AMC’s new reality series Owner’s Manual is the top pick (and other tells that it’s the middle of August) 

AMC’s new reality series Owner’s Manual is the top pick (and other tells that it’s the middle of August) 

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, August 15. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK

Owner’s Manual (AMC, 10 p.m.): The world seems to be grinding to a halt, everyone is sick of the heat (except for those of us here in Chicago, where we’ve been enjoying strangely autumn-like temperatures the last few days), and worst of all, TV is biding its time between the return of Breaking Bad and fall premières. Now is the fallow period ruled by cable reality shows, including this intriguing, unscripted effort from AMC, in which reality personalities Ed Sanders and Marcus Hunt tackle heavy machinery and state-of-the-art technology—one with the instructions, one without. After he checks another cursed day off of his August calendar, Scott Von Doviak takes a look at the first two episodes.


REGULAR COVERAGE

Orange Is The New Black (Netflix, 4 p.m.): Myles McNutt joins the women of Litchfield in morning the tragedy that closed “Bora Bora Bora”—a loss compounded by the fact that there’s only one more episode of OITNB left after this week. Blame it on August.

Wilfred (FX, 10 p.m.): At least Wilfred can shake things up a bit with an episode that promises the return of Dwight Yoakam’s Bruce—and the departure of two objects near and dear to Wilfred. Rowan Kaiser composes his review while wearing an Elizabethan collar.

Graceland (USA, 10 p.m.): There are two characters who are the same person mentioned in the summary of this week’s episode. Genevieve Valentine won’t tell you who they are (or let on that she has her own alter ego, one “Mary Smith”).

Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim, midnight): Cat’s wedding gives the docs an excuse to get off of that lousy military base, which is like the dead of August, if it took the form of a physical location. David Sims is busy pressing his finest seersucker suit.

NTSF: SD: SUV:: (Adult Swim, 12:30 a.m.): Kove’s little black book has gone missing—but the greatest mystery of the episode involves some online sources referring to the object as “his little black book,” making Kevin McFarland think that he’s been missing something about Kate Mulgrew’s character. Either that, or he’s got a really bad case of the old August Brain Melt, the month’s most common affliction.


TV CLUB CLASSIC

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (11 a.m.): Spam spam spam spam August spam spam spam spam spam Zack Handlen spam spam spam two of the last episodes of season two, one of which is the one with all of the spam spam spam spam spam spam.

Friends (3 p.m.): Well, you can give these wretched 31 days of scum and villainy credit for one thing: At 3 p.m. today, August will free Sonia Saraiya and Joe Reid from the tyranny of Marcel the Monkey. You win this time August. THIS TIME!


WHAT ELSE IS ON?

Mysteries At The Museum (Travel Channel, 9 p.m.): The return of this historical-investigation program features real-life-Nicolas-Cage-in-National-Treasure Don Wildman looking into the legendary Lizard Man of South Carolina. If the reptilian prey is located, perhaps there’s a spin-off in the offing titled Wildman And Lizard Man.

Pop Innovators: Steve Jobs (E!, 10 p.m.): A profile of the man who helped make it possible to scroll through Twitter on your iPad while giving the other half of your attention to this E! special, which gives you all the necessary background information for that biopic you’re just going to iMessage your way through anyway.

The Pitch (AMC, 11 p.m.): Mad Men IRL pulled off some surprises in its first season, but AMC seems content with keeping it in an odd timeslot on a low-profile night. Though, if the networked wanted to raise the show’s profile, we know of a little reality competition that could help out on that score.

Polyamory (Showtime, 11 p.m.): Also starting a new chapter tonight: This show, which begins its second season with an episode fittingly titled “A New Chapter.” And it’s totally cool if that chapter sees other people, because that’s the kind of relationship it has with Polyamory.

Pulp Fiction (AMC, 7 p.m.): Tune in to this basic-cable broadcast to hear classic Quentin Tarantino dialogue like “Does Marcellus Wallace look like he’s rich?”, “Do you see a sign in front of my house that says ‘Get Bigger Storage?’”, and, of course, “If any of you hugging hicks move, I’ll execute every loving, hugging last one of ya!” 

The Amityville Horror (Oxygen, 8 p.m.): Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George move into a spooky house in, you know what? Fuck it—it’s the middle of August. Leave the house and go see The Conjuring instead.

Monday Night Football: Exhibition: Chargers at Bears (ESPN, 8 p.m.): The NFL continues its own quest to turn the calendar pages forward with another Monday (But Actually Thursday) Night Football preseason matchup. Furthering that goal: The aforementioned Chicago weather, which already feels like football season. (Seriously, what’s the deal with this month?)


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Freaks And Geeks: “Parisian nightsuit.” It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? “Parisian nightsuit.” Todd VanDerWerff agrees that Sam’s embarrassing fashion choice is certainly easier on the ears than it is on the eyes.