Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, August 4. All times are Eastern.
Playing House (USA, 10 p.m.): Comedy duo Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair return for this sitcom’s second season, as the pair play best friends forever—not for the first time either—raising a newborn baby together in their hometown. That’s cool and all, but the really fascinating thing here is that Keegan-Michael Key and Silicon Valley’s Zach Woods are the third and fourth leads. Was this a thing people were aware of, that both those dudes just had this other show they were randomly co-starring on? We realize they’re not the absolute biggest stars, and it’s obviously possible to be doing multiple shows, but still! Either way, it’s a hell of a trivia question. Anyway, Molly Eichel is on hand to help us sort this all out.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp (Netflix, 1 p.m.): We’ve reached the point in the Wet Hot American Summer-verse’s existence (that’s the actual technical term) in which, like, there’s a plot and stuff. Not an unpleasant experience, to be sure, but it does mean we’re officially living in a world in which “spoilers for Wet Hot American Summer” are a thing now. Joshua Alston’s still not sure how he feels about that.
Another Period (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): In tonight’s entry, Lillian makes her bid for fame and fortune by faking her own kidnapping. You know, Another Period turned into a really garbled Charles Lindbergh biopic so slowly that LaToya Ferguson barely noticed. (Eh, she still noticed. LaToya is pretty sharp that way.)
Scream: The TV Series (MTV, 10 p.m.): Oh, what the fuck ever.
Will Harris has his latest Random Roles with Jennifer Beals, who lays down a whole lot of truth about how her experiences on The L Word opened her eyes to a much broader vista of social issues, and what the show meant for its devoted fans:
For me, when I started playing the character, when I saw the script for the pilot, I thought, “This would be amazing to have some girl somewhere in the middle of nowhere, who has no access to hertribe, really, see herself represented as a multiplicity in a mainstream media.” I thought that would be incredible. To touch just one person with this story, I would’ve been happy. But for the show to have had—and to still have—the kind of following that it does is incredibly gratifying. There are no fans that are more loyal than The L Word fans. They’re so engaged and present.
Meanwhile, Dennis Perkins reviews Craig Robinson’s new starring vehicle, Mr. Robinson. He, uh, is not a fan.
Zoo (CBS, 9 p.m.): “Abraham comes to the rescue of Mitch and Chloe after they are kidnapped by a local drug lord while searching for a solution to the bat problem in Rio de Janiero.” You know, we get that this is a show about enraged, murderous animals, but we’re really struggling to imagine the scenario in which any bat problem could conceivably be worse than, you know, the drug lord problem.
JFK & LBJ: A Time For Greatness (PBS, 9 p.m.): Here’s the latest documentary detailing how Lyndon B. Johnson made into a reality the ideas that John F. Kennedy had only started to implement before his assassination. Yeah, this one does not feel like a hard sell to the PBS audience.
Hey Rookie (ESPN, 9 p.m.): For those who like a more scattershot, less profane version of Hard Knocks—surely such a person exists!—then ESPN has this look at the lives of top rookies like San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White.
How To Be A Grown Up (truTV, 10 p.m.): We really hope recordings of this show are the only things that survive our civilization’s inevitable collapse, so that future archaeologists and historians assume this was the ur-text from which all budding adults learned what they needed to know, rather than some random time-waster on some channel most of us can’t even find. Either way, tonight’s essential topics include: “staying in love; dealing with rude people; child-proofing the house; having a family dinner.”
Birdman (HBO2, 8 p.m.): So, uh, where’d we end up with this movie? Because we honestly quite liked it when it was just a random, scrappy indie movie we saw in an empty theater in New York, long before it became the latest manifestation of Hollywood’s endless capacity for onanistic self-celebration. All of which is to say: Yeah, probably more than a little overrated, but still a worthwhile film in here if you care to go looking beneath the hype.
Edge Of Tomorrow (HBOSG, 9 p.m.): We will keep mentioning this fantastic movie in the What’s On Tonight listings until we have personally thanked every signle person who went to see it in theaters. So, tonight we’re thanking a, uh, Mr. Gavin Harcourt of Tacoma. Thank you, Mr. Harcourt. All right, only like six more of those and we’ll be all set. (But seriously, this is a dang good movie. Tom Cruise dies constantly, and it’s hilarious, then it’s awesome.)
Big League Baseball World Series (ESPN 2, 7 p.m.): For those who enjoy watching a bunch of youth baseball players who can be old enough to shave without triggering a major investigation, have we got the sports event for you!