Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, April 16. All times are Eastern.
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.): It’s been over a month since Adventure Time aired a new episode, but Finn and Jake are finally back for more, well, adventure times. This week Ice King invites the Ancient Sleeping Magi of Life Giving to “bro out” with him. The first time they met, Ice King demanded Magi bring his Fionna and Cake fanfiction to life. And while they’ve become friendlier since then (and were once wizard road trip buddies!), Oliver Sava has a sneaking suspicion Ice King might have ulterior motives for hanging out with Magi. And knowing Ice King, they probably aren’t going to end well for him.
Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix): After six episodes, Daredevil finally gives Matt Murdock a traditional origin story by introducing the blind mentor who trained him in the ways of street fighting/cool-looking parkour. Scott Glenn’s “Stick” is essentially a cross between Liam Neeson in Batman Begins and J.K. Simmons in Whiplash. Oliver Sava is channeling all of their lessons on discipline as he continues his impressive one-review-a-day schedule.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): After a brief hiatus, new episodes of The CW’s soapiest dramas return tonight. First up, Stefan and Caroline lose their humanity and wreck havoc at a party on The Vampire Diaries. Carrie Raisler hopes their chaos is at least underscored by a sexy pop song.
Reign (The CW, 9 p.m.): Then on Reign, Mary takes on more power as Francis remains deathly ill. Caroline Framke similarly hopes Mary’s aggressive political machinations will be complimented by moody pop music.
Atari: Game Over (Showtime, 8:30 p.m.): Showtime debuts this 2014 documentary about the rise and fall of gaming company Atari, and the rumor that they buried millions of unsold cartridges for their failed E.T. game in the New Mexico desert. In his pre-air review, Scott Von Doviak found the documentary too brief and breezy on Atari history and overly enamored with the idea of excavating the old dump site.
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 5:30 p.m.)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.)
Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)
Vikings (History, 10 p.m.)
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.)
American Crime (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Louie (FX, 10:30 p.m.)
Futurama (10 a.m.): After a bit of a scheduling error on our end (curse you Wikipedia vs. Netflix episode order discrepancies!) we’re back with a correct preview of this week’s Futurama reviews. Fry is sent to a robot asylum in “Insane In The Mainframe” and then he dates a robot version of Lucy Liu in “I Dated a Robot.” All in all, Zack Handlen doesn’t think that sounds like such a bad week.
In addition to Scott Von Doviak’s review of Atari: Game Over, Joshua Alston has a brand new For Our Consideration about the future of The Daily Show, which will next be hosted by South African comedian Trevor Noah. Joshua argues that, in fact, the best choice for the prestigious hosting slot would actually have been The Nightly Show’s Larry Wilmore.
Elsewhere, our fearless TV Club leader Erik Adams weighs in on FXX’s Major Lazer, the brand new animated series created by the electronic music group of the same name. The series centers on a resistance fighter living in a dystopian Jamaica and fighting crime with his ray gun arm. Erik writes: “Major Lazer takes the look and feel of shows whose only saving grace is nostalgia and soups them up into a compulsively watchable and knowingly whacked-out midnight snack.”
The Odd Couple/Mom (CBS, 8:30/9 p.m.): Felix convinces Oscar to appear on a sports talk show with Rich Eisen and Kenny Smith on The Odd Couple. Then on Mom, Bonnie has a relapse that puts a strain on her relationship with Christy. Neither sitcom plot sounds particularly funny, but hopefully that’s the point.
30 For 30 (ESPN, 9 p.m.): Tonight’s 30 For 30 centers not on an athlete, but on sports marketing pioneer Sonny Vaccaro, who helped launch Nike’s “Air Jordan” brand and revolutionized the financial dynamics of basketball. Personally, we’re just tickled by the special’s punny title, “Sole Man.”
Dig (USA 10 p.m.): USA’s nutty mystical/political thriller keeps barreling forward despite the fact that we aren’t reviewing it weekly (weird how that works). According to TV Guide channel, “In other events, Rabbi Lev and a new partner head to the underground tunnels to carry out their mission.” Sounds like reason enough to tune in.
Legally Blonde (CMT, 6:30 p.m.): Sure Legally Blonde is a peppy comedy that launched Reese Witherspoon to superstardom, but it’s also a secret feminist masterpiece that argues being girly and being powerful don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Other feminist credentials: It celebrates friendship between dissimilar women and focuses on Elle Wood’s personal journey rather than on romance.
The Little Mermaid (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): The Little Mermaid may be a little less progressive in its gender politics than Legally Blonde, but it’s possible to read the film’s happy ending as Ariel achieving her goal of joining the human world and not just as a young girl giving up her identity for a man. And, hey, at least the music is great!
Stanley Cup Playoffs
With March Madness now behind us, a new sports championship takes (slightly less prominent) center stage. Four Stanley Cup playoff match-ups were held yesterday, and tonight another eight teams face off in their first games of the series:
- Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.)
- Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning (CNBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.)
- Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues (NBC Sports, 9 p.m.)
- Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks (CNBC Sports, 10:30 p.m.)
Arrow: Legendary sci-fi character actor Doug Jones guest starred as the villainous Deathbolt in last night’s episode. Alasdair Wilkins weighs in on how well the former contortionist fit into Arrow’s world.