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

Sound the Patrick Warburton Klaxons, because Tuesday night is getting Crowded

Illustration for article titled Sound the Patrick Warburton Klaxons, because Tuesday night is getting Crowded

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, March 15. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Crowded (NBC, 10 p.m.): With this new show about adult children moving back in with their parents, NBC is the latest network looking to fuse the multi-camera sitcom with contemporary social issues, which we realize has a rich tradition a few decades back but these days mostly consists of a succession of TV Club reviewers going slowly mad while trying to convince themselves that 2 Broke Girls is saying something about the financial crisis. (We kid, but those reviews are pretty much the platonic ideal of what TV Club is all about, so we also respect.) Anyway, this is the latest television home for the always welcome Patrick Warburton. We realize the multi-cam sitcom isn’t his ideal habitat—it’s not like he elevated Rules Of Engagement to classic status through sheer force of amiably laconic grumpiness—but the dude needs something to in the decades that elapse between Venture Bros. seasons. And as Erik Adams explains in his pre-air review, “the show hails from Hot In Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin, and though it’s never as aggressively bawdy as that TV Land series, it does rely on such sitcom tried-and-trues like acid-tongued insults, familial meddling, and clash-of-the-generations conflicts.” So if that sounds like your thing, check out tonight’s double-length premiere before the show moves to Sundays at 9:30.


Also noted

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.): Tonight’s episode involves Coulson being made to attend that most terrifying of events, a symposium. No seriously, that’s the description: “Coulson and General Talbot are forced to team up and attend a symposium on Inhumans.” Thankfully there’s also promise of a surprising traitor being revealed, or Alex McCown would have worried this episode was going to be all poorly designed PowerPoints and people pretending the term “breakout session” means any damn thing at all.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9 p.m.): We’re not totally sure how long Jason Mantzoukas is going to be sticking around the Nine-Nine, but the show is getting its money’s worth out of TV’s most lovable slimeball. Case in point: Tonight’s episode sees Adrian Pimento moving in as Charles’ new roommate. LaToya Ferguson would happily see either Adrian Pimento or Charles Boyle defeat Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, which isn’t remotely relevant to what we’re talking about here but is absolutely something LaToya Ferguson feels.

The Grinder (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Look, we’re not improving on this synopsis, so here it is in full: “Dean loses his ability to grind after therapy, so he tries to solve the case of the office being ransacked. Meanwhile, in flashback, a young Dean must decide whether to embrace a simple life or pursue his destiny and become the Grinder he was meant to be.” Oh yes, that’s the good stuff. Molly Eichel will have to tear herself away from reading and rereading this fantastically written, impeccably argued piece on The Grinder and Lookwell to watch. (Don’t worry, you all can keep rereading it during the commercial breaks.)


Regular coverage

Flaked (Netflix)
The Characters (Netflix)
New Girl (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8 p.m.)
American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson (FX, 10 p.m.)


Elsewhere in TV Club

TUSK! That’s right, Joshua Alston has a Cue & A with P.J. Bloom, who handles the music selections for The Americans. Go read it, or else we’ll probably end up losing the Cold War after all.


What else is on?

NCIS/NCIS: New Orleans (CBS, 8 p.m./9 p.m.): As we promised in the comments section of last night’s edition of What’s On Tonight, one of these days we’re going to give these shows the top pick and title the article, “Fuck it, let’s just watch NCIS: New Orleans.” Will tonight be that night? “Brody believes that a sailor hit by a party bus in the French Quarter is connected to her sister’s death, after the NCIS team discovers similarities between the two. Meanwhile, the team prepares for St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the Big Easy.” Hmm, that’s damn close. But nah, we’re going to wait for the perfect moment.


Limitless (CBS, 10 p.m.): “With his closest relationships imploding, Brian goes rogue from the FBI and heads to Russia to find the only person who can help him cut ties once and for all with Senator Eddie Morra.” The only person, you say? Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome tonight’s very special Limitless guest star, Russian President Vladimir Putin!

The Real O’Neals (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): “Eileen assists Pat in selecting a sofa for his basement quarters, but their new arrangement doesn’t sit well with her.” Could part of her unease have to do with his insistence on calling living in the basement “quarters”? Because that definitely doesn’t sit well with us.


Of Kings And Prophets (ABC, 10 p.m.): What’s the least appropriate, borderline blasphemous way to describe this “Old Testament as sexless Game Of Thrones knockoff” miniseries? Our first thought was “Kind of like Gotham, but with Jesus as Bruce Wayne,” but then instantly realized that’s not at all what this show is. Though that’s pretty much exactly what the recent movie The Young Messiah is, so we still felt moved to share this whole derailed train of thought. Anyway, tonight features Ahinoam proposing a strategic marriage. We suspect a stultifyingly high percentage of this show is taken up with proposing strategic marriages.

