Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, September 24. All times are Eastern.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 8 p.m.): There’s one major question surrounding Joss Whedon’s nominal return to series television: “To punctuate or not to punctuate?” As the editors of The A.V. Club are nothing if not devout acolytes of Mavis Beacon, we’re already running Oliver Sava and David Sims through rigorous right-ring-finger exercises to ensure that every reference to the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, And Logistics Division contains its full order of periods. Todd VanDerWerff already underwent such rigorous training, which is why he’ll soon be starring in his own Marvel book about a TV-critic-turned-vigilante who mounts a one-digit war on crime.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): There’s nothing funny about murder (on a weekly basis), so the 99th precinct’s second primetime case revolves around graffiti. Molly Eichel is actually one of many alter egos painstakingly cultivated by street artist Banksy.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Like many students, teachers, and TV critics across the nation, Jess is adjusting to some changes this fall. After somehow finding himself neck deep in geometry tests that have to be graded by the end of the day, Erik Adams can sympathize.
Trophy Wife (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): This year’s winner of the Cougar Town Commemorative Award for Pilot Excellence in the Face of a Crummy Title goes to this Malin Akerman vehicle, the self-assured charms of which aren’t deflated one bit by a name that sounds like it should be attached to one of the fake Adam Sandler movies in Funny People. (“He thought he’d found a prize of a partner—until she turned out to have more than a heart made of gold.”) Todd VanDerWerff and Brandon Nowalk are assembling a series of self-deprecating quips for Trophy Wife to run in its title card in the coming weeks.
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): James Franco continues urging Mindy to reframe her preconceived notions into a whole new OB/GYN paradigm. To which Katherine Miller responds “I believe it’s pronounced ‘diaphragm,’ James Franco.”
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.): As the third season opens, the machine has gone missing. Phil Dyess-Nugent eagerly awaits the explanation of how the machine failed to predict its own theft.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
NCIS (CBS, 8 p.m.): Yes, NCIS superfans, CBS has heard your complaints and conspiracy theories about Cote De Pablo’s departure from TV’s No. 1 show. The network’s response: A season-premiere promo teasing a “farewell” to De Pablo’s character. Apparently CBS’ telecast of the 65th Primetime Emmys was all about learning to troll.
The Goldbergs (ABC, 9 p.m.): The 1980s get the Wonder Years treatment, courtesy of a family that’s apparently highly influenced by the volume of Jeff Garlin’s voice when it’s in full Curb Your Enthusiasm/Doug Loves Movies mode. Molly Eichel has a review (and maybe pilot-induced tinnitus?)
Knife Fight/Brew Dogs (Esquire, 9/9:30 p.m.): Cable’s newest network continues to teach men how to do manly stuff, but in a more refined manner than those other networks for men. Here’s a cooking competition that knows how to properly mix patterns, and a docuseries that’s seriously getting into microbrews lately, guys.
Fangasm (Syfy, 10 p.m.): Good timing: This series about the staff that’s mounting Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo debuts on the same night as other Lee-associated properties are yukking it up on ABC. Bad timing: It’ll probably be buried in the fall-premiere deluge. Excelsior?
Any Which Way You Can (Reelz, 8 p.m.): One slapstick comedy in which Clint Eastwood plays a bare-knuckle boxer with a pet orangutan deserves another—which is one way to explain this sequel to Every Which Way But Loose. Another way: The giant pile of money generated by Every Which Way But Loose.
Insomnia (WGN, 8 p.m.): After proving his inventiveness with Memento, Christopher Nolan was rewarded with some high-profile collaborators for his first major-studio effort: Al Pacino, Hilary Swank, and Robin Williams, all of whom turn in surprisingly nuanced work in this taut reworking of a Norwegian thriller.
Golf’s Greatest Rounds—President’s Cup 2003 (Golf Network, 8 p.m.): The one live sporting event on the basic-cable schedule was bumped after the WNBA’s Indiana Fever won its series against the Chicago Sky on Sunday, so please enjoy this 10-year-old President’s Cup match—and don’t spoil it by looking up the results on Wikipedia.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Mom: Todd VanDerWerff’s crusade to salvage the reputation of the unfairly maligned multi-camera sitcom begins anew—this time with a show that might be actually worth the salvage job. Or so it looked during his pre-air review—read on to see if he changed his mind in the interim.