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

Somehow, Survivor keeps finding compelling new gimmicks, even in season 27

Illustration for article titled Somehow, Survivor keeps finding compelling new gimmicks, even in season 27

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, November 13. All times are Eastern.

Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): We don’t know if you’ve noticed—since not all of you watch this show—but this season of the show has unleashed one of the better gimmicks in the run of the show, which is up to 27 seasons now, which is still a little astounding to us. In that gimmick, former fan favorites have been returned to the game but also forced to compete against their loved ones, raising the question of which is thicker: blood or water? Of course, the true answer is blood. Have you ever tried to fill a cup with blood from a faucet? It takes so much longer. Carrie Raisler does this every day before work.

Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): Diggle pursues Deadshot to Russia. If this were that other major network superhero show, then there would be about 30 seconds of footage shot in Red Square before the characters ducked inside a 7-11 located in Long Beach. Alasdair Wilkins has been to that 7-11!


The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): The Hecks may have taken a week off for the CMA Awards, but in the meantime, they managed to get their hands on a rescue dog. Aw! A cute widdle puppy! Will Harris can’t wait to make .GIFs of each and every Heck hugging the puppy. In fact, the whole episode should be hugs.

Revolution (NBC, 8 p.m.): “Come Blow Your Horn” is the title of tonight’s episode, which reminds us that every time we try to recite a nursery rhyme now, it slips out of our heads. Have we waited to have children too long? Les Chappell can’t believe that we’ve forgotten the words for “Jack Be Nimble.”

Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): With Joe Reid departing for his new job, reviews of Modern Family will revert to the T.V. Club all-stars. First up: Phil Dyess-Nugent checks out what words Gloria will say in a manner the show insists is hilarious while she volunteers at the school fair. Probably “schadenfreude.”

American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.): Of all of the things we know about this season, we’re perhaps most excited that the show is conjuring up the famed Axeman of New Orleans, one of the deadliest serial killers in U.S. history, who was never caught. Todd VanDerWerff reads too many true crime blogs.


The League (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): The League stands alone in its own post-apocalyptic hellscape, on a channel many of its fans can’t even find on their programming grids, without the friendly lead-in provided by It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Pilot Viruet will never let go, show. She’ll never let go.

South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): Ryan McGee watches as the boys head out for Black Friday in an episode that will have him stocking up supplies to make sure he doesn’t have to leave his house between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. He’s not crazy, you guys. He just really hates great deals.


Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The chefs must serve a party hosted by jazz great Kermit Ruffins, which leads to us wondering this: Why are there so many jazz greats named Kermit? Also: Do any of you know any Kermits in your day do day lives? Sonia Saraiya only knows the one, and he just happens to be the Frog.

Key And Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): A guy tries to look cool at a strip club, which is harder to do than it sounds. You figure you’re going to walk in, tossin’ your dollar bills around, and then you realize it’s kind of seedy. Brandon Nowalk owns and operates 15 strip clubs in the Pittsburgh area.


Mad Men (1 p.m.): Don Draper’s secret past begins to unravel in this week’s episode, and it’s interesting to remember when this was a mystery, as opposed to now, when every other scene flashes back to Don’s past working on an oil rig, trying to suppress his powers. Todd VanDerWerff has done that, too!


The X Factor (Fox, 8 p.m.): Remember a few years ago when everyone was, like, “Oh, wow, now Fox can dominate the whole year with Simon Cowell in the fall and American Idol in the spring?” Well, don’t they all look smart now that it would seem basically nobody is watching this show anymore. Suckers!


Nova (PBS, 9 p.m.): The PBS institution gets in on this month’s JFK assassination kick, as it reopens the case of who killed him Sure, it will probably conclude Lee Harvey Oswald did it. Because that’s what they want you to think. PBS is owned by Barack Obama, people, and he’s a Communist. Look it up.

Super Fun Night (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): People keep telling us this show has turned it around, and we guess we wouldn’t be surprised by that. But it will have to turn things around a whole lot faster if it’s going to keep losing that much of Modern Family’s audience. A season two isn’t a given here, people.


Bear Grylls: Escape From Hell (Discovery, 10 p.m.): Serious question: How much do you think Discovery would have to pay Satan to get Bear Grylls to star in a series where he actually escaped from Hell? Because if anyone could replicate Christ’s harrowing of Hell in reality TV, it has to be Bear Grylls, right?

The Amazing Spider-Man (Encore, 8 p.m.): Think about this for a moment: Irrfan Khan starred in two movies last year in which he frequently said “Richard Parker,” this one and Life Of Pi. And yet no one seems to have made an awesome YouTube mash-up where Peter Parker’s dad is a famished tiger!


Michael Clayton (TV Guide Network, 8:30 p.m.): Tilda Swinton won an Oscar and a bunch of other people were nominated for this solid drama about what happens when a “fixer” (played by George Clooney) finds himself embroiled in corporate intrigue. Thrill to how Ray Donovan ripped this off!

NBA Basketball: Knicks at Heat/Thunder at Clippers (ESPN, 8 p.m.): It’s a doubleheader featuring four of the 10 teams ESPN’s NBA coverage deigns to show you, because these are four of the only teams a national audience might, theoretically, care about! But, c’mon. Who doesn’t love them Clippers?


Black Mirror (Tuesday): Not to turn into a broken record about this, but the superb British drama Black Mirror is finally on American shores, and we’re excited to have David Sims covering it week to week. Todd VanDerWerff will add his thoughts in the TV Reviews section in a couple of weeks, too.


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