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

Your viewership now belongs to Negan as The Walking Dead returns

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Image: AMC)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Image: AMC)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, October 23. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): Your What’s On Tonight correspondent has taken more than a few swings at The Walking Dead in the last year-plus, largely driven by the fact that the show’s success keeps it from ever fixing its myriad problems and that the show appears to hate its characters and viewers in equal measure. The latter feeling was backed up by a truly infuriating season finale that used its 90-minute running time to accomplish absolutely nothing, and ended on a cliffhanger that no amount of Jeffrey Dean Morgan being terrifyingly charming as the villainous Negan could redeem. Tonight that cliffhanger (allegedly) sees resolution as The Walking Dead returns for season seven, with trailers emphasizing that Negan and his Saviors will take center stage, increasing the terror that beloved characters like Rick, Daryl, Morgan, and Carl (CARL!!!!!) will be marked for death. (A fear not shared by The Walking Dead itself, as it feasted upon an eighth season renewal last week.) As always, we rely on Zack Handlen to chain himself to two armless and jawless zombies, and stride forward into the unknown with weekly coverage. Wake us up when the show gets to the tiger we got two seconds of in the teaser, Zack, because that looked pretty rad.

Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 7:30 p.m.): The joy of getting a new season of Bob’s Burgers is always tempered with the fact that Fox plays three-card monte with those new episodes in the fall, shuffling their schedule left and right to accommodate sports events. Tonight we finally draw one of those episodes, and it’s the always welcome sighting of a Bob’s Burgers Halloween episode as Tina turns to Mr. Ambrose to win Wagstaff’s costume contest and Bob tries to discover who’s stealing his carved pumpkins. Tonight’s episode is called “Teen-a Witch,” so Alasdair Wilkins is holding out hope that at some point Gene challenges anyone to top that.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Starz, 8 p.m.): Keeping with the spooky theme this close to Halloween, once again we urge you to check out Ash Vs. Evil Dead, which is somehow even more fun in its second season. Tonight, Ash continues to hunt for his beloved Delta and Pablo reveals yet another unfortunate side effect of being bonded to the Necronomicon. Hopefully that side effect isn’t tormenting him with reminders that he was on Bad Judge. Alex Roffman, we apologize for reminding you Bad Judge was a thing.

Premieres and finales

Talking Dead (AMC, 10 p.m.): Shambling along in the wake of The Walking Dead like an older, fatter walker in the horde is Talking Dead. Fatter is the operative word, as tonight’s episode will outpace the show it’s talking about with a 90-minute premiere. At least they’ve brought in some big guns with comic creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott M. Gimple alongside some to-be-determined cast members, but that’s still too much. Perhaps one of those guest stars is the tiger? If so, we need that episode to be three hours long.


Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell (Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.): It’s the third season premiere of Adult Swim’s demonic workplace comedy, where “Gary produces a new orientation video for Hell’s new arrivals.” If Your Pretty Face wanted to save some time, we’d be happy to forward them the orientation video we had at the call center job we worked at after college, because that was a sulfur-and-brimstone kind of experience.

Dream Corp, LLC (Adult Swim, 11:45 p.m.): Paired with Your Pretty Face is Adult Swim’s newest series, featuring Jon Gries as the head of a psychotherapeutic facility devoted to dream analysis. The series is executive-produced by John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant, giving it Office credibility from both sides of the pond. It’s also the first Adult Swim series to use rotoscoping, so keep that fact in your back pocket for trivia nights. Also keep this delightful piece of trivia from the rotoscoping page on Wikipedia: “Director Martin Scorsese used rotoscoping to remove a large chunk of cocaine hanging from Neil Young‘s left nostril in his rock documentary The Last Waltz.”


Comic Book Men (AMC, 12:40 a.m.): Much as AMC can’t quit its zombie action, it can’t quit the adventures of Kevin Smith and friends, as Comic Book Men rips off its shirt and glasses to take to the skies yet again. An easy metaphor yes, but one that works for tonight’s premiere as the Secret Stash team head on a road trip to view one of comics’ holy grails, Action Comics #1. Fun fact: We saw The Accountant last weekend and that comic makes an unexpected guest appearance.

Regular coverage

The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.)

Son Of Zorn (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)

Westworld (HBO, 9 p.m.)

Shameless (Showtime, 9 p.m.)

The Last Man On Earth (Fox, 9:30 p.m)

Divorce (HBO, 10 p.m.)

Elementary (CBS, 10:30 p.m.)

Insecure (HBO, 10:30 p.m.)

How many days until Halloween?

Eight more days to Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! Eight more days to Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

Streaming pick

Parks And Recreation, “Halloween Surprise” (Netflix/Hulu Plus): In a rare bit of good cheer in the fustercluck that is the last month of the 2016 presidential campaign, paragon of masculinity and champion Laguvalin-by-the-fire drinker Nick Offerman told us all what Ron Swanson would think of this election. This sent your What’s On Tonight correspondent down a rabbit hole of rewatching Parks And Recreation, so we encourage you to follow our lead and watch this all-time great episode from an all-time great series. Look to Leslie Knope and remember not all politicians are bad, and look to Ron Swanson and remember not all libertarians are geographically challenged bumpkins.