Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, July 24. All times are Eastern.
Top Chef Masters (Bravo, 10 p.m.): Bravo’s cooking-themed reality juggernaut returns for season five—along with an online competition called “Battle of the Sous Chefs.” In the première the chefs cook for a skydiving team and get the opportunity to skydive themselves. Perhaps the chefs will force their sous chefs to skydive while simultaneously fighting in the sky. Now that’s a “Battle of the Sous Chefs” we’d like to see.
Arrested Development (Netflix, 11 a.m.): It’s the story of a wealthy family who found a new home on Netflix, and two critics who had no choice but to wrap up their review of the fourth season. Noel Murray and Erik Adams end their Arrested Development coverage with an episode that focuses on George M… aharis.
MasterChef (Fox, 9 p.m.): According to TV Guide, this week “The chefs are taken to a remote field for an overnight challenge in which they must cook for sustenance and create lunch for the judges using limited ingredients.” Phil Dyess-Nugent thinks that challenge sounds much too easy and suggests the judges also blindfold the chefs and force them to make a dish using only the clothes off their backs.
The Bridge (FX, 10 p.m.): In this week’s episode, titled “Rio,” Sonya and Marco investigate a key suspect. Molly Eichel investigates whether or not this episode is related to the Fox Animations CGI movie Rio. Chances are 50/50 that FX is trying to do some bizarre cross-promotion.
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): Bender goes grave-robbing to bring back Futurama’s most beloved Thespian, Calculon. The show gave the robot actor an unexpectedly poignant death with a Romeo & Juliet monologue, and Zack Handlen hopes his return from the dead features at least a handful of Hamlet references. Something is rotten in the state of New New York.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Freaks And Geeks (1 p.m.): Shia LaBeouf makes a before-they-were famous appearance on this week’s episode, playing a high school mascot who breaks his arm. Todd VanDerWerff will be on the lookout for the actor’s signature catchphrase.
Sports Night (3 p.m.): In this week’s two-parter Casey and Dana place a bet on their NFL draft predictions while Casey and Dan get into a fight. Donna Bowman bets that many people are very confused by the Dan/Dana name similarities when reading about this show. Which one went on to star in Desperate Housewives?
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Spell-mageddon (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): ABC Family is trying to make spelling bees must-see TV with the help of an apocalyptic name, Wipeout-style “distractions” (like a microphone that squirts liquid), and Alfonso Ribeiro. We’d rather just S-K-I-P this whole D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E venture.
Joe Rogan Questions Everything (Syfy, 10 p.m.): The “everything” Joe Rogan will be questioning actually looks limited to the paranormal, which is a shame because we’d really like to see Rogan question everyday objects, like toasters. The première features an investigation into the existence of Bigfoot, a topic people apparently need not one but two TV shows about. Perhaps sasquatch is too busy wondering how his toaster works to appear on TV.
Dance Kids ATL (TLC, 10 p.m.): TLC premières a show designed to compete with Lifetime’s Dance Moms. Dance Kids ATL is hip-hop themed, but follows the same mom-drama-centered format as Dance Moms (and, for that matter, Dance Moms: Miami). We can’t wait for the inevitable crossover dance-for-your-life battle that will ensue and inevitably lead to a major motion picture franchise which will then have to dance-battle with the Step Up series. The dance world is a competitive place, man.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 7:30 p.m.): What better way to prepare for the July 26 première of The Wolverine than by lowering your expectations considerably by rewatching X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth, Taylor Kitsch as Gambit, and (weirdly) Will.I.Am as John Wraith weren’t enough to save this boring exploration of Wolverine’s mysterious past.
The Twelve Chairs (TCM, 9:30 p.m.): After the (at that time) moderate success of The Producers, Mel Brooks followed up his directing debut with a Soviet Union-set comedy starring Frank Langella, Ron Moody, and Dom DeLuise. The Twelve Chairs was a commercial flop and remains one of Brooks’ least-remembered films, which makes it a slightly odd choice for TCM to air following their presentation of AFI’s Life Achievement Award honoring Brooks.
MLB Baseball: Rays at Red Sox (ESPN, 7 p.m.): Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Matt Moore had his first career shutout during Monday’s game. We’d watch tonight’s third in the four game series, but we’re just too distracted trying to figure out why some baseball mascots are sea creatures and others are articles of clothing.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Web Therapy: Brandon Nowalk sits down for a session with the third season première of Lisa Kudrow’s Showtime series. Read his review twice and call him in the morning.