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

Tonight’s Black Lightning promises a tête-à-tête between two of the show’s best characters: The Pierce sisters

Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain
Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain
Photo: Bob Mahoney (The CW)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, October 30. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Black Lightning (The CW, 9 p.m.): If one were to make a list of Black Lightning’s strengths and weaknesses, the resulting list would be uneven, to say the least. Negatives: Occasionally tries to jam too much story into its 42 minutes; the odd lackluster fight; not enough Jill Scott. Positives: Where should we start?

That’s not a rhetorical question, actually. As good as Cress Williams is as Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce, Black Lightning’s actual superpower is the Pierce sisters. Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jenn (China Anne McClain) are good on their own and great together, the duo on which many of the show’s best scenes center. They’re fascinating as heroes, fascinating as young women, and especially fascinating as sisters. Tonight’s episode, “The Book Of Consequences: Chapter Four: Translucent Freak,” promises as least one tête-à-tête between the two, and a knock-down drag-out between Anissa and her father when the latter confronts the former about her “reckless and irresponsible behavior.” Kyle Fowle can hardly wait.

Regular coverage

The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.) 
This Is Us (NBC, 9 p.m.)

Wild card

Busy Tonight (E!, 10 p.m.): Busy Philipps has had a hectic/active/lively/bustling month. Her book, This Will Only Hurt A Little, arrived on October 16, and this past weekend, her new late-night show debuted. It’s fun! And her guest tonight is Kristen Forking Bell, so expect the celebrity-who-seems-endearingly-real-and-approachable quotient to be even higher than normal.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!