Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Archer meets “Space Pirates,” while Gina Torres meets Chicago politics

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, July 17. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Archer (FXX, 10 p.m.): There are titles, and then there are titles. One example of the latter: “Space Pirates.”

Granted, pretty much every action- or horror-adjacent space story has some sort of character who could be called a “space pirate” involved. It’s like Dungeons & Dragons and the term “murder tourist”—it’s just accurate. Still, that doesn’t diminish our enthusiasm for tonight’s Archer: 1999, written by Kelly Galuska of Big Mouth and BoJack Horseman. Bring on the space pirates, and the space static, and all the other space things, along with William Hughes’ recap.

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Regular coverage

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu, 3:01 a.m.)
Jane The Virgin (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Wild card

Pearson (USA, 10 p.m., series premiere): This Suits spinoff sees legal hotshot Jessica “Pearson” Pearson leave behind New York City (and her recent disbarment) for the hard winters, elevated trains, and sport peppers of Chicago. Specifically, she enters the world of Chicago politics, working as a fixer for Mayor Bobby Novak (Morgan Spector), who should under no circumstances be confused with Pawnee, Indiana political luminary Bobby Newport.

That’s all very well and good, but the real story here is Pearson’s star: Gina Freakin’ Torres.

If you read this website, there’s a decent chance that you, too, have long been yelling into the void, “Someone hurry up and give Gina Torres her own show!” Well, here you go. Pearson. It premieres tonight, and it stars Gina Torres.

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.