Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Black-ish tackles Black Lives Matter

Laurence Fishburne, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marcus Scribner, Jenifer Lewis, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Anthony Anderson (ABC/Patrick Wymore)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, February 24. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): From its beginning, this family sitcom has examined race in America through the thoughtful but frequently goofy eyes of the Johnson family. Tonight, Dre and Bow are forced to deal with how the outcome of a racially-charged police brutality trial on television impacts their kids—and themselves. In creator Kenya Barris’ comedic balancing act, this is essentially what Black-ish has been leading up to all along, so no pressure for him, or for guest reviewer Pilot Viruet, as they attempt to sort through how the show—and the multi-generational Johnson family—navigates the issue.


Also noted

Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): Vixen is here! DC Comics geeks know that Vixen—aka Mari McCabe, fashion model with animal powers— is super cool in the comics. Will Arrow screw her up? Well, Megalyn Echikunwoke certainly looks the part in the promos, so here’s hoping we don’t have a Manimal situation on our hands.

She’s no Manimal (The CW)

The Middle/The Goldbergs (ABC, 8/8:30 p.m.): On The Middle, Brick attends a bar mitzvah, leading Mike to wonder if there’s a time-jumping crossover with The Goldbergs. Meanwhile, on The Goldbergs, Barry finds inspiration in the Olympic efforts of British ski-jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, leading reviewer Will Harris to wonder if corporate synergy has no shame whatsoever.


Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD, 9 p.m.): “A failed Imperial ambush strands Zeb and Agent Kallus on an isolated ice planet where they must work together to survive.” Kevin Johnson called last week’s episode the best the show’s ever done, so step your game up, Zeb and Agent Kallus.

Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): Sometimes, you just have to shut off all of L.A.’s power in order to get the extended Pritchard family doing their respective shticks all under one roof (Jay and Gloria’s roof, in this case). Kyle Fowle is lighting all his candles in preparation for this blackout episode—although that’s for unrelated reasons he doesn’t want to talk about.


It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX, 10 p.m.): This one’s called “Charlie Catches A Leprechaun.” Dennis Perkins thinks that if that title does not make you bubble up with giddy delight, then you do not know one Charlie Kelly. (He’s already captured several ghouls, according to some accounts.)

Broad City (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): After last week’s triumphant, toilet-filled return, Abbi and Ilana pull a switch-’em-up as Abbi pretends to be Ilana to cover her shift at the food co-op, while Ilana goes to an important doctor’s appointment on Long Island. Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya loves Abbi and Ilana unreservedly, but even she’s not confident that they’re going to be able to pull off a complicated identity-swap caper. Because of all the weed. Not good for complex capers.


Regular coverage

Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.)

Younger (TV Land, 10 p.m.)

American Crime (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Elsewhere in TV club

In this week’s Inventory, AV Clubbers make their picks for the most memorable examples of “hyper-masculine gay gangsters” in pop culture history. And, yes, we all know who the header picture is going to be. [Whistles “The Farmer In The Dell.”]


Then, in his Random Roles, Will Harris asks Dave Coulier to look back through his IMDb page, which is not just Full House/Fuller House, wise guys.

What Else Is On

This Is Not Happening (Comedy Central, 12:30 a.m.): In the second-season premiere, host Ari Shaffir continues to invite some of his standup comic pals to tell a true, invariably awful story from their lives for our entertainment.


American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): “The judges reveal the first eight semifinalists to advance into the Top 10 in a ‘Wildcard Night’ edition.” Which sounds like some sort of Purge Night situation, but they probably know what they’re doing.

Young & Hungry (Freeform, 8 p.m.): “Gabi’s father makes a surprise visit and ruins her plans for romance. Meanwhile, Sofia calls for a boycott after she feels discriminated against.” Wait, but what about Gabi’s romantic entanglements, Sofia? Take your human rights complaints around the corner—Gabi’s dad’s in town! Didn’t you hear?


Lucha Underground (El Rey, 8 p.m.): High-flyin’ rasslin’ from El Rey, which is owned by Univision, which now owns part of The Onion. We would list Lucha Underground here at any rate, since it’s on TV and lots of fun, but why not get ahead of those conspiracy theories.

The Mysteries Of Laura (NBC, 8 p.m.): Laura’s sister is accused of murder, so Laura, being a cop, recuses herself responsibly from the case, as ethical standards would dictate. Oh, wait, no she doesn’t—she tries to stay ahead of the detective working the case in order to prove her sister’s innocence. It’s TV, after all.


Unsung (TV One, 8 p.m.): It’s Donell Jones’ turn in the spotlight in this music biography series.

Ghostbusters (IFC, 8 p.m.): Why not, right? (Plus, was anyone else surprised they didn’t do a Ghostbusters sketch on last week’s Melissa McCarthy-hosted SNL? They had 3/4 of the new ’Busters right there already. C’mon, Wiig.)


Nature (PBS, 8 p.m.): An emperor penguin chick is followed from the egg all the way through to the wonderful happy ending full of fish, and love, and definitely not being eaten by a sea lion in bloody, horrifying detail. Just give us this one, Nature.

