Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, March 8. All times are Eastern.
Unsupervised (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Unsupervised isn’t the show a lot of people expected when it was announced. We’re still amazed the David Hornsby, Rob Rosell, and Scott Marders’ animated series didn’t turn out to be It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Babies—it’s still pretty reliant on shock humor, but the show’s true nature is something more lighthearted than the Paddy’s Pub’s gang’s eternal dark night of the soul. (Of course, Charlie Day is doing a voice next week, so that could all change soon.) It helps that life has yet to grind down Unsupervised’s protagonists—though they get a good, hard look at what living can do to a person when Joel’s burn-out brother (voiced, like Joel, by Hornsby) moves back in. Brandon Nowalk holds out freaking hope for our freaking heroes.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Sheldon’s relationship with Amy pulls him away from a 48-hour gaming marathon. Oliver Sava has a solution to this dilemma: Just make your whole life a video-game marathon.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.):After the annual, government-mandated purging of potential Idols, America begins cutting them away one by one. Claire Zulkey will have no problem with America if it decides it’s finished with Jeremy Rosado.
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): With his new position in Standards, Kenneth is officially The Man. This puts him at odds with his former TGS colleagues and their “Fart Machine” and “cat anus” comedic sensibilities. If Nathan Rabin ran things, TGS would get way more than three uses of “cat anus” per show.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Hey, here’s a fun way to confuse someone who’s just getting into NBC’s Thursday-night comedies: Let them know that tonight’s Parks And Rec has Andy (not the Ed Helms one) wigging out over an exam for his community-college (in Pawnee, not Greendale) course. Work in well-timed “Blerg,” watch his or her brain wrinkle, and make sure you send Todd VanDerWerff a photo.
Project Runway All-Stars (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Awww yeah. Tonight the contestants are going to learn about running a business. You know how we know? Because it’s Thursday night, there’s a lot of good stuff on TV, you haven’t had your after-work social netball team practice, and Project Runway All-Stars is down to just four contestants. And when Project Runway All-Stars is down to just four contestants, it’s business time. Or learning about business time. Genevieve Koski knows what you’re trying to say, girl.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): If there’s any legitimacy to NBC’s “interest” in a Dwight Schrute spin-off, it’s contained in episodes where Dwight’s job is in danger. Three seasons in, Myles McNutt would be like “He’ll be back next week, eh.” (’Cuz Myles is Canadian, see?) But at this point? At this point, Dwight might not be back.
Up All Night (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): Episodes where Reagan and Chris are on a “mission” can be a bit much to take. Making this mission easier to take: The couple friends they’re wooing tonight are played by Bridesmaids breakout Ben Falcone and newly minted Oscar winner Nat Faxon. Margaret Eby would like to know where Falcone keeps his air marshal’s pistol.
Awake (NBC, 10 p.m.): Brace for impact, as a rollicking 40 minutes of Awake-as-fancy-pants-procedural veers into the coda that could ruin the entire series. And hey—they’ve already given away the twist in the ads! Don’t say Todd VanDerWerff didn’t warn you!
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): So Krieger’s cloned Archer’s fiancée—or Krieger’s just been keeping a supposedly dead woman in his lab. We’re not sure which scenario is creepier, though Todd VanDerWerff knows the show probably has five way creepier/funnier explanations.
Delocated (Cartoon Network, midnight): Jon takes a vow of silence, which should last, oh, 10 seconds or so. Hey Jon: Don’t say anything if you think the Wang Cho gang are a bunch of pussies. Yeah, that’s what Steve Heisler thought.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): Zack Handlen loves it when Star Trek gets mucked up with magic, so we know he’s going to fall head over heels for the DS9 episode where the crew tangles with Rumpelstiltskin. If you hear anyone bellowing “THE TREK UNIVERSE ALREADY HAS AN IMP AND HIS NAME IS Q” at an uncaring night sky, you know who it is.
Seinfeld (1 p.m.): The subplot with Jerry’s nudist girlfriend in one of the episodes reviewed today features one of Seinfeld’s finest offscreen gags. David Sims can only imagine all the terrible muscle twinges only Jerry can see. No, no—not like that. (Also: Happy Festivus, George Costanza.)
Cheers (3 p.m.): Finally, Cheers finds what it’s been missing all this time: 1980s teen heartthrob Corey Feldman. The delightful moppet is one of several Boston youths being taught the ways of baseball by Coach, but you can spot the face of ’80s Hollywood’s preeminent Michael Jackson obsessive a mile away.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Saving Face (HBO, 8:30 p.m.): The 2012 Oscar winner for Best Documentary (Short Subject) concerns a plastic surgeon assisting Pakistani women who have been the victims of acid attacks—and not, as our own Steve Heisler suggested during the awards ceremony, “the halcyon days of Nick, Jr.” Sorry Steve: That movie’s called Eureeka!, and it only exists in our minds.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): We’d written off this high-concept procedural—look, we only have room on our plates for one high-concept procedural, and that’s the one with Jason Issacs that’s daring us to write it off tonight—but as soon as the machine that tells us what’s on TV spat out the description about this episode and its evil baby, we alerted Phil Dyess-Nugent and hopped into the TV Club Drop-In-Copter.
Jersey Shore (MTV, 10 p.m.): Did someone say “infant” and “ill portent?” On the heels of the confirmation that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is carrying the child that will most likely lead to the mankind’s downfall, here’s an episode where Snooki’s fiancé/baby daddy flies off the handle when “The Situation” admits he hooked up with her. That’s just good timing.
Inside Comedy (Showtime, 11 p.m.): How lucky are we to live in a world where you can turn on the TV two Thursdays in a row and hear from American treasure Carl Reiner? Reiner and his old comedy partner Mel Brooks sit down with David Sternberg to talk funny business and be 100 percent delightful mensches.
Hard Candy (IFC, 8 p.m.): Before she was Juno and he was the guy Charlize Theron wanted to get with in Young Adult, respectively, future mouths for Diablo Cody’s words Elle Page and Patrick Wilson played a brutal, low-budget game of cat and mouse. Swear to blog, by the end you’ll have trouble telling who’s the cat and who’s the mouse, home skillet.
Arsenic And Old Lace (TCM, 8 p.m.): In a more lighthearted series of in-home traumas, Frank Capra’s adaptation of the Joseph Kesserling stage play stirs up a potent blend of screwball comedy and film-noir whodunit. It’s definitely the most fun you’ll have with a dead body tonight.
NBA Basketball: Magic at Bulls (TNT, 8 p.m.): Of the half-dozen NBA teams TNT is willing to showcase on Thursday nights, the Bulls—who are riding a spectacular season to the top of the Eastern Conference standings—are the most deserving of the attention. They risk their impressive .800 winning percentage (even for a lockout-shortened season, that’s impressive) against the third-place Magic.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
My Crazy Obsession: Meredith Blake leapt at the chance to review this new TLC series, which makes us worry she might have a crazy obsession with these types of reality shows. Her DVR is practically buckling under the weight of archived My Strange Addiction, Hoarders, and Hoarding: Buried Alive.