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

Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé! That’s the sound of wrestling making its way into your heart

WWE Network
WWE Network

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, February 11. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

NXT TakeOver: Rival (WWE Network, 8 p.m.): The real WrestleMania is here early, with WWE’s “developmental” program, NXT airing its latest live special, Rival. There’s also the added bonus of it being free, along with the rest of the WWE Network for the month of February. The main event is a battle for the NXT Championship, a story of true best friends and even better rivals, Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens:

Whether you’re a wrestling fan or an outsider, NXT TakeOver: Rival is going to be feature some of the best storytelling in 2015, so if you want to experience something truly special, tune in. Also, if wrestling makes you think of brutes and misogyny, then you need NXT just to experience the sheer beauty that is “part man, all model” Tyler Breeze and the Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Women’s (not Divas) Championship (featuring: arguably one of the top five wrestlers in all of WWE, Sasha Banks; gimmick-confused Becky Lynch; potential A.V. Club mascot Bayley; and Ric Flair’s daughter/the champion Charlotte). Then go back and watch the rest of the NXT live shows and its weekly episodes, because that special feeling isn’t a one time thing when it comes to NXT. It really must be seen to be believed. Viva la spandex!


Also noted

Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): In the episode “Canaries,” everyone stops hiding secrets from each other, because they realize there’s no reason for that when half the city knows who either Arsensal or the Arrow is. Just kidding. “Lies, lies, all type of lies” is the theme of this and every episode of Arrow this season. The episode actually sounds pretty cool: According to TV Guide, “Vertigo causes Laurel to hallucinate an epic fight that pits her Black Canary against her sister Sara.” Rumors have been swirling that The A.V. Club’s own Alasdair Wilkins is in fact the real Count Vertigo, so hopefully this week’s Arrow is the one in which he finally addresses said rumors.

Empire (Fox, 9 p.m.): As if Empire weren’t insanely dramatic enough, the title of this week’s episode is “Out, Damned Spot.” We’d really love to dwell on that for a moment, but unfortunately, we still have the best worst song of 2015—“Drip Drop”—stuck in our heads from last week’s episode. Joshua Alston is admittedly better at focusing than we are.

Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 p.m): It’s Valentine Day on ABC’s sitcoms tonight, and it all wraps up in a new Black-ish, with Dre vowing to get through the “holiday” without getting into a fight with Rainbow. Given how overzealous Dre gets when it comes to anything he puts his mind to, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that he’s going to overcompensate in his particular brand of conflict resolution. As usual, LaToya Ferguson just wants to see a happy couple in misery.


Regular coverage

The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.) / The Goldbergs (ABC, 8:30 p.m.)

Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.)

Top Chef (Bravo, 9 p.m.)

The 100 (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Workaholics (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)

The Americans (FX, 10 p.m.)

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX, 10 p.m.)

Broad City (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.)

Man Seeking Woman (FXX, 10:30 p.m.)

Elsewhere in TV Club

Gwen Ihnat and The A.V. Club’s Love Week present a 100 Episodes piece on The Love Boat, a series that braved even the roughest of critical and production storms. Continuing the love trend, Inventory has 28 (yes, just 28) romantic gestures that are actually creepy.


What else is on?

American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): “Hollywood Week continues as the contestants perform solo.” This is getting out of control, American Idol. How can network television contain you? How?!?


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 9 p.m.): Oh boy, 16-season wonder Law & Order: SVU is tackling GamerGate. We’ll just let the TV Guide description do the talking: “A woman launches a video game amid death threats in the male-dominated gaming community, but a crime scene unfurls at a big video-game convention when one of her female employees is assaulted.” As we all know, it’s about ethics in Law & Order spin-offs, so this should all end up nicely.

Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): Have you not gotten enough of Gunnar’s “son”/nephew storyline yet? If you are that one person, then this is the episode of Nashville for you! Gunnar is travelling to Austin to “mend fences” with the kid! Meanwhile, Mario Lopez guest stars as himself, so there is definitely a chance of there being another Saved By The Bell reunion. It’s like a 0.01 percent chance, but that still counts as a chance. Be honest: Wouldn’t you want that more than more screentime for Maddie?


Stalker (CBS, 10 p.m.): As promised by your friendly, neighborhood What’s On Tonight contributor two weeks ago, it is now time for Stalker Mad Libs. In tonight’s episode, “Salvation,” tensions are at an all-time (all one season) high. “When a young [noun] is [verb] by a mob of [noun], Beth and Jack realize they are deal with a rare case of [noun]. Also, Ray [verb] his plan to [verb] Beth from her closest [noun].”

Schitt’s Creek (POP, 10 p.m.): This is the American series premiere of a Canadian sitcom starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara. In theory, that right there should be enough to hook anyone, but if you’re looking for premises with your casting choices, here we go: “A ruined video store magnate’s family is forced to rebuild their lives in a small community they own.” Again, if you’re not hooked by the term “video store magnate,” what will hook you? Why are you so hard to please?


Suits (USA, 10 p.m.): This week’s Suits episode is set to feature another flashback, this time explaining “the root of Harvey and Louis’s competitive relationship.” This implies that it’s not the simple fact that Harvey constantly pulls the Big Man On Campus act on “nerdy” Louis, which might actually make this the episode in which Suits becomes a fantasy/science fiction series. If so, hopefully next week’s episode brings in the flying cars.

Braveheart (AMC, 8 p.m.): You can watch Braveheart tonight, but in case you don’t have the four hours to spare for consumption of one piece of entertainment, here’s the abridged version:

NBA Basketball: Heat at Cavaliers (ESPN, 8 p.m.): It’s Miami at Cleveland, with the Heat coming off of the end to their losing streak due to a 109-95 victory over the Knicks. The Heat actually won the first meeting they had with the Cavs back on Christmas Day, and since tonight is basically professional wrestling Christmas, will the same happen again tonight? Probably. That’s just sports math.


Lucha Underground (El Rey, 8 p.m.): Lucha! Lucha! Lucha! This is the episode in which Albert El Patron (formerly known as Alberto Del RIo) makes his Lucha Underground debut. Life post-WWE is treating Alberto well so far, and having him in Lucha Underground will only make the promotion that much better. Plus, Son of Havoc has a match tonight, and it’s always fun to think about whether or not his relatives have names like Daughter of Havoc or Bastard of Havoc or Estranged Uncle of Havoc or…

In case you missed it

Switched At Birth: Carrie Raisler did a check-in with the ABC Family series in the midst of its date rape storyline.


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