Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, January 16. All times are Eastern.
Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): CBS is running repeats all night, American Idol has colonized Fox, a mysterious new monolith called Taste is taking up two hours on ABC, and the CW, of all places, is hosting the 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards… is it possible that the spectre of NBC’s Must See TV is rearing its elusive head? And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? We secretly kind of always want to make Community our top pick anyway—and tonight, in “Cooperative Polygraphy,” a team of investigators show up to execute Pierce’s will. That sounds promising, doesn’t it? Todd VanDerWerff hopes he inherits a pony.
Spoils Of Babylon (IFC, 10 p.m.): Episode three of tonight’s Spoils Of Babylon is the one of the few shows not from NBC that we’re excited about. But are we excited, or ironically excited? Only David Sims knows. (No, he doesn’t. But let’s pretend.)
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler stars in this sitcom about a plucky Indiana politician played by a Golden Globe winner. That guy from Party Down is also in it! Alasdair Wilkins thinks you should give this scrappy little show a chance.
30 For 30: The Price Of Gold (ESPN, 9 p.m.): And just in time for Winter Olympics Nostalgia, ESPN is airing a trip down memory lane, to that one time that Tonya Harding thought it would be a good idea to have a hired thug break Nancy Kerrigan’s kneecaps with a metal baton. On the plus side, women’s figure skating became extremely popular thereafter. Kevin McFarland covers this tonight.
Genevieve Valentine took a look at Lifetime’s remake of Flowers In The Attic: “Rarely has someone been so blasé about lusting for their brother. They’re companionable enough, but their attraction’s more dutiful than overpowering—not helped by the awkward blocking of a statistically improbable amount of mattress-based horseplay.”
And David Sims reviewed Patton Oswalt’s latest comedy special: “Oswalt takes us through the theoretical dream offer stand-up gig: tons of money to do barely any material at a casino for a crowd so drunk, the very sight of Oswalt is enough to have them leaping to their feet and cheering. The situation is ridiculous, Oswalt seems to be saying, but the larger situation is even more ridiculous—is that really the success we desire? To be popular enough that you no longer need to make any effort at all?”
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (10 a.m.): Zack Handlen’s Fictional Space Station Support Group will be meeting at the usual time… but not in the usual place. Because we don’t know where we are anymore. And neither does Zack.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Keeping Up With The Kardashians (E! marathon, 4 p.m.-11 p.m.): This is also happening. In case you would like to keep up. With. The Kardashians. I guess we walked into that one.
The Taste (ABC, 8 p.m.): The second season of this two-hour cooking show hinges around a single catch: All eliminations will be made based on blind taste tests. None of that pesky reality show “drama” to take up our time! But then what will they with those two hours? Considering Anthony Bourdain is a judge, they will probably curse, and also do a lot of coke.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): Part two of the 13th season’s opening auditions. Part two of eight thousand.
The 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards (The CW, 8 p.m.): The Broadcast Film Critics Association annual awards, hosted by Aisha Tyler. Forest Whitaker will win a special award, to be presented by Oprah Winfrey. The affiliated Broadcast Television Journalists Association gives out television awards in the summer. Unlike these awards, they are presented via livestream. And needless to say, we were not invited to either event.
Under The Gunn (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Tim Gunn’s reality show about mentoring reality show contestants premieres tonight. Phil Nugent didn’t find it to be all that, but that’s mostly because no one on the show says “auf.”
Grosse Pointe Blank (HBO2, 7:10 p.m.): A hitman goes through a mid-life crisis in the midst of his high school reunion. John Cusack, Minnie Driver, “Blister In The Sun” star.
Legally Blonde (CMT, 7:30 p.m.): “Guys, I’m going to Harvard.” “You mean, like on vacay?” “ROAD TRIP!”
NBA Basketball: Knicks at Pacers (TNT, 7 p.m.): What is a pacer, anyway? Or a knick? The New York Knick-knacks versus the Indiana Pace Salsas? Yeah, we’re going with it.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
American Horror Story: The ladies were exhorted to “Protect The Coven” last night, and Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett have a fight. It is scary, we can vouch for that. Also, an axe with a lot of blood! But for better information, you’ll have to read Dennis Perkins’ review.