Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, August 22. All times are Eastern.
So You Think You Can Dance(Fox, 8 p.m.): It’s the end of summer, with the new fall season just weeks away. This means it’s time for the networks to slow things way down and take their time. Fox, however, still has oceans of reality TV to burn through, so why not check out tonight’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance, featuring special guest judge Benjamin Millepied? Who’s Benjamin Millepied? Only the guy who gets to sleep with Natalie Portman, that’s who. Oh, and, of course, a very talented ballet dancer and choreographer in his own right. But now that you know he’s married to Natalie Portman, that’s all you’re going to be able to think. Lucky bastard. Oliver Sava just can’t believe his name is Millepied. Millepied!
Damages (DirecTV’s Audience Network, 9 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is called “The Storm’s Moving In.” Joshua Alston assumes the series doesn’t mean a literal storm, unless Patty’s taking cues from Stephen King’s Storm Of The Century and needs to kidnap one child from a small town to raise as her own.
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): Somebody in the Futurama writers room threw a dart at the ol’ “genre parody dartboard” they have hanging on the wall (right next to their cardboard standee of Zack Handlen) and hit “heist movie,” so you’re going to get an Ocean’s 11 parody. Better enjoy it!
Top Chef Masters (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The chefs serve the Indigo Girls, then a party hosted by Holly Madison, of The Girls Next Door. Margaret Eby isn’t sure what these two things have in common beyond the word “girls,” and this seems like a more desperate theme for this show than usual.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Arrested Development (11 a.m.): Season two comes to a close and invites you back to the heady days of 2005, when it seemed all but certain that this series would be canceled, rather than eking out one more season, then being resurrected almost a decade later. Noel Murray was sad then; he’s not now.
Carnivàle(1 p.m.): We’d been wondering what it was this show was missing, and then we realized it was “death masks.” This week, we’ll travel to Oklahoma to look at death masks aplenty, and maybe some of them will laugh or talk to us. Todd VanDerWerff loves it when the inanimate becomes animate!
Sports Night (3 p.m.): This week, everybody on the Sports Night staff needs to figure out how to report the story of a major cricket accomplishment… only they don’t understand what the hell cricket’s all about. Donna Bowman sympathizes. She’s still trying to write that one article we requested on bandy.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Big Brother (CBS, 8 p.m.): We think we’ve figured out the secret of this show’s success: If you want to watch TV in the 8 p.m. hour, and you don’t like dancing (for some reason), then this is about your only option. Well, that or America really likes to see if complete idiots will have ill-advised sexual encounters.
Abandoned (National Geographic, 9 p.m.): If you’ve ever driven by some crumbling old building and said to yourself, “Oh, hey, I bet there’s some kick-ass furniture in there,” then this is the show for you. Les Chappell watches as men invade our nation’s abandoned structures in search of cool chairs.
Dirty Jobs (Discovery, 10 p.m.): After eight seasons of doing the United States’ dirtiest jobs, Mike Rowe apparently decided he needed to invade other countries, so he pulls a reverse Paul Hogan (the hardest move in all of show business) to do the dirty jobs of Australia. We predict great success!
NY Med (ABC, 10 p.m.): You probably haven’t been paying attention to this hospital-set documentary series, but it’s been one of the summer’s finest treats. Tonight’s installment marks the series finale, and if you’ve never seen an episode before, there’s no context necessary to just dive on in and check it out.
Jurassic Park (BBC America, 6 p.m.): Look, if you haven’t seen this movie, then you probably haven’t been alive in the last couple of decades, but we’d never miss a chance to link to this exquisite melodica cover of the movie’s theme song. How much more majestic do those dinosaurs seem now?
Real Steel(Showtime, 7:50 p.m.): Normally, we’d tell you what TCM was airing tonight in this space, and while the movie’s it’s showing are pretty good—including The Fortune Cookie!—Tasha Robinson would like to remind you that this robot boxing movie is better than you’d expect, really. Robot boxing!
MLB Baseball: Yankees at White Sox (ESPN2, 8 p.m.): The White Sox have owned the Yankees in the other two games in this series, but the Yankees probably aren’t all that concerned, given their record remains the best in the American League. The Sox, meanwhile, cling to a slim divisional lead.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Line Of Duty (Tuesday): Hulu’s been importing lots of interesting programming this summer, and Sonia Saraiya is quite taken with the latest, a new cop drama starring Lennie James. She compares it to The Wire, which makes us take interest already, though just having James star meant we were sold.