Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

And just like that, fall television shows (and Batman) are BACK

Ben Mckenzie, Donal Logue / FOX

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, September 22nd. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Gotham (Fox, 8 p.m.): From the second the concept was announced, Gotham was this fall’s most anticipated pilot. Sure, we’ve seen Batman’s parents die roughly ten thousand times by now, but Gotham is at least throwing some new elements in for a change of pace. Our favorite rakish hangdog Donal Logue will mentor Ben Mckenzie’s Jim Gordon, who will wear sharp trench coats and furrow his brow in a very appealing way. Also, since the only phrase that gets a Hollywood executive’s blood pumping more than “origin story” is “origin story of a villain,” Gotham’s promise to flesh out such nefarious favorites as Poison Ivy, Catwoman, The Riddler, and Jada Pinkett-Smith must have been pretty damn irresistible. We’re optimistic, especially because we’ve placed our Gotham beat in the capable hands of Mr. Oliver Sava.


Also noted

Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): In fact, Oliver Sava will be pulling double duty for us tonight, as he checks in on The Big Bang Theory’s eighth season premiere. Don’t get used to it, though; we will not be doing regular coverage of Big Bang Theory from this point forward. Get it while the getting’s good.

Scorpion (CBS, 9 p.m.): CBS is selling its new procedural Scorpion as a “fun-cedural,” which may be a horrifying phrase, but we’re sure USA is kicking itself for not patenting it years ago. CBS is also selling Scorpion with the tagline, “this team is pure genius,” which confuses us. Is this a reference to something? Is it just bragging? Is Katherine McPhee okay? As we often do in times of trouble, we’re turning to Brandon Nowalk to help us sort it out: “CBS is trying to brand Scorpion as a “fun-cedural,” which makes a sort of sense: Scorpion is about as fun and relaxed as the word “fun-cedural.”” What would we do without you, Brandon?

Sleepy Hollow (FOX, 9 p.m.): Last year’s biggest surprise hit returns for a second season that we can only hope will be just as unapologetically bonkers as the first. TV Guide?

“Ichabod is buried alive in a coffin; Abbie’s in danger of spending an eternity in purgatory.”


Ah, yes. Take it away, Zack Handlen!

Under the Dome (CBS, 10 p.m.): Let us all give a warm T.V. Club round of applause to faithful soldier Scott Von Doviak, who covered this show every week with as much charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent as we could ever ask. Do him a favor and drop in on his review of the season finale, won’t you?


Forever (ABC, 10 p.m.): And just when you thought there were no more twists left on the medical drama formula, ABC gives us a show about a doctor who’s—wait for it—immortal. We’d say that’s something, but Kate Kulzick argues over in our TV Review section that an immortal doctor isn’t actually enough—even if said immortal doctor is the very compelling Ioan Gruffudd: “It’s a familiar format—a brilliant, unorthodox investigator solves crimes with a law-enforcement officer of the opposite gender, à la Castle, Bones, or The Mentalist—and unfortunately the immortality angle isn’t enough to make this setup feel fresh.” At least his best friend is Judd Hirsch?

Regular coverage

Gravity Falls (Disney, 8:30 p.m.)


We covered most of it in “Also Noted” (the fall television season does not respect What’s On Tonight’s categories), but we also have a new piece from Libby Hill on a show that’s conspicuously absent from the September lineup. How I Met Your Mother may have gone out in a blaze of…something, but Libby argues that the central couple always Marshall and Lily, whose relationship became “the defining marriage of a television generation.”


What else is on

The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): The sixth season kicks off with new judges Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams stepping in where another blonde and black guy left off (seriously, does NBC think it’s being subtle or something?). Meanwhile, white bros Blake Shelton and Adam Levine will be spinning in those red chairs until their and/or NBC’s dying days.


Inside the Actors Studio (Bravo, 8 p.m.): Mariska Hargitay drops by to tell the wide-eyed students of the New School about her hopes, dreams, and favorite swear words. Then again, she’s a busy lady, so she probably just she sent in her Pretty Little Liars doppelganger instead.

The Blacklist (NBC, 9 p.m.): The second season returns! James Spader wears a fedora! That’s all we know about The Blacklist!


Ratatouille (Disney, 6 p.m.): In the event that none of this television appeals to you, there is always Ratatouille. We’re of the mind that this movie would be much improved if the humans never got to speak, but we just distrust people in general, so we acknowledge that this might just be our own hang-up. Otherwise, this is a delightful film. Break out the strawberries and cheese and have yourself a party.

Monday Night Football: Bears at Jets (ESPN, 5:15 p.m.): Or watch football! Now, we’re rapidly running out of things to say about football, but we grew up in a J-E-T-S (JETS JETS JETS) neighborhood and our roommate needs the Bears to do well for his fantasy team, so…no, we still don’t have much to say. But now you know that this is on, and so we’ve done our job.


In case you missed it

The Good Wife: If your Twitter feed is anything like ours, we’re not sure how you could have missed the glorious return of The Good Wife. But again, our duty is to inform, and Sonia Saraiya’s review is too good not to share. Come for the analysis, stay for the on point picture of Matthew Goode and Julianna Marguiles in suits in profile.


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