Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Put aside the frivolity of fall premières for an hour and let Frontline update you on the situation in Syria

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, September 18. All times are Eastern.


Frontline (PBS, 10 p.m.): The PBS documentary series begins its latest season by taking its title literally, as producer Jamie Doran follows journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad into the heart of the civil war that has raged in Syria for nearly a year-and-a-half. Watch Abdul-Ahad’s report alongside Rowan Kaiser tonight, then return to silly autumn TV pursuits like How Booze Built America tomorrow.



So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, 8 p.m.): Season nine comes to a merciful end, and Oliver Sava can once more rest without fear of encountering a new remix from District 78 on a seemingly weekly basis.

The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): Caroline Framke weighs in on the second week of blind auditions, somewhat less weary from only having to watch two installments, rather than three. Her feelings are shared by a banter-fatigued nation.

Go On (NBC, 9 p.m.): The fact that the episode synopsis for “There’s No ‘Ryan’ In Team” is split evenly between group therapy and the radio station indicates this isn’t the week Go On figures out the proper balance between its two settings. You’re tearing Sonia Saraiya apart, Matthew Perry!


White Collar (USA, 9 p.m.): The midseason finale hinges on a big reveal involving Sam and Neal—but Kenny Herzog won’t let you know what it is until you see the episode yourself.

Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): Expect a lot of crazy Braverman developments from an episode entitled “Left Field.” Todd VanDerWerff predicts that this is the episode where we finally find out that Amber is a half-ninja with the ability to navigate subspace.


Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): The word “resurface” figures into the capsule summary from the network, which makes it sound as though two of Zack Handlen’s TV Club shows are about to collide in a gore-splattered Sons Of Anarchy-Walking Dead crossover. Brains! And bikers!


Dawson’s Creek (11 a.m.): The show does a very special two-parter, in which Jack comes out of the closet and all of his friends do the kind, decent, compassionate, human thing and support him every step of the way. Except for that dick Tyson Hicks—let us never speak of him (or have Brandon Nowalk type his name) ever again.



American Experience: Death And The Civil War (PBS, 8 p.m.): A nation of Drew Gilpin Faust fanatics waits eagerly in front of their television sets, donning Harvard sweatshirts and clutching Faust’s This Republic Of Suffering, the book that inspired this documentary about how the massive death toll of the American Civil War forever altered the way citizens of the United States viewed mortality. “Three cheers for historical correspondence!” shouts Phil Nugent.


The Rickey Smiley Show (TV One, 9 p.m.): Radio personality and stand-up comedian Rickey Smiley comes to television to play… a radio personality named Rickey Smiley. “Wherever did they get that idea?” Joshua Alston wonders.

Hot Set (Syfy, 10 p.m.): Because there is no aspect of film and television production Syfy can’t turn into a reality show, here comes a weekly set-building battle between production designers. Ryan McGee’s audition tape for the show involves a popsicle-stick-and-pipe-cleaner model of The Hatch from Lost.


Man Fire Food (Cooking, 10 p.m.): Man travel country. Man seek fire. Fire cook food. Man Fire Food. Food satisfy man, but man’s search unyielding. Man find more food for fire, more fire for food.

28 Days Later (MoMAX, 7 p.m.): Danny Boyle set off a million “fast zombie” arguments with this apocalyptic horror story that, it should be noted, features snarling, running, infectious ghouls that are only “zombies” in the academic sense.


The Sandlot (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): If The Wonder Years was condensed to feature-length and obsessively focused on recreational baseball, it might look a lot like The Sandlot. So much was lost by never forcing Kevin Arnold to retrieve a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth from a fearsome junkyard dog.

WNBA Basketball: New York at San Antonio (ESPN 2, 8 p.m.): In a pro-sports dead zone where the MLB is winding down, the NBA and NHL have yet to start, and the NFL stubbornly refuses to play on Tuesdays (or Wednesdays or Fridays…), enjoy a match between playoff-bound, but not particularly exciting, WNBA franchises.



Bones: Molly Eichel performs TV Club’s annual check-in with Bones to determine that, yes, it’s still Bones. She noticed Emily Deschanel has done something with her hair, though.


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