Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, Feb. 9. All times are Eastern.
Up All Night (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): It made sense to move Up All Night into the single-camera-friendly neighborhood of NBC’s Thursday-night lineup—but the show’s somewhat lost in the space formerly occupied by Whitney Cummings’ Howling Void. (SHUT UP.) Since everyone else will either be clearing off the DVR or checking in on the second half of El Talismán, why not join Margaret Eby as she checks in with the Brinkleys, who spend the “Day After Valentine’s Day” reminiscing of a time when their home life was less stable. At the very least, it’ll be a good comedown from your regularly scheduled post-Office disappointment.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Sheldon’s bosses demand he take some time off, which he interprets as “go to work with Amy.” When Oliver Sava takes a vacation, he slips off the grid for weeks at a time.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): It’s an old TV tradition that every long-running drama with multiple romantic subplots must feature one episode titled “Dangerous Liaisons;” tonight, The Vampire Diaries reaches that milestone. Carrie Raisler’s favorite “Dangerous Liaisons” is a 7th Heaven two-parter.
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): Cupid—looking suspiciously like former NBC CEO Jeff Zucker—supersized 30 Rock’s Valentine’s celebration. In response, Nathan Rabin is giving his readers not one, but two boxes Necco Sweethearts.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): The Hollywood round continues, bringing with it more chances for fainting singers, tantrums, and shots of Ryan Seacrest anxiously eyeing the clock. Claire Zulkey anxiously eyes the entire proceedings.
Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): PRAS correspondent and all-around trooper Genevieve Koski is sad that tonight’s episode, “Fashion Face Off,” does not entail the designers trading faces à la the 1997 John Woo classic Face/Off. Angela Lindvall is sad she can’t pull a Travolta/Cage and assume Heidi Klum’s job for the next season of regular Project Runway.
The Secret Circle (The CW, 9 p.m.): Somewhere in Secret Circle HQ, there’s a brainstorming white board the words “Valentine’s episode = love potion” written on it. Katherine Miller holds her noes, closes her eyes, and takes a drink.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): Pam’s back from maternity leave! You know, Pam of “Pam and Jim” fame? Wait—everyone in the office hates Pam and Jim now? Myles McNutt remembers the innocent days of 2006, when everything was teapots, pranks on Dwight, and hoping those crazy kids would just get together already.
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): Many of this show’s finest moments are based around modes of transportation—like last week’s “The Limited”—and there’s no reason to expect this episode—where Archer gets a bad-ass spy car for his birthday—to be any different. Todd VanDerWerff is holding out for a bottle episode set in the basket of a hot air balloon.
Unsupervised (FX, 10:30 p.m.): In a development that’s driving Brandon Nowalk’s “How are they going to get out of this one?”-senses crazy, the show sets up its most sentimental-yet-totally-unsentimental premise yet: Gary and Joel develop an interest in arson (wait for it) in order to save the local fire department.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (11 a.m.): At this early point in its run, DS9 was still concerned with letting viewers know it takes place in the same universe as Star Trek: The Next Generation. And thus: Q! John De Lancie’s omnipotent space-prankster returns to make Starfleet officers dance for Zack Handlen’s amusement.
Seinfeld (1 p.m.): David Sims’ years-long journey through the greatest sitcom of all time begins its final chapter. Befitting such an portentous occasion, he starts with the one where Kramer shaves with butter.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Party Like… (National Geographic, 8 p.m.): Acknowledging that many male viewers first discovered its namesake magazine as an easily accessible source of boob photos, NatGeo premières this delectably trashy series on history’s great reverlers—beginning with Marie Antoinette. Let them eat shoddy reenactment footage!
On The Shoulders Of Giants (Showtime, 8:30 p.m.): Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote and conarrates this documentary about a Harlem-based, all-black basketball squad that isn’t the Globetrotters. If The A.V. Club was the Harlem Globetrotters, Kevin McFarland would be its Fred “Curly” Neal.
El Talismán (Univision, 9 p.m.): The telenovela sensation doesn’t have to sweep only the Spanish-speaking parts of the nation—did you know it’s simulcast with English subtitles? Not if you want NBC’s Thursday-night lineup to live, you don’t.
Mudcats (History, 10 p.m.): America’s dueling fascinations with hand-fishing and the rednecks who do it have finally infected History, which is being flat-out brazen about stealing concepts from other shows and networks these days. Margaret Eby’s got a fever, and the only prescription is more hand-fishing.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (PBS, 10 p.m.): Independent Lens presents this fascinating look at the Black Power movement in America, assembled from a massive archive of Swedish television footage and bolstered by audio commentary from the likes of Angela Davis, Sonia Sanchez, ?uestlove, Talib Kweli, and more.
Slackers (G4, 10 p.m.): This slobs-vs.-other-slobs flick has a few laughs—most stemming from a spazzy Jason Schwartzman—but it’s mostly notable for being made at the bizarre pop-culture intersection where an indie darling (Scwartzman), a ’90s teen idol (Devon Sawa), a future king of film and television comedy (Jason Segel), and the elder Pete from The Adventures Of Pete And Pete (Michael C. Maronna) could all headline a campus comedy.
NBA Basketball: Lakers at Celtics (TNT, 8 p.m.): TNT probably wishes every Thursday night could be Lakers-Celtics night—but then again, it probably wishes the Lakers weren’t two-and-a-half games behind the Clippers in the Pacific Division. The Clippers are having a better season than the Lakers? O brave new post-lockout world! That has such standings in it!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Revenge: After going a month without fresh Revenge action, we’ll excuse you for spending the entire night punching the air and hollering “REVENNNNNGE!” Once your voice gives out, Carrie Raisler’s review is here for you.