Thursdays, 10pm, NBC
Captive audience: Fans of Hannibal Lecter, but the Manhunter/Silence of the Lambs Hannibal Lecter, not the Hannibal/Red Dragon/Hannibal Rising Hannibal Lecter.
Moment of truth: After being disappointed by Bates Motel, I didn’t feel like dipping into another weekly TV show about the early days of an iconic serial killer. But, hey, I decided to give this a chance, and damn, I was impressed. This modern-day prequel/police procedural mostly focuses on the relationship between Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), still a respected psychiatrist, and troubled criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). The show is insanely intense, complete with envelop-pushing gore, nightmarish sequences and Laurence Fishburne, occasionally yelling with authority, as Graham’s superior.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy.
Inside Amy Schumer
Tuesdays, 10:30pm, Comedy Central
Captive audience: People who are tired of the string of dicks who get their own shows on Comedy Central.
Moment of truth: The latest comic this year to get a Comedy Central show, Schumer basically takes her audience inside the mind of a 20-something single gal. Needless to say, it’s not pretty, as sketches have Schumer finding the right naughty text messages to send someone, planning out her life with the man she had a one-night stand with and engaging in other awkward, neurotic stuff. The show also has her doing standup, on-the-street interviews and one-on-one convos with gals prettier than her. You think this would be for gals only, but Schumer’s amusingly dirty mind makes it open for everyone.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy.
Available on Netflix.com
Captive audience: Fans of Twin Peaks, The X-Files, The Following, Eerie, Indiana—basically, any show where strange shit is afoot.
Moment of truth: The latest original series on the streaming video service starts off awesome, then veers into clusterfuck territory. This supernatural whatzit, based on Brian McGreevy’s year-old novel about a small Pennsylvania town that’s hiding some weird secrets piled up with so many things—werewolves, angels, gypsies, freakishly large teenagers, Famke Janssen back to being bitchy—to the point where, by the third episode, you don’t know what the hell is going on. It’s a shame, since the pilot episode, directed by executive producer Eli Roth, is quite good. And that’s more disturbing than anything on this show.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlegmmy.