Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
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Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, February 20. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Bates Motel (A&E, 10 p.m.): Bates Motel’s fifth season premiere is a “Dark Paradise.” According to the episode synopsis, “Norman tries to keep up appearances despite a troubling discovery; Dylan and Emma receive a surprise guest.” It’s the beginning of the end for Bates Motel, and Alex McCown-Levy is ready to take that morbid ride.

Timeless (NBC, 10 p.m.): Timeless certainly knows how to end a first season: with “The Red Scare.” “With one of our heroes’ lives on the line, the team chases Flynn to 1954 through the paranoid corridors of Joe McCarthy’s (guest star Spencer Garrett) Washington, D.C., en route to a secret, once-a-generation meeting of Rittenhouse leaders. While there, Lucy must wager the ultimate sacrifice to save history as we know it.” Allison Shoemaker just wants someone to ask: “Are you now or have you ever been Rittenhouse?”


Billy On The Street (TruTV, 10 p.m.): This “special presentation” of Billy On The Street is all about “Political Comedy!” The exclamation point makes it extra special. TruTV is actually airing a mini-marathon (two hours of episodes hand-picked by Billy Eichner) of Billy On The Street, starting with this compilation episode of the fifth season’s most “politically charged segments.”

Premieres and finales

Unlocking The Cage (HBO, 8 p.m.): You like animals? Well this HBO documentary is all about animals, specifically “animal-rights lawyer Steven Wise and his Nonhuman Rights Project”: “Wise and his team endeavor to provide limited personhood rights for relatively intelligent animals such as chimpanzees, whales and elephants, which would protect the creatures against captivity and abuse.”

The Talk: Race in America (PBS, 8 p.m.): This PBS documentary explores “how parents of color often feel compelled to explain to their kids, especially sons, about how to behave if they’re stopped by the police.”

Fast N’ Loud (Discovery Channel, 8 p.m.): The 100th episode of Fast N’ Loud is just as fast n’ loud as the rest of the series. Just look at the episode title: “The Vomit Comet.” “With Aaron on vacation, Richard tasks the guys with giving the Gas Monkey treatment to the first car he ever owned back in high school, a vomit green ’74 Mercury Comet.” See? A literally vomit Comet.


American Ninja Warrior: All-Stars (NBC, 8 p.m.): All-Stars, baby! “Three all-star teams square off in five ‘supersized’ skills and obstacles competitions, including the Endless Invisible Climb and Super Salmon Ladder.” The only Super Salmon Ladder your friendly neighborhood What’s On Tonight contributor tends to acknowledge involves Oliver Queen, so this will be a new experience.

The Breaks (VH1, 9 p.m.): After the success of the 2016 VH1 original movie about the early ’90s hip-hop scene, The Breaks returns in weekly form. And in this series, these are the breaks: “Nikki begins her first day as Barry Fouray’s new assistant and is tasked with planning a listening party for rapper Special Ed. Elsewhere, Ahm demands that DeeVee return his tape.” Hip-hop dreams, baby.


Murder Calls (Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.): In the first season finale of this Investigation Discovery series, it’s “Shane’s Last Stand”: “A young man calls 911 claiming his gun had misfired and he was seriously injured, but the 911 dispatcher suspects there is more to this call than it seems. Included: an interview with the dispatcher who helped the caller get justice.” Sounds like quite the murder call. It also sounds less traumatizing than most Investigation Discovery series.

Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party (VH1, 10 p.m.): Martha and Snoop have a new time slot, as Fat Joe and Kelis join them for a hog roast. Then, Fat Joe and Remy Ma perform, just like with most hog roasts.


Regular coverage

Supergirl (The CW, 8 p.m.)

24: Legacy (Fox, 8 p.m.)

WWE Monday Night RAW (USA, 8 p.m.)

Jane The Virgin (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Humans (AMC, 10 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Sliders, “Pilot” (Amazon Video/Google Play/Hulu/iTunes/vudu/YouTube): The combination of the Timeless season finale and Presidents’ Day makes this—as the Sliders’ first adventure lands them in a world where the United States lost the Cold War—the perfect Monday night streaming pick.


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