Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, October 16, 2011. All times are Eastern.
House (Fox, 9 p.m.): Hey, remember Prison Break? Remember how Wentworth Miller seemed like he might be a huge TV star, and then, instead, the show just got worse and worse, until everybody was stuck in gladiator prison, and we all wondered just what we were doing with our lives? Well, Miller’s guest starring on tonight’s House, as a guy House suspects might be suffering from a mental disorder, one in which he thinks he was the star of a once popular TV show and all he got was this shitty House guest spot. Zack Handlen surveys the damage.
How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8 p.m.): Lily and Marshall squabble over whether to learn the gender of their baby and learn that, instead, they’re having a cat burglar raccoon because Sony wants to bring back the Sly Cooper series and dished out a lot in product placement dough. Donna Bowman shakes her head and tut-tuts.
Terra Nova (Fox, 8 p.m.): Remember all that stuff we said back in our review of the pilot, when we said this show would be made or broken by its characters? Yeah, you should forget all of that. Because this show is trying to make itself all about its characters and is forgetting it should be ALL ABOUT DINOSAURS EATING PEOPLE. Rowan Kaiser eats puny TV shows for lunch.
2 Broke Girls (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Things that will inevitably happen tonight: The diner subplot will be terrible and possibly racist. Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs will do something charming, and Todd VanDerWerff will unreasonably forgive the show because of that. The comments section will be filled with weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Bored To Death (HBO, 9 p.m.): Less than 250,000 people watched this show last week. Less than 250,000! Even for HBO, which regularly renews shows only watched by its CEO, that’s low. Tonight’s episode is named “Gumball!” and David Sims hopes you’ll watch, if only to find out if Gumball is a cartoon kitten.
Enlightened (HBO, 9:30 p.m.): Meanwhile, Enlightened drew even fewer viewers, proving that the market for shows about women improving their outlooks on life in incremental fashion has a much smaller ratings upside than shows about women who joke crassly about being raped (see two above). Erik Adams hopes you’ll join him and better yourselves, too.
Castle (ABC, 10 p.m.): What will we get this week? The goofy, fun Castle, where Nathan Fillion arches his eyebrows and says witty stuff? Or the overly dramatic, turgid Castle that’s all about relationships and trauma and blah, blah, blah. Phil Nugent will be sure to let you know.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Lying Game (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): At some point this year, everybody in Hollywood decided to make a show about long-lost twins switching lives for mostly bullshit reasons. In the midseason finale of this one, one of the long-lost twins returns to town, so the other plots her exit. It’s called “East Of Emma,” just so you know what you’re getting into.
Hart Of Dixie (The CW, 9 p.m.): The CW has been high on this episode for a while, and all of the press photos for it appear to feature shirtless men. Since Todd VanDerWerff has a screener, nothing better to do, and an immense affection for shirtless men… er… Rachel Bilson… yeah, Rachel Bilson, he’ll probably drop a review in the system at some point.
Lottery Changed My Life (TLC, 9 p.m.): Well, we should hope so! (Also, how great would it be if this was just a show about people who won the lottery and immediately turned into jackasses? Pretty great!)
Sing Your Song (HBO, 10 p.m.): The latest HBO documentary traces the life of entertainer and political activist Harry Belafonte, whose soft-spoken yet forceful presence will almost certainly make you feel shitty about how little you’re doing to fix the world. Phil Nugent, who only wishes to see pain, is the only one of us callous to take this assignment on.
The Legend Of Hell House (Fox Movie Channel, 8 p.m.): Cheesy, but agreeably so, this ‘70s British horror classic involves Roddy McDowell and Pamela Franklin exploring a haunted house and searching for psychic phenomena. Well, if you’re searching for psychic phenomena, that’s one place to start. Also, any 24-hour fast-food restaurant should be filled with psychic torment.
Toy Story 3 (Starz, 9 p.m.): Oh, it’s so good to have Buzz and Woody back, and look, there’s the dinosaur, and there’s the Slinky dog, and… wait… what? Why are we bawling our eyes out? What on Earth is going on? They’re just… toys. My God. They’re just… gasp… sob… toys.
Dolphins at Jets (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.): There have been times when football fans would salivate just thinking about this match-up. This is not one of those times, which probably means a sloppy, not horribly exciting game. Without Hank Williams, Jr.’s theme song, whatever will you do with yourself?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Amazing Race (Sunday): It’s nice that this venerable reality show franchise is trying to spice things up with more challenging physical and mental challenges, but as much as we like snowboarders Andy and Tommy, they’re also kind of running away from the pack like few in Race history. Scott Von Doviak adds his thoughts.