Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, January 7. All times are Eastern.
Angel From Hell (CBS, 9:30 p.m.)/Shades Of Blue (NBC, 10 p.m.): Abbott and Costello, Fred and Ginger, Batman and Robin: Pop culture is littered with famous double acts and now Thursday nights are offering a brand new duo for America to love: Lynch and Lopez! Sure their two new shows are airing at different times on different networks, but just think of Jane Lynch’s half-hour comedy, Angel From Hell, as the warm-up act for Jennifer Lopez’s hour-long police drama, Shades Of Blue.
First up, Lynch tries to recapture some of her Sue Sylvester magic as Amy, an “oddball guardian angel” who looks out for Allison (Psych’s Maggie Lawson), an uptight New York dermatologist. In her pre-air review, Gwen Ihnat notes that despite its hackneyed premise the show makes the most of Lynch and some crackerjack dialogue. Molly Eichel felt similarly optimistic in her pre-air review of Shades Of Blue. Lopez plays a corrupt NYPD Detective who works with a crew of dirty cops including Ray Liotta. But when the FBI’s anti-corruption task force threaten to send her to jail (and separate her from her daughter) unless she helps them, Lopez is forced to turn against her co-workers. Sounds like she could use a guardian angel, which, come to think of it has just given us an idea for some crossover fanfiction…
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): After spending so much time with Sheldon and Amy over the past few episodes, The Big Bang Theory puts that power couple on the backburner to focus on its actual central couple, Penny and Leonard. The two love birds decide to try therapy to help their marriage and Malcolm In The Middle’s Jane Kaczmarek guest stars as their psychiatrist. Kyle Fowle can’t wait to analyze this episode himself.
Heroes Reborn (NBC, 8 p.m.): Heroes Reborn returns from hiatus to air the final three episodes of its first (fifth?) season and then presumably teleport off TV forever. Kate Kulzick still doesn’t really understand NBC’s scheduling choices, but she is quite pleased with the musical theater reference in tonight’s episode title, “Send In The Clones.” Luke and Malina must come together to try to rescue Tommy and save mankind. Isn’t it rich? Aren’t they a pair?
The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret (10 p.m., IFC): Todd Margaret—David Cross’ unqualified American businessman—returns to make even more increasingly poor decisions in the third season of this British-American black comedy. After the apocalyptic season two finale that aired in 2012, this season is a reboot featuring a “very, very different Todd.” We’ve asked an alternative version of LaToya Ferguson to weigh in on the three new episodes that air tonight and the final three that air next week.
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 5:30 p.m.)
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.)
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.)
TV Club Classic
Battlestar Galactica (11 a.m.): Thanks to a scheduling quirk, readers have had to wait with bated breath for three weeks since Zack Handlen’s review of “Home (Part 1).” He finally rounds things out with “Home (Part 2)” and then issues a war cry to welcome former-Xena, Lucy Lawless, who plays a a journalist investigating Galactica in “Final Cut.” In other words, Zack is about to be a “Final Cut” pro.
Elsewhere in TV Club
Gwen Ihnat writes of Angel:
The question about Amy’s actual angelic status gets answered pretty early on, but it’s almost unfortunate. This series would be just as (probably more) winning if it was just “Straightlaced young woman makes eccentric new friend,” but then it would be lacking some sort of “hook” for the network brass to hang it on. But when Angel From Hell soars, it’s not because of that unlikely premise, but in spite of it.
Meanwhile Molly Eichel explains of Shades:
Shades Of Blue doesn’t have the same balls that The Shield did by making the central figure a person who could do truly reprehensible things, yet still dare you to like him. But it’s not a slog to watch thanks to Lopez and Liotta, the former a charismatic star who knows how to subvert her own victimhood, and the latter a guy who has become an expert in all kinds of scenery chewing… And say what you will about Lopez’s post-Out Of Sight career, but in Santos she can find a way to be all of the roles she likes to play onscreen: mother, savior, victim, sex symbol. Lopez has played this sort of part before, and she’s good at it. She’s not taking any risks, but it’s hard to fault the not-broke model, especially for Lopez’s first real plunge into dramatic TV.
What else is on?
The Blacklist (NBC, 9 p.m.): In The Blacklist winter premiere Liz awaits trial while Red and Aram try to protect her using “risky measures.” Sounds like they’ll be getting up to some… risky business. *cue Bob Seger*
My Diet Is Better Than Yours (ABC, 9 p.m.): ABC’s clunkily titled new weight loss show features celebrity trainers helping “average Americans” get fit. The hook is that each trainer offers a “wildly diverse” diet and exercise plan. Sounds “interesting.“
Mom (CBS, 9 p.m.): There’s a new mom in town. Christy hosts a dinner party for Violet’s future mother-in-law. Sounds mom-tastic!
Lip Sync Battle (Spike, 10 p.m.): Channing Tatum battles his wife, Step Up and Supergirl star Jenna Dewan-Tatum, in the season two premiere of Lip Sync Battle. Looks like no one told Mr. Tatum that Frozen parodies fell out of fashion a year ago.
Growing Up Hip Hop (WE, 10 p.m.): In this Empire-inspired reality TV show (tagline: “The rise of the real empire”), the children of Master P, Rev. Run, Damon Dash, James DeBarge, “Pepa,” and Jam Master Jay get into all kinds of wacky shenanigans.
Entrapment (Starz, 9 p.m.): Catherine Zeta-Jones yogas her way through a grid of lasers while Sean Connery watches. Yep, it’s as creepy as it sounds.
Chandu The Magician (TCM, 9:45 p.m.): According to TV Guide, this 1932 film stars “Bela Lugosi as a madman bent on destroying the world.” That’s pretty much all we want from any film.
NHL Hockey: Flyers at Wild (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): Having been remiss in highlighting hockey in our Thursday What’s On Tonights recently, we’re recommending this Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild game. Play puck!
In case you missed it
American Crime: Pilot Viruet is on the case of American Crime season two. Regina King, Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Elvis Nolasco, Richard Cabral, and Lili Taylor return to play new characters in a whole new storyline. Pilot, however, is still playing herself.