TNT's Perception arrives to prove that sufficiently advanced mental illnesses are indistinguishable from magic

TNT's Perception arrives to prove that sufficiently advanced mental illnesses are indistinguishable from magic

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, July 9. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK
Perception (TNT, 10 p.m.): In the world of TV, there’s no mental health issue so debilitating that it can’t help someone become an awesome crime solver. Meet Dr. Daniel Pierce, whose schizophrenia allows him to see the things others can’t see and whose special gifts and insights into psychological conditions (gifts and insights spurred by his own condition, of course) allow him to assist the FBI—including an agent who used to be his student, played by American hero Rachael Leigh Cook. This sounds like the sort of thing that happens all the time out in the real world! We’ll have a review this afternoon to let you know which Beautiful Mind tropes it leaves undisturbed.


REGULAR COVERAGE
Bunheads (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): Michelle’s trying to get some space from Fanny. And we can understand that and all, but Fanny’s goin’ through some stuff, Michelle. The least you can do is let her take over your life and walk all over you. It’s what we do in the Midwest! Erik Adams has no will of his own!

MasterChef (Fox, 9 p.m.): Gordon Ramsay and his cohorts think it’s high time they force the contestants to prepare a dish prominently featuring sea urchin. This is another one of those things we frequently force casual acquaintances to do in the Midwest. Phil Dyess-Nugent has so many urchin casseroles.

Lost Girl (Syfy, 10 p.m.): Bo and Dyson look for an artifact to release Lauren from her lifetime of service to the Fae. Which, sure, that seems like the sort of thing that might endear Lauren to Bo, but then it’ll be, “What have you done for me lately?” and Kevin McFarland will have to patch it over with gifts.

Teen Wolf (MTV, 10 p.m.): Derek has a crisis of faith in his leadership as the new alpha, which is the sort of adolescent experience that almost anyone should be able to understand. Why, Phil Dyess-Nugent remembers that summer when he went to work as the leader of that werewolf pack. Memories!


TV CLUB CLASSIC
The West Wing (11 a.m.): It’s time for America to choose whether it’s going to re-elect Jed Bartlet. We’d mark the fact that America does, indeed, choose to re-elect him with a spoiler alert, but, c’mon. It’s been 10 years, and there’s no show if he’s not re-elected. Steve Heisler saw that one coming!

Strangers With Candy (3 p.m.): Jerri and the gang deal with racism this week, as the school is held in the deadly thrall of someone who spray-painted a racist slur on the wall. Meredith Blake has never spray-painted a racist slur on anyone’s wall, but she has spray-painted a picture of Dagwood from Blondie.


WHAT ELSE IS ON
Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel, 8 p.m.): Well, well. Mr. Zimmern has endured 100 episodes of eating bizarre foods, which makes him both eligible for a special cake from Travel Channel and for being enlisted into our 100 Episodes feature. Godspeed, Mr. Zimmern! Eat weird stuff!

The Closer (TNT, 9 p.m.): Meanwhile, TNT’s signature drama hit enters its final string of episodes with cases that will presumably test main character Brenda in ways she’s never been tested before. The show ends in just six weeks, so you should pay your respects to Kyra Sedgwick’s overacting while you can.

Hard Times: Lost On Long Island (HBO, 9 p.m.): HBO’s summer documentary series tackles the problems of long-term unemployment in this film that follows various people as they look for work and hope in the latter half of 2010. In other words, if you need a day brightener, you’re turning here.

Opening Act (E!, 10 p.m.): Producers cull various amateur acts by watching them on YouTube, then invite them to be the opening acts for a variety of legitimate stars. What they don’t realize is that most people don’t watch the opening acts and are just going to talk over their performances anyway.

The Adventures Of Robin Hood (TCM, 8 p.m.): If you want to know why film fans love Errol Flynn so much, there are far worse things to watch than this swashbuckler, in which he plays the leader of the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest. Full of action, adventure, and romance, this is a whole ton of fun.

You Only Live Twice (Encore, 8 p.m.): Or you could watch as James Bond heads to Japan to do his usual James Bondian things. It’s not the greatest of the super-spy’s adventures, but it features some great moments and a kick-ass title song, which added tons to the most recent season finale of Mad Men.

Home Run Derby (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Tonight and Wednesday night are the deadest nights of the year, as far as sports go, but you can always watch baseball’s top sluggers duke it out in an attempt to see who can hit the most pitches out of the park. We’ll be holding our own “Frontline Review Derby.” Join us!


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Episodes (Sunday): David Sims is back, picking up the pieces of this British-American co-production about all the wacky things that happen when people try to make something good in Hollywood and instead end up making something mediocre. That’s what the show’s about and the show itself. Neat!

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