Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, September 30. All times are Eastern.
Selfie (ABC, 8 p.m.): In what could easily be the most aggressively 2014 show of this fall TV season—or, depending how instantly dated all the social media references are, the most aggressively 2013 show, which is something completely different—Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan and Star Trek’s John Cho team up to retell the My Fair Lady story through the prism of hashtags and Instagram. I’m just trying to work out how long it would take to explain all the components of that sentence to someone from, say, 2004. Sonia Saraiya, on the other hand, is here to talk through the show with those of us reading in the here and now, while Brandon Nowalk looks ever so slightly into the future with his pre-air review.
Manhattan Love Story (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): We won’t be covering ABC’s other Tuesday sitcom debut, which follows a new couple as they attempt to navigate the difficulties of a… well, you can probably guess from the title. The big innovation here is the use of extensive inner monologues to help reveal what the pair are really thinking while they’re canoodling (and presumably during their non-canoodling time as well). Check out Erik Adams’ pre-air review to find out why this device does the show more harm than good.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode finds Finch swearing he’s done dealing with new numbers, which obviously isn’t going to happen because there wouldn’t really be a show then, would there? (Silly Finch.) But the show is going to have some fun bringing him back into the numbers fold, as “Reese reveals that the latest person of interest is a brilliant college student involved in a dangerous scavenger hunt.” Alexa Planje yearns for a time when brilliant college students were content to involve them in safe, wholesome pursuits, like drunken scavenger hunts.
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): As part of my continuing effort to let you know precisely how long each Sons Of Anarchy episode is overrunning, I’m informing you now that this one is running an hour and 16 minutes. Zack Handlen wonders why that isn’t just an even hour and a quarter, but he’s guessing some seriously crazy shit is going to go down in that final 60 seconds.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.)
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
The Shield (11 a.m.): The craziness of premiere week means that Erik Adams will be waiting a week to resume his 30 Rock reviews, but there’s still plenty of action to be found in Tuesday’s other TV Club Classic offering. Of all the things going on in this week’s pair of episodes, I’m most drawn to this part of the plot synopsis: “Mara is furious when she discovers Shane’s affair, so he confesses to murdering Lem.” I don’t know, that feels like one of those rhetorical tactics that’s going to do more harm than good. Brandon Nowalk assures me it’s all in the calm, even tone with which one confess to a colleague’s murder in order to take the heat off one’s affair … not that he knows from experience or anything.
Molly Eichel has some cautious praise for NBC’s upcoming Thursday night sitcom A To Z, which she says could be a winning romantic comedy if it doesn’t completely drown in its own quirk. (Based on the image for the review, there’s a very serious chance of this show drowning in its own quirk.) And the unstoppable Will Harris uncorks another Random Roles, this time with TV veteran Kurt Fuller. And yes, That’s My Bush! is discussed!
Motives & Murders: Cracking The Case (ID, 8 p.m.): “A skull is discovered on a Florida highway.” I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like that would be that uncommon an occurrence on a Florida highway. But I guess this is the rare highway skull that leads to a major criminal investigation, as opposed to just being evidence of a particularly raucous weekend.
Makers (PBS, 9 p.m.): This documentary series about influential women returns for a second, six-part season. Tonight’s premiere looks at women in comedy, spotlighting luminaries like Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Sarah Silverman, and Lily Tomlin.
NFL’s Greatest Games: 2011: Saints At Seahawks (ESPN2, 9 p.m.): Granted, that’s a seriously ungainly title, but this condensed, 90-minute rebroadcast of the 2011 playoff game between New Orleans and Seattle is pretty much the most time-efficient way to see the glory that is the Beastquake in its original context. Plus, I’m going to go ahead and guess that coaches Pete Carroll and Sean Payton pull some amusing faces on the sidelines.
Live Free Or Die (National Geographic, 10 p.m.): This feels like the 15th new reality series this year to take a handful of people away from civilization and force them to fend for themselves in the wild. But hey! It’s probably still better than Utopia, if only because it appears this show is about people who chose to live off the grid before the cameras started rolling.
Knife Fight (Esquire TV, 10 p.m.): “New Orleans chef Justin Devillier and Los Angeles chef Michael Bryant compete using 1000-year-old eggs.” So, if my super-fast research is to be believed, a “thousand-year egg” doesn’t mean what you’d really think it ought to mean. There goes my dream of eating an egg laid by a chicken belonging to Edward the Confessor, I guess.
The World’s End (HBO2, 6:35 p.m.): Whatever else you want to say about this movie—or any Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost collaboration—it sure doesn’t lack for ambition. Also, this movie is pretty damn excellent. That’s another thing you should want to say about it.
Road House (CMT, 8 p.m.): Sure, it might still be September, but it’s never too early to remember to have a Patrick Swayze Christmas.
MLB Playoff: Athletics at Royals (TBS, 8 p.m.): Kansas City makes its first playoff appearance since winning the World Series in 1985—a period long enough to fit in, as Marc Normandin pointed out, the entirety of Greg Maddux’s 22-season career, the first five years of his retirement, and his Hall of Fame induction—by hosting the Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics, who came this close to losing their slot to the surging Seattle Mariners. Anyway, in the intentional chaos that is a one-game playoff, both teams are throwing their ace pitches imported from the A.L. East, as former Tampa Bay Ray James Shields makes the start for the Royals against former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester.
Gotham: The Batman prequel series doesn’t exactly shine in its second episode; as Oliver Sava explains, it’s possible to be campy and it’s possible to be gritty, but it’s damn hard to pull off both at the same time. Still, I’m rooting for this show, as it only has to run for another 45 or so years until we get a live-action Batman Beyond. And Batman Beyond is the shit.