Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, September 11. All times are Eastern.
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): As the fall TV season revs up, you’ll see some familiar sights and hear some familiar sounds: Returning shows greeted with warm hosannas, new shows withering quickly, and Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter coining a number of colorful hybrid insults for online writers who find fault with his show. The War of the Fatcuntbloggers charges into its fifth year with a 90-minute première where Jax assumes control of SAMCRO and Zack Handlen dons the bad-ass leather jacket that doubles as the thick skin required for reviewing Sons Of Anarchy.
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, 8 p.m.): With only four contenders remaining, the competition stretches into the two-hour hole recently vacated by MasterChef. As such, Oliver Sava won’t be surprised if he discovers Gordon Ramsay screaming at the dancers tonight.
The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): Can America tolerate three straight nights of Blake Shelton’s weird, wiggling “pick me” finger? By the end of night two, Caroline Framke should know.
Go On (NBC, 9 p.m.): Assuming you’ve caught both airings of the Go On pilot and watched it online, you’ll be just as prepared as Sonia Saraiya is to dive into the lives of the show’s kooky ensemble. If not—you’re going to be totally lost.
White Collar (USA, 9 p.m.): The first rule of Wall Street fight club is: You don’t talk about Wall Street fight club. The second rule of Wall Street fight club is: You don’t laugh uproariously at the mere suggestion of a “Wall Street fight club.” Kenny Herzog has his work cut out for him.
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): After The New Normal scrawled “THIS IS WHAT A MODERN FAMILY LOOKS LIKE” all over his TV for 30 minutes, Todd VanDerWerff is folded back into the warm-yet-compellingly-complicated embrace of the Bravermans. He never thought he’d miss them so.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Dawson’s Creek (11 a.m.): “The gang explores uncharted waters” begins the Wikipedia summary of (wait for it) “Uncharted Waters.” In response, Brandon Nowalk will use the title of “His Leading Lady” in all references to the actress playing Joey in Dawson’s movie.
Home Movies (3 p.m.): The first season of Home Movies ends with Brendon learning a thing or two about the legal system and, more importantly, his father. Erik Adams thinks that sounds like one awkward civics lecture.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The 9/11 Surfer (Discovery, 8 p.m.): Well, we’ve made it this far without a crass acknowledgement of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—so here comes the story of one World Trade Center survivor, flying under the goofiest banner imaginable. Well done, Discovery. Well done.
Dance Moms (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Sensing a lack of a screeching, inexplicably magnetic presence in primetime, Dance Moms’ Abby Lee Miller steps up to take Gordon Ramsay’s place while bringing the second season of her reality series to an end at a competition in Beverly Hills.
Bomb Girls (Reelz, 10 p.m.): Reelz continues its commitment to being the HBO of affordable Canadian imports with this World War II period piece. If Will Harris doesn’t like it, he promises not to reach for the obvious “bomb” pun sitting there in the title.
Teen Mom (MTV, 10 p.m.): And, with one final conversation between Dr. Drew and the Teen Moms (not to be confused with short-lived punk act Doctor Drew And The Teen Moms), MTV officially eliminates the societal scourge of teen pregnancy. And no teenager ever had sex again…
Coming To America (BET, 8 p.m.): If not for his cameo in this Eddie Murphy comedy, it’s unlikely that Samuel L. Jackson would become Hollywood’s Van Gogh of profanity. Not that you’ll hear any of it in this basic-cable cut, where his character calls Murphy an “air head.”
Monkey Business (1952) (TCM, 8 p.m.): Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, and Ginger Rogers star in Howard Hawks’ madcap “fountain of youth” comedy, for which the phrase “hijinks ensue” was undoubtedly coined.
World Cup Qualifying Soccer: U.S. vs. Jamaica (ESPN2, 8 p.m.): The next FIFA World Cup takes place in Brazil in 2014—by which time this qualifying match should be finished. (Get it? Because soccer matches are really long and boring and other dumb accusations regularly lobbed at the world’s most popular sport?)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The New Normal: Before settling into its regular Tuesday-night timeslot, the latest from Glee’s Ryan Murphy declared itself Most Important Première of the Season. Todd VanDerWerff begs to differ—and, while he’s at it, suggests that the show stop undermining its most salient points in the name of “satire.”