NBA Finals: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (ABC, 9 p.m.): It feels a little as if this has all happened before—oh, that’s because this has totally happened before. It seems that the two teams are determined to become at least a somewhat storied rivalry—and tonight, their second act starts. It’s an opportunity for us to ponder LeBron James, star athlete, and how basketball, more than any other team sport, fosters and rewards individual excellence and stardom. Or, you know, we could just watch the game. It will be preceded, for some reason, by a special edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live. We’re trying to ignore that part. Ginger, get the popcorn!
The Amazing World Of Gumball (Cartoon Network, 6:30 p.m.): Third-season premiere of this weird little show about talking candy. We posted some clips from the premiere in case you’re like, wondering what that will be like for you. We ourselves, we had not seen this show before. But that clip of the ice cream cone playing the ukelele is a wonderful, almost painfully on-point jab at certain doe-eyed sitcom stars.
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 7 p.m.) and Regular Show (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.): Hey, guess what? Adventure Time and Regular Show are now on Thursday nights! They’re being paired with Gumball, above, and Teen Titans Go! in a block that may or may not be called FRESH THURSDAY. It’s an odd decision—a move, midseason, after five years of being in a block that works so well? But we’ve discovered that almost no programming decisions make sense to us. In the meantime, though, set your DVRs, faithful fans. We don’t want you to miss expected Finn and Jake and Mordecai and Rigby action.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 10:30 p.m.): Zach Galifianakis wears stuff, and Emily L. Stephens is there to tell you about it. Bang! Bang! She shot Zach dead. Bang! Bang! Into his head. Bang! Bang! And whilst swirling scotch. Bang! Bang! Aukerman likes to watch.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1 p.m.): Zack Handlen’s classic reviews of Monty Python are back! It’s time for season three. We don’t know what happens in season three, but we expect it’s madcap.
Friday Night Lights (3 p.m.): And after last week’s doping scandal broke wide, Friday Night Lights barely settled into playoffs before this week’s scandal—racism! Sonia Saraiya has whiplash from the gear shift. Metaphorical and literal whiplash. Football is not a safe sport.
ELSEWHERE IN TV CLUB
Over on the main page, Nico Lang has a an essay for us on All In The Family, Modern Family, and football player Michael Sam’s recent “controversial” kiss with a male partner, aired on ESPN. What’s America‘s real view on gay rights—and how does that map to what they want to see on television? It’s a sharp idea, and a good read. Check it out.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
The American Bible Challenge (GSN, 8 p.m.): Week four of our long national nightmare. Divine intervention does not work the way we thought it would, guys.
It Takes A Church (GSN, 9 p.m.): “Christians across the country help single parishioners from their congregations find a partner.” …So, what do you think it’s like to work at the Game Show Network?
L.A. Hair (WE, 9 p.m.): “Hotlanta, Hair We Come” is the name of tonight’s episode. Which reminds us purely of this:
Which we watched, live, because there was a period in our lives where we were watching The Fashion Show hosted by Iman and Issac Mizrahi live, because we were semi-unemployed and mostly miserable, and it all seemed like a good idea at the time. And though poor Calvin Tran was probably coached to say that by the show’s producers, the internet’s subsequent adoration of the phrase offers us some small validation of that weird time in our lives.
Anyway, what were we talking about?
How It’s Made (Science, 9 p.m.): Covered tonight: NASCAR auto bodies, thermal coffeepots. It is time to confess: We don’t know what either of those things are.
Food Court Wars (Food Network, 10 p.m.): It’s a repeat, but we don’t care: “A couple who sell gourmet burgers at local farmers’ markets compete against a pair who dream of operating their own pizzeria.” Food courts: DESTROYER OF DREAMS.
The Princess Diaries (Oxygen, 7:45 p.m.): Have you noticed that there aren’t any diaries in this film? Like, presumably in the novel there are diaries, diarization, diary-like entries, whatever. We cannot remember any diaries occurring organically or artificially in this film. We do, however, remember Julie Andrews.
All The President’s Men (Esquire, 8 p.m.): We had a very funny and somewhat moving blurb written for this film, which is absolutely fantastic, and then the CMS ate what we wrote and now we can’t remember it. There was a crack in there about how All The President’s Men is The West Wing but real, and also about how our favorite book All The King’s Men loosely inspired the film (and at least inspired the title). Humpty Dumpty broke the CMS, though.
Sliding Doors (TCM, 8 p.m.): We also had something funny written for this. Which is a very different, but also kind of great film, as it’s a romantic comedy that gets rather serious about alternate universes and somewhat serious about minor destinies. And John Hannah makes a bunch of Monty Python references! It’s even sort of topical!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Band Of Brothers: Todd VanDerWerff wrote about the finale of this and then, not unreasonably, got sad about World War II. Let’s all be sad together!