Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, October 13. All times are Eastern.
Manhattan (WGN, 9 p.m.): Much like the U.S. government was slow to recognize the potential of the atomic bomb in winning the war, so too were we at the A.V. Club slow to recognize that WGN’s first original scripted drama [Update: whoops, sorry, Salem!] was very much worth paying attention to. But, much as the Roosevelt administration did eventually see the light and pour vital resources into building the bomb, we are now ready to make a similar commitment to reviewing Manhattan’s fictionalized depiction of that very story. (Brandon Nowalk’s review of last year’s finale is the equivalent of the letter Einstein sent to Roosevelt, or something.) Yes, Brandon is back and ready to start reviewing the second season, which among other things features William Petersen making his post-CSI return to TV as a military officer who apparently thinks God wants the United States to unleash nuclear fury upon the world.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.):The CW’s superhero universe is officially embracing maybe the most delightfully wacky part of the Flash mythos, as Jay Garrick—the Flash of Earth-2!—shows up to offer a warning about the latest evil speedster out to kill the Flash. Look, there’s a lot one could say about this creative decision, but we mostly just want to point out this is a golden opportunity to bring in an older, goateed, bleeding-heart liberal version of Oliver Queen. And have we got just the guy to play the role!
Scott Von Doviak isn’t certain if we’re advocating for Kin Shriner to reprise the role in live-action, or if we just want an animated Green Arrow to show up on The Flash for no clear reason. We’re fine either way, honestly. Oh, and do check back later today for Oliver Sava’s review of the Vixen animated shorts.
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): “Jessica tries to get on Grandma Huang’s good side so that she’ll invest in her new business venture.” Look, we’ll admit we’re not experts on this show, but from everything we’ve heard: There are like five different ways this plotline could end with the world burning to the ground. This ought to be good. Shelby Fero nods.
iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.): Liv has to eat the brains of a hard-partying frat boy to solve his murder. We’re inclined to make a joke about the limited use said brains would be, but we’re going to guess the show has already beaten us to it. You win this round, iZombie! Carrie Raisler is pretty sure we’re the only ones who think we’re fighting, but what the hey.
30 For 30 (ESPN, 9 p.m.): The documentary series kicks off its third volume of 30 films with a look at Pete Carroll’s pretty damn incredible run as the coach of the USC Trojans, at least some of which we believe the NCAA will still admit actually happened. Under normal circumstances, we would gladly take this opportunity to talk shit about USC’s post-Carroll morass, but given the team’s head coach just got fired after being asked to leave the team to seek treatment for what’s widely rumored to be alcohol abuse … eh, our heart’s just not in it, you know? So we’re going to swing the other way entirely and point you toward this 2008 L.A. Times feature on Pete Carroll riding around the most dangerous neighborhoods of South L.A. in an old Camry, a story that is equal parts inspiring and kind of insane. Anyway, Noel Murray will be occasionally checking in on 30 For 30, with his first review coming in a couple weeks.
The Mindy Project (Hulu)
The Muppets (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Grandfathered (Fox, 8 p.m.)
The Grinder (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)
Scream Queens (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
Drunk History (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.)
Hey, how long is The Bastard Executioner overrunning tonight?
The Bastard Executioner (FX, 10 p.m.): 31 minutes. This episode is, with commercials, exactly 91 minutes long. Somehow, it’s that solitary extra minute over a clean hour and a half that we find so wonderfully audacious. You do you, The Bastard Executioner, you do you.
Elsewhere in TV Club
Caitlin PenzeyMoog sees that one time Marah Eakin let her dad interview Todd Rundgren and ups the ante by having her 78-year-old grandmother interview TV legend Dick Van Dyke. Boy, the A.V. Club is turning into the AARP’s official newsletter so slowly that we’re barely even noticing. Meanwhile, Noel Murray has a new installment of A Very Special Episode, this time dedicated to an unaired episode of The Dana Carvey Show. And check back later today for Will Harris’ latest Random Roles with Andy Richter Controls The Universe and Better Off Ted costar Jonathan Slavin.
What else is on?
Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration (PBS, 8 p.m.): Now that you’ve read a grandmother interview Dick Van Dyke, why not tune into this special on his onscreen wife? This retrospective on Mary Tyler Moore’s career has a whole bunch of clips and interviews with costars and admirers, including Oprah Winfrey. Man, we really hope Ed Asner shows up and says something endearingly grumpy. We feel like there are good odds of that.
Secrets Of The Dead (PBS, 9 p.m.): This special tries to get to the truth behind the story of Homer’s Iliad, which means it’s probably time for a bunch of engineers to build a giant wooden horse while some archaeologists look just a little uncomfortable with the whole thing. But then engineers and archaeologists are ancient rivals, right up there with the Greeks and the Trojans.
Space’s Darkest Secret (Science, 10 p.m.): This special claims the darkest secret is dark matter, which is pretty dark … but have you all heard about dark energy? That’s the real secretive shit, right there. Makes dark energy look like a damn putz, quite frankly.
Chicago Fire (NBC, 10 p.m.): The fourth season kicks off, meaning the shuttering of the non-SVU parts of the Law And Order universe hasn’t slowed Dick Wolf down one bit. One of the season-opening plotlines involves the main firefighter going undercover to break up a trafficking ring, which … all snark aside, is that a thing? Do firefighters go undercover? Can anyone go undercover? We want to go undercover, dammit!
Tin Cup (Golf Channel, 8 p.m.): Look, the Golf Channel clearly had the money to buy the rights to exactly one movie. And it sure as hell wasn’t going to be Happy Gilmore.
An American Werewolf In London (Flix, 9:30 p.m.): We’ve heard this comedic horror werewolf movie is really very good, but we’re going to go ahead and say it doesn’t have nearly enough Joe Estevez or inexplicably, indeterminably accented and coiffed Europeans in the middle of … Arizona, we think? Either way, this is all absolutely fascinating.
MLB Playoff: Cardinals at Cubs/Dodgers at Mets (TBS, 4:37 p.m./8:07 p.m.): We’ve got a pair of NLDS tilts here, as the Cubs and Mets look to finish off the Cardinals and Dodgers, respectively. We already provided you all with a pretty comprehensive playoff preview last week, so we’ll just restate our earlier key takeaway to all this: Fuck the Cardinals. That sentiment is independent of our Cubs fandom, for the record.
In case you missed it AKA we’re just going to continue posting old Attitude Era pro wrestling clips until somebody orders us to stop
Gravity Falls: And this time we’re not even linking to Monday Night Raw! Anyway, it is with some reservations that we share this clip, the first of two videos in which Stone Cold Steve Austin stuns the entire McMahon family, including future U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon. The way in which Austin creeps on both Stephanie and Linda rides the line between antiheroic and just straight-up uncomfortable and sleazy, but! But! There is no higher comedy than what happens starting at the 1:30 mark, because that’s when Shane McMahon shows up. His entrance dance is the stuff of legend, as is the speed with which Austin dispatches him.