Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, October 23. All times are Eastern.
Happy Endings/Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 (ABC, 9 and 9:30 p.m.): In a move that proved bizarrely prescient when Fox’s new Tuesday-night comedy bloc failed to immediately tap into the zeitgeist, ABC held the season premières of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 until the second month of the 2012-13 TV season. Why the zeitgeist refuses to give into the low-impact charms of Ben And Kate is beyond us (DAMN YOU, ZEITGEIST!), but it makes survival in a tough timeslot all the more likely for a pair of beloved, if not necessarily widely watched, sitcoms. David Sims and Emily Guendelsberger wait with open arms for two groups of banter-prone, pop-culture literate urbanites who, fingers crossed, won’t be squashed by the stray X Factor for which Fox is preempting The Mindy Project.
30 For 30 (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Benji looks at the murder of a promising, young Chicago basketball player, and how his killing affected gang violence in the city. Short answer: Gang violence still exists in Chicago. Scott Tobias provides a more nuanced perspective on the film.
Raising Hope (Fox, 8 p.m.): To fully earn his acknowledgment in the opening credits, Gregg Binkley must spend an episode minding Maw Maw. He’s a braver man than Phil Dyess-Nugent.
Ben And Kate(Fox, 8:30 p.m.): Kate requiring her brother to be more ready for emergencies seems like what you’d call “a classic Ben And Kate setup”—if this is a show that will be around to establish any of its dynamics as “classic Ben And Kate.” Either way, we promise nothing but “classic Molly Eichel” from the review.
The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): The Battle Rounds conclude—as does The A.V. Club’s coverage of The Voice. Show your support for Caroline Framke’s fantastic work (and impeachable jokes about CeeLo’s cockatoo) by turning your chair around for her one more.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): “Jess the model” will be the plot grabbing the Internet’s attention, but we’d rather focus on the debate that ensues after Schmidt buys Nick a cookie. Erik Adams is fully comfortable in labeling such a scenario “classic Nick and Schmidt.”
Go On (NBC, 9 p.m.): Perhaps realizing that Tuesday is getting crowded (and quickly), many of the night’s sitcoms are throwing their best characters together tonight—which means Sonia Saraiya’s prayers for a Mr. K-Anne romp have finally been answered.
Vegas (CBS, 10 p.m.): Phil Dyess-Nugent takes a long, hard look at the wizened visage of Dennis Quaid’s Ralph Lamb and asks, “Is this the most boring protagonist on television?” Depending on how you feel about sticks in the mud with deep, philosophical bonds to 100-year-old trees…
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): In news that will give Todd VanDerWerff a much-needed moment of relief, Sarah’s moving in Mark, whose house is likely made of the various craft-service pastries Jason Ritter has hoarded while he waits for his character to be written off the show, stuck together with a crude mortar fashioned from packets of Sweet’N Low.
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): Have you spent every last waking hour since the middle of September asking Zack Handlen “Is Joel McHale in this episode of Sons Of Anarchy?” Well, pester no more: If you can’t have Jeff Winger on Community, you’ll have his more immoral, less empathetic, more-likely to-be-killed-by-bikers counterpart here.
Underemployed (MTV, 10 p.m.): Raviva (she’s the one with the baby, the musical ambitions, and the memorable name) might be looking for a new place to live—two episodes into Underemployed and Farihah Zaman is already worried this is going to become a common refrain. Or, in other words, “classic Raviva.”
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Dawson’s Creek (11 a.m.): Things really heat up in the final episode of Dawson’s Creek’s second season. Tensions flare, romantic sparks fly, accusations are fired—and other ways in which Brandon Nowalk would like you to prepare yourselves for a well-timed inferno.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Level Up (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.): The video-game-themed series opens its second season with a killer-vegetation episode appropriately titled “Little HQ Of Horrors.” Watch for the director’s cut, in which the plant takes over the world in an epic, pitch-black finale, arriving on whatever comes after Blu-ray in 26 years.
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): See what we meant about a crowded night? However are you going to choose between what else is airing at 8 and this Halloween special with special guest star Adam Lambert? </facetiousness>
Reef Wranglers (Weather Channel, 9 p.m.): Watch as the garbage of yesterday becomes the reefs of tomorrow, as planes, boats, and other massive objects are sunk into the Gulf of Mexico—hopefully to the strains of some smooth, “Your local forecast” jazz.
Hip Hop Squares (MTV2, 11 p.m.): In other “getting your Greendale where you can” news: Donald Glover guests on the return of this Hollywood Squares update, acting as the Demond Wilson to Ghostface Killah’s Morey Amsterdam.
Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (AMC, 6 p.m.): After ditching its masked killer for the unfairly maligned Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch, the slasher franchise returned to its roots, in turn establishing a career of screaming at monsters for then 11-year-old Danielle Harris.
Hocus Pocus (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): ABC Family’s Halloween programming exists almost solely to give this slumber-party favorite its annual due, resurrecting inner-children-of-the-1990s as if they were the bumbling sister witches comedically terrorizing modern-day Salem, Mass.
Women’s Soccer: U.S. vs. Germany (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.): Don’t call it a comeback (it just won the gold medal in London) and don’t call it a victory lap (because that’d just be rude), but you can call this friendly match the final stop on the United States’ “fan tribute tour.” First fan to yell out “Freebird” during stoppage time gets ejected from the stadium.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Switched At Birth: Thirty episodes and a year-plus after it began, the ABC Family drama has finally ended the longest first season in recent memory. And now, Carrie Raisler can finally get some rest—until January, that is.