Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, August 14. All times are Eastern.
Duck Dynasty (A&E, 9 p.m.): The broadcast networks like to crow about how only five shows on cable would make the top 50 for the Nielsen ratings, which is true, but, then, one of those shows would be this one, which is almost obscenely popular for reasons we can’t entirely fathom—though we’ve tried before. Scott Von Doviak goes once more into the ducks, and at the very least, he can admit that the show’s tagline—Release The Quackin’—is pretty clever. If you like bad puns about sea monsters the threat from whom we should be taking deadly seriously, that is.
MasterChef (Fox, 9 p.m.): Just a week ago, there were six contestants remaining. Now, there are seven, and it’s still a new episode. How does such devilry work? Well, clearly, Gordon split one of the contestants in two, and both continue to compete. Phil Dyess-Nugent thrills at all the blood spilt.
The Bridge (FX, 10 p.m.): Marco goes digging into Sonya and Hank’s past, because it’s episode six of 13, and we’ve gotta kill some time along the way to finding out who the killer is, so we might as well do it via character development, huh? Molly Eichel’s character development exclusively involves puppies.
Broadchurch (BBC America, 10 p.m.): In which we confront one of the irritating things about season-long mysteries: Once you know how many episodes there are, then any suspect who’s raised this early on probably didn’t do it. Gwen Ihnat is all but certain that the killer is society itself. What a twist!
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): An alien melody sends the Planet Express crew into Fry’s dreams in an episode that will surely make up for the fact that we somehow left “Jurassic Bark” off our TV Club 10 list of episodes of the show. Zack Handlen is still weeping overdramatic tears because that happened.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Freaks And Geeks (1 p.m.): Lindsay gets in trouble after a car crash and decides to give up her Freak friends cold turkey. Sure, that’s the A-story, but all you remember about this episode is Sam’s Parisian night suit. Come for the review; stay for a picture of Todd VanDerWerff in electric blue pants.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
World Chocolate Championship (Discovery Fitness and Health, 8 p.m.): This is actually a repeat of a documentary from 2009, but we find it… odd that Discovery Fitness and Health is airing an evening of chocolate-themed programming. Are you trying to make us cheat on our diets, DFH? Are you?!
Franklin & Bash (TNT, 9 p.m.): Everybody’s favorite smarmy lawyer show comes to the end of its third season and leaves us all hoping there will be so many more years of Franklin & Bash to come. What other things can these two Franklin and Bash? We’re betting that almost all of them are sexy ladies.
Let It Ride (National Geographic, 9 p.m.): Here’s a new series about a guy who builds custom motorcycles. Look: If National Geographic is going to resurrect basic cable reality shows from the Aughts with very few changes to them, the least they can do is give us a shameless ripoff of Monster House.
Top Shot All-Stars (History, 10 p.m.): The “shooting things for fun and profit” reality series has been doing an all-star season for a little while now, but all we can fantasize about is a show where aliens come down to Earth and challenge everyone to a shooting competition, the fate of the planet at stake.
Born On The Fourth Of July (Showtime 2, 8 p.m.): Oliver Stone works out more of his Vietnam War angst in a film about an injured veteran—played by Tom Cruise—trying to reconcile his idealistic visions of his country from the past with the reality of what he went through in the war. Heavy stuff, man.
Dark Victory (TCM, 9:15 p.m.): This melodrama about a society girl with a brain tumor is some fine, vintage Bette Davis stuff, complete with weepiness galore. But we just like saying the title over and over to ourselves, because it applies in all manner of situations. You have to say it menacingly, though!
MLB Baseball: Pirates at Cardinals (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Every other week, it seems, we’re highlighting a new game between the Pirates and Cardinals, and with good reason. They’re two of baseball’s most exciting teams, and it’s fun to watch them play. However, we continue to cheer for Pittsburgh. Sorry, St. Louis.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Doomsday Castle (Tuesday): Katherine Miller volunteered to cover this show about rural North Carolina survivalists by saying they were “her people,” so we’re hoping that she saw lots of herself reflected back at her by this show. We also hope she’s got plans for her own doomsday castle, so we can live in it.