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5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Ai Weiwei in the Spotlight and Benedict Cumberbatch in Period Finery

5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Ai Weiwei in the Spotlight and Benedict Cumberbatch in Period Finery

Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including “Shameless,” “Girls,” Californication” and “Enlightened,” but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.

“Bunheads”: Winter Finale
Monday, Feb. 25 at 9pm on ABC Family

Amy Sherman-Palladino’s scruffily lovable dance drama finishes its first season, or however ABC Family measures its shows, with “Next,” an episode that finds Michelle (Sutton Foster) exploring how ready she is to give up performing by going to an audition for a Broadway show, one that the girls secretly follow her to. Foster’s brother, Hunter Foster, returns as Michelle’s equally wayward brother Scotty.

Independent Lens: “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”
Monday, Feb. 25 at 10pm on PBS

Alison Klayman’s documentary about Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei arrives on PBS the day after the first major U.S. retrospective of his work, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” at the Hirshhorn Museum in D.C., closes. Ai was unable to attend the event, for reasons this film, which received a theatrical release from IFC Films last summer, makes evident — he’s an outspoken activist who has clashed with the government and in the recent past has been detained without charge, his passport confiscated. The doc was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it had its premiere.

“Catfish: The TV Show”: “The Reunion Show”
Monday, Feb. 25 at 11pm on MTV

Having exposed the terrible truth behind various online couples and received a timely boost from the Manti Te’o fake internet girlfriend affair, “Catfish: The TV Show” rounds out its first season with the traditional reality series capper, the reunion special. The show’s hosts Max Joseph and Nev Schulman are joined by MTV News’ SuChin Pak for an episode that will check in on subjects from throughout to season to see what’s changed or hasn’t for them since their big reveals, and to have tense exchanges with anyone they might have deceived.

“Parade’s End”: Miniseries Premiere
Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 9pm on HBO

Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall star in this BBC coproduction adapted from Ford Madox Ford tetralogy of novels and written by Tom Stoppard. The lavish miniseries, which will air over three nights, is set around the first World War and follows the love triangle that forms between Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch), his manipulative wife Sylvia (Hall) and suffragette Valentine Wannop (Adelaide Clemens).

“Portlandia”: Season Finale
Friday, Mar. 1 at 10pm on IFC

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein wrap up the third season of their hipster sketch comedy show with “Blackout,” an episode that finds the two of them trying to find Mr. Mayor (Kyle MacLachlan) in order to restore power to Portland after electricity is shut off due to unpaid bills.

Also worth a look: Web series “Burning Love” makes the jump to TV this week, with the Ken Marino-starring first season hitting E! on Monday, February 25th at 10pm as the second season rolls out online; Seth Rogen guests on “The Mindy Project” as Mindy Kaling’s summer camp first kiss on Fox on Tuesday, February 26th at 9:30pm; and USA Network’s old reliable “Psych” kicks off its seventh season on Wednesday, February 27th at 10pm.

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