Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, July 22. All times are Eastern.
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): After taking a few weeks off to get married and take a honeymoon—yeesh, what an excuse—Nathan Rabin returns to his rightful place: Reviewing classic episodes of The Simpsons on Sunday afternoons. Appropriate for a man experiencing the thrush of wedded bliss, this week’s installment concerns the suddenly maternal instincts of multiple divorcée Selma Bouvier and her fateful trip to Duff Gardens with Bart and Lisa.
Ultimate Spider-Man (Disney XD, 11 a.m.): Peter Parker takes on Zodiac, the Marvel Universe’s astrology-based supervillain team. Oliver Sava’s horoscope calls for at least one ludicrous bull costume.
Rev. (Hulu, 5:30 p.m.): After stopping a mugging, Adam finds a new claim to fame as the “Kung Fu kicker vicar.” Could be worse: Todd VanDerWerff is going to be known as the “critic who couldn’t whisk well enough for Martha Stewart” for the next few weeks—and that doesn’t even rhyme.
Leverage (TNT, 8 p.m.): The team better not get caught offsides in their attempt to help a pro hockey player, or they might end up in the penalty box—a mixture of hockey metaphors that Phil Dyess-Nugent agrees is totally pucked-up.
True Blood (HBO, 9 p.m.): Always fun to read a bit of plot synopsis like “Sam’s sense of smell comes in handy.” That’s the kind of olfactory storytelling that keeps Carrie Raisler coming back to Bon Temps.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9 p.m.): It would appear the humans are more of a danger to themselves than the aliens this week. Les Chappell has seen the enemy, and it’s not a Skitter—it’s us.
Longmire (A&E, 10 p.m.): A murder case promises twists and turns aplenty, the type of “whodunit?” that could warrant a title like “An Incredibly Beautiful Thing.” Zack Handlen only prescribes such terms to plastic bags blowing in the wind.
Breaking Bad (AMC, 10 p.m.): Walt and Jesse are looking to diversify in terms of enterprise and partners, bringing an “unlikely” collaborator in on their dealings. How unlikely? Like Ted Beneke-unlikely, or Walt’s infant daughter-unlikely? Donna Bowman bets it’s the pink teddy bear.
The Newsroom (HBO, 10 p.m.): Uprisings in Wisconsin and the Middle East catch the attention of the News Night staff—the type of uprising that can no longer happen in The Newsroom’s writers’ room, since those writers have all been fired. It’s the perfect vacuum for Scott Tobias to fill and declare himself president for life.
Weeds (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Seeking the domestic normalcy she’s missed since, oh, the show began, Nancy ignores the pot biz for a bit to throw a dinner party. But what happens when pot “just decides to swing by” while she’s entertaining her guests? Myles McNutt awaits the farcical laughs to come.
Political Animals (USA, 10 p.m.): The second episode of Political Animals is called “Second Time Around”—which, in light of the fractured family at the show’s core, makes us think the show is moving toward becoming a politically minded revamp of Step By Step. When the tears are over and the moment has come, Molly Eichel will have the review.
Episodes (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.): People in the Episodes universe rightfully hate Pucks now, but they respond positively to the youngest members of the show’s cast. David Sims foresees Matt LeBlanc eventually being replaced by a pair of precocious, mop-topped, foul-mouthed twins.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (Classic) (11 a.m.): “Black Orchid” harkens back to days when the TARDIS could land in a different time period and the Doctor could just tangle with the people of that era, rather than Daleks and Cybermen and other sci-fi baddies. Christopher Bahn promises it’s better than that sounds.
South Park (Classic) (1 p.m.): We expected a review from Phil Dyess-Nugent on the pair of half-hour pranks that open South Park’s second season, but we got a crudely animated Canadian cartoon instead. Then we farted on it. Enjoy the anger of “Terrance And Phillip In Not Without My Anus” again, for the first time
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
The Bachelorette (ABC, 8 p.m.): We haven’t been in a supermarket check-out line in a while: Is there anything particularly dastardly about this season’s finalists? Or about The Bachelorette herself? Who knew the covers of InTouch and Us were so crucial to understanding the season finale?
Chopped (Food Network, 8 p.m.): Call it Battle Of The Food Network Stars: Past winner’s of Food Network Star do compressed kitchen combat before the latest winner of that series is revealed at 9. And then he or she does a similar episode of Chopped next year, and the cycle begins anew.
Teen Choice Awards (Fox, 8 p.m.): Turns out this award show and the ongoing Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour share a hashtag, which led to some hilarious overlap in tweets about Call The Midwife and Taylor Swift yesterday. Suffice it to say, the period midwifery drama that’s taken the U.K. by storm will not be picking up any surfboards tonight.
Squidbillies (Cartoon Network, 12:15 a.m.): Managing to survive outside of the ocean for a startling seven seasons, Williams Street’s aquatic hill folk return to further defy nature, logic, and the laws of most of the lower 48 states.
The Gate (IFC, 7 p.m.): According to legend (or Wikipedia), when the producers of this “hellmouth opens in suburbia” cult classic wanted to première their film in Hell, Michigan, they had to settle for the next-closest town with a sizable theater: Brighton, Michigan, which, from personal experience, we can assure you is far from “a passageway to the most evil place you can imagine.”
The Great Escape (TCM, 8 p.m.): Few films can stand up to the sheer amount of grit and guts assembled for this cinematic telling of World War II’s Stalag Luft III breakout: McQueen. Bronson. Coburn. Garner. Pleasance. Attenborough? Sure, even crazy old John Hammond gets to be a badass in this tunnel-digging classic.
MLB Baseball: Rangers at Angels (ESPN, 8 p.m.): It’s a good year to be a baseball fan in Los Angeles: Both the Angels and the Dodgers look to be playoff contenders this season. Tonight’s just a good night to be a baseball fan anywhere in the United States, though, as the American League West’s two hottest teams close their series in Anaheim.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Chappelle’s Show (Friday): Ryan McGee offers a well-reasoned defense of Dave Chappelle’s Rick James sketch, though the five fingers could say it just as well to the face. [SLAP] Still funny, after all these years of douchebags quoting it.