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

Community returns tonight ... wait, crap, make that two hours from now!

Image for article titled Community returns tonight ... wait, crap, make that two hours from now!

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, March 17. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Community (Yahoo!, 3:01 a.m.): Never has there been a network comedy more perfectly attuned to the Internet age, for better or worse. So it’s really only fitting that Community fulfills the “six seasons” part of its destiny by dropping the “network” bit entirely and heading off to the wild online hinterland that is the Yahoo streaming service. The season premiere drops at 3:01 a.m. Eastern—or, to put that in slightly less random-sounding terms, a minute after midnight Pacific. Though honestly, if NBC had brought the show back for a sixth season, it feels entirely possible they would also have scheduled it for Tuesdays at 3 in the damn morning. Anyway, much as Paget Brewster and Keith David are on hand to replace the study group’s ever-depleting ranks, so too does Joshua Alston step in to guide us through Community’s latest improbable resurrection.

The people’s top pick, now and forever

Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.) The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): Person Of Interest is again a repeat, leaving this slot in What’s On Tonight open just long enough for The Flash to race in and take it. The CW’s Scarlet Speedster is back from hiatus tonight, and there’s plenty of ground to cover: the return of the Weather Wizard, the possible reveal of the Reverse Flash’s true nature, and what is sure to be a colossally epic double date featuring Barry, Linda Park, Iris, and Eddie. Scott Von Doviak is out tonight, which means our very finest guest reviewer—yes, everybody’s favorite, the one and the only To Be Announced!—is ready to feel all the emotions tonight. (UPDATE: The role of To Be Announced will be played by Noel Murray tonight.)

Also noted

iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.): If you’re looking for a new best answer to the question “What is the most outrageously high-concept premise that television executives somehow turned into another crime procedural,” look no further, as The CW’s latest offering features a young woman trying to adjust to life as a zombie who takes a job at a morgue to give herself a steady supply of brains and then learns that eating said brains gives her visions of how those people died, knowledge that she uses to—yes, here it comes—fight crime. That sure feels like an awfully long road back to such a familiar premise, but LaToya Ferguson has a far, far more positive take in her pre-air review, while Carrie Raisler is on hand to guide you week to week.


One Big Happy (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): This Ellen DeGeneres-produced show tries to pair Three’s Company-style, old-school multi-camera wackiness with a very 21st century family unit, as a lesbian and her straight dude best friend decide to have a baby together mere moments before said straight dude marries a British woman so that she can stay in the country after her visa expires. If nothing else, this is a bit of a Happy Endings mini-reunion, as the show stars Elisha Cuthbert and Nick Zemo, who was probably the seventh most important cast member as Penny’s fiancé. (Somewhere, Derrick is screaming “Drama!” at this slight.) In the meantime, Erik Adams will be offering his thoughts on both this and the Community premiere in this combo review.

Regular coverage

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix, 7 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.)
Kroll Show (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.)


Elsewhere in TV Club

Joshua Alston should have something later today on the ever-increasing strangeness of The Jinx and its subject, Robert Durst, and in the meantime Gwen Ihnat checks in with 24 costar and generally awesome and funny person Mary Lynn Rajskub for a Random Roles. Here’s a taste:

I think the biggest thing that I get is that people don’t know I’m doing comedy, or they don’t expect me to be funny because of 24. So that’s a big thing. And even other comedians have commented on, like, “Your audience is really interesting, like they didn’t really know where to laugh.” Because I think a lot of people are fans of 24 that maybe don’t even go to comedy clubs, so they don’t really know what to expect. And then I have a bunch of other people who know me from comedy. There’s a huge fan base of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which I only did one episode for, so sometimes at shows it’ll be Always Sunny fans and 24 fans, and that’s a very different room, you know? A very different energy to have sitting next to each other.


What else is on?

Wild Pacific (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.): Mike Rowe narrates three hours’ worth of Pacific islands-themed content, with the first hour focusing on volcanic islands, the second on the animals that live on such islands, and the third on the oceanic food chain. This ought to be pretty fantastic, but then we do represent the part of the What’s On Tonight that now plans to write not one but two academic theses on Pacific islands, so we might be a tad biased.


180 Days: Hartsville (PBS, 8 p.m.): For those looking for a slightly different kind of enlightenment this evening, check out this two-hour documentary that examines the efforts of the residents of a small South Carolina community to provide a strong education for their children.

Undateable (NBC, 9 p.m.): Is this now the elder statesman of NBC comedies? Upon further research, we’re going to go ahead and say this isn’t the case, but that’s literally only because About A Boy debuted three months earlier in 2014. Then again, considered About A Boy is just six waiting-to-be-burned-off episodes away from being officially cancellation, Undateable may well be the de facto dean of NBC comedies. Hey, did we mention Community is back tonight?


Married At First Sight (A&E, 9 p.m.): Oh yeah, this is back for a second season, too. Whatever.

Beerfest (Comedy Central, 7 p.m.): Normally, we reserve this space for movie recommendations, but we’d like to flip the script tonight and ask you nice people: Is Beerfest worth watching? We consider Super Troopers a stone-cold dumb comedy classic, but pretty much everything else we’ve seen of Broken Lizard—and we saw Club Dread in theaters, for goodness’ sake—has been underwhelming at absolute best.


Odd Man Out (TCM, 8 p.m): Meanwhile, for those who feel Beerfest will not represent sufficient culture, check out this James Mason-starring, Northern Ireland-set film noir from The Third Man director Carol Reed. It’s generally considered at least the equal of his better-known film.

NCAA Basketball: Hampton vs. Manhattan/BYU vs. Ole Miss (truTV, 6:30 p.m./9 p.m.): The advent of March Madness means it’s officially time to figure out where the hell truTV is on your channel lineup, as the First Four games tip off in Dayton, Ohio. The 16-seeds Manhattan and Hampton kick things off in the early game for the right to take on the raging behemoth that is Kentucky, while the at-large 11-seeds BYU and Ole Miss are looking to play their way into a game against Xavier.


NIT Basketball: Illinois vs. Alabama/UTEP vs. Murray State (ESPN/ESPN2, 9 p.m.): Meanwhile, ESPN isn’t going to let not having the rights to the NCAA tourney stop it from airing some college hoops. It’s NIT time, baby! The general weirdness of this consolation tournament is on full display with these first two match-ups, as the Murray State Racers won 25 games in a row—the nation’s longest non-Kentucky winning streak—only to come up short in their conference championship game and end up relegated to a three-seed in the NIT. Meanwhile, Alabama was so unhappy with how their season went that they fired their coach, and the Crimson Tide still have to show up and play in this stupid thing. We mean, uh, NIT fever! Catch it!

In case you missed it

Bates Motel: The show is already doing some intriguing things in its third season, and Alex McCown is a particular fan of the show’s second entry. More at the link.