Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, September 10. All times are Eastern.
The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): Have you been sad all summer that you didn’t have singing competitions to watch every day of the week? Well, this week is going to make up for that in earnest, with all new audition episodes of The Voice on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and all new audition episodes of The X Factor on Wednesday and Thursday. That head-to-head matchup on Wednesday will answer the question you probably don’t care about, as to whether America’s more interested to see Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears judge a singing show. Anyway, Caroline Framke’s got this show covered, so settle into your giant, spinning chair and hit your big, red button.
Alphas (Syfy, 8 p.m.): We’ve reached the halfway point for the season, so, of course, it’s time for another confrontation between Stanton Parish and Dr. Lee Rosen. How will Rosen reveal his truly awful abilities as a therapist this week? Todd VanDerWerff is pretty sure it will involve divulging state secrets.
The L.A. Complex (The CW, 8 p.m.): Connor believes that things are about to turn around for him, so it’s only natural that things are about to get much, much worse, because this is The L.A. Complex, and everybody involved understands dramatic irony. Phil Dyess-Nugent gets basic dramatic concepts too!
MasterChef (Fox, 9 p.m.): The finale’s here, as the final two cook a three-course meal for the judges, in hopes of winning the $250,000 and cookbook deal that make up the show’s grand prize. Phil Dyess-Nugent is rooting for Christine, as are we, because we’re all easily manipulated by reality show editing.
The Inbetweeners (MTV, 10:30 p.m.): Follow up the cooking excitement of MasterChef with these guys starting a cooking club. Since it’s entitled “The Wrong Box,” Margaret Eby hopes it borrows the plot from the Gospel Bill episode about Barkamaeus accidentally using rat poison when baking a cake.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The West Wing (11 a.m.): President Bartlet begins his second term with a two-part inauguration episode, and Steve Heisler starts penning his own speech as he begins his second term of covering the president and his staff. It begins with, “You guys, this is all fine, but season five? Not sure I can do that.”
Justice League (1 p.m.): “Little do the Justice League members know,” reads the Wikipedia plot summary for this episode, “(the crystal) harbors an evil snake spirit.” Oliver Sava hates that every other crystal you buy nowadays possesses an evil snake spirit. Whatever happened to crystals bearing pixies?
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Crimson Petal And The White (Encore, 8 p.m.): Romola Garai stars as 1800s prostitute Sugar, in this miniseries based on Michel Faber’s modern spin on Victorian novels of the same name. Chris O’Dowd also turns up as her love/hate interest. Phil Dyess-Nugent lets us know if the four hours are worth it.
All On The Line (Sundance, 9 p.m.): This reality series about fashion designer Joe Zee begins its third season with a special appearance by Mario Lopez. If you’ve been hanging around TV Club for a while, well, you’ll know exactly how we feel about Mario Lopez. We think he’s just about the bestest ever.
Great Performances (PBS, 9 p.m.): Look, we know you guys. And we know that what you’ve been looking for is opera. That’s why we’re pleased to tell you that PBS is spending the entire week airing Wagner’s Ring Cycle, all 20 hours of it. So get ready, all you opera-heads! Das Rheingold is coming!
The New Normal (NBC, 10 p.m.): NBC continues a week in which it’s debuting many of its shows with this new comedy about a gay couple hoping to adopt a baby and the surrogate mother who agrees to carry it for them. Also starring Ellen Barkin as a bigot and Todd VanDerWerff’s psychic screams.
Aliens (MoMax, 6:45 p.m.): James Cameron takes over the Alien franchise for the original film’s first sequel, as Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley wakes up after decades of sleep to get dragged right back into the gaping maw of those wacky Xenomorphs. It’s one of the most relentless action movies ever made.
The Green Mile (AMC, 7 p.m.): Pay tribute to Michael Clarke Duncan’s recent passing by watching his Oscar-nominated role. Sadly, he’s probably the best thing about this over-long, lugubrious tale, adapted from a Stephen King prison novel by Stephen King prison tale adaptation specialist Frank Darabont.
Monday Night Football: Bengals at Ravens (ESPN, 7 p.m.): America’s longest-running primetime sports program kicks off its latest season with a battle between two AFC rivals. And after that, it’s an all-California game, with the Raiders and Chargers facing off. Two games! What else do you have to do?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Thick Of It (Sunday): The scathing satire of British politics is back with all new episodes, and instead of having to wait months and months, they’re popping up on Hulu within 24 hours of their airing in the United Kingdom. David Sims has the scoop on how the character are dealing with coalition government.