Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, December 2. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): Listen up, nerds! Part two of The Flash & Arrow Crossover Extravaganza To Vanquish Vandal Savage (also known as VandalMania) is on tonight! If you’re out of the loop, all of this is leading to the mid-season Flash/Arrow spin-off Legends Of Tomorrow, so this week’s Arrow is appropriately titled “Legends Of Yesterday.” We’re assuming it’s because yesterday comes before tomorrow, but we’re not the time travelers here. (Oh yeah, there’s time travel involved. You really should watch the Legends Of Tomorrow trailer if you’re this behind on the general premise.) The press release for this episode calls of this an “epic crossover,” but we think we pretty much covered that with the “Extravaganza” and “VandalMania” of it all.


So what’s happening in the episode? “Oliver and Barry Allen take Kendra Saunders and Carter Hall to a remote location to keep them hidden from Vandal Savage while they figure out how to defeat him. Malcolm arranges a meeting between Vandal, Green Arrow and The Flash that doesn’t go as planned. Meanwhile, Felicity, Thea, Diggle and Laurel work with Team Flash to come up with a weapon powerful enough to destroy Vandal Savage.” Too bad they fail, right, Alasdair Wilkins? Here’s to tomorrow!

Top pick No. 2: The Streets

The Challenge: Bloodlines (MTV, 10 p.m.): Damn you, Arrow! Damn you straight to Lian Yu! Of course we’d pick that show above all other shows during VandalMania. But tonight also marks the return of what should actually be America’s pastime: MTV’s The Challenge. Apparently this season has ripped off an entire premise from Survivor, but because it’s The Challenge, we’ll say it was purely coincidence. (We said the same thing about The Challenge: The Island, even though that was blatantly a Survivor rip-off. But it was also purely coincidence.) Have you ever thought, “Johnny Bananas is great, but I wish I could see him team-up with his family member?” If so, that’s a problem on every possible level; but it’s also the basis for this entire season. So get ready for 90 minutes of sloppy drunken antics, ruthless aggression, and host TJ Lavin’s absolute contempt for quitters and dummies (just wait until the trivia challenge of the season).


Also noted

Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): “Catherine O’Hara (Best In Show, Temple Grandin) Guest Stars.” Congratulations, Kyle Fowle. We’re completely sold, no need for an actual plot.


Empire (Fox, 9 p.m.): Empire is going out with its mid-season finale, and it’s probably for the best. This season is kind of… Well, think of the season this way: It’s “Snitch Bitch,” in a world where “Drip Drop” already exists. So what can we expect in “Et Tu Brute”? Oh. Wow. We can expect a synopsis that spoils one of the major plots of the season so far: “Lucious makes a reckless play for the streaming service that he believes will make him the most powerful man in music, only to learn that the entire business strategy was part of a scheme that might jeopardize everything for which he has worked so hard.” In case you’re thinking that’s not really a spoiler, do not check out the guest star list for this episode, because the first actor mentioned really does give away the whole plot. But hey, it looks like Empire has brought Da Brat back from the dead, so that’s fun. Right, Joshua Alston?

Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): In “Men At Work,” Wanda Sykes arrives, which is pretty great. But apparently she “starts to question Charlie’s work ethic,” so she must be stopped. Sorry, Wanda Sykes. LaToya Ferguson would never question Charlie’s work ethic, but that’s mostly because she’s still thinking about how D’Angelo moment from “Charlie In Charge.” Oh, and Dre’s “childhood friend Sha (guest star Faizon Love) comes to stay at the house for a few days, [but] Bow thinks he is taking advantage of Dre’s generosity.”


Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD, 9:30 p.m.): Ooh, “The Future Of The Force,” huh? Clearly all roads lead back to VandalMania. Here, “the rebels learn that the Inquisitors are seeking out Force-sensitive children, and they work together to protect the young ones from the Inquisitors’ pursuit.” Seriously, we can’t tell the difference between this and one of Vandal Savage’s plans, so good job, Rebels. And good luck, Kevin Johnson.

American Horror Story: Hotel (FX, 10 p.m.): With this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Hotel, “The Ten Commandments Killer,” “John closes in on The Ten Commandments Killer.” We really do love how matter-of-fact these Hotel synopses are, especially since we know nothing about the actual episode will be. Even more so because this synopsis ends with “Written by Ryan Murphy.” Emily L. Stephens is still holding out hope that one episode of Hotel will be just as cut-and-dry as its synopsis. Bless her heart.


