Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Craig Ferguson says Join Or Die

Photo: Join Or Die With Craig Ferguson
Photo: Join Or Die With Craig Ferguson

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, February 18. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Join Or Die With Craig Ferguson (History Channel, 11 p.m.): Erstwhile Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson returns to late night television with a brand new History Channel chat show. Seemingly a far better fit for his brand of intellectual comedy than Celebrity Name Game, Join Or Die features a panel of celebrities, comedians, and experts discussing a particular historical topic. The show debuts with two new episodes tonight, the first of which focuses on history’s worst political blunders and the second of which highlights terrible medical advice throughout the ages. It’s refreshing to see that in-between Pawn Stars, Swamp People, and its alien-themed programming, the History Channel still has room for, well, history. We asked Ferguson aficionado and former history major Caroline Siede to don her professorial bowtie and weigh in on whether this series will stand the test of time.

Also noted

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.): Sure plenty of people don’t know Grey’s Anatomy is still on, but those who do seemed pretty jazzed about Gwen Ihnat’s review of last week’s devastating Meredith-centric episode. So Gwen is dropping in on the show again tonight. With Meredith recovering from her trauma, the episode finds time to check in on the rest of Grey’s ridiculously attractive doctors. For instance, Callie and Maggie perform an experimental surgery on Alex’s teen patient because if there are two things Grey’s Anatomy loves, they are crazy experimental surgeries and heartwrenching teen patients.

Mom (CBS, 9 p.m.): Noel Murray drops in on tonight’s very special episode of Mom. Christy and Bonnie are charged with throwing Marjorie a wedding, but it’s not all flowers and tulle: The episode is also set to touch on the devastating effects of drug addiction. And since Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy recorded a post-show PSA with Anna Faris and Allison Janney, we’re guessing this episode is going to take a turn for the somber—and potentially for the fatal.

Vikings (History Channel, 10 p.m.): Vikings is back, with a fourth season premiere delightfully titled “A Good Treason.” Ragnar struggles to maintain power among his people after his political machinations in Paris last season. In his review of the so-so third season finale, Dennis Perkins promised to have “realistic expectations” about the show this year. Of course, that hasn’t stopped him from buying full Viking regalia to wear as he reviews tonight’s episode.


Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Holmes and Watson search for a killer who used poisonous mushrooms to murder a botany professor and some students. But even more importantly, Bing Bong himself, Richard Kind, guest stars as Holmes and Watson’s fed-up neighbor. Personally, Genevieve Valentine would be more than happy to move in next door to New York’s kookiest detectives, so long as she can stop by to visit Clyde every so often.

Regular Coverage

You, Me And The Apocalypse (NBC, 8 p.m.)

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.)

DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow (The CW, 8 p.m.)

The 100 (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Baskets (FX, 10 p.m.):

Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m.)

Workaholics (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)

Idiotsitter (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.)

Elsewhere in TV Club

LaToya Ferguson hops onto her suped-up motorcycle to examine Fox’s briefly-lived action/cop drama Fastlane for a brand new One-Season Wonders, Weirdos, And Wannabes. With a $2.6 million-per-episode budget, the show aimed to make each episode feel like a movie, which ultimately proved to be its downfall. LaToya writes:

The fact that Fastlane was even able to make it to 22 episodes without fizzling out or completely flopping is an accomplishment all on its own. The rare discussion about Fastlane doesn’t tend to boil down to plot. But even without the high budget looming over everything, the sheer amount of “too much” in the premise of undercover cops operating in the high-class crime world always meant there was a shelf life for the show’s storytelling ability… Fastlane was a series for the Pepsi Blue generation, coming and going just as fast as the gaudy, berry-flavored soda. But had Fastlane debuted a few years later, it might have fit right into a fast and furious landscape.


What else is on?

Clarence (Cartoon Network, 5 p.m.): In the punnily titled “Attack The Block Party,” Clarence and the gang investigate a high school party to figure out if it’s secretly an alien invasion.


Fashion Police (E!, 8 p.m.): Kris Jenner joins hosts Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic, Brad Goreski, and Margaret Cho to discuss New York Fashion Week. Here’s hoping that between commenting on side boob and hemlines, Jenner finds some time to explain her son-in-law’s odd Twitter presence.

The Blacklist (NBC, 9 p.m.): The Blacklist gets hip this week when the founder of an Internet start-up is killed. The task force has to contact a dangerous underground news source to get information on whether or not a notorious killer is involved.


London Spy (BBC America, 10 p.m.): In the London Spy season finale, Danny finally uncovers the truth about Alex’s death. Little did Danny know he was actually dating… Mr. F!

Colony (USA, 10 p.m.): Will, Katie, and Snyder wind up trapped in the Yonk when resistance operatives try to test their allegiance. At least they’ll have plenty of booze to get them through the night.


Shades Of Blue (NBC, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode of Shades Of Blue is called “Undiscovered Country.” We have to assume that means Jennifer Lopez’s Detective Santos will be negotiating with the Klingon Empire to pursue peace with the Federation following the destruction of Praxis. Hopefully she’s a fan of gagh.

Pride (Showtime, 7 p.m.): This ridiculously endearing British dramedy centers on the real-life partnership between LGBT activists and small town miners during the 1984 British miners strike. And if that adorable culture clash isn’t enough to sell you on Pride, it also features Detective McNulty (a.k.a. Dominic West) performing a disco dance solo.


An American In Paris (TCM, 8 p.m.): A 1951 Gene Kelly classic about love, ballet, and dudes expressing their friendship through song.

NBA Basketball: Bulls at Cavaliers (TNT, 8 p.m.): Since The A.V. Club offices are located in Chicago, we are contractually obligated to inform you that the Bulls are playing tonight. All hail the Bulls.


In case you missed it

Broad City: While Abbi and Ilana are the original women of Broad City, we’re declaring Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya an unofficial Broad City broad as well. So be sure to check out her review of the show’s third season premiere.