Here’s what’s up in the world of television for February 23. All times are Eastern.
The 2014 Winter Olympics (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): One of the most fascinating limited series in recent memory comes to an end in Sochi, a setting so rife with comedic and dramatic potential it’s practically a character itself. Erik Adams sheds light on the end of the show’s men’s hockey subplot (will Canada and Sweden be able to put aside their differences without resorting to a shootout?), a prelude to the majesty and pageantry of the epic set-piece Olympic producers are calling the “Closing Ceremony.” It’ll be a finale to remember—for the next four years, anyway.
Downton Abbey (PBS, 9 p.m.): The night’s other big finale takes place across the European continent (and the English Channel, and then the Black Sea) from Sochi, as Sonia Saraiya cordially invites you to the debutante ball for Lady Rose MacClare. It’s the night’s only offering that might best the Olympics in terms of extravagance.
Girls (HBO, 10 p.m.): Patti LuPone guest stars, and Todd VanDerWerff couldn’t be happier. Well, he could be happier, but that would involve LuPone signing Todd’s Playbill from the 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, and she can’t do that because she’ll be stuck in the TV screen.
Looking (HBO, 10:30 p.m.): In other major introductions, Richie meets all of Patrick’s friends at Dom’s 40th birthday party—and Brandon Nowalk’s watching through covered eyes.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (11 a.m.): Alasdair Wilkins gets hit with the double whammy of “Love & Monsters” and “Fear Her.” In light of the contest-winner-designed creature from the first episode, he’s currently accepting applications for a temporary replacement reviewer.
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): Good advice from the first segment in “Treehouse Of Horror VI”: If there’s something out there that’s bothering you, “just don’t look.” Erik Adams would like it very much if you still looked at this review, though.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Nancy & Tonya (NBC, 7 p.m.): With the clock winding down on the 20th anniversary of the Kerrigan-Harding rivalry, NBC takes a whack at the subject that’s already been covered by 30 For 30 quite well, thank you very much!
The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m.): When the Olympics are at their weakest, CBS will strike—with the premiere of a new all-star edition of The Amazing Race.
Growing Up Fisher (NBC, 10:36 p.m.): In the grand tradition of such television favorites as Go On and Animal Practice, NBC cuts away from the Closing Ceremony to present the premiere of another sitcom whose sole legacy will be cutting into the Closing Ceremony.
The Proposal (ABC, 8 p.m.): CBS isn’t the only broadcast outlet emitting a mighty yawp to let Olympics viewers know it’s still here: As a reminder of where you can see Sandra Bullock next week, here’s a movie where the Gravity star also drifts aimlessly and occasionally runs into her male co-star.
The Adventures Of Robin Hood (TCM, 8 p.m.): In which Errol Flynn steals from the rich and gives to the idea-poor who keep making Robin Hood movies, in spite of the existence of this film and Disney’s animated romp through Sherwood Forest.
College Basketball: Arizona State at Utah (ESPN, 8 p.m.): It’s the roundball battle of “Passing Absurdly Backward Discrimination Laws In 2014” and “Still Selling 4 Percent ABV Beer In 2014.”
TOMORROW IN TV CLUB
TV Club starts the work week off by playing with your head, starting with pre-air reviews of Mind Games (in which Todd VanDerWerff persuades you a Kyle Killen show could work on network TV) and season two of The Americans (by Erik Adams—or is it?). Next, Marah Eakin and Jeopardy! champion (and long-time A.V. Club reader) Arthur Chu jump around the Expert Witness board, while Sonia Saraiya blows your mind with a One Season Wonders, Weirdos, And Wannabes treatment of a late-’00s legal drama starring Julianna Margulies that isn’t The Good Wife.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Tonight Show: Todd VanDerWerff takes a look at Jimmy Fallon’s first week behind The Tonight Show desk, and finds a host trying to balance tradition with 21st century sincerity. But what about that neat wooden version of the New York skyline behind the desk, Todd? No mention of that?