Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, March 18. All times are Eastern.
Luck (HBO, 9 p.m.): In an unfortunate echo of the way luck breaks positively and negatively for the show’s characters, the latest acclaimed drama in HBO’s stable was dealt a pair of major blows this week: In spite of safety measures, one of the show’s horses was euthanized (the third such death to occur during production)—which prompted HBO and executive producers Michael Mann and David Milch to abandon plans for a second season. It’s a bummer that all of the series’ slowly building drama can only build to next week’s series finale—the bigger bummer being that the fifth-season première of Mad Men is bound to overshadow that finale. But at least Todd VanDerWerff can rest assured that no horse will ever again die due to an injury sustained while racing.
Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): Ginnifer Goodwin—voted “least likely murder suspect” in a survey of people we just made up—stands accused of Kathryn’s death. Nonetheless, Oliver Sava has his own suspicions.
The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m.): The race reaches Bavaria, a locale we’ve learned of exclusively through childhood trips to the Bavarian-immigrant-settlement-cum-modern-day-tourist-destination of Frankenmuth, Michigan. If those trips are any indication, Scott Von Doviak is in for a family-style fried-chicken dinner and a visit to a giant Christmas store.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): Foreshadowing man’s inevitable face-off with machine, Homer faces down a robot menace at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Hayden Childs, for one, welcomes our new robotic overlords.
Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): In the cleverly titled “Bob Day Afternoon”—more cleverly titled than last week’s Goonies homage, “The Belchies,” at least—a bank robbery unfolds across the street from Bob’s Burgers. Rowan Kaiser hopes this all ends with Bob chanting “Atti-condiments! Atti-condiments!”
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): It’s season-finale time, which is good for the people who’ve given up on the show and saddening for those whose interest was reignited by last week’s riveting installment. Zack Handlen just wants to see how Rick and Carl make it back to the farm.
The Good Wife (CBS, 9 p.m.): Michael J. Fox’s unethical Louis Canning returns to offer Alicia a job. It’s here that we’d reach into our Big Bag of Back To The Future Allusions, but David Sims would prefer we go the high road. As such, we think Alicia may come to like working with Canning—just as Fox’s Doc Hollywood character grew to appreciate the down-home charms of Grady, Georgia.
Family Guy (Fox 9 p.m.): Peter, Brian, Joe, and Quagmire wake up with amnesia in a deserted Quahog. Sounds like Family Guy’s time to deliver an episode-long Twilight Zone homage has finally arrived, to which Kevin McFarland suggests that Peter, Brian, Joe, and Quagmire are the true monsters on Maple Street!
Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, 9 p.m.): Setting out to make a viral video is a tall order—especially because a viral video’s creator has little to no say in whether their creation becomes the stuff of BuzzFeed posts and forward emails. Of course, if any of the contestants want to fall on their asses in front of the camera, Margaret Eby will send a link to the footage to at least five of her friends.
Shameless (Showtime, 9 p.m.): Monica’s acting like the mother she never was, which frees Fiona up to make something of her life. Or have her hopes built up until her alcoholic mom flakes on the family again—prompting Joshua Alston to ask “Why must you be so cruel to Fiona, Shameless?”
American Dad (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): With Doonesbury handling controversial Texas abortion laws, American Dad reignites the right-to-life debate—channeling the sensitive issue through a beloved family pet. No hot-button topic is too hot-button for Rowan Kaiser.
Eastbound & Down (HBO, 10 p.m.): Kenny Powers tries to steal his thunder back from Ivan the only way a Kenny Powers knows how: PARTY! Nathan Rabin puts forth the polarizing assessment that there ain’t no party like a Kenny Powers party because a Kenny Powers party don’t stop.
House Of Lies (Showtime, 10 p.m.): It’s a big homecoming party for Jeannie, whose chance to show her leadership skills comes with a consulting job in her hometown. They say you can’t go home again—though Rowan Kaiser is skeptical of this “they” and all their well-known aphorisms.
Life’s Too Short (HBO, 10:30 p.m.): Here’s an episode that seems like it’s legitimately devoted to the show’s main character, as he has a momentary crisis of faith and returns to the dating field. But if there’s a celebrity cameo shoehorned into the proceedings, Erik Adams will catch it.
Californication (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.): Hank’s in need of new representation—maybe he can hook up with Warwick Davis for a bit of Californication/Life’s Too Short cross-promotion. Kenny Herzog looks forward to David Duchovny’s awkward interactions with Ricky Gervais.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (11 a.m.): Was this Second Doctor-era serial an attempt to convince British citizens of space exploration’s vital importance? It’s decidedly pro-space exploration and anti-teleportation technology. Christopher Bahn reminds you that the future is written in the stars!
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Frozen Planet (Discovery, 8 p.m.): The promos for this quasi-sequel to Planet Earth have us quoting The B-52s (and, in a way, Mystery Science Theater 3000) more than usual. Todd VanDerWerff encourages you to win new friends and influence people by striking your best Fred Schneider and hollering “There goes a narwhal!” each time the unicorns of the Arctic appear onscreen.
mtvU Woodie Awards (MTV, 8 p.m.): In honor of the college students in its audience, here’s the music-awards show with a name that begs to be turned into a sophomoric pun. To miss it is to make an unrecoverable boner.
Nazi Scrapbooks From Hell (National Geographic, 8 p.m.): Who wants to thumb through Grandpa Nazi’s memories of Auschwitz? National Geographic stamps the title of the most boring grindhouse film never made on a survey of newly recovered, undoubtedly horrifying images of the Holocaust.
Unchained Reaction (Discovery, 10 p.m.): In the best concept for a new game show in years, Head MythBusters Jamie Hynemann and Adam Savage challenge multi-disciplinary task forces with building Rube Goldberg devices . Finally, a way to put those hours spent playing the old PC game The Incredible Machine to practical use!
Born Free (TCM, 8 p.m.): TCM presents a Bill Travers-Virginia McKenna wildlife double feature (the second part being Ring Of Bright Water), beginning with the tale of a married couple that raised a lion cub to adulthood—the tale which eventually turned Travers and McKenna into animal-rights activists. (We wonder what they’d have to say about this Luck brouhaha…)
Road House (CMT, 8:45 p.m.): Look, spotting Road House on cable isn’t as hard as spotting a narwhal (“There goes a narwhal!”). But look at tonight’s showing as a memorial for the late Ben Gazzara, who introduced himself to a whole new segment of the viewing public with intimidation tactics like sending a monster truck through a well-stocked Ford dealership.
NBA Basketball: Magic at Heat (ESPN, 7 p.m.): The Magic recently stunned the Heat in a six-point overtime win. The Heat seek revenge on its home turf, where it’s an intimidating 18-2 for the season.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Twilight Zone (Satuday): Missing Christmas? Missing the TV Club Advent Calendar? Join Todd VanDerWerff as he provides a second opinion on The Twilight Zone’s improbable addition to the Christmas TV canon—in March!