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

Goodbye, farewell, and amen

Photo: ABC News
Photo: ABC News

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, January 10. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address (ABC, CBS, Fox News, NBC, 9 p.m.): Tonight, our commander-in-chief returns to Chicago to reflect on his presidency as well as the future of the country. If we’re lucky, he’ll also send out one last glimmer of that very thing that fueled his campaign, a precious substance that seems to be in rather short supply right now: hope. So raise your glass and bid adieu to a leader who’s consistently carried themselves as a true class act. Goodbye, farewell, and amen, Mr. President, and thank you for your service. We miss you already.

The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.): Even though The A.V. Club no longer provides regular coverage of The Middle, the sitcom gets plenty of play most Tuesdays in the What’s On Tonight comments section. Tonight’s episode centers around Frankie getting free maid service for a month. It’s aptly titled “Hoosier Maid,” which makes us think of Gene Hackman in a French maid outfit.

Jim Gaffigan: Cinco (Netflix): The synopsis of Jim Gaffigan’s fifth Netflix special describes him as “the king of clean comedy.” Since it took us a second to remember that his standup routine is indeed clean, that’s all the more reason to watch.

Premieres and finales

Being Mary Jane (BET, 9 p.m.): In his 2013 assessment of Being Mary Jane, Ryan McGee saw a lot of promise in the show, while still pointing out a fair number of flaws. From what we’ve read elsewhere, that still seems to be the case with the BET series, although there’s no denying its appeal as it enters its fourth season. In the premiere, Mary Jane inches closer to her goal of becoming a national lead anchor.


Good Behavior (TNT, 9 p.m.): If we’re going off of Gwen Ihnat’s pre-air review, TNT’s nasty little noir actually lives up to the network’s now-retired claim of “We know drama.” Tonight, it properly closes out its first season.

Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath (A&E, 10 p.m.): In recent years, Leah Remini’s post-King Of Queens career has taken a fascinating left turn into decrying the Church Of Scientology, of which she was once a member. In addition to a juicy memoir, she’s headed up an eight-part documentary series for A&E—itself not without some (relatively minor) controversy. The grand finale airs tonight, where she’ll pull back the curtain on Xenu, revealing that he’s merely David Miscavige with a fancy hologram projector and voice modulator.

Illustration for article titled Goodbye, farewell, and amen

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 10 p.m.): The MCU returns tonight as Aida continues to search for the Darkhold, essentially the Marvel Universe’s version of Dianetics. Alex McCown-Levy is on the case as usual.


Noisey (Viceland, 10 p.m.): The Vice team journeys to the Bay Area and investigates the aftermath of the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by the police. Meanwhile, G-Eazy plays a blowout show, which we’re hoping includes E-40, who’s also slated to appear on the episode. Anyone unfamiliar with the late-career renaissance of the Bay Area legend (both in his solo albums and guest spots) should listen to this:

Or maybe this:

Taboo (FX, 10 p.m.): Created by Tom Hardy, his dad Edward “Chips” Hardy, and Steven Knight (along with Ridley Scott as executive producer), FX’s latest miniseries could be poised for greatness based on pedigree alone. But we’re intrigued by the plot as well—a dark turn on the prodigal-son story where a man presumed to be dead (the younger Hardy) returns to 19th-century London and ends up seeking vengeance for the death of his father. From the looks of it, there also might be some supernatural elements at play. Esther Zuckerman should be able to confirm this in her pre-air review, and Emily L. Stephens will look into why Tom Hardy’s own father is nicknamed “Chips” in her regular coverage.


This Is Us (NBC, 10 p.m.): Molly Eichel returns for regular reviews for NBC’s sometimes overcrowded, yet consistently likable ensemble drama. Tonight marks its winter premiere, a term that’s becoming more and more confusing with every edition of What’s On Tonight. Does that mean we’ll stop using it? Hell no!

Regular coverage

New Girl (Fox, 8 p.m.)

WWE Smackdown! Live (USA, 8 p.m.)

No Tomorrow (CW, 9 p.m.)

Streaming pick

The Parent Trap (Netflix): How many times have you gotten excited to see that The Parent Trap is on TV, only to have your hopes dashed when you realize it’s not the 1961 film starring Hayley Mills as identical twins, but the 1998 version with Lindsay Lohan? Well, today is your day—Netflix recently added the original to its streaming library. It’s not that the Lohan vehicle is bad or anything; it just doesn’t have the retro pluck of its predecessor. Here’s proof: