. Apropos for Sundance, Rectify moves dreamily and slowly (or, in film critic terms, it’s “meditative”), and Daniel’s guilt or innocence isn’t the point of the story (there’s a second season coming, so don’t expect an answer yet). Think of it as a six-hour indie flick about one man’s trouble readjusting to a world that doesn’t want him, and catch up now.
Season Finales This Week
Thursday, May 16: The Office (NBC); Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal (ABC); The Big Bang Theory, Elementary (CBS); American Idol (Fox); The Vampire Diaries, Beauty & the Beast (The CW)
Friday, May 17: Nikita (The CW); Shark Tank (ABC); Undercover Boss (CBS)
Saturday, May 18: Saturday Night Live (NBC); Doctor Who (BBC America)
Sunday, May 19: The Cleveland Show, The Simpsons, Family Guy (Fox); The Apprentice (NBC); Mr. Selfridge (PBS)
Monday, May 20: Rectify (Sundance); Bates Motel (A&E); Rules of Engagement, Mike & Molly, Hawaii Five-0 (CBS); The Big C (Showtime)
Tuesday, May 21: Grimm (NBC); Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Wednesday, May 22: Criminal Minds (CBS); The Middle, Modern Family, Nashville (ABC); Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire (NBC); Swamp Wars (Animal Planet)