Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

ABC's comedies are new tonight, so why don't you watch The Middle for once?

Illustration for article titled ABC's comedies are new tonight, so why don't you watch The Middle for once?

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, Jan. 4. All times are Eastern.


The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): Dutifully, Will Harris covers The Middle every week, and a handful of you check in to agree with him that, yes, it’s a nice little show, and it’s fun to watch. And the rest of you pretty much ignore it. Well, no more! This is a nice little show about what it’s like to be in a family where there’s not enough money to go around, and it’s got plenty to say about everything from being a parent to making ends meet to growing up with difficult siblings. Watch The Middle tonight. Or DIE.

Suburgatory (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): Brandon Nowalk takes over this show from Ryan McGee going forward. We’d love to say that Ryan just gave the show up, but really, Brandon won it in an ultra-competitive, Greco-Roman wrestling match. It was sweet.

Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): How many car accidents will the characters get in tonight? We’re going to guess that it will be upwards of 25, and we certainly hope that Donna Bowman introduces a new “Car-Crash-O-Meter” in stray observations.

Happy Endings (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): David Sims is happy to have everybody’s favorite hang-out comedy back, and he hopes the new year brings lots and lots of episodes where Max dresses up in a ridiculous costume, because nothing’s better than that.

Revenge (ABC, 10 p.m.): We’ve seen the preview clips, and we know that this episode begins with Emily having a gun put to her head. How will she get out of this one? Carrie Raisler’s betting the answer will somehow involve Emily dying.

Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): Bravo took last week off, which was unusual, but we’re glad they’re back tonight with an episode entitled “BBQ Pit Wars.” Emily Withrow remembers when she won coverage of this from Scott Tobias in a BBQ Pit War.


Survivor (Classic) (11 a.m.): It’s been two weeks since Meredith Blake last visited the island, and we’re betting she’s got the shakes from not being able to hang out with Richard Hatch and all her pals. Don’t worry, Meredith! Help is on the way!


Alias (3 p.m.): Ryan McGee’s been waiting all this time to find out just what the resolution of that cliffhanger was, but we’re proud to spoil him and say, “One awesome season, followed by rapidly diminishing returns.” Not that we’re bitter.

I Get That A Lot (CBS, 8 p.m.): CBS brought this reality special thingy where celebrities pretend to be jes reglar folks back for no apparent reason because, fuck it, it’s CBS. Also, how weird is it that our spell check recognizes “jes” and “reglar”?


Mobbed (Fox, 9 p.m.): Meanwhile, Fox has also returned this “Howie Mandel throws a hootenanny” show for no apparent reason, but we’re thrilled to have it back because there are few weirder shows on TV. Seriously. Check it out.

Sons Of Guns (Discovery, 9 p.m.): We’re just tossing a link to this one because one of our nephews asked us if we’d seen it this weekend, and when we said we hadn’t, he looked at us gravely and said, “It’s really good.” So… take his word for it?


Steven Seagal: Lawman (A&E, 10 p.m.): Here’s the return of yet another spectacularly weird show, though this season, Seagal has ditched his usual New Orleans digs for the sunny streets of Arizona. Crack some heads, Stevie!

Apocalypto (Encore, 8 p.m.): We have a film critic friend who insists this Mel Gibson film—told entirely in yet another dead language—is an awesome treat that was underappreciated at the time. We usually just nod and back away slowly.


Gaslight (TCM, 8 p.m.): Curious why, exactly, “to gaslight” has become a verb this TV season, out of nowhere? Well, you can check out this enjoyably Gothic psychological thriller to get something of an idea. See it before McG remakes it.

Orange Bowl: West Virginia vs. Clemson (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.): Is it just us, or did this bowl used to, y’know, not suck? Didn’t it used to be one of the premier games out there? Why are we getting this low-wattage match-up? We demand answers!


Work It/Parenthood (Tuesday): It’s not every day that one writer gets to give out both our highest and lowest scores in the same day, but Todd VanDerWerff managed it for the second time with an F for the sitcom and an A for the drama.