Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, October 7. All times are Eastern.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): The CW’s second superhero show (of what promises to be so, so many) got super fun super quick in its first season, and all we’ve heard about lies ahead suggests the show is going to keep the hardcore, shamelessly nerdy superheroics flowing this year. But first, any show with this much Arrow in its DNA demands the protagonist go through a crisis of conscience and vow to do it all by himself, so we open this season with Barry trying to keep Central City safe without help, despite the fact that, like, half of Central City already knows who he is. Come on Barry, might as well just go ahead and start crowdsourcing! Scott Von Doviak feels we have a lot to learn about the ways of the Scarlet Speedster, which, probably, yeah.
iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.): Oh hey, iZombie is back too! It’s still got a dizzyingly complex premise and a title that is practically begging for a cease and desist from Apple! Despite all those things, it’s probably still just as good a show as everyone told us it was last year. We will, as ever, continue to operate in total ignorance, occasionally giving the show good-natured guff while inviting you to check out Carrie Raisler’s reviews. Because we’re professionals, dammit.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.): “The team get help from an Asgardian to solve the secrets of the monolith that swallowed Simmons.” Hey, hey, do you think the Asgardian is going to be Thor? (It’s not going to be Thor.) Guys, it could totally be Thor! (It’s not going to be Thor.) Tune in tonight to see our dreamiest Hemsworth show up on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Thor. (For the last time, it’s not going to be Thor. Also, #TeamLiam.) Oliver Sava is just backing away slowly from our apparent psychotic break so that he can worry about reviewing this (non-)Thor-starring episode.
The Muppets (ABC, 8 p.m.): Oh, hey, we didn’t even realize this when we wrote that last blurb—and incidentally, never has our otherwise pretentious use of the royal “we” felt more grimly necessary than with that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. preview—but there totally is a Hemsworth on ABC tonight. Apparently Liam is going to help Gonzo out with his troubles with online dating. Which … as ever, we guess having Gonzo have difficulties navigating OKCupid is a valid thing to do with the Muppets, but we kind of doubt we’re going to be bringing this up when we argue to future generations that 2015 wasn’t completely irredeemable. Dan Caffrey is here to keep a more open mind.
The Bastard Executioner (FX, 10 p.m.): The Bastard Executioner is going until 11:30 tonight, so it’s overrunning by a half-hour. But hey, when there’s important shit to deal with like “the King’s right hand visits on official business,” we can see why FX gave the extra time. (And yes, for the record, even we feel like this is pointless and petty. Half the reason we’re going to keep doing it, honestly.)
Building Alaska (DIY, 9 p.m.): “In the fourth season premiere, the guys take big risks to build a remote hunting cabin, a bear lodge and an island retreat.” Well, duh there are big risks: They’re building a lodge for bears. Those grizzlies are notoriously hard to please! (Don’t correct us on what “bear lodge” actually means. The world we’ve built for ourselves is so much more fun than what reality could ever be.)
Pretty. Strong. (Oxygen, 10 p.m.): This new reality show explores the lives of the women who play in the Legends Football League. Honestly, we had to look up whether that was the lingerie one. Yes, it turns out it is. And no, that’s not a good thing, though our dismissiveness has absolutely nothing to do with the skills of the players involved and everything to do with the shitty ways in which they’re treated.
Storage Wars: Miami (A&E, 10 p.m.): Please, please let this new show follow in the footsteps of other Miami-set shows and have David Caruso show up to say the most ridiculous pre-credits one-liners. Thank you.
The People’s Couch (Bravo, 10 p.m.): “The Season 3 opener of this unscripted series that captures viewers’ reactions as they watch TV shows.” So this has got to be the single cheapest show on television, right?
The Truman Show (HBO Signature, 7:15 p.m.): This oddball delight is the movie that made people take Jim Carrey seriously as a dramatic actor, at least for a little while there. It’s also another movie in which Ed Harris brings a level of nuance and empathy to the theoretical villain that lesser actors wouldn’t bother with—The Rock is probably the ur-example of this. Ed Harris should play every villain from now on, is what we’re saying, and we’re not against going back and reediting him into as many already released movies as our national budget would allow. (We mean, just imagine a Jaws in which Ed Harris is the shark. You’d disagree with his methods, but you would understand his motivations in ways you never expected to!)
The Departed (HBO2, 8:30 p.m.): We feel like not enough attention has been paid to the fact that Alec Baldwin—who, to be fair, is like the sixth or seventh most memorable part of this movie—was basically playing a proto-Jack Donaghy in this. “Some people never trust a guy with an immaculate record. I do. I have an immaculate record.” This feels like a man who makes sure to wear a tux after 6 p.m. (Also, yeah, we realize narcissistic confidence has always been Baldwin’s trademark, so it’s not, like, unique to this movie. This just happened to be one of the last major things Baldwin did before 30 Rock, give or take his stint as a Thomas The Tank Engine narrator.)
MLB Playoff: Astros at Yankees (8 p.m.): For eight of our 10 playoff entrants—the Pirates, Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, Royals, Blue Jays, Rangers, and Astros—we’re looking at not a single team that has won a World Series in the last 20 years, and the average championship drought is 44 years. Hell, even when you remove Chicago’s 106-year drought, it’s still over 35 seasons on average. All of which is to say three things, as the Astros and Yankees kick off the playoffs with the first of two Wild Card elimination games. One, there’s a really good chance this year that some long-suffering fanbase is going to see its misery come to an end. Two, if the Yankees must win a 28th title, then let them at least do it with unsuspended, nearly banished star Alex Rodriguez hitting a million home runs, allowing us to yell “The legend of Clutch-Rod!” as we semi-facetiously did back in 2009. And three, if the fucking St. Louis fucking Cardinals fucking win another World fucking Series, we fucking don’t know what the fuck we’re going to do. We mean … fuck. (And go Cubs. Failing that, go Rangers, because Adrian Beltre is the best. But really, any non-Cardinals champion is fine.)
WWE Monday Night Raw: Look, we don’t think anything is going to top the gonzo poetry of that one clip we showed last week of Steve Austin helping Mick Foley defeat the Rock for his first heavyweight title, all while Vince McMahon wailed with impotent fury. But, can we go back to the Foley well and look at that time he switched between personae mid-promo before revealing just which alter ego he was going to wrestle as, utterly terrifying a previously unconcerned Triple H, as he then proceeded to wallop him with a trash can in a fight that ended up spilling over into the backstage area?
We … we just love everything about this, mostly because it operates on the same principle as some of our favorite jokes: Something is funny for a little bit, then it goes on too long and stops being funny, and then it goes on so ridiculously long that it becomes funny again. Or, in this case, awesome. All hail Cactus Jack, is what we’re saying. (Fine, and Triple H too, that blue-blooded snot. Dude can take a trashcan with the best of them, we’ll give him that.)