Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, November 12. All times are Eastern.
2 Broke Girls (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): Against the odds of taste and decorum, the questionably racist/definitely hacky 2 Broke Girls returns for a fifth season tonight. Don’t get us wrong, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs both deserve to be starring on a popular sitcom, we’re just not sure this one is quite worthy of their talents. Tonight Max and Caroline try to stop the city from destroying the diner that houses their walk-up cupcake shop window. Elsewhere their Polish neighbor Sophie (Jennifer Coolidge) announces that she wants to have a baby because this show is nothing if not a place for funny, talented women to make the best of bad material.
Heroes Reborn (NBC, 8 p.m.): After a promising early start, Heroes Reborn began devolving into chaos and Kate Kulzick has been devolving right alongside it. Last week she noted, “Holding onto optimism about Heroes Reborn is becoming increasingly difficult.” But that won’t stop her from giving this week’s episode a fair shake. Although, honestly, the title “Sundae, Bloody, Sundae” doesn’t give her the highest hopes (nor any desire to eat ice cream in the near future).
Nathan For You (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): This week Nathan looks into ways to help a dive bar skirt anti-smoking rules. His ultimate plan involves a theatrical loophole that will turn the bar into a stage show. Joshua Alston can’t wait for the curtain to rise on this one.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 p.m.): Underappreciated actress Michelle Monaghan stops by Comedy Bang! Bang! this week. While we’d prefer it if she spent her time explaining why she’s always cast as the love interests for boring dudes instead of starring in stuff herself, she’s actually there to show off her hog-wrestling skills. Emily L. Stephens will take what she can get.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.)
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Life In Pieces (CBS, 8:30 p.m.)
Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)
How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.)
It’s a bit of a misconception that Odenkirk, Cross, and company locked a freshness into their sketches by eschewing any topical material, because plenty of 1990s touchstones made an impression on Mr. Show. The difference is that viewers who don’t recognize the bases for prop comic Blueberry-Head or Britpop brother act Smoosh can still pick up the jokes, characters, and concepts coloring in these era-specific outlines. The spirit of the times introduced a few uninspired slacker caricatures, but the culture depicted in those sketches created the environment in which Mr. Show could thrive—a relative, lowered-expectations, cult-favorite type of thriving, but thriving nonetheless. Post-grunge ennui and Generation X’s raised-by-television frame of reference is as crucial to Mr. Show as post-war stiff upper lips were to Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Elsewhere ice skating icon Scott Hamilton performs a verbal double axle as he answers our 11 Questions and chats about everything from grave digging to guitar collecting. And comedian Emily Heller explains why she hates Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.”
The Hunger Games: The Phenomenon (Oxygen, 8 p.m.): A half-hour commercial for the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2 that explores the popular dystopian franchise.
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.): The doctors tackle a high-stakes case, Arizona starts dating again, and Ben and Bailey try to get Jackson to stop crashing on their couch and go live somewhere else. Thankfully affording a hotel room doesn’t seem like it should be a problem for a plastic surgeon with a trust fund.
Regular Show (Cartoon Network, 8:30 p.m.): Benson decides to give up cats and become a “pig person” instead. He asks Mordecai and Rigby to babysit his new porky pal.
Project Runway Junior (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Project Runway tries to get into the MasterChef Junior game with this new series featuring teen contestants. Lifetime hopes it’s good enough to make you forget all about Project Runway: Threads.
Mom (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): Former Hannah Montana star/current Young & Hungry star Emily Osment kicks off her recurring role as a homeless teen drug addict on Mom. To help with her recovery, Christy and Bonnie should show her this video of her brain on drugs:
Watch What Happens: Live (Bravo, 11 p.m.): Considering how likable they are individually, one can only imagine that the combined charms of Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy will be almost too much for the Bravo Clubhouse to handle.
I Am Cuba (TCM, 9:15 p.m.): This 1964 Soviet-Cuban film was a much-praised reference point when Empire Magazine asked cinematographers about their favorite shots in film history. Now you can see what all of the fuss is about thanks to TCM.
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (Spike, 8 p.m.): Sync up the footage of Shia LaBeouf marathoning all of his movies with Spike’s broadcast of Transformers for a whole new viewing experience
Hallmark Christmas Corner
Each week leading up to Christmas we’ll highlight one of Hallmark’s dumbest sounding made-for-TV movies. This week it’s Charming Christmas (8 p.m.) in which, “A businesswoman plays Mrs. Claus at her family’s department store and her life begins to change: She rekindles her love for Christmas, and she begins a possible romance with the store’s charismatic Santa Claus.” Sounds ho-ho-horrible!
College Football: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.): It’s a Tech vs. Tech matchup that unfortunately won’t be solved with calculators and protractors like it probably should be.
You’re The Worst: You’re The Worst is having a killer second season and the same can be said of Vikram Murthi’s excellent reviews. If you don’t know, now you know.