What to Watch: 01/13/2019

Tonight’s television programming answers all the gripping questions. Can a once-proud anthology come back from a universally agreed to be putrid second season? How many serials can we have about the rise of the internet? Just how gratifying will the comeuppance of television’s dirtiest John ever be? Can the TV trope “Simpsons Did It” be applied to the actual Simpsons? Tune in to find out on the next episode of television!

True Detective [HBO, 9p]
True Detective is back after its second season bomb, and while I’ll routinely whisper my dissatisfaction with the first season (beautifully shot, but poorly written and pointless), I’ll give anything a shot if it has my boyfriend and yours, Mahershala Ali in it. (Or anything from Jeremy Salunier, who directs the first episodes.) Ali is a detective paired with Stephen Dorff (another weak spot, damn you HBO!), and the two investigate a missing children case that is reminiscent (from the trailer, at least) of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas and the Atlanta Child Murders. Michael Greyeyes (is HBO reading my diary?) is an initial suspect whose character “takes a tragic tangent.” Reviews are promising and I’m holding my breath.

Valley Of The Boom [Nat Geo, 9p]
The early buzz on this study of the early growth of the internet is not great, but the trailer is enticing with all its Adam McKay-style quick-cutting graphics and quirky actor testimonials (it’s actually from House of Lies creator Matthew Carnahan). Furthermore, I’ll sprint to watch anything with Lamorne Morris (you know, New Girl’s Winston) in a major role, even if he spends more time talking to a camera than to a diffident cat.

Dirty John [Bravo, 10p]
The final chapter of this gripping story ends tonight! From the previews it looks like it might get a little bloody. I’ve been promised that Debra will not be dead at the end of this, but I’m still very afraid for her!

The Simpsons [Fox, 8p]
Lisa’s latest potential bestie gets her imagining a different, more-cultured life.



  • For all y’all for whom The Crown is just too modern, Victoria returns for a third series on PBS tonight.
  • The creators of Bob’s Burgers surely made Teddy’s elusive dream girl Helen so that they could dub tonight’s episode “The Helen Hunt,” and that’s one of the many reasons we adore them.

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