Best bets for April 19: Lucy, loosely

1) “I Love Lucy Funny Money Special,” 8-9 p.m., CBS. When not obsessing on show-business, Lucy schemed about money. These 1954 episodes (with color added by computer) are vivid examples. The first – selling homemade salad dressing – is moderately funny, if we forgive the cliche that only men figure finances. The second – a scramble to win the “bonus bucks” contest – is a giddy crescendo of greed and error, boosted by Lucille Ball’s mastery of sight gags. Read more…

Best bets for April 17: Hilarious vampires

1) “What We Do In the Shadows,” 10 p.m., FX. Generations ago, these vampires were sent to colonize America. So far, heir domain is a fraction of one block in Staten Island. The solution is to propose an alliance with the Manhattan leader (Nick Kroll, shown here), who has his own dance club. Deftly directed by co-creator Jemain Clement, the result is hilarious … especially when you add a great opening bit, involving a college student who’s a newly turned vampire. Read more…

Best bets for April 16: A blessed mess

1) “Bless This Mess” debut, 9:30 p.m., ABC. Newlyweds (Lake Bell and Dax Shepard) reach rural Nebraska, armed with the internet and unwarranted confidence. They would learn how to farm and to fix their crumbling house; what could go wrong? A lot, of course. Elizabeth Merriweater – creator of “New Girl” and “Single Parents” — directed and co-wrote (with Bell) thus fun opener. Read more…

April 15 best-bets: An intense “Resident”

1) “The Resident,” 8 p.m., Fox. Don’t expect any small moments. This starts with a major change in the Conrad/Nic relationship; then everything else is high-octane: Gunshots leave a mother and son in critical condition … a birth becomes high-stress … and there’s news about Nic’s sister, a recovering addict with kidney failure. The first scene is so-so, but the rest is beautifully done, closing with an emotional nod to the late Kira Dixon Johnson, who spoke five languages and had a life of adventure. Read more…

Best-bets for April 14: The reign of “Thrones”

1) “Game of Thrones” season-opener, 9 p.m., HBO. Well-made shows, alas, need more time to make fewer episodes. “Thrones” had only seven episodes last season … made us wait 17 months after that … and has only six for this final season. In case we forgot what’s happened – it was a long time ago – HBO reruns the two most-recent episodes at 6:20 and 7:30 p.m. Then the final fury begins; the wall is down, the forces collide and the bad guys have a dragon. Read more…

Best-bets for April 13: A crazy, rich night

1) “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018), 8 p.m., HBO. At times, this feels like an early-’60s throwback. It has stock characters, a predictable plot and OK humor … but dresses it up nicely. Director Jon Chu gave it a zesty pace and gorgeous look; by the end of its clever titles and opening, we know it’s fun. What makes it stand out is its Singapore setting and its Asian cast, including Awkwafina in support. There were Golden Globe nominations for the film (best comedy or musical) and its star, Constance Wu. Read more…

Best-bets for April 12: The strangely funny “Strangelove”

1) “Dr. Strangelove” (1964), 8 p.m ET., Turner Classic Movies. A black-and-white tale of nuclear war? It might not sound like fun, but the American Film Institute calls it (quite reasonably) the third funniest film ever, trailing only “Some Like It Hot” and “Tootsie.” Peter Sellers — whose “Being There” (1979) follows at 9:45 — got an Oscar nomination for his great multiple-role performance; Stanley Kubrick got three — for best picture, for directing and for co-wriing the darkly satiric script. Read more…

Good news for June: “Tales” and Times

Is it too early for good news about June? Maybe not; announced today are:
— A new series from the New York Times. Starting June 2, “The Weekly” will be at 10 p.m. each Sunday on FX; it’s a half-hour show digging into a news story … which is something the Times does very well.
— And a new edition of “Tales of the City,” arriving June 7 on Netflix. Read more…

In case we forgot to read it, here’s an epic “Les Miserables”

It’s time for a new version of “Les Miserables,” the epic novel we all read in school, and …Or wait … have we all read it? “My teachers would love to hear me say ‘yes,’” said Lily Collins, one of the stars of the sprawling, six-part PBS mini-series.The teachers of Andrew Davies, the screenwriter, would also be disappointed. “It was one of those great classics that I neglected to read,” he said. Read more…

April 11 best-bets: Our last two-Adlon night

1) “Fam,” 9:30 p.m., CBS; and “Better Things,” 10 p.m., FX. For one more week, daughter and mother are back-to-back. First is the season-finale (and, probably, forever finale) of “Fam,” a fairly good show with fine work from Odessa Adlon (show here in last week’s episode); it’s time for her sister’s wedding. Then Pamela Adlon has another odd-but-great episode. This one starts with Frankie (the fictional version of Odessa) behaving badly. And it may be the first TV show to ask: “Frankie, why are you flushing towels down the toilet?” Read more…