Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

John Cena, Roots, and robots make a Memorial Day to remember

Illustration for article titled John Cena, iRoots/i, and robots make a Memorial Day to remember

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, May 30. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

WWE Monday Night RAW (USA, 8 p.m.): A few years ago, no one could expect your friendly neighborhood What’s On Tonight contributor to feel any type of excitement over John Cena returning from injury. Oh what a difference a Roman Reigns makes. (Sorry to insult your favorite wrestler again, Kyle Fowle.) The true face that runs the place returns to WWE on Memorial Day, because: Well, of course he does. He’s The Marine! He compromised Osama Bin Laden “to a permanent end,” dammit!


Please. Save us, Cena. We won’t even make fun of your Springboard Stunner this time.


Roots (A&E/History Channel/Lifetime/Lifetime Movie Network, 9 p.m.): What better way to officially kick off your summer than with Roots? No, not the 1977 mini-series that has been classified on more than occasion as Black Homework. The 2016 remake of said mini-series that has been termed “for a new generation.” No, we don’t get it either—especially since Roots: The Next Generations also exists—but it’s like they always say: Roots is Roots is Roots. (Joshua Alston’s pre-air review says much more than that though.) Part one of four is tonight, and as you can see, you can pick your network poison.

Mistresses (ABC, 10 p.m.): In the season four premiere of Mistresses—you know, the tonal opposite of Roots but not necessarily Monday Night RAW—“The New Girl,” there’s apparently “more drama in store for Karen, Joss and April.” Duh-doy. By the way, we misread “Jerry O’Connell Guest Stars as Robert” as “Jerry O’Connell Guest Stars as Robot,” and now we’re severely disappointed that that’s not what we’re getting on the drama (that’s in store!) front. Also, Mistresses has made it to four seasons, you guys. Do you know anyone who watches Mistresses? That’s your homework for tonight: Find someone who watches Mistresses, then ask them why the show doesn’t get in on that robot action. Gwen Ihnat is bound to answer this question in her review of the premiere.


Premieres and finales

The Bachelorette (ABC, 8 p.m.): This is the “time slot premiere” of The Bachelorette season 12, which is kind of a like a real premiere.


So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation (Fox, 8 p.m.): First, they tried Justin Bieber—and fans rejected that. Then, they tried stage versus street—and fans rejected that. So what’s the new gimmick So You Think You Can Dance is going with, instead of Fox just accepting the show for what it is? Kids. We mean, that worked so well with American Idol, a show that—unlike So You Think You Can Dance—was a ratings and pop culture juggernaut, right? Oh, wait, it didn’t? Whoops! Anyway, have fun dealing with the sob stories of kids from “ages 8 to 13,” since there’s no way that aspect of reality show competitions is slipping through the cracks with this season of So You Think You Can Dance. In fact, there will probably be even more.

NHL: Stanley Cup Finals (NBC, 8 p.m.): Woo! Game one of the Stanley Cup finals! Woo! Hockey is back on top!


Top Gear (BBC America, 9 p.m.): It’s the 23rd season premiere of Top Gear, and apparently it’s going Top Gun. Took ’em 23 seasons to do that. Hmm.

How It’s Made (Science Channel, 9/9:30/10 p.m.): Hey, nerds! Your cup runneth over with How It’s Made season 14.


The Dresser (Starz, 9 p.m.): If Roots is too much for you—and we totally understand that—you can always watch something else. How about a TV movie starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins? Noel Murray’s pre-air review agrees with this suggestion, just so you know. “Set in London during World War II, a dedicated personal assistant to a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of Shakespeare’s King Lear.” So now you have that option. You’re welcome.

The Detour (TBS, 9/9:30 p.m.): Jason Jones and Samantha Bee’s The Detour ends its very funny (get it? TBS!) first season with two episodes: “The Track” and “The Beach.” Race cars and Florida beaches. That’s all LaToya Ferguson needs to know that nothing will go right for the Parker family. In fact, the synopsis for “The Beach” makes that even clearer: “Nate, Robin and the kids attempt to take down Nate’s company in epic whistle blowing fashion. It won’t be easy, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about this family is that they don’t give up without at least a punch to the throat and maybe a cheap kick to the groin.” Excellent.


Scream/Scream After Dark (MTV, 11 p.m./midnight): MTV’s Scream has titled its second premiere “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Your friendly neighborhood What’s On Tonight contributor would just like to let everyone know that she will not allow this baiting to get to her. She will not.

Regular coverage

Bloodline (Netflix)

Wander Over Yonder (Disney XD, 8:30 p.m.)

Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Sliders, “The Prince Of Wails” (Hulu): Imagine a world where John Cena isn’t the most patriotic man in the world. Insane, right? That’s basically this episode of Sliders. “The Sliders land in a world where the American colonists lost the Revolutionary War and where the British States of America now stands. The Sheriff Of San Francisco plots to assume power through the murder of the heir, Prince Harold III. Professor Arturo assumes the sheriff’s identity to save Quinn from execution, thwart the dastardly deed and bring new ideas on democracy to the people.” It’s also definitely a Robin Hood riff, but that’s not the point. Sliders! America!


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