The Vampire Diaries bites into the Big Apple 

The Vampire Diaries bites into the Big Apple 

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, March 21, 2013. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): It’s spring break (SPRING BREAK!) on campuses across the nation, but you wouldn’t expect the undead residents of Mystic Falls to head to some lame destination like Panama Beach or Daytona. No, true to all the black leather in his wardrobe, Damon spent some time in New York City in the 1970s—a period when only a vampire could feel safe in the Big Apple—and that’s where he and Elena are off to this week. Not the ’70s, directly; that time period is represented by flashbacks and Carrie Raisler’s fan-fiction about Damon making a splash on an episode of TV Party.


REGULAR COVERAGE

Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): Abed goes back to work on that quintessential college experience list when he starts his own fraternity. Todd VanDerWerff’s a shoo-in for membership, but he still has to repair Boob-A-Tron as part of the pledge process.

Glee (Fox, 9 p.m.): In a different storyline that has the feeling of a retread, Glee gets dangerously close to “Run, Joey, Run” territory with an episode revolving around guilty pleasures. “You mean like Glee itself?” Brandon Nowalk asks, facetiously. 

Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): The summary of this Runway episode mentions guest judge Rachel Roy, who, though we know she’s a fashion designer of some renown, we still like envisioning as a bootleg Rachael Ray. Sonia Saraiya is still trying to keep reviews by “Sonya Soroiyo” off of the TV criticism black market.

Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): The title of this week’s Archer, “Un Chien Tangerine,” translates roughly to “the orange-red dog.” Todd VanDerWerff doesn’t care what it means, so long as he can keep slipping it into the lyrics of the Pixies’ “Debaser.” (CHIEN!) 


TV CLUB CLASSIC

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): The end of season four already? Why, it seems like only yesterday that Zack Handlen was meeting the Changelings, and now they’re putting Odo on trial. Time flies when you’re working so close to a wormhole.

Gilmore Girls (1 p.m.): The citizens of Stars Hollow attend a funeral for a pet in an early taste of the town’s eccentricities. David Sims relishes any opportunity to hang out with super-cool hep cat Morey—even a pet funeral.


WHAT ELSE IS ON?

The American Bible Challenge (GSN, 9 p.m.): Can Christianity continue its recent cable-TV hot streak and turn the second season of this quiz show into the Next Big Thing? We can’t tell you, for divining is a sin in the eyes of the Game Show Network.

Forecasting The End (Weather, 9 p.m.): And now, your local forecast: Sunny, with a 45 percent chance of devastating gamma radiation. Asteroids, supervolcanoes, and rogue planets on the horizon as well—provided any of the global cataclysms foreseen here pan out.

Scandal (ABC, 10 p.m.): This political thriller has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the television season, so we’re having Ryan McGee drop back in on it to test the waters of the Potomac. Prediction: They’re steamy.

Newsreaders (Adult Swim, midnight): Could The A.V. Club be covering the season finale of this newsmagazine spoof? The answer might surprise you—and also kill you.

Why We Laugh: Funny Women (Showtime, 8 p.m.): Joan Rivers narrates this documentary about women in comedy—though we’d almost rather watch her pull an MST3K and just toss out barbs and jabs over the same interview footage.

Compulsion (TCM, 8 p.m.): The brackets are filled, the pep bands are on the road, team colors fly proudly, so you know what that means: It’s Dean Stockwell Night in America. TCM kicks off that magical time colloquially known as Stockwell Madness with this dramatization of the Leopold and Loeb murder trial.

NCAA Basketball Tournament: South Dakota State vs. Michigan (CBS, 7 p.m.): If either the Community or Archer reviews read as a tiny bit distracted tonight, that’s because Todd VanDerWerff is devoting some of his attention to this big spotlight game for his alma mater. This is also why all character references in those reviews have been replaced with the words “Go Jacks!”


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Workaholics: The heavy hitter in the current Comedy Central lineup concluded its third season amid future shock and fears of a robot takeover. The full text of Kevin McFarland’s review, filed as an etching on a cave wall: “Suck it, Skynet.”