Month: January 2016

What to Watch:01/31/2016

On the days of most major NFL games, the rest of the evening’s television can be a bit dud-ish as the networks avoid anything which might be wasted on an audience that’s elsewhere. However, that all goes out the window with the hapless Pro Bowl, and at the very least, it’s a pretty normal day…

JASON’S PICK:
Billions [Showtime, 10p]
Showtime’s latest drama takes on the world of high finance and features some great thespian chops in Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis, and it started out a bit tepid, but came on in a more thrilling second offering. This episode promises political double-crosses galore.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry [E!, 10p]
Mediums plus Hollywood entertainers make for an intriguing mix. Honestly, I need to know what Brittany Murphy has to say, don’t judge me!

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Jurassic Park [IFC, 6p]
The 1993 original, starring Santa Claus Richard Attenborough.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

FOX is certainly not afraid of no football all-stars as they bring out the latest in the let’s-revive-nostalgic-musicals-with-b-level-stars gambit with Grease: Live — I snark, but will I be singing lustily during “Summer Nights” (well, leaving out its objectionable Kenickie line): probably not, because I’ll be watching elsewhere, but it sounds like fun…a bunch of ninjas who fashion themselves warriors will be gathering in the Americas on NBC to select the new GOP presidential candidate on American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World…then there’s Naked & Afraid with a marathon ending on an episode titled “Snaketacular Clip Show” and does anything sum up what we think that show might be any better?

 

What to Watch: 01/29/2016

As Fridays go, it’s not the worst of line-ups, particularly with a nice New on Netflix type of offering and the finale of one of the more respectable (and adorable) reality competitions. There’s also the return of a monster series that can be polarizing (even within the same person).

KATHERINE’S PICK:
MasterChef Junior [FOX, 8p]
It’s the finale and with two finalists, a girl is guaranteed to win–for the first time! Both girls are funny, plucky, and talented chefs. This is an exciting night!

NAVANI’S PICK:
Gringolandia [Netflix]
Adapted from the Chilean web series, fun-loving Peter immigrates to New York to chase his American dream of owning a hot dog stand and all the riches that might entail. However, he soon finds out navigating the hipster world is no easy task.

JASON’S PICK:
Grimm [NBC, 9p]
I know I’m not alone in having a hate-watch show (you know, the kind of program you’re drawn to, but are also annoyed at the ridiculous — and yourself for BEING drawn to it). Grimm, with its goofy creatures and melodramatic notes, is it for me, and this one which brings “Juliette” back and focuses on the overblown Trubel, should be one of the most schadenfraude-y of episodes. Although it does seem to have a Monroe and Rosalee C-plot, so that could be genuinely fun.

ALSO ON TAP:

The spigot has truly gone a bit dry beyond that…there’s a couple programs from the Major Network Shows That Waste Genuine Talent[TM?] file in NBC’s Undateable and ABC’s Dr. Ken…of the schedule-load of reality shows, there’s Bring It and Undercover Boss, which are both generally watchable (if a bit of a guilty treat on the latter)…and a new title, Deadliest Job Interview, which could intrigue some, but kind of just makes me sad.

 

What to Watch: 01/28/2016

There are no shortage of options on a Thursday night — today’s a day you might want to check your DVR is set up for action — but we’re going with the debut of a kooky apocalypse sitcom, the surprisingly solid J-Lo/Ray Liotta cop vehicle…and one of us is digging way into the channel-turning crate for a bit of cool 60-plus year old noir.

JASON’S PICK:
You, Me, and the Apocalypse [NBC, 8p]
Ok, so we already have the excellent Last Man on Earth, but who says the small screen world has no room for two bizarrely goofy post-apocalyptic romps. This one boasts Rob Lowe as a priest and the buzz is not half bad.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Shades of Blue [NBC, 9p]
Many say Ray Liotta is carrying this police drama but I am happily surprised with how well J. Lo is portraying her part as a crooked cop compromised by the FBI. During every episode I’m sure her cover is blown but then she finagles her way out of it. Let’s see if her good luck continues tonight.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Ivy [TMC, 8p]
Joan Fontaine is a “scheming murderess” in this pulpy thriller from 1947.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

Comedy Central’s line-up of ne’er-do-wells colliding looks especially fun tonight with Blake adopting a cat on Workaholics which could be hilariously discomfiting — or just plain discomfiting, and on the so-far satisfying Idiotsitter, oddest couple Billie and Gene going on a funeral road trip which sounds like it should earn at least 3 “Mads” out of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad WorldColony on USA has Josh Holloway and a ridiculous, but compelling brave new world of aliens premise which has so far not gone completely off-the-rails…and if that’s not enough over-the-top intrigue, The Blacklist (NBC) has a medieval device murder going on…then there’s Baskets on FX, easily the most original show on the air, if its pilot is any indication, and with Zack G., it probably is, and hopefully it keeps up its measured peculiarity.

What to Watch: 01/27/2016

It’s a pretty standard Wednesday, but our suggestions run the range from odd couples on late night shows to better-than-average TV Land sitcommery to a scientific examination of disaster and tragedy.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Younger [TV Land, 10p]
Liza’s adventures continue as a newly single mom of 40 reentering the workforce pretending to be the ripe ol age of 26. How will she continue to keep up this charade through season 2??

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Conan [TBS, 11p]
Divine Intervention booked Carol Burnett and Eric Andre.

JASON’S PICK:
NOVA: Himalayan Megaquake [PBS, 9p]
PBS’ pre-eminent science program looks behind the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, trying to explain the reasoning behind the enormity of the tragedy, while looking into the mysterious, and still elusive, attempts to try to predict where and when the next tremor will strike.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

Criminal Minds (on CBS of course) has been on an impressive run of above-average, character-driven episodes — this week, the BAU is investigating murders at truck stops, so there’s that…Supernatural‘s Sam & Dean grace the CW with an episode about musically driven deaths, which actually sounds like a pretty damn exciting episode…also, there’s the first non-audition episode of American Idol, a preview of next season’s Duck Dynasty, and yet another 2 Broke Girls if you like those sort of things — and if you do, you know where to find them…

Tuesday’s Best Reviewed: The Expanse

Tuesday was packed with sci-fi, superheroes, and sitcoms, and mostly it was a well-reviewed kinda day, although Reverse Flash didn’t send people reeling. New Girl survives the lack of the new girl in stride. Brooklyn Nine-Nine benefits from a cruise and a host of cool low-key guest stars. Surprisingly, the day was won by the quietly cult-building Syfy space opera starring Thomas Jane.

Tuesday, January 26th’s Best: The Expanse (8.8/10)

0126expanse

The Expanse hits a watershed moment as it ties together its plots in by all accounts splendid fashion — as AV Club puts it: “We have narrative cohesion!” Henry A. Otero of TV Fanatic gets positively giddy about “the pieces [starting to] fit together nicely” and declares the finale is “going to be killer, trust me.”

The Rest of the Night:

Marvel’s Agent Carter – 8.1

New Girl – 8.0

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – 8.0

Pretty Little Liars – 7.0

The Flash – 6.8

Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce – 6.5

The Grinder – 6.0

So Long, Abe, And Thanks for Being Fish

abevigoda

Sadly, this site, created almost two decades ago, finally had to make its first content update.

Every once in a while, it seems like an actor just may have achieved immortality, and Abe Vigoda, for whatever reason, was one of these men. He was the ultimate in lovable surly as Sgt. Fish on Barney Miller, and by all accounts, a great human being.

Here he is with two actors who also passed too soon, talking about the best food on earth:

What to Watch: 01/26/2016

Grinders off to grind on their own, perfectly mismatched cops romcomming on the seas, and pandas lead our choices on this fairly packed Tuesday.

NAVANI’S PICK:
The Grinder [FOX, 9:30p]
Looks like Stewart has finally gotten his wish – for Dean to be out of his hair. Dean takes a job offer from another firm (ha, showed Stewart) and  he is actually now practicing law in court, but against his own brother.

JASON’S PICK:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine [FOX, 9p]
Not to oversell this program, but how can I not rec’ up an episode where Peralta & Santiago go on a sea cruise. The rest of the team-ups are awesome as well as Gina & Terry collabo on machinations surrounding Capt. Holt and some always welcome bantering between Rosa & Charles (hopefully as wonderful as their interplay about his sadly departed dog).

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Panda Republic [Animal Planet, 8p]
A look at two organizations in China, trying to breed pandas in captivity in hopes of releasing the cubs into the wild.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

It’s New Girl minus the titular new girl as sequestered Jess means probably a lot of chaos at the loft…if you’re a superfan of the Windy City’s essential services, well, NBC is the channel for you tonight…if hunting houses is more your speed, then mosey on over to HGTV…