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

As baseball reaches its climax, basketball begins

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Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, October 27. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

World Series: Game 1: Mets at Royals/NBA Basketball: Cavaliers at Bulls & Pelicans at Warriors (Fox, 8 p.m./TNT, 7 p.m.): Look, there’s no pressure at all to give even two shits about sports, especially around these parts, but a quirk of scheduling means this is just about the best day to be a sports fan, with the World Series and the new NBA season starting on the same night. Kind of incredibly, this is the first ever World Series to pit two expansion teams against one another (and by “expansion,” we mean “did not exist in 1903,” to give you a sense of baseball’s timescales), as the contact-hitting magicians from Kansas City and the flamethrowing youngsters from Queens look to win their franchise’s first championship since the mid-80s. Meanwhile, TNT’s always essential Inside The NBA kicks off at 7 p.m., followed by games showcasing LeBron James, the new-look Chicago Bulls, destroyer of worlds Anthony Davis, and the champion Golden State Warriors. Good times all around.

Also noted

The Muppets (ABC, 8 p.m.): Fozzie and his girlfriend are apparently having problems, at least one of which has to be the fact said girlfriend’s dad is none other than Wynn Duffy. At this point, we would quite like to link to a representative video of all that made Wynn Duffy Jusitified’s most lovable indestructible shitheel, but there is inexplicably a complete absence of Wynn Duffy content on the internet. Truly, this is the darkest moment in What’s On Tonight’s long history. Dan Caffrey tries to comfort us, even if he doesn’t really have a clear idea why.

The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): The team goes looking for a new person to pair with Dr. Stein for Firestorm, and since they already used the comics-approved Ronnie Raymond replacement Jason Rusch in a bit part last year, they consider new character Jefferson “Jax” Jackson. Also, Barry is apparently getting closer to Officer Felicity Smoak. (She may have an actual name—fine, it’s Patty—but that character is running the Felicity Smoak playbook something fierce.) Scott Von Doviak is still a little miffed the team didn’t just ask him to be half of Firestorm. He’s got free time, you guys!

iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.): The episode description tells us that “Liv eats the brains of a country singing waitress to investigate a case,” which may be the first time a synopsis hasn’t actually specified that said person was dead before Liv ate her brains. Like, we assume this is just the latest murder she has to investigate, but we’re also willing to consider the possibility Liv cheats on her zombie morals when country singing waitress brains are involved. Just like a vegetarian that occasionally eats fish, or something! Carrie Raisler is pretty sure the version of iZombie we’ve created in our heads based only on reading episode descriptions is at least as convoluted as the real thing, though only at most 75 percent as good. At most.


Regular coverage

The Mindy Project (Hulu)
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8:30 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
Manhattan (WGN, 9 p.m.)


Hey, how long is The Bastard Executioner overrunning this week?

The Bastard Executioner (FX): So, the show actually isn’t airing this week, which means it’s technically overrunning by negative 60 minutes. Well done, show! Nice and economical. But what this does mean is that Kyle Fowle has an open week to review the episode he missed because he was, you know, off on his honeymoon. So look out for that later today.


Elsewhere in TV Club

Film editor A.A. Dowd pays a visit to our little TV Club to offer a Halloween-appropriate exploration of the 10 episodes of Tales From The Crypt. Here’s a taste:

The average Crypt episode is equal parts Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry, and the Old Testament—which is just a roundabout way of saying that the show is deeply indebted to its source material, the EC horror and suspense comics of the 1950s, from which it borrows most of its twist-punctuated stories. It wasn’t just the simple moralistic plots, nor the parents-incensing violence, that the show’s creators lifted from EC mastermind William M. Gaines. They also faithfully reproduced his macabre sense of humor, expressed most plainly in the groan-inducing puns of the wraparound segments—those bookending appearances by rotting master of scaremonies The Cryptkeeper, who’s either the jokiest cadaver of all time or the world’s oldest, most putrid Catskills comedian.


What else is on?

NCIS/NCIS: New Orleans (CBS, 8 p.m./9 p.m.): Both of tonight’s episodes are built around the mysterious deaths of petty officers, which sure feels like the NCIS franchise’s way of dickishly responding to critics who point out how tenuously connected the shows’ plots are to actual NCIS work. “You see what happens when we play it real, critics? There are only so many petty officers we can kill!”


Secrets Of The Dead (PBS, 9 p.m.): This series kicks off its 15th season exploring the historical origins of folklore with a look at the vampire mythos. The show checks in with Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew, the awesomely named Dacre Stoker, as well as an archaeologist who studies the Anglo-Saxon roots of vampire beliefs.

Frontline (PBS, 10 p.m.): The hardest-hitting show on television looks at the latest developments in the parts of Syria still under the control of the Assad regime. We’re going to go ahead and guess this is not a feel-good hour of television.


Wicked City (ABC, 10 p.m.): We won’t be covering ABC’s latest true-crime procedural, which takes an anthology approach to exploring the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles in 1982. To find out why, check out Joshua Alston’s pre-air review, which should be up later today. Quick preview: He describes the show as “violent, dumb, and blunt,” and it’s a damn shame that’s not more of a compliment than it apparently is.

Collateral Damage (Esquire TV, 10 p.m.): One of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last films before his Governator hiatus is maybe the most straightforwardly named film ever. Honestly, if Schwarzenegger hadn’t distracted himself with politics for a few years later, he was probably only a film or two away from just straight-up making Shit Blows Up Real Good. There’s still time!


The Help (CMT, 8 p.m.): We mention this mostly just to point out a random scheduling quirk, namely that CMT is somehow taking four hours to air this 146-minute movie. Are they really going to stretch this thing out to midnight with 94 minutes of commercials? Is that ratio actually completely normal, and we only just noticed? That’s ridiculous, surely? Is this truly what modern capitalism has reduced us to? Look, we didn’t expect CMT’s programming decisions vis-à-vis The Help to bring us to the brink of embracing communism … and yet here we are.

NHL Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): Yeah, we already mentioned two other sports up top, but let’s not forget our old poutine-loving pal hockey. Of course, since the NHL is nothing but a long-form American trolling of Canadians—pretty sure Gary Bettman just straight-up admits that at this point—one of the best teams in the league and the defending Eastern Conference champ plays in Tampa. Come see them in action! (Also, yes, the team ahead of them in the Atlantic Division standings is the undefeated Montreal Canadiens, so Canada’s doing fine so far. Only going to make the inevitable heartbreak all the worse, we fear.)


In case you missed it AKA yep, more Attitude Era clips coming your way

Gravity Falls: We imagine there’s some sort of context for Stone Cold Steve Austin and Booker T. beating the crap out of each other in a supermarket, but … nah, we don’t really care what it is. What we do care about is that Stone Cold makes every attempt to incorporate the materials at hand into his assault, except this mostly just means squirting various condiments onto Booker T. and occasionally mixing in half-remembered product catchphrases. Got milk indeed, Austin, got milk indeed.

Also, we apparently have another Republican presidential debate coming up tomorrow. Allow Mr. McMahon to distill all this election cycle’s talking points to their essence.

Good golly, we want to vote for this man. He would rule us like a king!