Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Portlandia secedes from the union

Photo: Portlandia (IFC)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, February 16. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Riverdale (The CW, 9 p.m.): Riverdale is only four episodes in, but it’s already time for “The Last Picture Show.” Jughead leads an impassioned battle against an anonymous buyer who wants to tear down Riverdale’s drive-in movie theater. Because apparently protecting cinematic institutions is what loner teens are up to these days. Elsewhere, the show zeroes in on its most troubling character, Miss Grundy: Is this predatory teacher who she seems to be? What secrets are in her past? And will the show ever explicitly acknowledge that her relationship with Archie is statutory rape? After Riverdale handled the topic of slut-shaming so well last week, LaToya Ferguson sure hopes so.


Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m.): “Portland Secedes” is the title of this week’s Portlandia episode, and given America’s current political climate, that actually doesn’t sound too bad right about now. In order to keep out outsiders, control the borders, and ensure he can always get a seat at his favorite restaurant, the mayor pushes to create a sovereign nation of Portland. John Hugar enjoyed the intelligent but goofy social commentary of last week’s men’s rights activist-themed episode, so hopefully tonight’s outing will find that same balance. Elsewhere, eco-terrorists receive a “Best Protest” award, Pete wonders if he’s actually Banksy, and Kath and Dave get into a passive-aggressive battle with some car owners.

Colony (USA, 10 p.m.): Last week’s Colony may have been a bit of a misstep, but Alex McCown-Levy is hoping the show can get back on track this week. In “Fallout,” the Resistance reaches out to Kate, and Will chooses to help her bury her past in potentially brutal fashion. Plus Maddie and Nolan visit the labor camp. Through it all, Colony continues to offer the mix of “race-against-time excitement and Josh Holloway handsomeness” that made Alex fall in love with it in the first place.


Premieres and finales

SuperMansion (Crackle, 3 a.m.): Following its Christmas special back in December, SuperMansion returns for a second season. Bryan Cranston and his team of stop-motion superheroes bumble their way through more vaguely inept missions while battling the even greater challenge of public backlash. Plus Yvette Nicole Brown lends her voice to a brand new character: a talk show host who used to be a superhero.


Swamp People (History, 9 p.m.): In its tireless quest to educate the American people about the nuances and details of history, History Channel debuts the eighth season of Swamp People. The two-hour premiere features all the swamps and all the people viewers have come to know and love over the past seven seasons. From new bayous to new captains to new challenges, this season aims to make the swamp great again.

Comedy Knockout (TruTV, 11 p.m.): Aida Rodriguez, Rich Vos, and Robert Kelly are the three comedians pitted against one another in the season finale of TruTV’s high-stakes comedy showdown. Don’t worry, though: No comedians were harmed during the making of Comedy Knockout.


Regular Coverage

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Powerless (NBC, 8:30 p.m.)

Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)

Top Chef (Bravo, 9 p.m.)

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

Baskets (FX, 10 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Bunheads, “Movie Truck” (Freeform): Riverdale isn’t the first teen show to center an episode around a beloved movie institution. In this as in all things, Bunheads was ahead of the curve. The sleepy small town of Paradise, California, gets a visit from a movie truck, which winds up pulling just about the entire main cast into its orbit. Plus the episode offers one of the most compelling dance sequences in the show’s entire run. For those who missed Bunheads when it originally aired (or those who just want to revisit it), the entire series is streaming for free on the Freeform website. Also, “Movie Truck” is the next episode slated to be covered by the Gilmore Guys (a.k.a. Bunhead Bros.) podcast. That means there’s never been a better time to become a Bunhead-head. We’ve been singing this show’s praises for years now.


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