Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, May 16, 2013. All times are Eastern.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): This show fell so far so fast in its later years that even the most incremental improvements in season nine felt huge. Lately, we’ve been stuck marveling at the fact that it made it to nine seasons—remember how crummy this thing looked eight springs ago? That show certainly didn’t seem like the type that would inspire so many accolades and blow the doors open for future single-camera comedies. But it did, which is why Erik Adams is going to be a convulsing, tear-stained mess when this, the series finale, ends—that goes double if Michael Scott ends up officiating the finale’s big wedding. (He still contends it should have ended sooner, though.)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Last season ended with Howard going to outer space; this season ends with Leonard thinking about taking a job abroad. At this rate, Oliver Sava expects a series finale where one of the characters considers leaving the couch.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): It’s more like “grad-boo-uation day” when Mystic River salutes its class of 2013 by being overrun by g-
g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-ghosts! Carrie Raisler’s advice: Watch out for the Spirit of Student Loans, kids!
Scandal (ABC, 10 p.m.): Paul Lee brought the cast of Scandal onstage during ABC’s upfront presentation, so it’s safe to say none of the actors present are the mole. As such, Ryan McGee returns to his hobby of pinning other nefarious deeds on Josh Malina.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): In a two-hour season ender, Sherlock takes a stroll down memory lane with Irene Adler while being pursued in the real world by Moriarty. Myles McNutt, meanwhile, hovers overhead in his signature Myles McCopter.
Hannibal (NBC, 10 p.m.): An additional 15 minutes for The Office finale puts the squeeze on Hannibal. Molly Eichel assumes the scene that gets cut is the one where Dr. Lecter is all like “Yep, I’ve been killing people and making you eat their remains this whole time! For an elite law-enforcement agency, you guys sure overlook a lot!”
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): In the second—and less portentious—of this week’s episodes, Dr. Bashir is nominated to become the basis for a medical hologram, like the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager. And now Zack Handlen is busy drafting a script where Alexander Siddig, Robert Picardo, and holographic Tupac Shakur have wacky romantic misadventures and razz one another for being life-like illusions of light and sound.
Gilmore Girls (1 p.m.): Near the end of a week where a second season of Bunheads seemed less and less likely, David Sims has the cure for what Amy Sherman-Palladin-ails you: Gilmore Girls’ affecting season-one finale.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): The rebooted Idol officially lost the shiniest, most unpredictable (and therefore watchable) upgrades it received this winter—so, sure, it totally makes sense for Fox to not cut its fading star down to one night a week next year. You’ll hear Fox execs laughing all the way to the bank in January, when all you can hear on the radio is the debut single by… whoever wins tonight. (We honestly have no idea—like the actual citizens of January 2014.)
Beauty And The Beast (The CW, 9 p.m.): At the beginning of the season, we would’ve bet this one would be long gone by now. So good on ya, Beauty And The Beast—after tonight’s season finale, you live to confuse us another day!
Zombie Preppers (Discovery, 9 p.m.): If this is the zombie-apocalypse equivalent of Doomsday Preppers, it’s worth catching up with on DVR at a later date. If it’s about people who are literally prepping zombies, however, you may want to alert the authorities. (Unless the authorities are in on it, too! Quick, what would Doomsday Preppers do in this moment?)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9 p.m.): Like Big Bang, Grey’s Anatomy is lowering the stakes for its finale this time around. If you loved last year’s nutty plane-crash plot, then you’ll love: A STORM. This doesn’t end without one of the docs—or maybe all of the docs—being struck by lightning.
Risky Business (IFC, 7 p.m.): True story: After you see Risky Business for the first time, you won’t ever think of a ride on the CTA ‘L’ the same way again. You’ll also think twice about doing business with anyone who’s surname appears to be “The Killer Pimp.”
Gremlins (VH1 Classic, 7 p.m.): Nearly 30 years later, this movie is still inspiring imitators: the MGM network is airing the toilet-wrecking Gremlins cash-in Ghoulies opposite this broadcast.
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game 1: Rangers at Bruins (NBC Sports, 6 p.m.): This season marked the first time in years that all six of the league’s original teams made the playoffs. Having bumped off the Maple Leafs, the Bruins set their sights on knocking out the Rangers, all part of a diabolical plan to be the last of the Original 6 standing. (Or, as it was known in the old days “Win the Stanley Cup.”)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Modern Family: Phil buys an RV, which unfortunately doesn’t lead to 23 minutes of Ty Burrell hitting the open road, nothing by his side but a comically oversized cup of coffee that he inevitably and hilariously spills all over himself, plunging his new toy into a shallow pond in the process. You’ll have to wait until Donna Bowman’s screenplay RV 2: 2R2V is greenlit to see that.