Moonbeam City (Comedy Central, 1 a.m.): Ah, “The Legend Of Circuit Lake.” We know that one well. It all started— Wait a minute. The show’s been moved from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. What is happening and should we be worried? Jesse Hassenger, tell us whether or not we should be worried!

You’re The Worst (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): Here at TV Club, we don’t like to pick favorites, but if we did, we would definitely pick You’re The Worst as a favorite. Come on, you know you would too. Showrunner Stephen Falk pens what is sure to be another gut-wrenching (but in a funny way!) episode with “Other Things You Could Be Doing”: “Gretchen’s depression comes to a head, forcing Jimmy to make a tough choice.” So good luck with that, Vikram Murthi.


Regular coverage

Casual (Hulu, midnight)

The Man In The High Castle (Amazon)

The Middle / The Goldbergs (ABC, 8 / 8:30 p.m.)

Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.)

Kingdom (DirecTV, 9 p.m.)

South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)

The League (FXX, 10 p.m.)

Elsewhere in TV Club

In a world of adaptations and reboots, not every thing is the worst. So our latest Inventory is a tip of the hat to those “adaptation all-stars.” It’s full of folks like Maggie Smith and other folks who aren’t Maggie Smith!


And speaking of reboots, if you’re curious about what’s happening over at Nickelodeon right now (you darn millennials or whatever) in that department, you can check out Marah Eakin’s interview with Chris Viscardi. In addition to being the co-creator of The Adventures Of Pete And Pete, Viscardi is also Nickelodeon’s senior vice president of content development for franchise properties. Basically, he knows he stuff, reboots or otherwise.

What else is on?

Regular Show (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.): The week of Regular Show continues with “Win That Prize,” as “Mordecai and Rigby do mundane tasks in fantastical places at work.” Way to put the “regular” in Regular Show, you guys.


Long Live The Royals (Cartoon Network, 7:45 p.m.): After Regular Show, Long Live The Royals gets right to the point with its episode title: In “Snore Much,” “The Queen snores, but won’t admit to it, which causes problems within the kingdom.” Women be snoring, women be snoring.

CMT Artists Of The Year (CMT, 8 p.m.): “Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt are saluted. Chris Stapleton receives the Breakout Award and performs; Kenny Rogers is honored with the Artist of a Lifetime Award.” Bing, bang, boom. That’s how you do an awards show. None of this actual show stuff. Thanks, TV Guide Guy!


Alaskan Bush People (Discovery, 8 p.m.): Ooh, a special time. Why so special, Alaskan Bush People? “The family plan a series of surprises to celebrate Billy’s birthday; and a visit from a childhood friend prompts the wolf pack to reflect back on their adventures in the wild.” Is this a clip show? This reads like it’s a clip show. Is that what makes it special?

Rosewood (Fox, 8 p.m.): And now Rosewood is here with its mid-season finale, “Aortic Atresia And Art Installations.” “Rosewood and Villa dive into the hip Miami art scene to catch a serial killer who is on the cusp of creating a ‘masterpiece’” We swear this is the same description from the previous episode, only replacing “glamorous Miami modeling scene” with “hip Miami art scene.” It’s crazy how Fox just remade Castle while Castle’s still airing, right?


Hellevator (GSN, 8 p.m.): Time for everyone’s favorite horror-based game, Hellevator. This week is “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker,” where “three contestants must face challenges based on the bloody brothers’ businesses.” Sure.

Christmas In Rockefeller Center (NBC, 8 p.m.): Say, do you like Christmas trees and Pentatonix? (That question is actually a new slogan that NBC has been kicking around.)


Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m.): In “Just My Imagination,” Nate Torrence guest stars as Sully, Sam’s childhood imaginary friend. That’s winning point number one. Also, Richard Speight Jr. directed the episode, which could possibly be winning point number two. But winning point number three isn’t even so much about the episode as it is about the episode title allowing us to bring up this Comedy Bang! Bang! the TV show sketch:

Cutthroat Kitchen (Food Network, 9 p.m.): We’ve come to the end of “Superstar Sabotage!” We’re still not quite sure what Cutthroat Kitchen is or what its mission is, but we do know this conclusion is titled “It’s Raining Ramen.” Food Network’s one big grift, yadda, yadda, yadda.