Mob Wives (VH1, 8 p.m.): We’re down one Mob Wife, people.

Baby Daddy (Freeform, 8:30 p.m.): In this fifth-season episode, Ben’s attempt to help out Tucker by filming how terribly Tucker’s boss treats him backfires when the video goes viral. Just to repeat—fifth season episode.


Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m.): Sam and Dean decide to take some time off to go see some pro wrestling, but then a wrestler turns up dead (perhaps supernaturally so). And, since it’s a ’rassling episode, what big time wrestler did they get for a guest star? Oh, it’s The Miz.

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, 9 p.m.): The 11 remaining chefs all cater the same wedding. Which would have made for a really good Party Down episode, come to think of it.


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 9 p.m.): When a famous actor is accused of rape, the charges are dropped from lack of evidence, leaving Rollins to growl, “Not on my watch.” That’s just a guess. And there’s never a bad time to post this:

Face Off (Syfy, 9 p.m.): It’s the return of The Gauntlet! Which means that the top monster-makeup makers get a night on the town while the loser goes home, sadly attempting to hail a cab while wearing his rejected monster head, no doubt.


Criminal Minds (CBS, 9 p.m.): Wait, is Paget Brewster back on this show yet? No? She’s only guest-starring later in the season? [Sideshow Bob steps on rake noise.] Well, this week’s Paget-less episode sees the CM team looking for a murderer who kills a bunch of ladies. Good luck without Paget Brewster, guys.

NOVA (PBS, 9 p.m.): “Rise Of The Robots” examines new advances in robotics, including humanoid robots. It’s PBS, so the whole “can you have sex with them” question will likely remain unanswered, pervs.


Titanoboa: Monster Snake (Smithsonian, 9 p.m.): Somehow, this is not a Syfy original monster movie starring a D-list celebrity but a documentary about the discovery of a huge snake fossil. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Newlyweds: The First Year (Bravo, 10 p.m.): Nothing ensures a successful transition into married life like reality show cameras!


Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall (Showtime, 10 p.m.): An A-minus from Noel Murray’s nothing to sneeze at, people.

The Human Face of Big Data (PBS, 10 p.m.): Yes, how corporations and the government are mining our information is a serious issue, but that’s not going to stop us all from hoping this is a special about Brent Spiner’s Star Trek: The Next Generation android finally becoming a real boy. We just know ourselves.


Catfish: The TV Show (MTV, 10 p.m.): In the fifth-season premiere, the hosts continue to float the idea that people on the internet may not always be scrupulously on the up-and-up. This week—a love triangle may or may not be all it seems. (It’s not.)

Code Black (CBS, 10 p.m.): In the first-season finale, one doctor confronts another about his drug addiction, and another scrambles to find money to avert a nurse’s strike. Oh, and three others are in a love triangle, which is just as important, surely.


Chicago P.D. (NBC, 10 p.m.): This episode about the execution-style murder of a young boy is called “The Cases That Need To Be Solved,” which—no offense, Chicago P.D.—is what every episode should be called, right?

Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan (Travel Channel, 10 p.m.): Dom heads to Kenya to track down the giant spitting cobra. Which is something people in Kenya daily try to specifically not track down. Like, not at all.


Man Seeking Woman (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): “Josh tries to convince Rosa he’s over her.” Knowing Josh, that means there may be robots, or monsters, or anthropomorphic body parts involved.

Teachers (TV Land, 10:30 p.m.): “Ms. Snap gets in trouble for a tweet,” which sort of sounds like a modern-day cautionary children’s book, but we are assured this show is still about adult teachers.


Suits (USA, 10 p.m.): “Louis considers Anita Gibbs’ offer to turn on his compatriots.” Wait, is Anita Gibbs the character played by Gina Torres? No? Well, then don’t do it, Louis. On the other hand, everyone should do anything Gina Torres says, either fictionally or in real life. Just good advice from the What’s On Tonight desk.

It’s just good sense

MTV: Suspect (MTV, 11 p.m.): Following up on the success of Catfish, MTV hires investigators to check out loved ones who may or may not be screwing with the people in their lives. (They are.) In this series premiere, someone thinks a friend is concocting an illness, while another thinks a loved one has a drinking problem.

Sports, sports, all type of sports

NBA Basketball: Wizards At Bulls (ESPN, 8 p.m.)

Men’s College Basketball: Mississippi State at Texas A&M (ESPN2, 7 p.m.)

Men’s College Basketball: Arizona At Colorado (ESPN2, 9 p.m.)

NBA Basketball: Spurs At Kings (ESPN, 10 p.m.)

CONCACAF Champions League Soccer: Los Angeles vs. Santos (FS1, 10 p.m.)

NHL Hockey: Sharks At Avalanche (NBCSP, 10 p.m.)

In case you missed it

New Girl: Reviewer Erik Adams is mad that this very good, very Jess-less season isn’t getting the buzz it deserves, so read this and make the guy happy, won’t you?


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