Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
William H. Macy and Christian Isaiah; Jennifer Beals and Leisha Hailey
William H. Macy and Christian Isaiah; Jennifer Beals and Leisha Hailey
Photo: Tony Rivetti Jr., Isabella Vosmikova (Showtime)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, January 26. All times are Eastern.

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Top picks

Shameless (Showtime, 9 p.m., 10th-season finale) and The L Word: Generation Q (Showtime, 10 p.m., first-season finale): Two Showtime classics head into the off-season tonight, but never fear, they’ll both be returning.

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For Shameless and the Gallaghers, though, it’s the beginning of the beginning of the end.

During the TCA press tour, Showtime president Gary Levine announced that next season, the show’s 11th, would be its last, meaning that the Gallaghers will be taking a final (and probably overdue) bow sometime this summer. For now though, there’s a fire, a wedding, and a lot of chaos to be dealt with.

The L Word’s revival, on the other hand, is just getting started.

Generation Q’s renewal was also announced at the TCA press tour, meaning that the gang will be back for another go-round, no matter what happens with the election, the relationships, and any number of familiar bad habits. Here’s Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya on the penultimate episode of this first season:

When it comes to Bette Porter and Shane McCutcheon in particular, watching The L Word: Generation Q in the context of the original The L Word is simultaneously frustrating and satisfying. It’s frustrating insofar as watching characters make the same mistakes over and over again—now literally a decade later—is a hard task as a viewer. It’s satisfying though for the same reason. Human beings really do make the same self-destructive choices over and over again, and while Shane and Bette (and Alice, too) have evolved technically in terms of their careers and lifestyles, they’re still at their cores the same people with the same flaws as before. In “Lose It All,” Bette thinks that she can win Tina back even though she has been making the same selfish and damaging choices as she used to make when they were together. Shane immediately regrets her decision to up her commitment to Quiara when it comes to raising a child together. It’s the same control-freak Bette. It’s the same impulsive Shane. Their circumstances have changed, but they haven’t. “Lose It All” directly confronts the bad patterns people fall into, especially in relationships.

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She’s ready to recap the finale, ominously titled “Lapse In Judgment,” before settling in to await season two.

Regular coverage

Doctor Who (BBC America, 8 p.m.)
Batwoman (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Supergirl (The CW, 9 p.m.)
The Outsider (HBO, 9 p.m.)
Avenue 5 (HBO, 10 p.m.)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO, 10 p.m.)
Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (Netflix): binge coverage continues

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Wild card

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards (CBS, 8 p.m.) and Work In Progress (Showtime, 11 p.m., first-season finale): You know, we don’t always expect the Grammys to be super interesting, but this year might be an exception.

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Lizzo will be great and Billie Eilish will probably do something very unsettling and cool, but the drama might be the main attraction this time around. Alternately, head back to Showtime for the season finale Work In Progress, an excellent, empathetic, emotionally complex comedy that, yes, has also been renewed for a second season.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.

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