Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, May 28. All times are Eastern.
Aquarius (NBC, 9 p.m.): NBC jumps on the “event series” bandwagon with this new crime drama set in 1967’s “Summer Of Love.” David Duchovny stars as an old-school cop who’s not exactly onboard with the idea of free love or basic human rights. But despite not being hip, he’s assigned to track down a missing teen who’s run off with a then little-known criminal named Charles Manson (Game Of Thrones’ Gethin Anthony). In addition to letting the show unfold each week on TV, NBC is also releasing all 13 episodes online following the two-hour premiere. But is it worth binge-watching? In his pre-air review, Noel Murray found a lot to recommend in Duchovny’s performance, but notes that the show “has an awkward relationship with its own period setting” and that its handling of Manson comes off “as both overly tame and more than a little sleazy.” Nevertheless, we asked Gwen Ihnat to cover the show week-to-week and report back on whether it’s “groovy” or “not groovy.”
In honor of Aquarius, here’s the excellent 2009 Hair Broadway revival performing “Aquarius” and “Let The Sunshine In” on David Letterman.
Wayward Pines (Fox, 9 p.m.): Never let it be said that Wayward Pines doesn’t commit: The show’s second episode ended with the public execution of a major character. This week Ethan uncovers new evidence, Theresa and Ben travel to Idaho, and Alex McCown keeps coming up bizarre theories that may or may not involve clones.
The Chris Gethard Show (Fusion, 10 p.m.): Internet favorite Chris Gethard moves his anarchic, interactive variety show from public access TV to Fusion. In the premiere, the ladies of Broad City stop by to celebrate weird body parts and musical guest The Front Bottoms perform.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 10:30 p.m.): Comedy Bang! Bang! has long been a place for comedy chaos, which is perhaps why the show switched days and time slots with almost no notice. Then again the move could also be explained by this week’s guest, Karen Gillan, who got her start as a time traveler’s companion. Whatever the case, Emily L. Stephens will still be filing a review, she’s just not sure if it will be from the past or the future.
Louie (FX, 10:30 p.m.): It’s the season finale of Louie as well as the conclusion to last week’s episode. Louie didn’t have the best time in Cincinnati (or on the flight getting there) so hopefully things will pick up a bit in Charlotte. As Brandon Nowalk acknowledged, “The second part would have a hard time out-glooming ‘The Road Pt. 1.’”
Futurama (10 a.m.): Futurama showcases three short stories in “Anthology Of Interest II.” But first, the series rewrites history in “Roswell That Ends Well.” Zack Handlen is uniquely capable of comparing the episode to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s own Roswell riff, “Little Green Men.”
500 Questions (ABC, 8 p.m.): ABC’s seven-day game show event wraps up with a two-hour finale in which the remaining contestants presumably keep on answering questions.
Hoarders: Family Secrets (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Lifetime has found another way to expand its massively successful Hoarders franchise. Pushing the boundaries of good taste, tonight’s Hoarders: Family Secrets special features live segments that culminate in an “all-live intervention.”
Lip Synch Battle (Spike, 10 p.m.): Queen Latifah and Marlon Wayans battle it out in the season finale of Lip Synch Battle. Snark aside, this show has been far less laughable than it should have been and even produced a few genuinely fun moments, like Anne Hathaway jumping on a wrecking ball. And compared to Hoarders: Family Secrets, it looks downright classy.
Louis CK: Live At The Comedy Store (FX, 11 p.m.): Rather than force viewers to quit cold turkey after Louie season five ends, FX is airing the stand-ups’ most recent comedy special to help ease viewers into the hiatus.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (AMC, 8 p.m.): Ed Helms’ Vacation sequel hits theaters at the end of July, but the meta trailer is already acknowledging that it will “stand alone” from the original. Whether or not that’s the case, this is as good a time as any to revisit the 1983 Chevy Chase classic.
Berkeley Square (TCM, 8 p.m.): Lest we think thoughtful sci-fi is a new invention, this 1933 film centers on a man who travels back in time and pretends to be one of his ancestors.
National Spelling Bee (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Even by the most liberal definition it’s hard to argue that a spelling bee is a sport. Nevertheless, these young spellers are definitely badasses, and it’s hard to complain about ESPN airing their gladiatorial battle of letters.
WWE NXT: The A.V. Club’s professional wrestling expert LaToya Ferguson lends her analytic mind to WWE NXT, which she argues is even better than the main WWE shows.