Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, September 15. All times are Eastern.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): Time marches ever forward, but its eternal parade isn’t that unforgiving. For instance, time won’t raise any hackles that “Treehouse Of Horror XXIV” isn’t technically the 24th installment of the “Treehouse Of Horror” series, since the first few entries flew under the “Simpsons Halloween Special” banner. And though this animated tradition may have fewer and fewer straight-up “horror” sources from which to draw, the ever-growing numbers in its titles do channel the most basic of fears: That time will eventually grind us all into dust, the only record of our time on Earth the echoes of laugher long ago caused by “The Shinning.” Dennis Perkins is just happy his permanent record will include some published thoughts on a “Treehouse Of Horror.”
Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): Peter Pan forces Emma to reconcile with her true self—sounds like Peter just took in a screening of a little movie called Hook. Gwen Ihnat is still waiting for the police inspector in that movie to admit to being Phil Collins.
Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): This Halloween, all Pilot Viruet wants is an invitation to Teddy’s Black And Orange Ball. But is Teddy even throwing a Black And Orange Ball this year? Why won’t you provide the answers What’s On Tonight? seeks, episode synopsis?
Revenge (ABC, 9 p.m.): This week on Revenge: Emily versus the clergy. More accurately: One member of the clergy, but Carrie Raisler would prefer every aspect of Revenge to sound as dramatic as possible.
Low Winter Sun (AMC, 9 p.m.): With that pesky Breaking Bad finally out of the way, AMC can do what it’s been itching to do for months: Devote an entire night of programming to Low Winter Sun. Please join Dennis Perkins afterward as he talks about the season (and series?) finale in a review we’re pretending is also a talk show called Low Winter Coversa-Sun.
Family Guy (Fox, 9 p.m.): Peter grows a twin out of his neck. Try as he might, Eric Thurm just can’t find any evidence that this episode was written and directed by David Cronenberg.
Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 9 p.m.): Tonight’s episode, “Erlkönig,” takes its name from a Goethe poem in which a boy being carried on horseback by his father begins to have horrifying visions of the forest-haunting Erlking. So Genevieve Valentine predicts nothing but sunshine and lollipops in the various states of the Boardwalk Empire.
Homeland (Showtime, 9 p.m.): With Brody still missing, questions about his true nature fly between the members of his family—which sort of makes that part of the show like season one of Homeland in miniature. Hey, remember the first season of Homeland? Todd VanDerWerff does, with great fondness.
The Good Wife (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): When the Edward Snowden story broke, writers’ room across TV Land were each granted one “NSA episode” token to redeem throughout the coming season. The Good Wife cashes its in tonight—a fact David Sims already knows because he may or may not be electronically snooping on the show. (He isn’t. Or is he?)
American Dad (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): The other Seth MacFarlane show goes the subtle-horror route, with an episode of which descriptions only hint at its Halloween-related nature. Dress it up however you like, Kevin McFarland’s last name is still “McFarland” and not “MacFarlane.”
Eastbound & Down (HBO, 10 p.m.): The busiest man in cult TV, Ken Marino, has an offer for Kenny Powers. Scott Von Doviak asks “Is he doing this as a goof? Might not want to accept the offer if he’s doing it as a goof.”
Masters Of Sex (Showtime, 10 p.m.): You can say one thing about Masters Of Sex: At least it doesn’t string the viewer along with some BS about Masters managing to keep his sex study a secret. Actually, you can say lots of things about Masters Of Sex, and Sonia Saraiya will say some of them in tonight’s review.
Hello Ladies (HBO, 10:30 p.m.): Stuart and the gang rent a limo, an automobile that can hold twice as many embarrassing situations as a standard-sized car. Don’t worry: Molly Eichel will leave the partition down so you can catch every mortifying moment.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Saturday Night Live (Classic) (1 p.m.): Madeline Kahn makes her first of three hosting appearances on SNL—the last of which featured Bush as the musical guest, a fact that makes Phil Dyess-Nugent incredibly, impossibly sad.
The Simpsons (Classic) (3 p.m.): At last, season-six coverage arrives at “A Star Is Burns,” the controversial Simpsons-Critic crossover that, at the very least, gave us “Hans Moleman Productions Presents Man Getting Hit By Football.” So it can’t be that bad, right David Sims? RIGHT?!?!
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Contest (Cartoon Network, 6 p.m.): Cartoon Network twists its cap to the back, turns a chair around, and raps with the kids today about bullying. Hey, as long as it’s less convoluted than Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue, this made-for-TV movie gets a pass.
Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Lifetime said “Drop dead, Drop Dead Diva” at the end of the show’s fourth season, and then some magic happened—probably the same crazy magic the show’s premise is predicated on—and the show came back. And now the details of its resurrection can be the subject of speculation in Gwen Ihnat’s review of this midseason premiere.
The Paradise (PBS, 9 p.m.): Curl up with a hot mug of tea and tuck into the soft-filtered light of Masterpiece Theater’s latest British import, the first episodes of which Zack Handlen found just plain pleasant—and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The People’s Couch (Bravo, 11:30 p.m.): Who watches the watchers? You do, if you have any interest in this American adaptation of the U.K.’s Gogglebox, in which footage of regular people enjoying their favorite programs screens for the first time outside of NSA HQ. (And now What’s On Tonight? has to cash in its own “NSA episode” token.)
Forrest Gump (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): Tom Hanks gets a head start on the cable outlet’s 13 Days Of Halloween by dressing up as “baby boomer exceptionalism”
Warm Bodies (Cinemax, 8:15 p.m.): Tortured romance isn’t just for vampires and werewolves anymore—now zombies can get in on the action, too, thanks to this adaptation of Isaac Marion’s undead riff on Romeo And Juliet.
Sunday Night Football: Texans at 49ers (NBC, 8:20 p.m.): After a pair of seasons that stopped Houstonites from longing for the days of Earl Campbell or Warren Moon, the Texans are off to a 2-2 start in 2013. But that’s okay, because the Niners are off to the same start after their Super Bowl run last year, so Texans fans shouldn’t take it too hard.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The X-Files (Saturday): Just in time for Halloween, X-Files reviews return. Zack Handlen digs into season eight, in which trying to find Mulder is like trying to find a Snickers at the bottom of your trick-or-treat bag and only turning up Almond Joys.