Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, July 31. All times are Eastern.
Sports Night (3 p.m.): With just two weeks left ever in Donna Bowman’s Sports Night coverage, we thought it a good time to give the show the “top pick” treatment, particularly now that our Arrested Development season four coverage is done and our Freaks And Geeks coverage is on a miniature hiatus. We’ll miss Donna’s reviews of this show, but for whatever reason, we were unable to convince Aaron Sorkin to produce several more episodes featuring the greatest non-union equivalents of Peter Krause, Josh Charles, and Felicity Huffman. We suppose our Newsroom reviews should have been nicer…
MasterChef (Fox, 9 p.m.): Mystery boxes inspired by loved ones? Tag team sushi challenges? This can mean only one thing: MasterChef is heading into the home stretch, with just seven chefs left. Phil Dyess-Nugent is performing a mystery box challenge inspired by all of these cronuts we’ve been eating.
The Bridge (FX, 10 p.m.): The killer—who’s basically a Spider-Man villain with a political point to make, it would seem—has left a young woman to die in the desert, and now everybody’s going to try to find her. Or not! Molly Eichel has seen more important plotlines get completely left behind in the dust by shows.
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): Bender’s ass has escaped, and he looks all over the universe to find it in an episode enticingly called “Assie, Come Home.” Zack Handlen just checked this morning, and his ass is in his basement where he made sure to lock it up a few weeks ago. You never can be too sure.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Gator Boys: Xtra Bites (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.): This version of Gator Boys—which adds in unseen footage and the like—is so amazing that it has to take the E out of Extra. When you’re just left with Xtra, you know you’re in the presence of reality television genius. And probably some awesome alligators.
Restless (Sundance, 8 p.m.): If you missed this Emmy-nominated miniseries (for Charlotte Rampling’s supporting performance) when it first aired last year, you can catch up with it tonight by watching all four hours of it in a row. It’s a spy tale with roots in World War II Britain, and Hayley Atwell is in it.
Paranormal Witness (Syfy, 9 p.m.): There’s apparently a Freddy Krueger-like villain living in the hills of Appalachia, and the best the locals could come up with to call him is “The Bad Man.” The Bad Man? C’mon, Appalachia. We were counting on you to come up with something more… colorful than that.
Best Daym Takeout (Travel, 10 p.m.): Daymon Patterson criss-crosses the country to find restaurants that offer great carryout in this new series, the latest in Travel Channel’s long line of shows that get you all excited to eat some giant greasebomb of a sandwich, only to realize it’s 2,000 miles away from you.
Dirty Dancing (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): Get ready for the première of CBS’ new sitcom The Millers by reliving the moment when Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey perform their titular dance. It’s not as weird as when Will Arnett and Margo Martindale do it. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner,” etc., etc., etc.
Shrek Forever After (FX Movies, 8 p.m.): This is better than the third film in the franchise, but that’s largely just because the third film was so bad. And, honestly, we’ve never much liked the second one. And the first one has lost its charm over the years. Come to think of it, why are we recommending this?
MLB Baseball: Cardinals at Pirates (ESPN, 7 p.m.): The Pirates had what seemed like a lock on baseball’s best record for a long-ass time, but then right before the All-Star break, the Cardinals overtook them. But wait! As we write this, the Pirates have pulled a half-game ahead again! Isn’t all of this exciting?!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The IT Crowd (Tuesday): Caroline Framke was unable to get her post up Monday for reasons we won’t get into here, but she took over Erik Adams’ usual The Office slot to review her episodes this week. If that all sounds too confusing, all you need to know is that there was an IT Crowd review. Go read it!