Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, Feb. 7. All times are Eastern.
The River (ABC, 9 p.m.): Chronicle gave the “found footage” sci-fi/horror concept a shot in the arm last weekend—just in time for The River to bring the Genre That The Blair Witch Built (And Made Very Profitable) to the small screen. Created in part by Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli, the two-hour series première follows a documentary film crew as it encounters strange, seemingly supernatural obstacles in the search for a lost scientist (Bruce Greenwood). We’ve strapped Scott Von Doviak to an oscillating fan—here’s hoping he turns back just in time to catch the scariest stuff.
Switched At Birth (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): You know that awkward thing where you meet your biological grandmother, and despite the obvious affinity she has for you, you just can’t shake your connection to the family that raised you? Switched At Birth’s Daphne sure does, and Carrie Raisler will gladly accept all the grandmotherly affection the character deflects.
Glee (Fox, 8 p.m.): Ricky Martin arrives in Lima to teach a lesson in Latin music. Will Schuester responds with an awful, awful bullfighter outfit. Todd VanDerWerff recoils in horror.
Ringer (The CW, 9 p.m.): This show has used out-of-context dialogue for plenty of unintentionally hilarious episode titles, but “What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?” marks a new high. (Or low.) Carrie Raisler can’t believe Ringer kisses its mother with that mouth.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): The addition of Lizzy Caplan to New Girl’s ensemble has goosed the show to new comedic heights; will the introduction of a landlord character prove equally successful? If it does, Erik Adams has a faulty garbage disposal said landlord may want to check out.
Raising Hope (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): At what point did Burt’s landscaping/pool-cleaning business go belly-up? Whatever happened, this episode finds Garret Dillahunt reading tarot cards for extra scratch. In a traditional tarot deck, The Phil Dyess-Nugent can be interpreted as a sign of action, conscious awareness, concentration, and power.
Key & Peele (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): You guys seemed to like this new sketch show starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele—and we did too. Steve Heisler begins a weekly search for a sketch that can top the one where Peele lists a bunch of increasingly ludicrous diseases (“Scurvy. Rickets. Consumption”) to get a prescription for medical marijuana.
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): Something’s rotten in the state of Crowder, as Boyd attempts to sniff out a traitor in his midst. Scott Tobias suggests the play’s the thing, wherein Boyd’ll catch the conscience of… y’know, whoever’s selling him out.
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): The run-up to the end of Parenthood’s third season begins with an episode directed by eldest Braverman son Peter Krause. During the show’s hiatus, Todd VanDerWerff will flex his directorial muscles by showing his cats how to review Glee.
Southland (TNT, 10 p.m.): Over the course of three episodes, Lucy Liu’s Jessica Tang has proven a formidable asset to Los Angeles’ finest. Tonight’s episode promises to shed more light on the character; Kevin McFarland can’t wait to hear the part about Tang’s time as PI working for an intercom named Charlie.
White Collar (USA, 10 p.m.): Lots of people wonder “What if?” when they’re reunited with an ex; unfortunately for White Collar’s reformed con man Neal Caffrey, second thoughts about Sara get in the way of an attempt to recovering a missing Stradivarius violin. Kenny Herzog is more interested in the condition of the instrument—not that he stole it or anything.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
FLCL (11 a.m.): This often-inscrutable anime comes to an appropriately open-ended conclusion, as nearly everything in Mabase that hasn’t already turned into a mecha does exactly that. Or something along those lines—Hayden Childs is much better at decoding this stuff than we are.
The Muppet Show (1 p.m.): After a few months of watching The Muppet Show figure itself out, Erik Adams looks at a pair of rejected pilots that display just how far the show had to go to get to that point—complete with ill-suited hosts, a talking Mt. Rushmore, and a Valentine from Mia Farrow.
The Larry Sanders Show (3 p.m.): This episode’s guest roster includes Ed McMahon, Adam Sandler, and Alex Trebek, each of whom could be guests of the show or guests of “Hank’s Wedding.” In lieu of a gift, Kyle Ryan donates to the Hank’s Look-Around Café Construction Fund.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
The Real Housewives Of Orange County (Bravo, 9 p.m.): For those keeping score at home: This is the first Housewives, the one that launched 1,000 backstabbing, terrible-single-producing, occasionally life-destroying spin-offs, which is now entering its seventh season. It no longer features any of the original stars—though, seeing as the various iterations of Real Housewives are the most surgically enhanced shows on TV, these could all be the same people with different faces.
Doomsday Preppers (National Geographic, 9 p.m.): Of the four subjects in this new reality series premiere, three live in Texas. We believe that’s what you call a “pattern.” (Do you think any of them bought a Chevy following the Super Bowl?) Rowan Kaiser stops by to raid the canned-food stockpile.
Unforgettable (CBS, 10 p.m.): CBS has so little use for the television press, it hosts events where critics are openly mocked by the co-creator of 2 Broke Girls. However, the network did send out screener DVDs of tonight’s Unforgettable—where a serial killer uses Poppy Montgomery’s photographic memory against her—which suggests this is one episode of “The series formerly known as The Rememberer” to check out if, for some reason, you have to skip a week of Justified.
Chopped (Food Network, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s installment of this accelerated cooking competition challenges the competitors to come up with appetizers that combine octopus and huckleberries—a match of ingredients which was somehow not dreamt up by an animator at Hanna-Barbera.
Crank (SyFy, 7 p.m.): Sadly, we can’t offer you an audio commentary from ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER to make up for this edited-for-TV version of Crank’s inherent lack of OWNAGE. The insanity of Jason Statham’s first outing as Chev Chelios’ should be enough to make your Tuesday night own just a little bit, even with all the profanity dubbed out.
Judgment At Nuremberg (TCM, 10:15 p.m.): An all-star cast—Spencer Tracy! Judy Garland! William Shatner!—delivers courtroom justice to those stinkin’ Nazis in a film that’s far more morally and thematically complex than this description lets on.
NHL Hockey: Kings at Lightning (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): This meeting of the Los Angeles Kings and the Tampa Bay Lightning has no greater consequence to the 2011-12 NHL season, so let’s gawk at the horrifying third jerseys each team donned in the mid-1990s. Little known fact: That Kings jersey features a detachable sash.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Misfits: There are big, big consequences in the finale of Misfits’ third series, leading to a big, big sacrifice that Rowan Kaiser won’t be able to shake for weeks. Do him a favor by dropping in on the review, won’t you?