Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, March 29. All times are Eastern.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9 p.m.): Every once in a while, there comes along the perfect fusion of show, guest actor, and perfectly, deliriously dumb character name. That time is now for Brooklyn Nine-Nine and television’s most lovable sleazeball, Jason Mantzoukas, who has taken up residence in the precinct as the just wonderfully named Adrian Pimento. Seriously, people: Adrian. Pimento. We’re not even going to pretend to be able to articulate why that name amuses us so much, but tonight’s episode has Rosa trying to get Jake to help win Terry’s approval for her relationship with Adrian Pimento, all while ol’ Adrian Pimento becomes convinced he’s being hunted by someone from his past life working deep undercover in the mob. Sounds fun! And while we’d sure love it for Mantzoukas to hang around the Nine-Nine for the next 3,500 years while slowly transforming into a giant sandworm—LaToya Ferguson would probably feel the same way, if she didn’t have such an overwhelming desire to put a nerd in the Walls of Jericho right about now—yeah, we’re probably near the end of his guest star stint. So tune in and just enjoy the Adrian Pimento-ness of it all while you still can.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): Barry Allen follows up his universe-hopping jaunt to Supergirl’s universe—which we’re sure he’s totally going to mention tonight!—with a spot of time travel, as he seeks out the old, evil Dr. Harrison Wells to help him get faster, which feels like a real referendum on the mentoring abilities of the new, just sort of grouchy Dr. Harrison Wells. (Come to think of it, this is basically The Flash doing its very own version of Whiplash, so we approve.) Either way, the trip back in time means the show has a not totally contrived reason to bring back Eddie Thawne, who Scott Von Doviak imagines has spent the past year relaxing with Tommy Merlyn and Carter Hall in the Arrowverse’s rest home for blandly handsome, unceremoniously killed-off early-season love interests.
Secrets Of The Dead/Frontline (PBS, 9 p.m./10 p.m.): For those in search of a little culture, PBS has the good stuff tonight, as Secrets Of The Dead examines new evidence that the three prisoners who disappeared after escaping Alcatraz in 1962 might have reached the shore after all, while Frontline investigates reform efforts in Saudi Arabia.
Premieres and finales
Deadliest Catch: Ticking Bomb (Discovery, 9 p.m.): The 12th season of what we are given to understand is television’s most extreme fishing show kicks off with a two-hour premiere. Please be about bomb-swallowing fish, please be about bomb-swallowing fish…
Like A Boss: Fake It ’Til You Take It (Oxygen, 9 p.m.): Who among us has not been faced at one time or another with some impossible dilemma, some all-encompassing moral conundrum that would force us to compromise all we hold dear and sacrifice our last vestiges of unsullied humanity? It’s just that not all of us have that moment televised on Oxygen. To wit: “Amber struggles with a decision to work for Nick Cannon in the series premiere of this reality show that zeros in on four assistants to top power players in Atlanta.” Struggles. To work for. Nick. Cannon. [Shudders.]
Hack My Life: The Next Level Of Hacking (TruTV, 10 p.m.): The spring premiere features “hacks for getting special treatment at a restaurant,” to which we’d basically respond: “Eh, maybe just don’t be that jackass thinking of your dinner in terms of ‘hacks’ and you’ll get perfectly reasonable if perhaps not technically ‘special’ treatment from your almost certainly crazily overworked server.” Amazingly, that’s not the portion of this synopsis we find most disquieting, because there’s also mention of “DIY sushi,” which… [Shudders again.]
The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special (CBS, 10 p.m.): To the extent that late night shows can really be said to have seasons, the James Corden iteration of The Late Late Show is marking the end of its first year with this primetime special looking back at the past year. There’s a special emphasis on Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segments, which makes this the perfect assignment for Myles McNutt, who has been known to lay down some scorching hot Carpool Karaoke takes from time to time. Better him than us, we suppose, as that whole segment still sounds to our crotchety, Conan partisan ears like they took O’Brien’s old Desk Driving segment and ran it through the Fallonizer 5000. (We’re aware that assessment is probably massively biased, ignorant, and myopically ’90s-obsessed to the point of being borderline delusional. Apropos of nothing, we thought we’d take this moment to assure you What’s On Tonight isn’t going to change that much.)
Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix)
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8 p.m.)
New Girl (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.)
American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson (FX, 10 p.m.)
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Hulu): You know, What’s On Tonight readers, every week of our writing this thing, we grow more and more convinced that the wisest and best is to fix our attention on the good and the beautiful, if you just take the time to look at it. Or, in this case, Space Mutiny, Mitchell, and Red Zone Cuba, which are three of the funniest ways to spend a lazy 90 minutes we know. Could really do with some Time Chasers, though.
And now, a brief word about the wrestling
The streamlining of What’s On Tonight means we’re scaling back our random, tossed-off thoughts on movies and sports—we’re still stanning for Edge Of Tomorrow! The Rockets are somehow the less joylessly dysfunctional team in tonight’s matchup against the East-leading Cavaliers! Hockey… exists!—but that leaves the question of what to do with our inexplicable weekly tradition of posting an old wrestling clip. Well, in figuring out how to work with our editors on balancing our natural digressiveness with the new, slimmed-down format, we turn to the ur-model for all effective employer-employee relations.
“Before we get down to what we hope is the right decision about the Tuesday What’s On Tonight…”
“Yeah, you better hope it’s the right decision, or we’ll whoop your ass!”
“Why do you keep posting wrestling clips, what’s the purpose of still doing that?”
“Because we do what we want when we want, and if we don’t want to answer your questions, we ain’t got to!”
Like we said: Things aren’t going to change that much.