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

NBC tests your Allegiance to The Americans

Illustration for article titled NBC tests your iAllegiance/i to iThe Americans /i

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, February 5. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Allegiance (NBC, 10 p.m.): In the proud tradition of network television shamelessly stealing popular concepts from cable dramas (R.I.P. Pan Am and The Playboy Club), Allegiance looks to bring a little of The Americanssuccess to NBC. Like that FX show, Allegiance centers on married Russian spies posing as American parents. But in the place of Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, Allegiance casts Hope Davis and Scott Cohen as its amorous KGB operatives who are suddenly called back to active duty after years of assumed retirement. The only trouble is that while their daughter is in on the whole spy thing, their unknowing son is actually a CIA analyst specializing in Russian affairs! In his pre-air review, Joshua Alston found the whole venture tonally jarring and noted that without the 1980s setting of The Americans, the threat of Russian espionage feels slightly out of date.


Also noted

Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.): Finn has a vision that leads him to a mysterious crash site and a friendly civilization in “The Visitor.” Coincidentally, Oliver Sava first found the friendly civilization of The A.V. Club thanks to a vision quest as well.


Babylon (Sundance, 10 p.m.): In case you missed it, Genevieve Valentine has been providing excellent coverage of this satirical black comedy about the London police force. This week, Metro Police Director of Communications Liz Garvey tries to save her job by capitalizing on a missing persons case.

Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): After wrapping up its Kitty Winter arc last week, Elementary starts a new chapter as Holmes and Watson try to figure out who murdered a debt collector. Myles McNutt is curious if the show can find a new forward-momentum now that Kitty’s gone, but he’s mostly excited to see whether or not Clyde will finally make his triumphant return tonight.


Regular Coverage

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.)

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.)

Reign (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Archer (FX, 10 p.m.)

Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m.)

Fortitude (Pivot, 10 p.m.)

TV Club Classic

Futurama (10 a.m.): Bender becomes a beloved pro-wrestler in “Raging Bender” and Leela finds a cyclops lover in “A Bicyclops Built For Two.” Zack Handlen doesn’t have the heart to tell either of them that things might not work out so well in the end.


Elsewhere in TV Club

In addition to his Allegiance review, Joshua Alston also examines how Scandal’s “Run” adds to the growing list of divisive bottle episodes in a new For Our Consideration. Elsewhere, Erik Adams chats with the incomparable Bob Odenkirk about his “selective audience,” the origins of Better Call Saul, and those Mr. Show reunion rumors.


What else is on?

Steven Universe/Regular Show (Cartoon Network, 6:30/7:45 p.m.): The What’s On Tonight commentariat has made its love for Steven Universe and Regular Show known, so we’re highlighting both shows right here. First up Steven and Amethyst experience life on the road, then the Regular Show gang head to the beach to watch some sea turtles hatch.


Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding (E!, 8 p.m.): In the proud tradition of British royalty and Kim Kardashian, Lance Bass shares footage from his wedding to husband Michael Turchin in this new special. Justin Timberlake was reportedly too busy touring to attend, but JC Chasez might sing a duet with Kristin Chenoweth so there’s still plenty to look forward to.

The Blacklist (NBC, 9 p.m.): After its winter premiere earned the coveted post-Super Bowl slot, The Blacklist now joins Allegiance on Thursday nights. While NBC once dominated the evening with comedies, the network now hopes to establish a similar stronghold based around James Spader’s fedora and Russian spies.


Broke A$$ Game Show (MTV, 11 p.m.): On MTV’s latest attempt at cultural relevance, er, we mean newest game show, random people in New York City are asked to complete weird challenges for cash prizes.

Casino Royale (AMC, 5 p.m.): Bond, James Bond plays poker, high-stakes poker in this 2006 film that kicked off Daniel Craig’s tenure and brought some much-needed gravitas back to the Bond franchise.


The Adventures Of Robin Hood (TCM, 8 p.m.): As Robin Hood, Errol Flynn has enough charisma to carry a film even half as enjoyable as this 1938 swashbuckling classic. Thankfully, The Adventures Of Robin Hood is the rare adventure flick that perfectly balances the action, comedy, romance, and pathos swirling around its captivating star.

College Basketball: Iowa at Michigan (ESPN, 7 p.m.): The Hawkeyes battle the Wolverines in this Big Ten match-up. Sadly, that same sentence will never apply to superhero films, unless Marvel Studios and Fox one day agree to let The Avengers and the X-Men duke it out onscreen.


In case you missed it

Fresh Off The Boat: In her pre-air review, Caroline Framke found plenty to like about Fresh Off The Boat and plenty to love about Constance Wu’s turn as the matriarch of an Asian-American family living in a mostly white Florida suburb. Now Dan Caffrey takes over weekly reviews of ABC’s latest comedy.


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