South Park ends a season that's featured some pretty fantastic work
More What's On Tonight?
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- Our coverage of Batman: The Animated Series comes to an end with an abrupt cut to black
- True Blood returns to make Sundays less cerebral, more visceral
Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, November 16. All times are Eastern.
South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): It’s the 15th season finale, bringing to a close a season that’s included any number of all-time classics that made it something of a “return to form” season for the venerable cartoon. Sure, not every episode works anymore—what show that’s 15 has episodes that work every week?—but any show that can turn out stuff as good as “You’re Getting Old” and “Broadway Bro Down” is a show we’ll keep paying attention to. Tonight, Ryan McGee mourns as Kenny is tossed into the foster care system—but mostly, he mourns for Cartman, forced to find a new kid to mock as the poorest kid in school. Poor Cartman.
The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): Norm Macdonald pops up as “Uncle Rusty,” while Sue and Frankie are cast in a community theater production of The Wizard Of Oz. Will Harris congratulates the ABC comedies on not making this night Thanksgiving night and taking next week off like certain other networks might.
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): This week promises yet another shocking twist, but at this point in the season, doesn’t everything pretty much start becoming less and less shocking with every week? Carrie Raisler will try to feign interest as the show plays out the string.
Up All Night (NBC, 8 p.m.): Reagan’s got a new assistant played by Molly Shannon, so we can expect lots of Saturday Night Live-esque tomfoolery from her and Maya Rudolph. Who are we kidding? They’ll just tell some “funny” “jokes” to each other. Erik Adams will chuckle politely.
The X Factor (Fox, 8 p.m.): This show is sort of like the NCIS of 18-49-year-olds, in that we know a lot of you are watching it, but we don’t know anyone who actually does. Try asking your friends if they prefer “Drew” or “Astro.” See how far you get. Emily Yoshida attends the taping. No, really!
Suburgatory (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): Tessa has her Sweet Sixteen, which means we can expect the show to really stick it to a bloated satirical target that’s really had it coming for a while. Or, y’know, all of the most predictable jokes will be made, and Ryan McGee will quietly be consumed by fury.
America’s Next Top Model (The CW, 9 p.m.): This episode is called “Exploring Greece.” Here’s a fun thought experiment because we have nothing else to say: Pitch possible storylines for an episode of this show called “Exploring Grease.” Maybe we can persuade Margaret Eby to pick the best one.
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): This episode boasts “Directed by Fred Savage” right in the plot description, as though someone’s going to hear that and say, “Oh, I’ve really enjoyed his work on Party Down and Happy Endings. I should check that out.” (That person is Donna Bowman.)
Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist (Bravo, 9 p.m.): John Teti has to step out for this week, so Myles McNutt drops in to see what happens when the artists have to create street art in Brooklyn. Hey, a bunch of our writers live there! Maybe they’ll be in the background, walking by! You should watch!
Happy Endings (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): Max’s high school girlfriend moves back to Chicago, and that promises an episode that will be filled with wacky fun. Oh, who are we kidding? The plot is utterly secondary to the hijinks on this show. David Sims loves him some hijinks!
American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode boasts a team-up between Sassy Ol’ Constance and Larry, the Burn-Faced Man, and we haven’t been more excited for a team-up at any other point in our lives. Todd VanDerWerff didn’t even get this excited for Batman almost fighting alongside Daredevil!
Psych (USA, 10 p.m.): Shawn and Gus head to a mental hospital to watch over a billionaire who’s been committed. Kevin McFarland has been sent a One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest reference sensor, and he’s set it to “on,” so he can make an extensive catalogue of all of them.
Revenge (ABC, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is entitled “Treachery,” but, c’mon. That could be pretty much any episode of this show, right? We’ll really be intrigued to see what they do with the inevitable “Quilting” episode in season four. Carrie Raisler will give that one a B+. (Quilting reveeeeeenge!)
Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The Quickfire Challenge this evening apparently involves rattlesnakes. We’re guessing the snakes came pre-slaughtered, but wouldn’t it be great if the chef-testants had to capture and kill their own? Emily Withrow would give the episode a D for Danger!
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Survivor (Classic) (11 a.m.): Hey, remember when this show was far more about what it would be like to actually survive on a deserted island? Meredith Blake sure does, because she just got done watching this episode, which is called “Quest For Food.” The reward is fishing supplies!
The Sopranos (1 p.m.): Finn has an unfortunate encounter with Vito, and, like, half of season six is accidentally launched. Tony learns the sad truth about who killed Joey Peeps. Todd VanDerWerff makes an elaborate justification for why season five is the show’s best. Should be a good time, right?
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Bengali Detective (HBO, 8 p.m.): The reviews of this one out of film festivals haven’t been the kindest, but the title’s so great that we’re going to recommend it anyway. Want to watch a show about a Bengali detective this evening? This is almost certainly your best bet! (This or Harry’s Law.)
My Life As A Turkey (PBS, 8 p.m.): The latest installment of Nature involves a guy who discovers a bunch of wild turkey eggs and decides, “Hey, I could probably raise some turkeys! How hard could it be?” We’re guessing he’s about to become the saddest man on Earth.
Super Face Surgeries (Discovery Fitness & Health, 9 p.m.): These aren’t just regular old face surgeries. These are super face surgeries, which means that everybody involved is being outfitted with, like, flamethrowers and spikes and shit.
Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): A couple of you guys have been trying to convince us that this show has been so much better this season, but we’re not seeing it. Watch and tell us just how wrong we’ve been to ignore it.
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (MoMax, 7:05 p.m.): You know you want to unleash your finest “KHAAAAAANNNNN!!!!” So go ahead and do it. We can wait. Once you’re done, you’ll feel better, and then we can all talk about Ernst Lubitsch like grown-ups.
To Be Or Not To Be (TCM, 9:30 p.m.): Ernst Lubitsch was one of the great comedy directors of all time, and this is one of the best movies he ever made. It also features peerless work from Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, and… aw, hell… “KHAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!”
College Basketball: Long Beach State at Pittsburgh (ESPNU, 9 p.m.): We haven’t bothered looking up how good either of these teams are, but What’s On Tonight is assembled every evening in Long Beach, California, and we figured, you know, represent and all that.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Ringer (Tuesday): Carrie Raisler can barely believe it, but she kind of liked that episode of Ringer. And since we’re watching the “Lover’s Walk” episode of Buffy, we figured we’d link to this so you can all see what Sarah Michelle’s up to nowadays.