Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Gang and the Man walk into a television screen

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia/Man Seeking Woman (Photos: FXX)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, January 4. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX, 10 p.m.): 11 seasons was a big deal, but now with 12? It’s a whole new ball game. A black ball game. In the 12th season premiere, “The Gang Turns Black,” It’s Always Sunny finally cuts out the middleman known as blackface: “After an electric heating blanket shorts out while the gang watches The Wiz they look in the mirror and realize they’ve turned black. They have to figure out how to get back to being themselves by going through all the classic body switch movie shenanigans they encounter.” The ghost of FX’s Black. White. (and reviewer Dennis Perkins) knows what it will be watching tonight.


Man Seeking Woman (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): Wait a minute. While we’re happy to have Man Seeking Woman back, it looks like something has changed. The man… is no longer seeking a woman? What? The season premiere, “Futon,” begins the tale of a man who has found a woman (and vice versa): “Josh and Lucy (Katie Findlay) fall in love but struggle with their living situation.” Is a futon part of that living situation struggle? Some things, you just have to wait for Danette Chavez’s review (and the episode) to find out.

Nova (PBS, 9 p.m.): 44 seasons is a really big deal, especially on public broadcasting (thanks to viewers like you), so fine, we take back everything we said about It’s Always Sunny. It’s not that impressive, especially since Nova’s 44th season premiere is all about “Vampire Sky Tombs.” This probably isn’t even half as cool as it sounds, is it? “Unearth secrets buried in the world’s highest tombs, tucked in Himalayan caves.” Alright, still cool, but real-life vampires are probably not the secrets.

Premieres and finales

The Goldbergs (ABC, 8 p.m.): “O Captain! My Captain!” It‘s an ode to Dead Poets Society! “Beverly substitutes for Barry’s chemistry class in hopes to inspire students in the same way as Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society, much to Barry’s embarrassment.”


Lethal Weapon (Fox, 8 p.m.): Since “silent disco” and “millennial ‘designer drug’ dealer” are a part of this week’s episode synopsis, it’s probably for the best to just skip this episode. You could watch Damon Wayans Sr. complain about millennials for the majority of the hour, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Blindspot (NBC, 8 p.m.): Blindspot is back with an even blinder spot, since it’s realized one series regular with amnesia is nothing compared to two series regulars with amnesia. “Patterson is missing… and a newly amnesiac Roman is on the loose. Jane and Weller must race Shepherd—and the clock—to find them before it’s too late.” Who will end up with amnesia next?!?


Unsung (TV One, 8 p.m.): Unsung kicks off its 10th season with a spotlight on girl group SWV, and we’ve already got “Weak” stuck in our head.

Speechless (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): Speechless’ first season winter premiere is a “R-o-Road T-r-Trip,” baby. “The family goes on an annual impromptu family road trip, but Ray has something in store, which angers Maya when she finds out what it is.” Why must you have something in store, Ray? That can’t possibly be in the annual impromptu family road trip spirit, man.


Criminal Minds (CBS, 9 p.m.): “As Rossi conducts a profiling course on his birthday, he receives a call from his serial killer nemesis, Tommy Yates (Adam Nelson), telling him the location of his latest victim.” The episode is “Profiling 202,” so maybe a more advanced course teaches you how to keep your nemesis behind bars.

Star (Fox, 9 p.m.): “While Star, Alexandra and Simone work on a demo for their chance to perform at a music festival, Roland Crane (guest star Lenny Kravitz) and his wife, Rose (guest star Naomi Campbell), come into town, revealing a big secret that threatens to destroy the group.” What are the chances the group is destroyed in the second episode and the entire premise is completely rebooted? Zero, but it would be gutsy.


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 9 p.m.): Law & Order: SVU is still in its 18th season, so we get it—we jumped the gun by getting so excited about It’s Always Sunny’s 12 seasons earlier. We’re sorry.

Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): “When Diane stumbles onto some websites that give her more than she bargained for, Dre and Bow must take action. Concerned that the internet is corrupting their children, Dre and Bow decide to make their home an internet free-zone and deal with the backlash.” Privacy controls, you guys. Also, the episode may already have a good title in “Their Eyes Were Watching Screens,” but we’ve got to admit there’s a missed opportunity in not calling this episode “Black-ish Mirror.” That one’s for free, Ashley Ray-Harris.


Match Game (ABC, 10 p.m.): “The year 2017 is getting started with a BLANK! The shag carpet is back, the microphone is still skinny and the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin is at the helm.” That answered some questions. Thanks, press release!

Vivica’s Black Magic (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): This docuseries exists because Vivica A. Fox decided the world needs “the first urban exotic male revue.” Are you going to say no to her?

The Real World (MTV, 10 p.m.): The latest season finale of The Real World promises “Bad Blood No More” in its episode title. If that’s what the cast members of this season have to tell each other in order for us to all get what we actually want—a new season of The Challenge—then so be it, the bad blood is no more.


Regular coverage

Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.)

Frequency (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Vikings (History Channel, 9 p.m.)

Streaming pick

The Challenge: Fresh Meat (Daily Motion): We’ve got to get our fix somehow, alright? Plus, this is the 12th season of The Challenge, and we just had this thing about how 12 seasons is a big deal. Sure, we flip-flopped on that, but we’ll never flip-flop on The Challenge.


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