Plus, Clarice grapples with Silence of the Lambs' transphobic legacy, and another Law & Order crossover brings Stabler and Benson together again.

By EW Staff
May 13, 2021 at 06:00 AM EDT
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Hacks

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: Streaming on HBO Max

Series Debut
You know her from comedy — Designing Women, Samantha Who?, Frasier — and she's absolutely proven her dramatic chops — Watchmen, Fargo, 24, Legion. Now, Jean Smart is showcasing all of those talents as the lead of this dark comedy as Deborah Vance, a popular Las Vegas comedian. Well, once-popular. With her audience size shrinking, her casino boss is cutting show dates, but she's not going down without a fight. Enter a young-but-canceled comedy writer, Ava (Hannah Einbinder), who's brought in to help write some fresh jokes and inject new life into Deborah's act. The two clash about comedy and about their generational differences, but they do manage to find someone common ground in their attempt to prove they aren't hacks. —Gerrad Hall

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Mom

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: 9 p.m. on CBS

Series Finale
So long, mommies! After eight seasons, the (remaining) women of Mom will say farewell with an episode that has Bonnie (Allison Janney) coming to terms with her sobriety and Jill (Jaime Pressly) entering a new phase of her relationship with Andy (Will Sasso). Thanks for the (dry) party, gals: you'll be missed. —Lynette Rice

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Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: 9 p.m./10 p.m. on NBC

Hey, let's do a crossover again! Stabler (Christopher Meloni) returns to his old stomping grounds as Benson (Mariska Hargitay) searches for three women who are suspected of drugging and robbing wealthy men (hey, that would make a great J. Lo movie!). The action continues on Organized Crime when Stabler faces the consequences of a failed drug bust — and Benson is there to pick up the pieces. —LR

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Clarice

HOW/WHEN & WHERE TO WATCH: 10 p.m. on CBS

Thursday night's episode of Clarice — titled "Silence is Purgatory" — addresses the transphobic legacy and the harm that the portrayal of serial killer Buffalo Bill as a trans woman in 1991's The Silence of the Lambs had on the trans community. Knowing they were inheriting that legacy when they decided to make the series, the creators of Clarice worked with GLAAD to bring trans voices into the writers' room. Actress and activist Jen Richards was brought on as a consultant on how to address the trans community on the series and ended up playing the role of trans character Julia, who herself has been living with the transphobia caused by Buffalo Bill. Before she stepped into the role, Richards worked with trans writer Eleanor Jean, who penned "Silence is Purgatory," to together address this harmful legacy. "It's hard to get these issues right especially after they've been so ingrained for so many decades," says Jean of writing the episode. "It was amazing that we were able to build this character to stand in as a proxy for the effects of this movie in real life." —Ruth Kinane

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Hear more on all of today's must-see picks, plus what Run the World star Amber Stevens West is watching, in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

What ELSE to Watch

8 p.m.

Young Sheldon (season finale) — CBS

8:30 p.m.

United States of Al — CBS

9 p.m.

9:30 p.m.

B Positive (season finale) — CBS

Let's Be Real — Fox

10 p.m.

Rebel — ABC

Streaming

Castlevania (final season premiere) — Netflix

Intergalactic (series debut) — Peacock

Dark Woods (series debut) — Topic

*times are ET and subject to change

We know TV has a lot to offer, be it network, cable, premium channels, or streaming platforms including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and others. So EW is here to help, guiding you every single day to the things that should be on your radar. Be sure to listen/subscribe to our What to Watch podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPlayer FM, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, or via your own voice-controlled smart-speaker (Alexa, Google Home).

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