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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Rectify is brilliant, brooding, and back

Illustration for article titled Rectify is brilliant, brooding, and back

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, July 9. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Rectify (Sundance, 10 p.m.): It’s no secret that The A.V. Club loves this Sundance original series. Rectify centers on a man who was accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend when he was a teenager. After spending 19 years on death row, Daniel is finally released when new DNA evidence complicates the case. In the excellent season two finale, Daniel has to decide whether to take a plea deal. Now Brandon Nowalk is taking over reviews of season three, just in time for a confrontation between Daniel and his brother Teddy, and presumably a lot more legal drama. For those who haven’t yet discovered the pleasures of Rectify, now is a great time to start. Seasons one and two are both streaming on Netflix.


Also noted

Dates (The CW, 9 p.m.): Dating sucks so live vicariously through this British import from Skins co-creator Bryan Elsley. Each episode centers on the first date of a couple who met online. In her pre-air review, Caroline Framke called the series, “A stale take on modern dating,” but Game Of Thrones fans will be interested to note that the premiere features Oona Chaplin (a.k.a. Talisa Stark) as an icy potential suitor. So long as no one starts playing “Rains Of Castamere,” this is guaranteed to be better than the last time we saw her in a romantic setting.

Dominion (SyFy, 10 p.m.): This SyFy original series is set 25 years after the events of the terrible angels vs. human horror flick Legion. Survivors of the “Extermination War” now live in “Vega,” the former site of Las Vegas, which is plagued by a severe caste system and some traditional dystopian income inequality. The world gets bigger in tonight’s second season premiere as Alex and Noma head to the mysterious city of New Delphie and Michael finds a quaint southern town insulated from the war.

Hannibal (NBC, 10 p.m.): Will and Jack reunite and sort through some trust issues. Elsewhere, Hannibal and Bedelia wrap up their time in Florence and Hannibal begins to plot his “final stand.” Molly Eichel will be pairing tonight’s episode with some well-seasoned concern about the future of Hannibal.


Regular Coverage

Under The Dome (CBS, 9 p.m.)

Wayward Pines (Fox, 9 p.m.)

Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 10:30 p.m.)

Elsewhere in TV Club

In addition to Caroline Framke’s aforementioned TV Review of Dating, we’ve got an interview with Rectify actress Abigail Spencer about whether or not she thinks her TV brother is actually guilty.


Elsewhere, we get creative with a brand new Inventory in which we come up with actors who could pass for siblings and describe a potential project for them. Your What’s On Tonight correspondent took the assignment very seriously so check out the Inventory to get an insight into her obsession with celebrities that look alike.

What else is on?

The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC, 8 p.m.): The Mercury 7 wives enjoy the glamorous life in Houston, but things start to change when the Gemini Project wives arrive. Elsewhere the Cold War intensifies and the Cuban Missile Crisis comes to a head. Wonder how that will work out.


Lip Sync Battle (Spike, 10 p.m.): Given that we’re almost certainly headed towards an era of 24/7 celebrity lip sync battles (the midseason finale was only a month ago!), we might as well bow to our lip sync overlords and enjoy the performances from Alison Brie and Will Arnett.

Living With The Enemy (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): This new Lifetime reality show is basically Wife Swap with a slightly more pointed purpose. Women with two very opposing views (one advocates for “big beautiful women,” one is a fitness nut; one is a hunter, one is a vegan) switch families for eight days. And since it involves women, the show naturally pits them as “enemies.”


One Bad Choice (MTV, 11 p.m.): This 10-episode series explores the consequences of, you guessed it, one bad choice. Actors recreate fateful decisions that shaped the lives of real-life people. Tonight’s premiere centers on a woman who gets into a car accident outside a club while trying to escape a man who is harassing her.

The Replacements (TNT, 8 p.m.): Enjoy all the dance-induced football camaraderie of Remember The Titans without the anti-racism message or tearjerking ending.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (TCM, 11 p.m.): This 1951 classic has both a thoughtful sci-fi premise and a thinly veiled Christ metaphor. “Klaatu barada nikto.” “And also with you.”


Tour de France (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): The sixth stage of the Tour de France is a coastal route, which means strong winds could split the peloton and make the sprint finish even more interesting. For a little more background on just what is going on during the race, check out our Tour de France viewer’s guide.

In case you missed it

The Spoils Before Dying: Matt Piedmont and Andrew Steele return with more intentionally bad filmmaking in this 1950s-set murder mystery follow-up to The Spoils of Babylon. In his pre-air review, Dennis Perkins called the miniseries “almost too well-made at times.” Now Emily Stephens gets to weigh in on each episode.


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