Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, September 29. All times are Eastern.
The Good Place (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): After last week’s insane deluge of new and returning shows, the TV landscape slows down a bit this week. That makes this the perfect time to catch up on the best of what fall TV has to offer. So we’re dividing today’s What’s On Tonight by genre to help you figure out which Thursday shows to catch up on in this era of #PeakTV. First up, fans of network comedies would do well to check out one of this fall’s most promising ones, The Good Place. Kristen Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop, a raging asshole who accidentally winds up in heaven due to a clerical error after her untimely demise. Dennis Perkins was particularly impressed with the way a last-minute twist shattered expectations in the show’s third episode. Tonight, “Eleanor faces a tough test in her bid to remain in hiding.” Will that lead to yet another twist in the show’s set-up? So long as the jokes about Plato and vodka fires keep coming, Dennis will be a happy camper.
Pitch (Fox, 9 p.m.): Or catch up on one of network TV’s most promising dramas, Pitch, which also ended with a twist last week. What appeared to be a grounded drama about the first female Major League Baseball pitcher might have something a little more metaphysical up its sleeve. But regardless, it’s the performances from Kylie Bunbury and (surprisingly) Mark-Paul Gosselaar that make this one stand out. Naturally we lined up Lisa Weidenfeld to field weekly reviews of the series, since she’s a baseball fan, a Saved By The Bell aficionado, and a pro at tackling supernatural series like The Magicians. Which means she’s ready no matter what Pitch throws at her. In tonight’s episode, sexist comments made by the Padres’ manager make it even tougher for Ginny to fit in with the team. Plus Mike and Blip deal with their own dilemmas.
Better Things (FX, 10 p.m.): Meanwhile, for the alt crowd, FX has you covered with the sardonic female-led comedy of your dreams. Pamela Adlon plays actor/single mom Sam Fox in a series co-created by Adlon and Louis CK. In her review of the premiere, Molly Eichel was especially impressed by the assuredness of the show’s tone and point of view. Tonight’s episode has the cryptic description “Sam gets looked at.” Molly Eichel doesn’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but she does know that Adlon must be protected at all costs.
Premieres and finales
Mighty Magiswords (Cartoon Network, 6:30 p.m.): The one new series premiering tonight is Mighty Magiswords, which makes the leap from online shorts to a full-length TV series. It’s also the perfect option for animation fans, who can marathon it with a new Teen Titans Go! at 6 p.m. and a new Regular Show at 8 p.m. The show centers on twin brother and sister Vambre and Prohyas, “warriors for hire” who travel the world on quests to hunt down magical swords. In the debut episode, “Prohyas and Vambre try to stop Queen Porcina from capturing delivery folks.”
The This Old House Hour (PBS, 8 p.m.): And for those who prefer their TV shows to simply feel like cozy blankets, The This Old House Hour returns for a 15th season tonight. First up, homeowners restore and expand their 1909 English-style Arts And Crafts home. Then the show explores window repair, robotic lawnmowers, and lead in drinking water. That sounds surprisingly topical for this PBS stalwart.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (Logo, 8 p.m.)
How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Her Story (YouTube): And, finally, for something completely different check out the Emmy-nominated webseries Her Story. The six-episode series centers on two trans women trying to date in L.A. As the show’s website explains, “Trans women in the media have long been punchlines, killers, indications of urban grit, pathetic tragedies, and dangerous sirens. Rarely have they been complex characters who laugh, struggle, and grow, who share strength in sisterhood, who seek and find love. Her Story depicts the unique, complicated, and very human women we see in queer communities, and explores how these women navigate the intersections of label identity and love.”