Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, October 2. All times are Eastern.
Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): It’s rare that we can get you guys interested in coverage of reality shows, but here’s one of the few you seem to still like reading about. This season, Padma and company pack up the van to head to New Orleans—just like those wacky witches of American Horror Story, who will begin battling with these top chefs starting next week!—and in the first episode, the contestants are forced to make a terrifying choice: Should they cook with frog, turtle, or alligator? Sonia Saraiya, who lost her eye in an alligator-wrestling accident in 1917, insists they pick the gator, the gator!
Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): All summer long, Alasdair Wilkins has feverishly anticipated the return of Arrow, to see if it makes good on the comic book pulpiness it promised at the end of last season. He will find out if that happens next week. Until then, you can get a quick guide to what happened in season one with this catch-up special.
The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): So how long do we think Axl will be off at college? Modern Family made it all of a couple of episodes before forcing Haley to move back in with her family, but we think The Middle is better than that. Will Harris is pegging this inevitability to the Thanksgiving or Christmas episodes.
Revolution (NBC, 8 p.m.): Last week’s premiere was a step up over where season one ended. Les Chappell thinks the writers left a better show on the table, when they revealed David Schwimmer is the last living Friend in this universe and travels the wasteland begging for scraps. We’d watch that!
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): Come to think of it, we’d watch if David Schwimmer were plopped down on the Survivor island, as well. Carrie Raisler just wants to see David Schwimmer added to all of our shows, particularly if he reenacts that plot from Friends where Ross went back to making “his music.”
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): “Gloria fears her baby is cursed” reads part of the TV Guide plot summary for tonight’s new episode of America’s Outstanding Comedy Series, four years running. Joe Reid wonders when we’ll stop reminding him of that fact. Right after he gets done polishing our Emmys!
The Bridge (FX, 10 p.m.): The show ends with a somewhat strange finale, that attempts to suggest a bunch of new directions forward for the show, while also wrapping up some other storylines. Molly Eichel’s not sure what to say, and Todd VanDerWerff offered thoughts on the whole of season one here.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX, 10 p.m.): “The gang do what Mac wants on his special day,” reads TV Guide’s plot summary. Dennis Perkins once tried to convince us it was his special day so that we’d take him to Medieval Times and then for a stroll around Circuit City, but he was lying to us.
Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): Last week’s season premiere was all right, if you enjoy lots of scenes where people flash back to the past while in a coma, which is to say, if you enjoy the second season premiere of The West Wing. Gwen Ihnat hopes everybody here can get together in the same timeline this week.
South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown, the South Park gang will have ample targets to fire at, so Ryan McGee’s pretty sure they’ll make fun of Food Network’s new show Cutthroat Kitchen. Which is fair. There’s lots to make fun of!
Key And Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): One of tonight’s sketches contains a “baseball player who likes to congratulate his teammates a bit too much.” We’re guessing he doesn’t play for the Texas Rangers, are we right? Brandon Nowalk is just glad to get baseball out of his beloved Texas sunshine.
The League (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): Ruxin misses a business flight and hides out in Chicago, which is where we are right now, waiting for the opportunity to fly back to California, where the air is fresh and clear and the ocean glistens just over the horizon. Pilot Viruet once went to California, finding it overrated.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Freaks And Geeks (1 p.m.): After taking a couple of weeks off to recharge the “Embarrassing Story Corner” batteries, Todd VanDerWerff returns to take a look at an episode that features both Daniel and Neal getting in way, way over their heads because of bad stuff happening in their home lives. Heavy.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Wendy Williams: How You Doin’, Broadway?! (TV Guide Network, 8 p.m.): For a moment, we thought this taped version of Williams’ one-woman show was going to go punctuation-less, but no! As it turns out, there’s an interrobang at the end, so Williams has wormed her way back into our hearts.
Super Fun Night (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): ABC takes a chance on another show about young, single weirdoes hanging out in the big city airing after Modern Family, because that’s worked out so well in the past. Todd VanDerWerff took a look at the Rebel Wilson star vehicle and didn’t find too much to recommend.
Ironside (NBC, 10 p.m.): Blair Underwood steps into Raymond Burr’s rather large shoes as a detective injured while on duty and then forced to use a wheelchair, who then uses his new perspective—or something—to solve the crimes no one else can solve. David Sims checked it out and found it boring.
A Young Doctor’s Notebook (Ovation, 10 p.m.): So with all those new shows disappointing, why not take a chance on a miniseries with a shot at being good? Daniel Radcliffe is a country doctor in early 20th century Russia. Jon Hamm is his older self. We’ll probably have someone check in for a review.
Doctor Dolittle (TCM, 8 p.m.): Worse films have been nominated for—and won—the Best Picture Oscar, but there are few nominees as tedious as this one. Rex Harrison is sort of fun, we suppose, and good luck getting “Talk To The Animals” out of your head. But this movie mostly just sits there.
Maria Full Of Grace (HBO Signature, 9 p.m.): We loved Best Actress nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno as a Columbian teenager who smuggles cocaine into the United States in this quietly understated look at the drug trade. Then again, we haven’t seen it since it was released, so what do we know, huh?
MLB Playoff: Rays at Indians (TBS, 8 p.m.): The Rays continue their voyage to hostile ballparks as they attempt to move forward in the playoffs in this one-game wild-card match-up. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians are tanned, rested, and ready, with fewer hyphenated words in their description.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Tuesday): One of our two favorite new comedies of the fall may have settled into a nice little groove as early as its third episode. Molly Eichel is already hoping she can get some Abe Vigoda action in this show. Even if she can’t, she’s going to write some Fish crossover fan fiction.