Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, November 13. All times are Eastern.
Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 9 p.m.): After much grumbling that Boardwalk Empire wasn’t all it could have been last year, the drama has really come into its own this season, thanks largely to a wide, talented supporting cast, which now boasts Julianne Nicholson as a whip-smart, sassy prosecutor. (We’re always fans of the whip-smart and sassy!) Jack Huston’s Richard Harrow is always a highlight, as is Michael Pitt’s Jimmy Darmody, caught between two different worlds and unable to choose. Yeah, maybe Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson isn’t the world’s most exciting lead character, but the world of the show remains terrific. Noel Murray checks in to see what happens after last week’s cliffhanger.
The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m.): We’ve never been as excited for an Amazing Race challenge as we are for tonight’s, which apparently involves the teams leading adorable bunny rabbits through an obstacle course. We’re not going to tell Scott Von Doviak what grade to give this, but if it’s not an A+, well…
Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s fairy tale flashback takes us into the pasts of Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin. Technically, don’t we already know about their pasts? Isn’t that one of the reasons the flashback structure feels wonky here? Oliver Sava can’t wait for King Thrushbeard to pop up.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): Marge, Bart, and Lisa start a food blog, perhaps forgetting that Homer was a restaurant critic all those years ago. Also, there’s a guest voice performance by Gordon Ramsay. We’re betting that he yells at somebody, or somebody yells at him and he cries. Hayden Childs cries, too.
Dexter (Showtime, 9 p.m.): Dexter’s goin’ on a road trip to Nebraska! After last week’s episode ended with a surprise guest star from Dexter’s past, it was obvious that there would be an episode where he went on a Nebraska-bound road trip. Or, rather, it was obvious to Joshua Alston that would happen.
Family Guy (Fox, 9 p.m.): Every so often, Family Guy has such a clever idea that we’re pretty sure the show won’t be able to mess it up, no matter how hard it tries. That just might be the case with tonight’s episode, where Brian and Stewie travel back to the series’ pilot and take Kevin McFarland with them.
The Good Wife (CBS, 9 p.m.): This season started a touch slowly, but it’s really picked up in recent weeks, with last week’s episode being one of the best the series has ever come up with. Tonight, David Sims checks in on an episode that features Chris Matthews as himself. You know that will be good!
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): We’re not sure if, “Hey, this doesn’t suck as much as it used to!” counts as a wildly positive review, but it sure seems like the show doesn’t suck as much as it used to this season. Zack Handlen agrees! Let’s see which wacky location the gang finds a zombie in this week.
American Dad (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Stan tries to find somebody for Principal Lewis to love in an episode that boasts the voice talents of Angelica Huston and Ricky Martin, who are definitely two people that Rowan Kaiser has on his list of “People I would like to see do a project together” vision board.
Hell On Wheels (AMC, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode introduces our new favorite character ever, The Swede, played by Christopher Heyerdahl. Trust us, kids. You’re going to want to start working on your Scandanavian accent for your Swede Halloween costume next year. Phil Nugent’s got a head start.
Homeland (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Normally, the events that took place in last week’s episode of this show would make us more nervous than we are. But we trust this show to find a way out of the situation the characters got into, even if this episode description has Todd VanDerWerff incredibly nervous.
Pan Am (ABC, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode description contains the phrase, “a hotbed of political unrest,” which is always the sort of thing that promises a good time. We’re going to guess that our lead characters have a super-sexy fun time in a hotbed of political unrest. Right up Erik Adams’ alley.
Hung (HBO, 10:05 p.m.): Heading into the home stretch of this season, we hope that the whole thing concludes with Ray raising his arms in triumph and proclaiming, “Penises at last! Penises for all! Penises forever!” And then he collapses into Will Harris’ arms, and he weeps.
How To Make It In America (HBO, 10:35 p.m.): “Rene tries to find out who sabotaged Rasta Monasta,” reads tonight’s plot summary, and we’re glad he’s doing so, since this question has electrified America like none since “Who shot J.R.?” Kenny Herzog will have the answers you’ve been looking for.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Critic (3 p.m.): Jay attends his son’s career day event at school, where Marty ends up falling for a girl who is the granddaughter of Fidel Castro. We’re guessing this will turn out fairly well. Nathan Rabin once fell for the granddaughter of Chester Arthur, so he can identify with the thrill.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.): There’s probably no real good reason for us to cover the premiere of this show, but Jessica Jardine is because, hey, it features the phrase “skunk whisperer” in its title, and we’d feel wrong if we didn’t let you know just what skunk whispering entails.
The 25 Most Memorable Infomercials Ever (TV Guide Network, 9 p.m.): We’re suckers for a good list, and while this doesn’t sound like a “good” list, it will definitely be a list. Quick: List all of your favorite infomercials in the history of television. We still love the complete works of Billy Mays.
A Song Of Lunch (PBS, 9 p.m.): “A London publisher recounts a lunchtime reunion with a former lover, in poetic monologue,” reads PBS’ summary of this program, and as Meredith Blake said when accepting the assignment, that’s either going to be amazing or unbearably pretentious. Oh well. It’s only an hour.
All-American Muslim (TLC, 10 p.m.): This new TLC reality show that follows five Muslim families in Dearborn, Mich., has been the subject of controversy from some of the usual suspects for, we don’t know, saying that Muslims lead normal lives or something? Phil Nugent sees what all the fuss is about.
Big Trouble In Little China (Fox Movie Channel, 8 p.m.): After re-reading our John Carpenter primer, check out this broadcast of one of his movies that offers up the most pure fun per minute. It also features Kurt Russell at his iconic movie bad-ass best, so you’ve got that going for you.
Fred Claus (TBS, 8:30 p.m.): Paul Giamatti as a grumpy Santa Claus and Vince Vaughan as his ne’er-do-well brother seems like it would make for a fun time, but it just never really does. Honestly, you’re probably better off with watching the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas immediately before.
Sunday Night Football: Patriots at Jets (NBC, 8:15 p.m.): The Patriots and Jets—both 5-3—are tied for the lead of their division with the Bills, so this one will likely be key in that race. Also, we loved watching the Patriots lose at the last minute last week. We could stand for more of that.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Friday): Noel Murray finally reached the end of this series, concluding his run through it for TV Club Classic. And as a bonus, he also went back and watched the movie that the TV series was based on! That’s what we in the Web publishing business call a “value-add.”