Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, December 1. All times are Eastern.
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): DMX, the world’s most intense rapper, is apparently ready to get back into the acting game after six years away by playing himself on tonight’s Fresh Off The Boat. DMX’s guest turn here follows up such powerful performances as Tagg in The Bleeding, Black Jack in Last Hour, the protagonist Nick in Lockjaw: Rise Of The Krulev Serpent, The Dog in Death Toll, and King David in Never Die Alone, which we can only assume is some sort of Biblical epic. DMX’s IMDB page is basically the greatest thing ever, is what we’re driving at here. Shelby Fero would say this is the start of DMX’s Ice Cube-style transformation into a kid-friendly entertainer, but that would be ignoring DMX’s era-defining collaboration with Thomas the Tank Engine.
The Muppets (ABC, 8 p.m.): Let’s see what’s coming up in tonight’s episode: “Joseph Gordon-Levitt performs a duet with Miss Piggy on ‘Up Late’ and then plays poker with Scooter, Pepe and the gang. Meanwhile, the Great Gonzo prepares for his next death-defying stunt; and Dave Grohl challenges Animal to a drumming contest.” Hmm. That’s fine, we guess. Certainly nothing wrong with any of that. It’s just … ABC has already got DMX guest-starring on one of its shows, so it feels like a bit of a waste to spend time elsewhere with any non-DMX celebrities, you know?
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.): Well, maybe this one will sound more enticing, even sans DMX: “Ward’s revenge plan wreaks havoc and Coulson proves he will do anything to settle a score.” No, sorry, this simply will not do. With apologies to the wishes of reviewers Dan Caffrey and Oliver Sava, we’re taking matters into our own hands here. To wit…
The Muppets (ABC, 8 p.m.): “
Joseph Gordon-Levitt DMX performs a duet with Miss Piggy on ‘Up Late’ and then plays poker with Scooter, Pepe and the gang. Meanwhile, the Great Gonzo DMX prepares for his next death-defying stunt; and Dave Grohl DMX challenges Animal to a drumming contest.” Yes.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.): “
Ward’s DMX’s revenge plan wreaks havoc and Coulson DMX proves he will do anything to settle a score.” Much better.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): After a whole bunch of episodes that were vaguely setting up the upcoming Legends Of Tomorrow, here comes the annual Flash/Arrow crossover to officially kick off the next spin-off. Vandal Savage and various Hawkpeople are prominently involved. Scott Von Doviak is ready to get things started, just as long as The Flash doesn’t immediately segue from laying the groundwork for one spin-off into hinting at a Supergirl crossover or something.
Manhattan (WGN, 9 p.m.): Apologies to Brandon Nowalk and all the Manhattan fans out there, as we’ve temporarily left this out of a couple What’s On Tonight listings, for awful, prosaic reasons like “WGN is at the bottom of an alphabetical listing of networks, and scrolling all the way down there is hard!” You’re in the hands of trustworthy professionals, is what we’re getting at. Though you probably understood that after all the DMX-related content up top. Speaking of which: “As the project falters, Charlie turns to an unlikely partner for help.” An unlikely partner, you say? Surely that couldn’t be … no, that’s silly. For one thing, there’s really nothing unlikely about DMX being in possession of an atomic bomb.
Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce (Bravo, 10 p.m.): This Lisa Edelstein-starring show, Bravo’s first foray into scripted television—well, television that it admits is scripted, at any rate—returns for its second season, and we’re giving it a tryout in the regular coverage rotation after a strong first year. The season premiere finds Lisa’s Abby taking a job at an online publication, though she soon runs astray of a rival editor. If the reason for said rivalry is because Abby writes weekly TV listings that keep telling the harsh truths about television’s worrisome DMX shortage and posting random old wrestling clips, we’ll know what’s up. Gwen Ihnat doubts this show is based on our lives, but she’s far too polite to rule it out completely.
Speaking of Thomas The Tank Engine—which we were, earlier, in connection with DMX, because of course—a new AV Club feature on parenting looks at train-based youth entertainment, including some harsh thoughts on Thomas & Friends from Ignatiy Vishnevetsky. (None of which are necessarily wrong, but maybe miss the space where the Railway Series books and those first few seasons of the TV show can be legitimately charming even with core ideas as troublesome as the trucks Thomas so often had to contend with.) Anyway, Will Harris has a Random Roles with TV stalwart Max Casella, and Will Hughes checks in later today with a Hear This on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 yuletide standard, “A Patrick Swayze Christmas.”
100 Days Of Summer (Pop, 9 p.m.): “Liable to be a fifth as good as that Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Zooey Deschanel movie!” is probably not the pitch for this show, especially since it’s less about the ups and downs of twee romance and more about how “young Chicagoans navigate the highs and woes of their lives over one summer in this reality series.” On second thought, yeah, twee romance sounds distinctly likely.
Married At First Sight (A&E, 9 p.m.): For those who just can’t wait for the second season of this show about, well, it’s all in the title really—anyway, for those who can’t wait for this show’s 9 p.m. premiere, there’s a preview episode at 8 p.m. revealing how the whole experiment is put together. Yes, Married At First Sight wants you to know this is an “experiment” overseen by “experts,” as opposed to “one of the all-time insanely cynical reality TV stunts.”
Building Off The Grid: North Pole (DIY, 10 p.m.): A father-and-son team build a cabin on the North Pole, which, considering the North Pole isn’t, you know, land, is just about as off the grid as it gets.
Secret Space Escapes (Science, 10 p.m.): “A cosmonaut is stranded in the wilderness after narrowly surviving re-entry.” Look, that sounds plenty thrilling, Secret Space Escapes, but having to survive being stranded in the wilderness isn’t exactly a space escape, now is it?
Snatch/Super Troopers (MovieMax, 9 p.m./10:45 p.m.): Now this is a seriously fun few hours of movie-watching. Super Troopers is close to the perfect dumb comedy, and Snatch is probably not quite as good as Guy Ritchie’s previous Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels, but it compensates with the funniest work Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones have ever done, and an all-time great unintelligible performance from Brad Pitt.
GoldenEye (Encore, 10:10 p.m.): Honest question: Where are we up to with Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond these days? We feel like, pre-Daniel Craig, the consensus was that he came the closest to recapturing Sean Connery’s iconic charm, and thus was kind of the quick and easy choice for second best Bond, but now it feels like he’s just been kind of shunted off to the side, especially as the Craig Bond movies starting working in more and more of the old-school ridiculousness. Either way, we really want to go play the video game right about now. (Oh, also, based on Hot Fuzz and The Matador, we really want to see Brosnan and Timothy Dalton play bickering partners in an action comedy. We are confident this would be both the greatest thing ever and a box office bomb for no clear reason.)
College Basketball: Maryland at North Carolina (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.): Oh, right. This is part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge now. That feels so gross. Not as gross as Miami at Nebraska, admittedly, which would be a hell of a game if this were a football game … and 2002. (Actually, on second thought, we played that game then, and it wasn’t.)
WWE Monday Night Raw: You know, some days we like to think that a savior will come. And he’ll be wearing jorts.
Pretty sure that meeting is still more orderly than some countries’ parliaments.