Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, September 15. All times are Eastern.
The Bastard Executioner (FX, 10 p.m.): You know, somewhere around the 90th or so 100-minute episode of ultra-macho motorcycle gang realpolitik—all scored by a Katey Sagal song, naturally—you’d be forgiven for thinking creator Kurt Sutter had pushed his oeuvre as far as it could possibly go. But just to prove once and for all that we’re all idiots, Sutter is back with a show that is really, honest-to-goodness called The Bastard Executioner. Like, just read this description, because it’s everything: “Set in the early 14th century, a knight in King Edward I’s army is broken by the horrors of war and vows to lay down his weapon. But when violence finds him again, he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all: an executioner’s sword.” Also, Sutter himself will play a character called “The Dark Mute,” so, again, this is just peak Sutter in a way that Sons Of Anarchy could only dream of. To get a sense of the show, go read Joshua Alston’s review, which simply begins—and we honestly didn’t know this when we started writing all this—“Kurt Sutter may lack restraint.” Yeah, that sounds about right. Kyle Fowle will be back later tonight with the first of his weekly reviews.
Drunk History (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): The show spotlights the history of America’s most resolutely sober of cities—New Orleans—so we’re not at all sure how it’s going to take its typically inebriated look at this famously straitlaced metropolis. Kayla Kumara Upadhyaya promises a pirate is involved, for whatever that’s worth.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS, 11:35 p.m.): Thanks to the show kicking off after Labor Day, it’s only now that the show has aired the requisite five episodes for Erik Adams to post a first-week review. He’ll check in later today with his thoughts on the show, which we’re pretty sure Erik would be the first to say we can absolutely and definitively judge after a little less than a half-dozen episodes.
Let’s dust off this section, though the answer this time is simple: As long as Bastard Executioner fucking needs to. You going to tell The Bastard Executioner “no”? Didn’t think so. Also, TV Guide claims this is running until six minutes past midnight, so, yeah, Kurt Sutter is picking up exactly where he left off.
Noel Murray is back with his latest edition of A Very Special Episode, and this time he turns his attention to House’s best ever episode, the kind of episode that reminds us why we ever bothered with House in the first place. (Beyond Hugh Laurie, who is a delight to end all delights, but he’ll always be George and/or Bertie Wooster as far as we’re concerned.)
Maybe? At least we held back a little bit by not talking about the concepts of “ownage” or “not optional,” both of which we believe ZMF has trademarked.
What else is on, FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO KILL TIME UNTIL THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER COMES ON AND KILLS EVERYTHING ELSE
Labor Games (TLC, 8 p.m.): “A baby is born on camera after a woman goes into contractions while competing.” And just when you thought TLC couldn’t get any further from its “The Learning Channel” origins, you read that sentence. Oh, and the title of that episode is “Pregnant Women Want Pickles!”, because apparently this is the end of western civilization, right here. We had a good run!
Hack My Brain/Hack My Life (Science, 10 p.m./truTV, 10:30 p.m.): Hey, you think TV executives have convinced themselves that “hacking” is all the rage among the kids these days?
My Fab 40th (Bravo, 10 p.m.): “Two best friends plan their wives’ birthdays with a double-surprise party, yet these hapless hubbies might not be able to keep the secret.” Well, yeah. Surely the bit where massive TV production crews are following them around at every moment might give their wives some small clue.
Dirty Rotten Survival (National Geographic, 10 p.m.): At this point, is there a single survivalist in the country who isn’t the subject of some reality show? At least in this one said survivalist is joined by an inventor and a builder as they come up with ways to overcome various natural obstacles throughout the country, starting in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
Iron Man 3 (FX, 7 p.m.): We understand some people don’t like this movie because it makes a mockery of the Mandarin or whatever, we just can’t understand how anyone can have an issue with this film. Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. basically spent $200 million of Marvel’s money remaking Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and they threw an always welcome Guy Pearce for good measure! Also, Tony Stark is an asshole to an adorable moppet for almost no reason! Basically, this is the greatest movie ever made, and we feel our arguments have made that all quite clear, thank you.
Celtic Pride/The Sixth Man (Flix, 8 p.m./9:35 p.m.): If you’re looking for a mildly funny, somewhat tasteless basketball comedy featuring a Wayans brother … well, on this night and this night alone, you’re spoiled for options. Congratulations, we guess?
MLB Baseball: Astros at Rangers (ESPN, 8 p.m.): This all-Texas battle could decide the fate of the AL West, one of the last even semi-competitive races in what has generally been a shockingly orderly year for baseball. The Rangers got the opening victory in the four-game series, and they can pull ahead of their division rivals with the win tonight.
WWE Monday Night Raw: Because even The Bastard Executioner needs to watch something to get itself all amped up.