Property Brothers At Home On The Ranch (HGTV, 9 p.m.): “A state-of-the-art country kitchen is installed on the main floor of the log home.” That honestly sounds like it clashes.

Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): Time to get back to depression, Nashville style. We’ve praised You’re The Worst for its take on depression, but Nashville’s fourth season has somehow managed to be the personification of the very concept, in television show form. (So, not exactly personification but you know what we mean.) And now for an out-of-context sentence: “Is Deacon part of the solution or the problem?” You know the answer is “the problem,” so why do you even ask, Nashville?


Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): 75 minutes. 13 seasons. Special night. Let’s put that all together now: It’s the 75-minute 13th season premiere of Top Chef… on a special night. See? It all makes sense now. “Top chefs arrive in Los Angeles in the opener of Season 13, which will feature the foodies competing in six cities across California. Here, they try to wow food critics and reporters under the Hollywood sign.” Wait, literally under the Hollywood sign? What are the logistics on that one? Guess we have to watch and see.

Code Black (CBS, 10 p.m.): Remember last week? Remember The Lion King? None of that is part of this week’s episode, and believe us, we’re just as disappointed as you are. “Leanne is rattled at the thought of losing Jesse as he fights for his life after suffering a massive heart attack. Also, Mario asks the residents to cover for him when he searches the city for a patient’s son, disobeying Neal’s direct order not to leave the hospital.” This entire synopsis is the exact opposite of “Hakuna Matata.”


Jay Leno’s Garage (CNBC, 10 p.m.): Ooh, it looks like Jay’s in the Arrow/Flash universe as well: The first season finale of Jay Leno’s Garage is titled “The Cars Of Tomorrow.” We can’t guarantee that Vandal Savage will make an appearance, but we can promise an appearance by Francis Ford Coppola. It’s a pretty even trade.

Christmas Through The Decades (History Channel, 10 p.m.): Tonight: the ‘70s. Years before the War On Christmas was even a twinkle in any hippie’s eyes.


Watch What Happens: Live (Bravo, 11:15 p.m.): Why yes, that is a special time for tonight’s Watch What Happens: Live. And it’s with special guests Gloria Steinem and star of 17-season Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Mariska Hargitay. Fine, they’re pretty regular guests, but we’re doing a whole “special” thing here. Just go with it.

True Life (MTV, 11:30 p.m.): In “True Life: I’m Starting A Religion,” certain What’s On Tonight contributors aren’t allowed to watch, because all they’ll want to do is rework the lyrics to R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion.” But feel free to check it out for yourself.


For Your Consideration (HBO Comedy, 6:30 p.m.): Like we said before: If it’s got Catherine O’Hara, we’re sold. It was true for Home Alone, it’s true for Modern Family, and it’s true here.

The Temptations (VH1 Classic, 8 p.m.): Well it was just my imagination…

Sports, sports, all type of sports

College Basketball: Butler at Cincinnati (CBS Sports, 7 p.m.)

College Basketball: Hartford at Providence (FSN, 7 p.m.)

College Basketball: Louisville at Michigan State (ESPN, 7:15 p.m.)

College Basketball: Wisconsin at Syracuse (ESPN2, 7:15 p.m.)

College Basketball: Penn State at Boston College (ESPNU, 7:15 p.m.)

Women’s Basketball: Connecticut at DePaul (FS1, 7:30 p.m.)

Golf: Australian PGA Championship (Golf Channel, 8 p.m.)

NHL Hockey: Rangers at Islanders (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.)

College Basketball: Arizona State at Creighton (CBS Sports, 9 p.m.)

College Basketball: VCU at Middle Tennessee State (FSN, 9 p.m.)

College Basketball: Indiana at Duke (ESPN, 9:15 p.m.)

College Basketball: Notre Dame at Illinois (ESPN2, 9:15 p.m.)

College Basketball: Florida State at Iowa (ESPNU, 9:15 p.m.)

College Basketball: Gonzaga at Washington State (FS1, 11 p.m.)

WWE NXT (WWE Network, 8 p.m.)

Impact Wrestling (Destination America, 9 p.m.)

The Ultimate Fighter (FS1, 10 p.m.)

Ring Of Honor (Destination America, 11 p.m.)

In case you missed it

The Flash: Scott Von Doviak took on part one of VandalMania, with “Legends Of Today.” Again, that comes before tomorrow, thus the spin-off.


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