Sundance and A&E repopulate undercrowded Monday with Top Of The Lake and Bates Motel

Sundance and A&E repopulate undercrowded Monday with Top Of The Lake and Bates Motel

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, March 18. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK
Top Of The Lake/Bates Motel (Sundance/A&E, 9/10 p.m.):
It’s a surprisingly big night for cable TV debuts, as both A&E and Sundance try to avoid the Sunday night glut with their new projects. First, at 9, Sundance debuts a new miniseries from director Jane Campion, starring Elisabeth Moss and Holly Hunter as two women who get drawn into a murder mystery in rural New Zealand. Then, at 10, A&E presents a different spin on murder, as Kerry Ehrin from Friday Night Lights attempts to draw out the past of Norman Bates better than that one Psycho prequel did with the help of Vera Farmiga. Scott Tobias tackles the former, while Todd VanDerWerff takes on the latter.


REGULAR COVERAGE
The Carrie Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.):
Carrie turns 17, then wonders if she should celebrate at home with her family or at an exciting, hip party in the city with all of her friends present. Hey, just like all of us celebrated our 17th birthdays. Are we right? Carrie Raisler celebrated hers in the hippest fashion ever!

How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8 p.m.): The CBS machine has been asleep for the last few weeks, only fitfully rousing to spit out new Big Bang Theory episodes, but it seems to be rumbling to life again this week for the NCAA tournament. First up, Donna Bowman digs into the return of Ted Mosby and pals.

The Following (Fox, 9 p.m.): Did you read this week’s Entertainment Weekly article about this show, where it was all, like, “Boy, this show is great, and we hope they don’t screw it up!” Sometimes, David Sims feels like he’s living in another universe and the only one watching this terrible version of the show.

RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo, 9 p.m.): Sounds like it’s personalized perfume week on Drag Race. If you made a personalized perfume for us, it would smell of a sickening mixture of bacon and watermelon chewing gum. Oliver Sava’s personalized fragrance is the most beautiful scent you could ever imagine.


TV CLUB CLASSIC
Peep Show (11 a.m.): And just like that, we’ve pulled up to the end of the first season. That’s one of the nice things about TV Club Classics of British shows: They roll through seasons ridiculously quickly. Why, in just a few weeks, Phil Dyess-Nugent will get to the episodes of Peep Show set on the moon’s face!

Batman: The Animated Series (1 p.m.): Robin bumps into Nightwing, and it turns out he’s kind of a chatty Cathy, as he spends the whole episode filling in Robin on basically everything that ever happened to him in his past. Oliver Sava wants to know if Nightwing has anything to eat if he has to listen to this.


WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Biggest Loser/Dancing With The Stars (NBC/ABC, 8 p.m.):
These reality franchises you don’t care about are always ending or beginning another season. Tonight, NBC’s show about overweight people losing weight unhealthily wraps up, while ABC’s show about famous people dancing returns for more.

Continuum (Syfy, 8 p.m.): This Canadian time travel drama has either turned into a cool little sci-fi show or completely screwed everything up, depending on whom you talk to online. Alasdair Wilkins drops in for the season finale, and he’ll be able to offer you definitive proof one way or the other. Maybe.

American Winter (HBO, 9 p.m.): This new documentary takes a look at one of the hidden problems of poverty as it follows a bunch of families living below the poverty line during the winter, seeing how hard it is for them to stay warm, even if they have shelter. We’re sure it will have a happy ending! It has to!

Deception (NBC, 10 p.m.): We checked out of this show back when we reviewed the first three episodes, but it’s apparently continued airing because NBC doesn’t exactly have anything else to put on the air in this time slot. Follow along tonight to learn the answer to the big mystery! If you remember it.

Megamind (FX, 8 p.m.): Most of these Dreamworks animated movies seem to make a splash at the box office, then exist for roughly four years in the realm of the collective unconscious, but it seems like this one did neither. Watch it tonight to find out just why it didn’t grab hold of America’s Jungian hivemind.

Road House (CMT, 8 p.m.): Or, hell, just watch Patrick Swayze in one of the very finest bad movies ever made. Then you can recall the gag from Family Guy where Peter wanders around saying, “Road House!” We don’t remember the context, but we’re sure your college-aged brother thinks it was hilarious.

ESPN Tournament Challenge Special (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Our alma mater will be facing the alma mater of the other What’s On Tonight that runs Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. (We’ll call it What’s On Tonight B.) This week can only end in tears. Brother will be pitted against… Oh, What’s On Tonight B went to Michigan State? Well, never mind then! He’ll probably be firmly with us, not against us.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
30 For 30 (Sunday):
If you haven’t gotten enough college basketball action at that point, you should check out the latest installment of ESPN’s sports documentary series, which is all about North Carolina State’s improbable title run in 1983. Dennis Perkins will deliver an incredible, inspirational speech.

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