What to Watch: 03/22/2018

Portlandia exits Portland, Oregon, while Station 19 opens in Shondaland, USA. It’s the circle of TV and it rules us all, or you (or we) wouldn’t be here. There’s also new episodes of two of our favorite currently running shows (yet neither of those is one of our picks) and a new moody drama on Sundance Now about presumption of guilt that’s redolent of an old moody drama about presumption of guilt that was on Sundance proper.

FIONA’S PICK:
Station 19 [ABC, 9p]
A Grey’s Anatomy spinoff from the one and only Shondaland. This will be Ben Warren’s third career and I, for one, am hoping it will stick. While Ben Warren is the hook for Grey’s fans, I have hope that the real focus will be on Andrea “Andy” Herrera, the station captain’s daughter, who we had the pleasure of meeting in an episode of Grey’s just a few weeks ago and is a total badass. To those who suggest that Station 19 is just a ripoff of Chicago Fire, I say, you’re probably not wrong, but a key difference is that Shonda wouldn’t kill off a lesbian character just to shake things up. Station 19 starts off with a two-hour series premiere right after the regular Grey’s Anatomy slot at 8p.

JASON’S PICK:
Portlandia [IFC, 10p]
The dream of the ’90s (whether 1890s or 1990s) ends tonight in Portland. And while it’s had elements of the problematic (from its sense of privilege to its fetishization of Portland), it is still fascinating to see what Fred and Carrie do with their last half hour. Will all the characters converge or will they focus on one? Will there be a grand finale or will they go out on just another episode?

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Truck Night in America [History, 10p]
Big Rigs hit the dirt trails with 40-inch wheels, which is a terrible idea, as trucks like that are not limber enough for the course! As long as no one gets hurt, it’s primo entertainment.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

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  • After their success(?) with the gloomy character study of Rectify, Sundance boosts its online streaming service, Sundance Now, with Innocent, featuring a very similar plot. Lee Inglesby stars as David Collins, a man who served seven years in prison for the alleged murder of his wife, but released from prison on a technicality. However, this drama is billed as “fast-paced,” which would indeed be one element to set it apart from the creeping plod of Rectify.
  • After an emotional week in the break room of Cloud 9, Amy and Jonah, Mateo and Jeff, and all the other non-will-they-or-won’t-they members of the Superstore universe go on about their business. This week, Jeff moves over to Target, where he (unwittingly?) engages in a poaching war with Cloud 9 manager Glenn. It’s on NBC.
  • Donald Glover’s powerfully wistful series Atlanta on FX is such an absolute wonder that we’ll even forgive it featuring Michael Vick (we haven’t forgotten, but here’s some positive from its aftermath). Plus, it was a pretty clever plot point. This week, as with every week, there’s fallout, and a trip out of town won’t help things.
  • Back to NBC, they have another burgeoning Screen Scholars favorite on their hands in A.P. Bio as they have managed to humanize its easy-to-caricaturize characters incredibly quickly. Its teetering on sappy, but with Patton Oswalt and Glenn Howerton there, and Mike O’Brien at the helm, it’s hard to feel that’s a real danger. This week the cat-and-mouse between Jack and nemesis Miles (Tom Bennett) builds.
  • Rupaul’s Drag Race‘s 10th Season premiere promises Christina Aguilera stunting and, obviously, a bunch of tempestuous and tantalizing new queens vying for the title. Also check Rupaul out as part of the Audible version of the number one book in America right now.
  • Finally, continuing on the tall men tip, it’s the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, tipping off at tonight at 7 on CBSssss. And, as always, we implore you to vote in our fun version of March Madness, here.

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