Is New Girl hitting its stride? The answer: a conclusive maybe

Is New Girl hitting its stride? The answer: a conclusive maybe

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, February 21. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Erik Adams has been telling us this show is getting pretty good, and while we’re not quite as enthusiastic about it as he is, we will grant that the addition of Lizzy Caplan to the recurring cast shored up some of the show’s weaknesses, and we will grant that the male supporting cast can be very funny. Now, granted, Zooey Deschanel’s Jess is still a problematic character from time to time, but the writers are figuring her out. So now’s as good a time as any to check back in on this show if you dropped it earlier and see if it’s developing into something you might like. And if you don’t like it, blame Adams. Don’t blame us.


REGULAR COVERAGE
Glee (Fox, 8 p.m.): It’s time for regionals—cue inevitable joke cribbed from the Community Christmas episode, cue inevitable, “THIS ISN’T COMMUNITY NEWS” anger—which means New Directions will get plucky and perform a bunch of songs for the first time ever and win. Todd VanDerWerff has foreseen it.

Switched At Birth (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): You might say to yourself, “Self, I don’t need any sweet-tempered family drama this evening,” but then you’d be forgetting that this is the only show on tonight with a major plot set at an art show. Carrie Raisler knows just how much you love art show plots!

Cougar Town (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): So the ratings for this last week were… okay, given the tough timeslot, but they weren’t what they might have been. Which is why Ryan McGee begs you to watch tonight. Also, less impressively, he’s going to beg Jules to be her maid of honor. He’s always been her bestie!

Ringer (The CW, 9 p.m.): Carrie Raisler seems increasingly disenchanted with this one, and the ratings keep slip-slipping away, but, hey, this episode is called “Whores Don’t Make That Much,” and the only other show we can think of that used “Whores” in an episode title is Deadwood. Transitive property!

The River (ABC, 9 p.m.): Someone who was on Emmett’s mission is found, but he’s been placed under a life-threatening curse. Don’t you just hate when that happens? Scott Von Doviak was placed under a life-threatening curse back in 2002, and he got out of it with only a pickax and an Aaron Neville CD.

Raising Hope (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Jimmy and Sabrina have only been mackin’ on each other for a week, and he’s already helping her overcome childhood phobias. Like you do with a new girlfriend, of course. Phil Dyess-Nugent helps all of his girlfriends overcome their deepest fears by closing them in his shark cage.

Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): Boyd makes his move to take control of the Oxy trade, while Raylan tries to keep the fight from becoming an all-out war. Weird how things seem to be happening all off-kilter this season. Scott Tobias is pretty sure if he got caught in an all-out Harlan war, he’d have to duck and hide.

Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): In one week, another season of one of network TV’s best dramas will end, and it will be almost as if it never existed at all. If it comes back in the fall, you’ll be quietly flummoxed. “Oh, right! That show exists!” you’ll say. But Todd VanDerWerff will always be there to take care of you.

Southland (TNT, 10 p.m.): John and Tang protect a documentary crew, which means it’s time for a mockumentary episode of everybody’s favorite show. One of these days, they’re going to have to make a TV Club mockumentary, and Kevin McFarland can be the guy who stares awkwardly at the camera.

White Collar (USA, 10 p.m.): A rich guy wants to steal something from Yankee Stadium, and he enlists the help of Neal to get it done. Kenny Herzog wants to know when he’s gonna get cut in on this deal. He’d be more than happy with something from Yankee Stadium. Or, honestly, Target Field. Either way.

Key & Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): It’s finally time for the “Obama anger translator” sketch, which the network has been using to sell this show since, seemingly, forever. Steve Heisler tried to get a job as an anger translator, but he couldn’t find one. And they say the unemployment rate keeps falling!


TV CLUB CLASSIC
Avatar: The Last Airbender (1 p.m.): Hayden Childs is running a bit behind this week, so you won’t get this right away like you’re used to. Try not to freak out. Anyway, this week, Sokka decides to forge a sword out of a meteorite, because that’s exactly the sort of thing a well-adjusted young man would do.

The Larry Sanders Show (3 p.m.): It’s time for Hank’s Lookaround Café to open, and Kyle Ryan couldn’t be more excited to try what’s on the menu. Of course, since Hank is getting involved in something, there will be something that pushes our guy to his limit. Could this be what finally causes a psychotic break?


WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Injustice Files (Investigation Discovery, 8 p.m.): This show has a pretty badass name for something that appears to be just another cable show about unsolved crimes and the people trying to solve them. Tonight: Four mysterious hanging deaths that happened over a 30-year span are investigated. Oooh.

Jane By Design (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): You’re probably not watching this one, because the overlap between our audience and the ABC Family audience is punishingly small. And if we’re being honest, we’re not either. But the lead is named “Erica Dasher,” and we think that’s the greatest name ever.

Cruise Ship Disaster: Inside The Concordia (Discovery, 10 p.m.): Let it never be said that the Discovery Channel can’t rush to make sure it’s got a special exploring some recent disaster on the air within six weeks of that disaster happening. After last month’s cruise ship grounding, here’s an investigation.

It Gets Better (MTV, 11 p.m.): MTV’s been talking about making a show with Dan Savage for a while, so here’s the network’s chance to dig into the advice columnist’s project to help bullied teenagers understand that there’s more coming, so they don’t commit suicide. Let’s give him a Nobel Peace Prize!

Tin Cup (Golf, 8 p.m.): This is a good movie, with one of the last really great Kevin Costner performances. But it also gives you the opportunity to watch a movie on the Golf Channel, which seems like the sort of thing you could work into an extra annoying dinner party anecdote. Go ahead. Try it!

The War Of The Worlds (AMC, 8 p.m.): The channel formerly known as American Movie Classics (now known as American Movie Channel) airs something that might actually qualify as a classic film tonight, as it takes a look at the 1950s version of the oft-filmed Martian invaders tale. Spoiler alert: We win! Sort of!

NHL Hockey: Red Wings at Blackhawks (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.): Erik Adams usually writes the Tuesday What’s On Tonight, but he’s not around today to defend his beloved Detroit Red Wings against the verbal onslaught of our Chicago Blackhawks propaganda. Suck it, Red Wings! Blackhawks forever!


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Clinton (Monday): If you’re thinking about watching the second part of tonight’s Bill Clinton documentary on PBS, you can see what Phil Dyess-Nugent thought of the whole thing when he reviewed it yesterday. Also, you can haul out all your tired Monica Lewinsky jokes. Like you’re Jay Leno! 

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