Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, January 3, 2013. All times are Eastern.
Buckwild (MTV, 10 p.m.): A little more than three years ago, MTV introduced the basic-cable audience to a loveable group of walking, talking (drinking, shouting, fighting, ignorant, ultimately not that entertaining) group of Italian-American stereotypes, quickly turning them into the types of TV stars that trashy Halloween costumes and kitschy Christmas tree ornaments are made of. If history repeats itself, the colorful, controversy-courting bumpkins of Buckwild could inherit Jersey Shore’s lofty place in the cultural conversation—a conversation that begins and ends with “Can you believe these people?” In a TV Club trial by fire, Austin Bernhardt will determine whether or not the likes of “Gandee Candy” and “The Spicy Southern Belle” can fill the Situation-sized hole in his heart.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Sheldon stands accused of sexual harassment, a serious allegation that nonetheless leads to wacky hijinks once Leonard, Raj, and Howard are implicated as well. Oliver Sava is sure there’s supposed to be a “On a very special Big Bang Theory” in there somewhere, but it appears to have gone missing.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): Finch goes undercover as a teacher, one of the few times you’ll find Michael Emerson tearing a page from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book. Phil Dyess-Nugent once tore a page from Schwarzenegger’s book, and then Schwarzenegger tore an arm from Phil’s body.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): The working relationship between Holmes and Watson becomes cemented when the former asks the latter to be his apprentice. With Myles McNutt out for the week, he’s similarly picked an apprentice/fill-in to be named later.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Nashville (ABC, 8 p.m.): Before new episodes of the show return next week—adding further faux-sudsy distractions from Rayna and Juliette finally heading out on that goddamn concert tour—get reacquainted with the wonderful promise of the Nashville pilot.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): Relive “The Target,” if only for Chris Gethard’s immaculate reading of the line “Sandwich delivery for Mr. Oscar Martinez.” (And then watch a bunch of episodes of The Chris Gethard Show, because it’s wonderful.)
Hawaii Life (HGTV, 8 p.m.): In which a team of “unlikely real-estate moguls” help clients realize their dreams of living in the 50th state. And if you believe their claims that anyone can up and move to Hawaii, they have a bridge to sell you—probably somewhere in Hawaii.
Kathy Griffin: Kennedie Center On-Hers (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The comedian warms up for the second season of Kathy with a stand-up special whose title stretches wordplay to its limits—the type of observation Griffin is sure to make about her own face at some point during the hour.
The Pirates! A Band Of Misfits (Starz, 7:20 p.m.): A delightful stop-motion trifle that’s below the typically sterling standards of Aardman Animations (it’s like the British Pixar, but with clay!), yet still more entertaining than all three Pirates Of The Caribbean sequels.
Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (FMC, 8 p.m.): “Whoever wins, we lose” the tagline for the first Alien Vs. Predator film memorably warned. Apparently that loss wasn’t decisive enough, as the xenomorphs and their dreadlocked adversaries required an additional round to deliver mankind’s ultimate punishment.
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon Vs. Kent State (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.): Falling one victory (plus or minus some mysterious BCS math) short of the national championship game, the Ducks and the Wildcats battle for the only bowl title with the satisfying crunch of Tostitos Tortilla Chips.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT