Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Riley Keough, Alexandra Castillo (Starz)
Riley Keough, Alexandra Castillo (Starz)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, April 17. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

The Girlfriend Experience (Starz, 8 p.m.): Uh, hey, The Girlfriend Experience, it’s The A.V. Club. Listen, we just wanted to say that we had a really nice time meeting you last week in Kenji Fujishima’s pre-air review, and we were wondering if you wanted to go out with us for some weekly coverage. We think that you’ve got some interesting things going on in your storytelling, aesthetic, and lead performances, and we just think that if you gave us a shot there could be something here for both of us. I mean, it’s cool if you’re not into it, we’re just… You will? Really? Great! Kyle Fowle will pick you up tonight. He’s made reservations at this Italian place that makes great gnocchi.


Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): The plotting on Once Upon A Time makes our head hurt on a regular basis, but tonight’s really takes the cake: “Ruby looks for Dorothy, whom she and Mulan met in Oz awhile back, and her search leads her to the Underworld.” This is a show where the fact that Little Red Riding Hood and a Chinese warrior went to Emerald City warrants only an offhand mention. We’re looking forward to Gwen Ihnat’s effort to make sense of this, almost as much as she’s looking forward to the fact that Eriq La Salle, E.R.’s Dr. Peter Benton himself, is directing the episode. Perhaps he can surgically tie some of these various mythologies together.

The Last Man On Earth (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Last week The Last Man On Earth celebrated National Siblings Day with the reunion of the Miller brothers, and wasted no time proving that no bond is stronger and more fraught than the one that exists between siblings. Tensions and nut-punches have now escalated into an all-out prank war, and Vikram Murthi is gathering his resources of water balloons and toilet booby traps to fight the good fight. We just hope that Todd’s hiding out for the duration, as the last time he got into a prank war he wound up looking like Grimace.

Premieres and finales

Vinyl (HBO, 9 p.m.): HBO raised some eyebrows last week with the news that while Terence Winter had recorded some great albums for them in the past, they’re kicking him out of the band as his sound just isn’t line with where they want to take things, man. Despite its creative pedigree and talent pool season one of Vinyl hasn’t been the big hit that HBO clearly hoped it would be, and the network’s gambling on some new blood to bring in the golden records. It’s a bit regrettable as season one has gradually won Dan Caffrey over, the penultimate episode almost recasting it as a Greek tragedy with Richie dismissing Bruce Springsteen as a sound investment and Zak beating the shit out of him. Let’s see if the finale will double down on both and feature Richie getting curb-stomped as “Born In The U.S.A.” blares from the speakers.


Girls (HBO, 10 p.m. and 1o:30 p.m.): It’s a double-header for the Girls season finale, packed with all the quartet’s usual dramas and dilemmas, but one detail stood out to us: “Jessa and Adam have a no-holds-barred brawl for the ages.” Now, your What’s On Tonight correspondent has been embroiled in a bit of a cold war with his fellow What’s On Tonight correspondents over their appreciation of professional wrestling and his lack of the same. In an effort to restore the peace, he wants to reassure his peers that he unironically appreciates the nuttiness of the Hulk Hogan movie No Holds Barred, and would be thrilled if some of said nuttiness bled over into the Girls finale. Jessa shoves a check down someone’s throat, Adam bursts out of a limousine roof, and Hannah’s preparation for her “story slam” involves punching cinder blocks. All of this would no doubt be baffling to Joshua Alston, but would go a long way towards mending the What’s On Tonight fences.

Good Witch (Hallmark, 9 p.m.): Did you know that this is the second season of Good Witch? Did you know that the series follows the *seven* movies Hallmark made in the Good Witch franchise? Did you even know that there is a Good Witch franchise? Meanwhile, great ideas like Witch President can’t even make it to a series commitment.


TV Land Icon Awards 2016 (TV Land, 9 p.m.): TV Land’s been sprucing itself up recently with interesting shows like Younger, but its roster of honorees remains fairly traditional. Tonight, legendary sitcom producer Norman Lear will be presented with the Impact Icon Award, and Grandfathered star/Netflix prankster John Stamos will be presented with the Timeless Icon Award. The ceremony will be hosted by George Lopez (of TV Land’s Lopez), which answers the question you occasionally have when you wonder whatever happened to George Lopez.

Mike Tyson Mysteries (Adult Swim, 11:45 p.m.): Going back to fighters who have gotten into more than a little controversy, Mike Tyson’s animated series returns tonight for its third season. The former heavyweight champion of the world solves mysteries alongside his adopted daughter, a foulmouthed pigeon voiced by Norm Macdonald, and the Marquess of Queensbury voiced by Oscar Winner Jim Rash (who the press release credits correctly, as they should). Eric Thurm said of the season one finale that it’s “actually closer to reality than one might expect for a show that includes a chupacabra,” and we can count on one hand the shows that applies to. (That was a very, very odd episode of Law And Order: Criminal Intent, and yet it worked better than expected.)


Mr. Pickles (Adult Swim, 12 a.m.): Because the law of Adult Swim is that every show must make even less sense than the one before it, Mike Tyson solving mysteries with a ghost and a pigeon is followed by a show about a demonic border collie capable of developing high-tech androids who has a pet human gimp named Steve. We don’t know what’s in the water at Adult Swim, but we’d like to freeze said water into ice and pour our whiskey over it if they’re willing to share.

Regular coverage

Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)

The Family (ABC, 9 p.m.)

Fear The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.)

The Good Wife (CBS, 9 p.m.)

Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Fallen Angels, “The Quiet Room” (YouTube): Oh man, it’s our first date with The Girlfriend Experience and we’re already scared of blowing it. There’s a lot of stress about being involved with a Steven Soderbergh show. C’mon, you can do this! To get ready, let’s watch Soderbergh’s first credit for television, directing a neo-noir with Joe Mantegna and Bonnie Bedelia for Showtime.

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