Here’s what’s up in the world of television for Sunday, May 25. All times are Eastern.
Mad Men (AMC, 10 p.m.): Throughout their reviews of these first seven episodes of Mad Men’s final season, Todd VanDerWerff and Sonia Saraiya have held tight to one theory: That the Apollo 11 landing, a 20th century milestone placed smack dab in the middle of 1969, is going to provide the background for tonight’s midseason finale. Of course, setting an episode on July 20 wouldn’t split the year exactly in half—that’d be more accurately applied to late-June events like the Cuyahoga River catching fire or the Stonewall riots. But if Todd and Sonia will get a Mad Men moonshot before this half-season is out, even if they have to fake it, which would be an absolutely ludicrous thing to suggest
Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (Disney XD, 8 a.m.): A season finale? On the precipice of summer? Marvel, you’re doing it all wrong—superheroes are for the summertime!
Blood Lake: Attack Of The Killer Lampreys (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.): Made-for-TV monster movies about the toothiest little freshwater critters aren’t necessary in a world where this photo exists. But this one has Christopher Lloyd, so we’ll let it slide.
The Normal Heart (HBO, 9 p.m.): Ryan Murphy adapted Larry Kramer’s autobiographical play about the early days of the 1980s AIDS crisis, but forgot to invite the wild stylist who made Nip/Tuck, Glee, and American Horror Story. You remember that guy? Ryan Murphy? Because surely he didn’t make the movie Brandon Nowalk calls “one long funeral procession.”
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Pacific Rim (HBO 2, 7:45 a.m.): With few exceptions (hello, Mad Men and The Normal Heart), Memorial Day weekend is one of the TV schedule’s traditional dead zones. In light of this, What’s On Tonight presents this all-day “movies on TV marathon,” beginning with the rock-’em, sock-’em kaiju of last summer’s city-stomping creature feature.
The Muppets (ABC Family, 10:30 a.m.): Let Kermit The Frog and company’s hilarious, “let’s get the band back together” road trip take your mind off the exhausting, actual road trip you just took. Bonus: Their car stereo plays songs by one-half of Flight Of The Conchords.
Do The Right Thing (Flix, 1 p.m.): Mark the unofficial start of summer with the most tragically eventful summer day that ever passed in front of Spike Lee’s camera. Just don’t step on anyone’s Air Jordans while doing so.
A Simple Plan (Flix, 3 p.m.): Then cool down with Sam Raimi’s wintry crime drama, in which the climate is cooler but human beings are no less terrible.
Repo Man (Sundance, 5 p.m.): A repo man never takes the day off. Grab a can of Food, drink a few Beers, and stay put for a couple of hours—because the more you drive, the less intelligent you are.
Bad Teacher (FXM, 7 p.m.): Bad Teacher the TV series is toast, but Bad Teacher the movie lives on in your cable package, always available to provide frothy laughs on a lazy, pre-summer night like this.
Indianapolis 500: The 98th running (ABC, 11 a.m.): Look, Indianapolis, What’s On Tonight doesn’t mean to tell you how to do your job or anything, but we’re pretty sure there’s no running involved in this 500 mile race. Pretty sure it’s cars.
TOMORROW IN TV CLUB
Memorial Day will be upon us, so remember all those who aren’t around to celebrate a three day weekend: The fallen heroes of History’s The World Wars (reviewed by Alasdair Wilkins); the discarded paperbacks that gave rise to Lifetime’s latest V.C. Andrews adaptation, Petals On The Wind (reviewed by Genevieve Valentine); and the terrifying TV mainframes that never were, punch-card bogeymen who make up part of our Inventory on alarmist depictions of supercomputers in the 1960s.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Hannibal (Friday): Who has survived? What is left of them? And how will it taste? Only Molly Eichel knows how the bloody conclusion of Hannibal’s second season turned out (as well as anyone else who watched the episode).