Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, May 21. All times are Eastern.
The Americans (FX, 10 p.m.): Happy end of the TV season, everybody! Though summer’s no longer the TV-less wasteland it was of old, there’s still less stuff we care about there than there is during the year. Fortunately, the year closes out with a bang, as lots of big stuff is on tonight. That includes this, the Americans season finale that had Todd VanDerWerff wildly applauding and Genevieve Koski also applauding though perhaps slightly less so. Prepare for it by reading Erik Adams’ thoughts on the season as a whole and also by sending yourself a coded message via a numbers station. (And be sure to come back after the episode airs for an extensive interview with showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields!)
The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): The Middle celebrates corporate synergy and its upcoming sixth season by sending the Heck family to Disney World. Will Harris just wants to know why Disneyland is all one word, but Disney World is two. It strikes him as fundamentally wrong.
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): It’s also time for this season of Survivor to end, and CBS is happy to ring out the TV season with a giant three-hour glut of Survivor-related programming. We feel like we’ve heard less buzz about this season than the last few. Are we missing out?
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): ABC split an episode clearly intended to air in a one-hour timeslot into a two-week episode, thus confusing poor Joshua Alston, who found last week’s episode a whole lot of setup without much payoff to speak of. Here’s hoping tonight’s big finale is better.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Band Of Brothers (1 p.m.): The whole back half of this miniseries is pretty tremendous, but if there’s a bit of a breather between emotionally draining episodes, it’s this one, “The Last Patrol.” Which is still pretty emotionally draining, so forget we said anything and just give Todd VanDerWerff a hug.
ELSEWHERE IN TV CLUB
In addition to Erik’s Americans review, we have a TV Review of Fox’s new Gang Related. See, the lack of hyphen in the title is a clue to what’s really going on here. Todd VanDerWerff watched four episodes of this show and found parts of it okay but mostly wished Cliff Curtis was its lead.
It’s TV Club 10 week, so Sonia Saraiya is ready to tell you the 10 episodes you should watch from The West Wing. She even worked in some episodes from season five for you, so you know she means business. Better go check that out.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Man-Eating Super Wolves (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.): Screw all of that other stuff. As far as we’re concerned, this is the only program worth paying attention to on television this evening.
Revolution (NBC, 8 p.m.): The show that lost our interest—and all of America’s—before getting really good just in time to get canceled breathes its last this evening, and we have Les Chappell on the case for one last review of the show.
Mixology (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): Meanwhile, we doubt anybody will miss this show much, if at all, but we’re still having Myles McNutt check out its series finale, just to let you know how all of the various plot strands turned out.
Catfish: The TV Show (MTV, 10 p.m.): Celebrate the addition of the use of the word “catfish” as a term to mean misleading a potential romantic partner to the dictionary by watching the series that made it a household word. Thanks, Manti Te’o!
Kindergarten Cop (Flix, 8 p.m.): Every time we do this, we try to pick one classic film (roughly defined as something made before What’s On Tonight was born) and one more modern film. But we’re picking Kindergarten Cop today. Deal with it.
Django Unchained (Showtime, 8:15 p.m.): Don’t tell anybody, but we thought this was a much better movie than Inglorious Basterds, a movie we really liked but one that didn’t hang with us nearly as much as this one did. Jackie Brown is still Quentin Tarantino’s best, though.
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game 2: Kings at Blackhawks (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): The Western Conference finals continue with our nation’s second-largest city facing its third-largest, with the chance to meet a team from the largest in the finals. Advertisers are salivating!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Fargo (Tuesday): Todd VanDerWerff and Zack Handlen were really liking this show, but the last two episodes have evolved from “really liking” to “seriously loving.” Check out last night’s episode to know why What’s On Tonight’s brother says: “You guys seen that show Fargo? I think it’s pretty great!”