Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, Jan. 19. All times are Eastern.
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): So, true story. The other day, we’re in line at a Pasadena hot dog joint, because when we eat, we do so collectively, and the song “Danger Zone” comes on the radio, and not one, not two, but three people in line start the whole “Lana… Lana… Lana…” thing, and it was kind of awesome, and we wanted to say, “Oh, hey, Archer,” but instead, we just sat there and enjoyed the moment. And then we had a hot dog. And didn’t share any with Todd VanDerWerff. (This is back. And awesome. Burt Reynolds!)
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): Sounds like this is the “Tracy Jordan says something that offends a lot of people” episode based on the actual thing Tracy Morgan said last summer. Nathan Rabin’s gone, so somebody else will cover, but we’ll do it right.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): God, do you remember how many episodes of this show Fox airs annually? How are we possibly going to come up with jokes for every episode, even with our remarkably low humor bar? Claire Zulkey, we apologize.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): After 100 episodes, will Leonard and Penny finally find that one special love they’ve been building to? Or will they flirt with it, then break it off again? Oliver Sava hopes everybody ends up with everybody.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): “Tyler tries to regain his free will,” reads the summary, and we hope that he does so by donning a sackcloth, covering himself in ashes, and howling at the cosmos. Carrie Raisler loves a good existential howl.
Parks & Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Oh, Parks & Recreation. Now that you’re up against American Idol, we’re trying to remember all our favorite moments, before you’re taken from us forever. Steve Heisler will always love Lil’ Sebastian.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): You ever notice how pretty much every episode of this show is just about everybody in the office going on some wacky adventure? Well, this episode is entitled “Pool Party,” and Myles McNutt says that does not bode well.
Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Miss Piggy drops by the show to get the designers to make her something wonderful, and Genevieve Koski can’t wait to see what the hell talented people do when confronted with a bullshit challenge.
The Secret Circle (The CW, 9 p.m.): How many people on this show are going to die because of a boat fire? And how much can someone use a boat fire as a threat? Katherine Miller finds the constant Boat Fire of Damocles a little unconvincing.
Up All Night (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): Here’s good ol’ Megan Mullally again, and we’re wondering just how many shows she will guest star on before she completes her weird “Shows I’ve Guest Starred On” bingo card. Margaret Eby thinks it’s 25.
Unsupervised (FX, 10:30 p.m.): This new FX animated show about kids hanging out after school doesn’t start out in the most promising fashion, but we’re willing to give it time. Brandon Nowalk and Steve Heisler assess the first episode later today.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (11 a.m.): Zack Handlen’s covered Star Trek. He’s covered TNG. And now, he’s covering Deep Space 9. Somebody stop him before he decides to review all of Voyager, Invasion: Earth, and Enterprise! For the good of humanity!
Seinfeld (1 p.m.): We’ve always thought this week’s episode, “The Yada Yada” was a little overrated. We’ll see what David Sims thinks about it, since he tends to love everything we despise, like puppies, submarines, and Chicago Cub Andre Dawson.
Cheers (3 p.m.): Sam sets Diane up on a date with a young man known as Andy Andy in one of the series’ most classic episodes, and then Diane gets entered into a Best Boston Barmaid pageant. Our gang is deeply divided on everything all the time.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
World’s Strongest Toddler (Discovery Fitness & Health, 8 p.m.): We’re going to propose that the next several things are a lengthy series of programs, all about the following people having a gigantic battle. In this corner: World’s Strongest Toddler!
Best Buy: The Big Box Fights Back (CNBC, 9 p.m.): And here, to face the World’s Strongest Toddler, comes the American big box behemoth, stalking in on legs made of cement and HDTVs! Who will win in this clash of the titans?
Snake Man of Appalachia (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.): Oh, but here’s a surprise competitor! He may not be as strong as the World’s Strongest Toddler, and he may not be a walking building, but he’s got a huge array of dangerous, horrible snakes!
When Girls Kill (E!, 10 p.m.): But we’re going to bet that our final competitor—murderous girls!—will be the victor here because when a bunch of girls get it in their mind to kill someone, you’d better believe that someone’s going to die.
Dances With Wolves (HBO Signature, 6 p.m.): If you ever find yourself driving through South Dakota on Interstate 90—and who doesn’t?—you can totally stop at random convenience stores that have special souvenirs from the filming of this film.
Rocky IV (Reelz, 8 p.m.): If you’re in need of something that will give you that extra boost of American spirit you need to defeat the Communist hordes descending on your neighborhood, well, who better to inspire you than Rocky Balboa? No one!
NBA Basketball: Lakers at Heat (TNT, 8 p.m.): Finally, a titanic struggle between two teams that pretty much everybody who doesn’t live in Los Angeles or Miami hates! And even some of us who live in Los Angeles hate those goddamn Lakers!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Royal Pains (Wednesday): Donna Bowman was hoping that the midseason premiere of this show would be as good as she says it can be, but she was sorely disappointed. Don’t worry, Donna. We still believe you. Sort of.