Orphan Black (Thursday, April 14, BBC America), season premiere: Tense sci-fi soap Orphan Black has so much going within its clone-crowded narrative that the news of out-there musician Peaches appearing in Season 4, playing herself, barely even registers. (In fact, it almost makes too much sense.) In this chapter, Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) sets out to investigate Beth, the deceased sister-clone whose identity she stole at the beginning of the series, as well as the origins of the clone conspiracy—which, of course, leads to trouble, as does trying learn anything in this universe. Unrelated … maybe: Yet another clone, a mysterious outsider who’s been aware of her multi-sister status all along, enters the picture, upping Maslany’s character load for the season to eight (and still no Emmy, huh?). One again, There’s Too Many Shows, but definitely move Orphan Black to the top of your TV homework pile.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Friday, April 15, Netflix), season premiere: Last year, Netflix snapped up Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt after NBC decided to get out of the “thinky” comedy business and canceled it before ever going to air; if you can name a single now-dead sitcom the network ran with instead, you probably work at NBC Universal (for now). Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) won hearts as a bubbly, wide-eyed ex-doomsday cult member discovering the modern world for the first time … but where to take her in Season 2? Don’t worry; she’s still plenty naïve—and, after 15 years in an underground bunker (possible spoiler alert), still a virgin. Also, brace for waaay more of UKS breakout star Tituss Burgess (“Peeno! Noir!”), if not a return appearance by Kimmy’s bunker mates (including, if there’s any justice, Jon Hamm’s hilarious cult leader, the Rev. Richard Wayne Gary Wayne).
Containment (Tuesday, April 19, The CW), series debut: Under the Dome, Colony, any dystopian-future YA book/movie you care to name—should it be disturbing that ’Merica seems to love stories about communities held captive? Go write a thesis or call Alex Jones; I have TV to review here. Oddly paired with the superhero fun of The Flash, the dark Containment follows the panic, societal breakdown and, of course, conspiratorial whisperings behind the outbreak of a deadly virus in Atlanta. (First The Walking Dead, now this—Georgia can’t catch a break.) Between the pretty citizens freaking out and dying inside the quarantined area, and the pretty scientists on the outside racing to find a cure, there’s mucho Big Drama to go around. But enough to carry 13 episodes? Here it comes: Containment isn’t all that infectious.
The Night Manager (Tuesday, April 19, AMC), miniseries debut: Tom Hiddleston is, of course best-known for the films Midnight in Paris and Muppets Most Wanted, or a handful of Marvel movies as Thor’s uptight brother with the mullet (aka the Asgard Natural, or “Party in the back, extermination of the human race up front”). In The Night Manager, he plays a British ex-soldier charged with infiltrating the inner circle of an international businessman/criminal (Hugh Laurie) and taking down his arms-dealing trade. The undercover-spy-in-too-deep trope isn’t anything new, but Hiddleston and Laurie !Acting! off one another is expectedly fantastic—and The Night Manager is every bit the Bond adventure that Spectre should have been. From the look of it, it was probably almost as expensive; at least AMC is spending some of that Walking Dead money wisely.
Time Traveling Bong (Wednesday, April 20, Comedy Central), miniseries debut: Ilana Glazer, the bigger-haired half of Broad City’s comic duo, is one of the funniest women on the planet—within the context of Broad City as “Ilana.” Outside of it, we don’t yet know. Time Traveling Bong, premiering after the Season 3 finale of Broad City on 4/20 (dude …), pairs her with a new partner, Paul W. Downs (also of Broad City), in a three-episode miniseries that’s summed up entirely by its title: Glazer and Downs play cousins who discover a bong that enables time travel, and they subsequently “blaze through time.” Until the bong breaks, that is, and the two become lost in the space-time continuum. TTB is even more stoopid than you’re already imagining it to be, but, hell, it’s only three half-hour episodes over three nights. You know the proper states in which to enjoy this; one is Colorado.