Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, May 1. All times are Eastern.
The Americans (FX, 10 p.m.): If you’re one of those people who’s, like, “Oh, I don’t know about The Americans! It’s so slow moving!” you can just leave us alone, because Genevieve Koski and Todd VanDerWerff have seen the season finale and gotten us all hyped up for its awesomeness. If you’re not into that, whatever. You can go watch Nashville or something for all we care. We’re going to be holed up in our basement, listening to “Tusk” and playing Ms. Pac-Man while we wait for news on Brezhnev.
Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.): With just three episodes left in the season, Oliver and company kick things off with an hour entitled “The Undertaking.” Two questions: Why isn’t this show called Oliver And Company, and will the WWE’s Undertaker be making an appearance? Alasdair Wilkins demands satisfaction!
The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): Frankie decides to make Sue feel better about herself by creating several online personas who like the sweetly nerdy girl. It’s time to come clean with you guys. Every time someone likes one of your posts? That’s just Will Harris’ many alter egos clicking the like button.
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): Two immunity challenges? Two tribal councils? It’s like somebody at CBS’ reality department looked at the calendar, realized it was May, muttered an “oh shit,” and kicked everything on this show into even higher gear. Carrie Raisler looks forward to five tribal councils in the next week.
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): We still find it really strange that Phil’s nemesis is named Gil Thorpe. Has no one on the show ever sat down and read the Comics Curmudgeon? Actually, they probably haven’t, and, hell, we doubt Donna Bowman would have heard of comic strip Gil Thorp without having done so.
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m.): The guys receive a distressing video message about the “Third Trial,” but it’s from somebody named Kevin, so we’re not too worried about things getting out of hand. Phil Dyess-Nugent warns us, though: He’s never known a Kevin who wasn’t bearing some form of bad news.
Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): In this week’s episode, the TV Guide plot summary lists something like six or seven plotlines, though one of them is “Gunnar experiments with some new music,” which sounds like the unfortunate aftermath of that “blue boy” Dragnet episode. Todd VanDerWerff worries about him.
Psych (USA, 10 p.m.): Shawn accidentally ends up running for mayor, which is apparently a thing that can just happen in Santa Barbara. Kevin McFarland once drove through Santa Barbara, and he ended up as the city comptroller. But that was a dark time in his life, and it’s one he’d rather not discuss.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
TV Roundtable (12 p.m.): Our musical numbers theme ended last week, so it’s time to move on to a new one, chosen by our own Genevieve Koski, who wants us to consider the role of the interloper in our favorite shows. And we’re starting with “Yoko” from Flight Of The Conchords. If you’re into that.
Slings & Arrows (1 p.m.): Maybe you think that you need the needle, Lulu, but you don’t. You don’t need the needle. And if that makes any sense to you, then you’ll know that we’re talking about East Hastings, Canada’s musical answer to the Rent sensation. Todd VanDerWerff prefers Spring Awakening.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Manhunt (HBO, 8 p.m.): This documentary examines the massive hunt for Osama bin Laden. Spoilers! The CIA finds him, and then some Navy SEALs kill him, and then terrorism is never a problem again! Phil Dyess-Nugent keeps wondering which woman in the film is the basis for Zero Dark Thirty’s Maya.
Family Tools (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): Originally, we thought this would be the last new series to debut under the auspices of this television season, but then Fox scheduled Goodwin Games for May 20—two days before the season ends—and took the crown. Even so, Ryan McGee has to watch and review this thing.
Locked Up Abroad (National Geographic, 9 p.m.): If the real-life terrorist hunters of Manhunt are too much for you, then you can watch this special episode of the National Geographic series about… Iraq War contractors, who are captured. Did cable plan a ‘00s theme night and just not tell us anything?
The Big Brain Theory (Discovery, 10 p.m.): We don’t entirely know what this one is about. All we know is that the press kit included some kick-ass swag, like magnetic silly putty and a Rubik’s cube-themed stress reliever. Both have proved adequate to deal with our high levels of stress. Thanks, Discovery!
Risky Business (IFC, 8 p.m.): Put on those tighty-whities and slide across the floor to Bob Seger, because it’s time to break out the film that made young Master Tom Cruise a star, before Top Gun went and cemented his fame. Rebecca De Mornay also stars, and a ribald good time is had by everybody.
The Silence Of The Lambs (Cinemax, 8 p.m.): We know that Todd VanDerWerff said Anthony Hopkins was hammy in his initial review of Hannibal, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, see? He won an Oscar for his work here, and it’s the good kind of hammy. Then… things rather went south, didn’t they?
Stanley Cup Playoff: Game 1: Islanders at Penguins (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.): Wait. The Islanders made the playoffs? As in the New York Islanders? Last we knew, they were playing in front of sparse crowds and letting a once proud franchise die. Good for them! Now watch the Penguins stomp them.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Mindy Project (Tuesday): Mindy Kaling and pals head toward the end of their season with the first of a string of three all-new episodes. And unlike many of the episodes this season, David Sims likes it! With substantial reservations! But still! That’s progress over where things were just a while back, huh?