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

HBO takes on “unfilmable” novel Olive Kitteridge, proves it’s quite filmable

Illustration for article titled HBO takes on “unfilmable” novel iOlive Kitteridge/i, proves it’s quite filmable

Top pick

Olive Kitteridge (HBO, 9 p.m.): As explained at the top of Libby Hill’s glowing review of HBO’s latest miniseries, Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge is the type of novel that people like to call “unfilmable.” The focus shifts with each new chapter; the timeline bends and jumps and generally proceeds outside of traditional order. But by distilling Olive Kitteridge into a narrative that fits a standalone miniseries (and focuses largely on the title character), The Kids Are All Right finds a way to bring the words of Strout and the people of Crosby, Maine to the small screen. It’s enough to make you think that maybe, just maybe, that HBO version of the similarly structured, similarly Pulitzer-honored A Visit From The Goon Squad could’ve worked out after all.

Also noted

Skyscraper Walk Live With Nik Wallenda (Discovery, 7 p.m.): Here’s a TV event The A.V. Club could watch live, if winter hadn’t so rudely barged in on our Halloween weekend: A seventh-generation acrobat walks a high-wire strung across the Chicago River, starting out from the Windy City landmark immortalized on the cover of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. (While he’s on the wire, do you think Wallenda will be praying to “Jesus, Etc.”?)


Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 7:30 p.m.): Following an excruciating month-long hiatus, Bob’s Burgers cements its status as the new Simpsons by putting up a Halloween episode after Halloween. Congratulations, Bob’s! (And thank goodness you’re back!)

CKY: The Greatest Hits (MTV, 10 p.m.): A.k.a. Bam-man Begins: The early pranks and stunts of Jackass star Bam Margera and friends are explored in this special, which collects viral footage from a time when “viral” was still mostly used in reference to infections.

Regular coverage

The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.)
Homeland (Showtime, 9 p.m.)
The Good Wife (CBS, 9:30)
The Affair (Showtime, 10 p.m.)


TV Club Classic

The Simpsons (Classic): It’s the gin in your martini, the clams in your linguine—yes “Bart After Dark” keeps the “spring” in “Springfield.” Now, if only Erik Adams could figure out who put the “bomp” in the “bomp bah bomp bah bomp,” we’d be all set.


What else is on

2014 BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britania Awards (BBC America, 9 p.m.): The award ceremony that reads like the outside of a NASCAR. What’s modifying what in this name? (Is it sponsored by the Jaguar dealers of greater Los Angeles?) What’s being awarded here? And is Return Of The Curse Of The Creature’s Ghost eligible for one?


Outrageous Giant Foods (Food Network, 9 p.m.): If you’re looking for a television show that’s going to showcase a 4,500-pound wheel of cheese, then you’ve come to the right place.

House Of DVF (E!, 10 p.m.): You know what—every notable premiere has a weird, nigh-incomprehensible name tonight. This, a docudrama focused on wrap maven Diane von Fürstenberg, has a title that sounds ripped from the personal ads. RS ISO LTR—NBS (“Reality show in search of long-term relationship—no butt stuff.”)


Misery (Encore, 8 p.m.): Ready to travel through the last three months of the year i three primetime movie picks? Here we go, starting in October…

Election (Flix, 8 p.m.): Hitting November…

Angels Sing (Hallmark Channel, 8 p.m.): And landing in December, with an original Christmas movie from the network that stakes its entire business model on Christmas movies these days.


Sunday Night Football: Ravens at Steelers (NBC, 8:20 p.m.): Rivetting Sunday Night action, as two East Coast teams battle for the coveted spot of second place in the AFC North.

Tomorrow in TV Club

During the Kansas City Royal’s thrilling run at the World Series title, Noel Murray noticed something: The Royals were the most compelling new characters of the TV season. As such, he’s written a For Our Consideration essay all about these and other jock-turned-characters. Another character introduced to TV viewers this year is The Affair’s Helen Solloway, played by acting veteran Maurey Tierney. Tierney went down the Random Roles road with Will Harris, discussing a rich history of roles on Newsradio, ER, and other series—none of which were a member of any Kansas City Royals roster.


In case you missed it

Saturday Night Live: It was Chris Rock’s big return to Studio 8H, but the headline-grabbing development was Prince parking his little red Corvette on stage for 8 solid minutes of musical performance. We have the report on the episode from Dennis Perkins, whose hair suddenly turned purple amid all of the funk flowing forth from his TV last night.


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