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

Parks And Recreation is a time bomb. Tick, tick, ticking. And Jonathan Banks intends to be around for the boom.

Illustration for article titled emParks And Recreation/em is a time bomb. Tick, tick, ticking. And Jonathan Banks intends to be around for the boom.


Parks And Recreation (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): If the emotional end of the previous episode left you with a tear-damaged sofa or a more serious problem that requires the steady hand of a “professional,” don’t worry: Parks And Rec knows a guy, and that guy is go-to Hollywood tough Jonathan Banks, making Pawnee the latest stop on his post-Breaking Bad victory lap around the dial. (As previously announced, he’s playing Ben’s dad; the role of Ben’s mother will be played by Steppenwolf Theatre alum and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels love interest Glenne Headly and not, to the dismay of some Mike Ehrmantraut superfans, Jonathan Banks in a wig.) Steve Heisler reminds you that just because your son proposed to Jesse James don’t make him Mr. Jesse James.



Last Resort (ABC, 8 p.m.): The crew’s under fire from “mysterious assailants”—though, given the number of people Chaplin has pissed off, those assailants could be anyone. Even Scott Von Doviak.


The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Wil Wheaton returns, but the big story of this episode is the attempted extrication of one Howard Wolowitz from his mother’s house. Oliver Sava never thought he’d live to see the day—then he looked at the calendar and realized it’s November sweeps.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): After a few weeks of “Elena Gilbert: Novice Vampire,” the show’s vampire-hunter problem gets serious. Carrie Raisler finds the best way to deal with a vampire-hunter problem is to just call a vampire-hunter exterminator.


Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): The case of the week strands Reese in suburbia, where it’s unlikely he’ll get his daily regimen of beating up shady nogoodniks. Unless this suburb is some Blue Velvet-esque, “the worms represent the shady underbelly writhing under a friendly façade”-type place—in which case Phil Dyess-Nugent is doubly excited for this fish-out-of-water hour.

The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): Oscar hasn’t been the best at hiding his secret affair with Angela’s husband—he’s shown so little discretion that he just might end up caught by Kevin, of all people. Unless there’s a misdirect in the episode synopsis, in which case Erik Adams assumes the “big secret” has something to do with cookies. (Or pie!)


Burn Notice (USA, 9 p.m.): The sixth season of Burn Notice resumes, and it’s needed now more than ever after USA became sentient and realized it can cancel shows. Or “burn” them, if you will—and Scott Von Doviak certainly will.

Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Flush with the power of a detective handed the post-Super Bowl timeslot (joining such TV power players as Alias and, er, Undercover Boss!), Holmes pursues a theory that a deadly plane crash was no accident. If the theory begins with “Denzel Washington was drinking,” Myles McNutt knows how this will end.


It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX, 10 p.m.): After eight-plus years of being psychoanalyzed by their fans, the gang submits to time with a real therapist. As always, Emily Guendelsberger is prepared to offer a second opinion.

The League (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and his Buffalo Bills currently occupy the cellar of the AFC East (but at least the Jets are there to keep them company!). Margaret Eby promises to go easier on Fitzpatrick’s League cameo than Houston went on the Bills this past Sunday.


Childrens Hospital (Cartoon Network, midnight): Hopping from one genre to the next, the docs of Childrens give up lawyering to admit that, as far back as they can remember, they’ve always wanted to be in a Goodfellas homage. David Sims ask the important question: Dr. Blake Downs is funny how? Like he’s a clown, he’s here to amuse you?


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): Sisko is pulled into the Mirror Universe, an experience which presumably inspires the beard he grows a few episodes down the line. Zack Handlen’s just glad Ben didn’t bring the agony booth back with him, too.



American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): Leave it to Hallmark’s television arm to turn in a two-hour special presentation that’s the equivalent of a puppy-covered “Just thinking of you” greeting card, right when the temperatures start falling, daytime gets shorter, and the Eastern seaboard is battered by a once-in-a-lifetime superstorm.


The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): Why is The Voice preempting half of NBC’s Thursday-night lineup? Is it:

A) Because it’s November sweeps

B) Because half of that half is up for retooling

C) No one in television programming learned anything from Who Wants To Be
A Millionaire’s spectacular, overexposed primetime flameout, or

D) More chances to distract from whatever’s going on in CeeLo Green’s personal life with silly wigs and puffy shirts?

Bada Bling Brides (TLC, 10 p.m.): TLC’s anthropological survey of gaudy wedding celebrations lands at Sposa Italia Couturier, a Toronto bridal shop specializing in dresses that’d make the cast of Jersey Shore say, “Don’t you think that’s a bit much?”


Dave’s Old Porn (Showtime, 11 p.m.): Comedian Dave Attell reopens his stash of vintage pornography for a second season of sticking it Mystery Science Theater 3000-style to the adult films of yore. Or, as it was called before it was on television, “another Thursday night at Dave Attell’s house.”

Torque (Fuse, 7 p.m.): Before Ben Wyatt gets caught between his divorced parents on Parks And Rec, Adam Scott gets caught between warring bikers in this over-the-top attempt to capitalize on the success of The Fast And Furious. (Make it an all-night Scott-a-thon by pairing the encore presentation with Parks And Rec, preceded by FX’s umpteenth showing of Step Brothers.)


Breathless (TCM, 8 p.m.): Grab a yellowed copy of the New York Herald Tribune, a pack of smokes, and your on-the-lam sweetie and curl up with the loose-limbed, jump-cut-heavy paean to old Hollywood that helped Jean-Luc Godard kickstart the French New Wave.

NBA Basketball: Thunder at Bulls (TNT, 8 p.m.): A pair of second-place squads face of in primetime, and while the Bulls will have to put points on the board without the help of Derrick Rose, Chicago fans can keep themselves contented with the star’s ability to put hair on his son’s headwith authority.


South Park: In which Eric Cartman steals an election—and not like “steals an election” in the way Marcus Gilmer would use the phrase to describe a come-from-behind electoral victory. He seriously, literally, steals an election like a ballot-hoarding Grinch.


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