Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, October 21. All times are Eastern.
World Series: Game 1: Giants at Royals (Fox, 8 p.m.): This year’s championship features a Kansas City Royals team that hadn’t made the playoffs in 29 years—and now, even more impressively, still hasn’t lost a playoff game in 29 years—and a San Francisco Giants team that wins the World Series every even year and apparently just sort of decides to chill out in all the odd ones. There are plenty of very smart reasons to pick either team, and this year figures to crown either one of the most improbable underdog runs in recent memory or one of the most unexpected dynasties in the sport’s history. It’s almost enough to make those three dudes in the photo up top bearable. But hey! There’s always the mute button.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): Barry’s next villain is the Mist, who has gained some sort of toxic gas powers. You think Barry is going to try to get rid of the toxic gas by running in a circle and creating a wind tunnel? I feel like that’s, like, half of the Flash’s moves right there. Scott Von Doviak is on hand to explain why I’m underestimating the tactical mind of Barry Allen.
Marry Me (NBC, 9 p.m.): There’s some fairly predictable business about the show’s featured couple moving in together and having some problems sharing the same space—admittedly, I say those problems are predictable, but it really wouldn’t be much of a plot if they just moved in together and nothing happened and everything was fine—but the real point of emphasis has to be one of the side characters discovering an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, which is just as predictable a plotline, in the sense that it’s always hilarious. Molly Eichel is bringing her own extra plate, just to be on the safe side.
Selfie (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is 90 minutes long, meaning it’s overrunning by 30 minutes. At this point, is it just more accurate to say Sons Of Anarchy is a 90-minute show that occasionally—very occasionally—runs short?
Erik Adams is taking a week’s break from his 30 Rock TV Club Classic coverage, but he’ll be back next time with “The Source Awards” and “The Fighting Irish.” We also won’t be reviewing this week’s Michael Rapaport-directed 30 For 30 installment, but Noel Murray will be on hand to review next week’s episode.
John Teti examines the demented quasi-sketch show Snuff Box—starring Matt Berry of The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh, and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace—for One-Season Wonders, Weirdoes, and Wannabees. Vikram Murthi has some praise for Daily Show veteran Wyatt Cenac’s new special. And Alex McCown pens an ode to underrated actor Chris Messina, ensuring this is just about the wildest assortment of offerings you’re ever likely to find in “Elsewhere in TV Club.”
NHL Hockey: Flyers at Blackhawks (NBC Sports, 8:30 p.m.): The start of the World Series means this is one of the relatively few nights of the year in which all of America’s major sports are in action somewhere on the primetime schedule. Admittedly, you’re about to see how much you have to stretch the definition of “in action” for that statement to be true, but let’s start with one entirely legitimate entry, as the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Chicago Blackhawks in a rematch of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals.
NBA Basketball: Exhibition: Rockets at Heat (TNT, 8 p.m.): Next up, we’ve got NBA basketball (uh, in the preseason) featuring perennial contender and glamor team the Miami Heat (uh, without LeBron James). Still, there’s some fun to be had here: Heat star Chris Bosh came this close to signing with the Houston Rockets after LeBron returned to Cleveland, with some reports indicating that Bosh remained in Miami in part because he didn’t like Houston stars James Harden and Dwight Howard. Sure, that’s pretty weak drama, but that’s just about the perfect amount for a preseason NBA game.
College Football: Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette (8 p.m., ESPN2): Since the NFL has somehow failed to invade Tuesdays like it has pretty much every other day of the week, it falls to the Sun Belt—college football’s most metal conference—to pick up the slack. Last week, I told you about Louisiana-Lafayette coach and weightlifting god Mark Hudspeth, so let’s focus on the Arkansas State gig, otherwise known as the Defense Against the Dark Arts job of college football. Blake Anderson is the fifth guy to coach the team in as many years, with predecessors Bryan Harsin, Gus Malzahn, and Hugh Freeze now doing good to great things at Boise State, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Considering Anderson is the architect of whatever the hell this was, I’m guessing he could make good on his promise to stick around awhile.
Women’s World Cup Qualifying Soccer: Jamaica vs. Mexico (FS1, 7:30 p.m.): Are we counting soccer as a major sport yet? I’m not sure, but I’ll admit we’re probably stretching things a bit when the best soccer on is a world cup qualifier between the Jamaican and Mexican women’s teams. I guess this is what happens to Fox Sports 1 when baseball gets taken by the Fox mothership.
Golf: World Long Drive Championship (Golf, 10 p.m.): And … the bottom of the barrel has officially been scraped.
Jason X (AMC, 7:15 p.m.): This is one of those movies that I’d desperately like to believe is awesome, and I’m guessing 17-year-old me could indeed have found it awesome, but it’s probably crap. Then again, “Jason Vorhees rampaging on a 25th century spaceship” remains way more tempting than it probably should to a mature, functional adult.
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World (Encore, 8 p.m.): I believe this movie’s unwieldy title is an artifact of the filmmakers’ belief that this would be just the beginning of a Russell Crowe-starring, Napoleonic Wars-set nautical franchise, and so each new Master And Commander movie would need its own distinct subtitle. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind living in the universe where that happened, because this is secretly (or not so secretly) a pretty great movie, even if it doesn’t feature Jason Vorhees terrorizing some skimpily dressed 25th century space teens. (Hey, I think I just figured out why Master And Commander wasn’t a box office hit!)
American Dad: This animated stalwart was a damn fine show on Fox for the better part of a decade; if tonight’s episode is any indication, it’ll continue to be a damn fine show on TBS. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like TV Club will be able to accompany American Dad on the next stage of its journey, and we’re as bummed about that as we know a lot of you are. So, for whatever it’s worth, here’s a TV Club salute to American Dad: Godspeed, you depraved but lovable bastard. (Also, godspeed to all the characters who aren’t Roger. Although honestly, “depraved but lovable bastard” could describe at least a dozen different characters.)