Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, August 5. All times are Eastern.
Breaking Bad (AMC, 10 p.m.): Hitting the 50-episode mark with an installment called “Fifty-One” seems like a cheeky joke on the part of the Breaking Bad writers—until you consider the number in the title refers to Walt’s 51st birthday, which means exactly one year has passed in the world of Breaking Bad. That’s… quite the eventful year. Donna Bowman isn’t sure what to get the man who’s survived countless horrors in order to see another birthday—some more borrowed time, maybe?
Ultimate Spider-Man (Disney XD, 11 a.m.): This show’s had a tough time finding an audience for us—because who wants to be up this early on a Sunday, even for superheroes?—and this marks its last week in the regular TV Club rotation. Help David Sims show the webslinger off in style, with a tropical vacation interrupted by Sandman!
Rev. (Hulu, 5:30 p.m.): It’s Problem Child Week in the world of television, apparently—though Rev. joins Louie in making guest hellions a trend retroactively, seeing as this episode premièred in the U.K. last November. Todd VanDerWerff doesn’t mind a bit of dust on his frustrating moppets, though.
The 2012 Summer Olympics (NBC, 8 p.m.): Sonia Saraiya fires the time-delayed starter pistol for the men’s 100-meter, where Usain Bolt looks to fortify his claim over the titles of “the fastest man alive” and “best name in track and field.”
Leverage (TNT, 8 p.m.): We’re also ushering out weekly coverage of Leverage, though your interest may be piqued by how much the plot of the latest episode—involving a stolen scientific discovery—resembles a Leverage/Breaking Bad mashup. Still uninterested? Just wait until you hear the farewell song Phil Dyess-Nugent is composing for Timothy Hutton!
True Blood (HBO, 9 p.m.): LET THE GREAT VAMPIRE WAR BEGIN! Carrie Raisler stands by with a Gallagher-style tarp for those seated in the front rows of this hemoglobin-smattered clash between blood suckers and humans.
Falling Skies (TNT, 9 p.m.): Human freedom fighters continue their march on Charleston, South Carolina, which was voted “Top City in the U.S.” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler in 2011. Les Chappell doubts any of the Southern charms that wowed those readers survived the alien invasion.
Longmire (A&E, 10 pm.): In “Dogs, Horses And Indians,” Sunday TV’s second-favorite Walt stumbles upon an underground poker game—which, with any luck, will involve some of those titular dogs playing poker. Zack Handlen sits in to play a few paws, er, hands.
The Newsroom (HBO, 10 p.m.): Stop celebrating your one-year anniversary, News Night! You’ve got the death of Osama Bin Laden to report! Is Scott Tobias the only person around here paying attention to historical allusions in episode titles?
Weeds (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Nancy makes a renewed try at walking the straight-and-narrow, following the climactic destruction of her crop last week. Myles McNutt suggests she look into the lucrative world of episodic TV reviews!
Political Animals (USA, 10 p.m.): Look, there’s a finite number of names that can be assigned to TV politicians, and the fact that Political Animals’ President Garcetti has such a similar surname to that of political Wire animal Tommy Carcetti is… confusing. Luckily, sharper minds than ours—Molly Eichel’s, specifically—can make the distinction.
Episodes (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.): Matt must lure one of his former Friends co-stars onto Pucks, and given the fact that Lisa Kudrow is currently starring in her own Showtime series, we’re guessing it’s going to be… James Michael Tyler, the guy who played Gunther! David Sims’ money is on Crystal “Annie’s Boobs” The Monkey, disguised as Marcel The Monkey.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (Classic) (11 a.m.): Think the intimidating presence of the Daleks is undercut by their apparent inability to climb stairs? Oh ho ho, are you ever in for a treat with “Rememberance Of The Daleks!” A flight of stairs has never been so enticing to Christopher Bahn.
South Park (Classic) (1 p.m.): The show makes one of its first major statements with “Conjoined Fetus Lady,” making sure to temper its message about the dangers of overcompensating over-tolerance with a subplot involving a bunch of stereotypical Chinese caricatures. Phil Dyess-Nugent won’t have trouble seeing the episode with those big American eyes of his.
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): Nathan Rabin choo-choo-chooses to add the chorus of heartfelt praise for “I Love Lisa,” the bittersweet Simpsons installment that made Ralph Wiggum more than just a vessel for dim-witted non sequiturs.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Xtreme Waterparks (Travel, 8 p.m.): Enjoy the raging man-made rapids and gravity-defying flumes of America’s greatest water parks—without having to, you know, visit America’s greatest water parks. Your non-chlorine-singed skin will thank you!
Army Wives (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): Farihah Zaman reports for duty on the occasion of Army Wives’ 100th episode—a milestone all the more notable for the fact that it finally reinforces that this is a drama, not a reality show.
Flip Men (Spike, 10 p.m.): Now this is a reality series, though the fact that the second season opens with a revenge plot certainly blurs the line between reality and scripted fare. Of course, we’ll know which side of the divide it falls on once one of the house flippers thrusts his balled-up fists to the sky and calls out to no one in particular, “REEEEEEEEEVEEEEEEEEEEEEENGE!”
Shark Wranglers (History, 11 p.m.): Before the big fish of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week come to play on August 12, the young guppies of Shark Wranglers go for a thrilling nighttime hunt. But, oh ho ho: Are our Shark Wranglers the hunters, or are they in fact the hunted?
Sunshine (IFC, 6:30 p.m.): Five years before confounding your mom with the giant baby and skydiving royalty of his Olympic opening ceremonies, Danny Boyle perplexed filmgoers with this flashy science-fiction epic, where Earth’s final hope rests in the team of scientists and astronauts tasked with reigniting a dying sun.
Leatherheads (Fox Movie Channel, 8 p.m.): Sneaking between heavier-hitting directorial efforts like Good Night, And Good Luck and The Ides Of March, George Clooney put this frothy football comedy across the goal line, pushed forward by goodnatured charm and screwball patter.
NFL Football: Cardinals vs. Saints (NFL Network, 8 p.m.): Are you ready for some exhibition footbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall? The NFL preseason gets its traditional kickoff in Canton, Ohio, as Arizona and New Orleans clash under the lights of Fawcett Stadium in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Lost Girl: Bo and the gang go undercover among teens, and somehow the episode isn’t titled “Fae-st Times At Ridgemont High.” Why must you treat Kevin McFarland this way, Lost Girl?