Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Let’s go into deep space, maybe stop by Chernobyl

Image via NASA.

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, April 26. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Space’s Deepest Secrets (Science, 9 p.m.): The description for this two-hour special promises to tell “the stories of deep-space explorers who are risking their careers, and even their lives, to lead humanity to worlds yet to be seen,” which, at first glance, really sounds like it’s about people who are, you know, actually out in deep space. Which would be beyond awesome, of course, but since no human has been beyond low Earth orbit since Apollo 17 in 1972, that can’t be what we’re dealing with here. Hell, we’re probably not even dealing with those iPhone-sized probes Stephen Hawking wants to send to Alpha Centauri. Instead, a whole bunch of intrepid scientists will take audiences through possible oceans elsewhere in the solar system, the mysteries of dark energy, the ongoing journey of the Voyager probe as it slowly leaves the solar system, and more. We want to remain ticked off with that misleading description, but holy crap, space, why do you have to be so fascinating?


Life After: Chernobyl (Animal, 10 p.m.): It’s 30 years to the day since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and what better way to celebrate the pearl anniversary of the nuclear age’s darkest day than with this documentary? The hourlong special follows a pair of scientists as they head to Ukraine to explore the region’s ongoing environmental devastation in the wake of the 1986 explosion. If you want to see human ingenuity and imagination at simultaneously its most inspiring and its most terrifying, we recommend watching this and Space’s Deepest Secrets back-to-back. That’s some serious tonal whiplash waiting to be had.

New Girl (Fox, 8 p.m./9 p.m.): New Girl has hacked the code to guarantee a regular spot in the top picks rotation despite being neither a show that we watch regularly (hi, The Flash!) nor a show we make a comical point of refusing to watch (hi, iZombie!). The secret, in this case, is to keep scheduling episodes at weird time, forcing us to tell you nice people about the odd times instead of just relegating the show to the regular coverage section. Because we’re all about the service journalism, dammit! So, yeah, this week’s pair of episodes are the bread for a John Stamos-y Grandfathered sandwich, with the 8 p.m. episode seeing Schmidt try to take the guys to Las Vegas for a bachelor party weekend, while the 9 p.m. episode has Jess and Cece have a distinctly more low-key—though no less disastrous, naturally—bachelorette party. Erik Adams forgot to get a gift for either.


Premieres and finales

Chopped Junior (Food, 8 p.m.): We seem to recall MasterChef Junior being sufficiently well-liked around here to get a regular coverage slot—you know, just like American Dad doesn’t!*—so we imagine there might be some interest in the second season of this other show about young chefs? There are weird hot dogs and cheeses that don’t want to melt involved, and those both sound terrifying. Also, the celebrity judges are Sarah Michelle Gellar (heard of her), Scott Conant (have not heard of him, feel like maybe we should have), and Monti Carlo (thought that was a nerdy math simulation or something).


*We realize it’s petty and frankly a bit heel-ish to take that swipe at American Dad out of nowhere, especially given how much love many of you around here have for the show. But if any show would appreciate such unprovoked shots for no damn reason, we’re confident it would be American Dad.

Top Gear (History, 9 p.m.): Hey, it’s the American Top Gear, the one that didn’t used to have that performatively bigoted ass and doesn’t now have Chris Evans (no, not that Chris Evans) or Matt LeBlanc for some reason! Tonight is the big return after being off screens for well over a year for the American Top Gear gang of Tanner Foust (have not heard of him), Rutledge Wood (have also not heard of him, though kind of wish we had, given his name is “Rutledge Wood”), and Adam Ferrara (thought we had heard of him, turned out we were thinking of Adam Carolla).


Rebellion (Sundance, 9 p.m.): The fifth and final episode of this miniseries about the 1916 Easter Rising and Ireland’s bid for independence airs tonight. We would say more about this, but as the English aspect of the What’s On Tonight gestalt entity, we feel it best instead to just sort of shuffle our feet, mutter an apology, and back out of the room slowly.

Limitless (CBS, 10 p.m.): Fear not, we weren’t going to forget Limitless! The second part of the season finale sees betrayals, devastating side effects, and, most promisingly, what the synopsis describes as someone “orchestrating an international incident of evil.” Let’s just let that phrase marinate for a moment. “Orchestrating an international incident of evil.” That’s the kind of thing Adam West would worry about the Penguin pulling in the old Batman show. If the episode isn’t at least 60 percent characters talking about how they’re worried someone is going to orchestrate an international incident of evil, we riot. The riot will be led by Myles McNutt, who’s dropping in to review tonight’s episode.


Regular coverage

Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
The Mindy Project (Hulu, 3:01 a.m.)
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Grandfathered (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)


Streaming pick

“Hawk And Chick,” Bob’s Burgers (Netflix): We were a little tough on this past Sunday’s Bob’s Burgers episode, but our enthusiasm remains undiminished for this show. So let us take this moment to point out the whole fifth season has been streaming on Netflix for a little while now, and a particular highlight is “Hawk And Chick,” which aired as a kind of 7:30 p.m. throwaway the same Sunday as the advertised finale. Go watch it, because it’s lovely and funny and perfect.


You know, What’s On Tonight is the recurring feature of 1,004 non sequitur wrestling clips



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