IMPACT Wrestling (Pop, 9 p.m.): America’s other wrestling promotion swaps out one brilliant but troubled and past-his-prime former WWE champion for another, as Kurt Angle’s farewell tour segues into Jeff Hardy’s return from injury. We wish both these guys the very best, even if we’re not totally sure anyone should be watching at this point.


The Outsiders (WGN, 9 p.m.): Hey, this show got renewed! Neat. And, uh, tonight’s episode sees “the Farrells bow to a new authority.” Yeah, that’s the entire description. Sorry, unless Boyd Crowder and/or Wynn Duffy is involved, we know nothing about Kentucky-based crime.

Total Divas (E!, 9 p.m.): “Nikki commits the cardinal sin of mixing business with pleasure when she enlists John to be her rehab coach.” John, for those not in the know, is John Cena, who is legendary for returning from injuries more quickly than any human should be able to. All of which is to say, if it really must be a choice between having John Cena as one’s boyfriend or one’s rehab coach … well, we can see some of the appeal of the former, but, nah, we’re taking rehab coach.


L.A. Clippers Dance Squad (E!, 10 p.m.): “New talent, including a creative director, join the L.A. Clippers dance squad in the series premiere, which finds one veteran struggling to keep up and in danger of losing her job, while a brash rookie rubs her teammates the wrong way.” We’re sure the dance squad is plenty interesting, but there’s no way you’re convincing us there’s more drama to be found there than on the actual basketball roster.

Awkward (MTV, 10 p.m.): Time skips are all the rage these days, so the show returns after Jenna’s first year of college, during which she’s become distinctly less, well, awkward. But fear not, there’s no need to rename the show just yet: “Her newfound confidence is rattled when she realizes she’s not the only one who’s changed.”


Faking It (MTV, 10:30 p.m.): This show is also back for a new season, and if you’re not already familiar with what this show is about, maybe go read the Wikipedia summary. This show may be good, it may be terrible, but it’s definitely flowchart-level complicated in its many real and fake relationships.

Not Safe With Nikki Glaser (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): Tonight’s episode features Glaser talking “to an Uber driver about a romantic encounter with a passenger,” which, given all the reports of sexual assault involving rideshares, feels like that’s going to be seriously tricky territory to navigate.


Enemy Of The State (AMC, 8 p.m.): There was a period when this thriller about omnipresent government surveillance felt a little paranoid and dated, then it became super relevant again, and now it actually feels a little dated again after we all kind of collectively lost interest in the issue so that we could all focus on … honestly, we’re not even sure anymore.

Demolition Man (Cinemax, 10 p.m.): Speaking of prescient visions of the future! There was once a time when the movie’s reference to “President Schwarzenegger” was ridiculous. Then it seemed eerily prescient. Now? Not nearly ridiculous enough, frankly. Also, we’re now one Wesley Snipes comeback performance away from all four leads of this movie having Oscar nominations, so we know what we’re rooting for.


Black Snake Moan (Showtime, 9 p.m.): “A righteous Tennessee farmer (Samuel L. Jackson) tries to return a wanton woman (Christina Ricci) to the path of righteousness in this shallow, Southern-fried melodrama.” Man, this is a weird movie. Not necessarily a bad movie, though it might be (it’s been a while since we watched it.) But it’s definitely super weird.

NCAA Basketball Tournament: First Four (truTV, 6:30 p.m./9 p.m.): This year’s iteration of March Madness has what is by all accounts one of the most bizarre brackets in memory, but at least the opening games are called the First Four again, so that’s something. Plus, tonight’s tourney-opening matchups should be pretty good, as 2014’s ultimate Cinderellas from Florida Gulf Coast look to recapture that Dunk City magic by taking down Fairleigh Dickinson and getting the chance to be the first 16-seed to knock off a top seed. Then, mid-major power Wichita State has to scrap just to get into the main field of 64 against a streaky Vanderbilt team.


NHL Hockey: Detroit Red Wings at Philadelphia Flyers/Boston Bruins at San Jose Sharks (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m./10 p.m.): The Red Wings are clinging to the eighth seed in the East, and they’ve got a chance to bolster their odds of keeping their 24-year playoff streak alive by knocking off the Flyers, who are three points behind them in the standings. Then, the Atlantic-leading Bruins—who are nearly 20 points behind the Metropolitan-leading Capitals!—travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks, who look very much on track to break their fans’ hearts in the playoffs once again.

In case you missed it AKA nope, not run out of wrestling stuff just yet

Bates Motel: As though Y2J ripping up a “Get well Bret” sign at Roadblock wasn’t sufficient proof that there is nothing, nothing better in this world than heel Chris Jericho, here’s six more minutes of proof.

We’d say he’s Canada’s greatest treasure, if not for the fact we’re pretty sure he lit his homeland on fire last Saturday.


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