Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, August 2. All times are Eastern.
The 2012 Summer Olympics (NBC, 8 p.m.): For what’s likely to be the final time in Olympic competition, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte go for the gold in the same event: the 200 individual medley. It’s also likely that, seven days ago, you didn’t realize Phelps and Lochte were locked in an eternal quest for swimming supremacy (it’s like Highlander, but with swim caps)—but now you know. As such, this is the most important event in Olympics history for the night, though Meredith Blake will also remind you that tape-delayed gymnastics, beach volleyball, and rowing are on tap.
Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Like a lamb being introduced to a cone of gyros meat, then being required to design a dress for that cone, the current contestants must design Emmy outfits for past contestants. If it was up to Phil Dyess-Nugent, the design for Kenley Collins would include a voice-stifling hood.
Burn Notice (USA, 9 p.m.): A “cutthroat loan shark” terrorizes the son of Sam’s girlfriend. Once, just once, Scott Von Doviak would like to meet a reasonable, nonviolent loan shark. A “loan dolphin,” if you will.
Wilfred (FX, 10 p.m.): Presumably tired of living in Louie’s shadow, Wilfred slips a silent, black-and-white interlude into its most recent episode. In turn, Rowan Kaiser’s review will pretend it’s still attracted to a book-store employee played by Parker Posey, even as her behavior becomes increasingly erratic.
Suits (USA, 10 p.m.): Harvey’s in danger of being disbarred, which will really muck up the arrangement he has with fake lawyer Mike. But, hey, maybe that’s an angle for revamped Suits (tagline: “Suits reboots”) where both characters are fake lawyers. If it’s as good as this current season, Carrie Raisler will keep watching.
Louie (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Louie contends with a pint-sized curmudgeon, conjuring up an alternative universe where Louis C.K. plays the Bruce Willis role in Disney’s The Kid. Nathan Rabin would prefer it if the kid doesn’t help Louie be a better person, thank you very much.
Awkward. (MTV, 10:30 p.m.): Ah, young love—when you can suss out your true feelings for your boyfriend by publicly declaring that you’re going to sleep with him. Myles McNutt wonders why the Awkward. high school doesn’t just construct a bulletin board to give its students a more accessible outlet for revealing such intimate secrets.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Monty Python’s Flying Circus (11 a.m.): This morning, Zack Handlen is going to take a hard, tough, abrasive look at camel spotting. Or yeti spotting. Or train spotting. Or blancmange-bent-on-world-domination-playing-tennis spotting. Oh, you’re no fun anymore.
The Thick Of It (1 p.m.): Bid a gleefully profane farewell to the DoSAC crew, as they let out a hearty “come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off” and ride into the sunset. Even though he knows they’ll be back soon, David Sims sheds a single fucking tear.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Conjoined Twins: Separation Anxiety (Discovery Health And Fitness, 8 p.m.): Well done, Discovery Health And Fitness. Looking forward to Splenectomy: Venting Spleen, Arm Transplants: Give ’Em A Hand, and Vasectomy: Balls To The Wall.
Childrens Hospital (Cartoon Network, 9 p.m.): In preparation for Childrens Hospital’s fourth season, Adult Swim presents eight solid hours of fake blood, bad medical advice, and Rob Corddry’s creepy clown face. Sleep tight! (Or substitute the restorative powers of Childrens Hospital for a full night’s sleep!)
Brand X With Russell Brand (FX, 11 p.m.): The freewheeling talk show/current events program/direct connection to Russell Brand’s brain will return, retooled, in the fall, so here’s your last slice of pure, uncut Brand—until he gets fed up with the network’s notes and undertakes a public-transit tour, riffing loudly on the headlines from commuters’ newspapers.
Conan (TBS, 9 p.m.): This one’s for the comedy nerds: Conan super-guest Will Ferrell appears to act goofy and make contractually obligated plugs for The Campaign, while musical guests Tenacious D appears to play an epic track from its epic comeback record, Rize Of The Fenix.
Almost Famous (Cinemax, 8 p.m.): Cameron Crowe’s tribute to the glory days of Rolling Stone occasionally overreaches in its attempts to consecrate the golden gods of classic rock, but it never overreaches in terms of relating the thrill that comes from caring so, so deeply for a piece of art—even a flatfooted slab of boogie-rock like “Fever Dog.”
X-Men: First Class (Cinemax, 10 p.m.): Marvel Mutants fight to keep the Cold War from turning into World War III, with the help of Michael Fassbender’s magnetic penis. This is the movie where everyone is attracted to Fassbender’s junk, right?
Soccer: Los Angeles vs. Real Madrid (ESPN 2, 10:30 p.m.): Here’s what David Beckham’s doing in lieu of representing his country on the pitch at the London Olympics: participating in an international friendly to prove that MLS is a real professional soccer league.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Arrested Development: Important revelations from Noel Murray’s review of the second-season classic “Motherboy XXX”: Those dudes in the Motherboy press shot? Totally the male leads of Arrested Development. Your mind just blue itself.