Here’s what’s up in the world of television for Monday, July 21. All times are Eastern.
E! Special: Prince George Turns One! (E!, 8:30 p.m.): There isn’t a whole lot happening on TV tonight, guys. There’s some regular coverage—a predictably good lineup from ABC Family and an episode called “I.E.D.” from Teen Wolf. But look, it’s late July. Hollywood’s television creators are lounging by cerulean, sparkling pools, taking long sips of artisanal cocktails. Actually, they’re probably filming, but then after they’re filming, they’re coming home to bob on floaty rafts and dunk their heads into cool water before sunbathing to get a perfect amount of tan before their publicity events in the evenings. But all that hard California work—the filming and then lounging and then promoting stuff at parties—won’t be around to reap until the fall. Your TV editors have been sitting through hours on end of panels promoting upcoming pilots. We have gazed upon the stern visages of Dominic West and David Tennant; of Betsy Brandt and Kate Walsh. Jeffrey Tambor, this one time. Louise Monot. Viola fucking Davis. Lizzy Caplan briefly stared into our eyes. We were captivated.
But look, just as the Television Critics Association’s press tour must end, so too, must summer, and the halcyon days of youth. Until then, let us savor it—the smell of chlorine, the rail-thin upper arms of the actresses, the hot, golden flare of the sun on the poured concrete balcony. The hotel coffee, the unfamiliar area codes, the traffic on Santa Monica. Because just as a mere six weeks from now will deliver a slew of fall television the likes of which we’re often seen before, summer will grow cold, and Prince George, the tiny baby that is the spawn of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will be one whole year old. And as tonight’s E! special promises to inform us how George is influencing “toddler fashion”—well, just be grateful it is not tomorrow yet. Be grateful.
The Bachelorette (ABC, 8 p.m.): Its not the finale yet, but its close: This is the last episode before the finale, where all the rejected bachelors show up to bitch about Andie and Ashley from last season shows up with her husband, some clown named J.P. Rosenbaum. The Bachelorette, it works for marriages! Observe these married people!
Seed (The CW, 9 p.m.) and Backpackers (The CW, 9:30 p.m.): These two shows are switching to their regular times—which for some reason requires them to switch places in the lineup, and also move the repeat of Whose Line Is It Anyway? to right after the new episode of, you know, Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW, 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.): We just really wanted to type it out one more time.
ELSEWHERE IN TV CLUB
It’s here: the best TV of the year (so far), a critical look at the last six months of the calendar year, because we just really, really like ranking things. In particular, we looked at new shows for 2014. Here’s the list of the newcomers that are worth your time. You know all that crap we spewed earlier about enjoying the summer and halcyon days and whatever? What if you used all that time to catch a few new shows? This is a guide to doing just that—a bit about each and an episode to get you into the groove. Then come back to the comments and tell us what you thought.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Hotel Hell (Fox, 9 p.m.): Hell is in a hotel. Specifically with hotel coffee. In tonight’s episode, a hotel manager cares more about singing than running a hotel, because obviously, singing is way more interesting.
Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge (CMT, 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.): Uhh. You know, we like to think of something clever to say every now and again—or selectively quote in a twee way. But then there’s something like this, and you just gotta go with the screenshot:
Trench Warfare (The Somme, 1916): “Hey, whose skull is gonna get broken this time, Steve?” “Oh, just like a million soldiers over the course of four months. No big deal. And when we run out of men, we’re just going to start throwing women into the trenches, too. But only eight! They’ll probably spend most of the time fighting each other about who broke a nail first ha ha ha ha!” “Steve, you’re so funny.” “That’s Captain Austin to you, motherfucker.”
The Real Housewives Of Orange County (Bravo, 9 p.m.): “Drama between Shannon and Heather hits the breaking point and divides the group. Later, Vicki and Briana reach out to a therapist; and Tamra is left in tears when she receives shocking news during a family dinner.” OH SHIT, NOT TAMRA! (Also, is this the episode with the much-gifed, much-promoed leg-throwing? God, we hope so.)
CeeLo Green’s The Good Life (TBS, 10:30 p.m.): “It’s double trouble when CeeLo tries to be in two places at once with help from the Goodie gang.”
Double Trouble (CeeLo Green’s House, 10:30 p.m.):
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Strain: So you get this show on FX and Guillermo Del Toro is involved and you’re like hey, maybe this is good? But then you sort of realize it is total nonsense. And then, if you’re us, you say: “Hey LaToya Ferguson, can you cover this show for us? Because it is batshit crazy, and we know you love that kind of thing.”