Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, October 21. All times are Eastern.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): It’s an institution at this point. For the XXIXth (okay, the 29th) time, The Simpsons will chuck out anything resembling fealty to narrative, character arc, or emotional appeal, and just go nuts for its annual “Treehouse Of Horror” outing, a Halloween tradition as familiar as sitting in a pumpkin patch all night in hopes that the Great Pumpkin will show up. This year’s edition promises body-snatchers, an oyster-eating contest with Cthulhu, a Jurassic Park send-up, and most ominously, this mention from the episode’s official description: “Lisa finally snaps.” Perhaps she’s been watching the news?
Whatever, or more likely, whoever pushes Lisa over the edge, it won’t be Dennis Perkins, who’s ready to dissect all the goings-on of the show’s 666th episode with his usual aplomb. If the previous XXVIII Treehouses are any indication, we can expect high highs, low lows, and plenty of mediums.
Rel (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Lil Rel Howery’s eponymous sitcom got off to a bit of a rocky start, but anything involving both Rel and Jerrod Carmichael is worth another look, and another after that, and maybe another after that. As such, we’re intrigued by the premise of this week’s Rel, which, like both The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers on this particular night, is really leaning into the whole Halloween thing. In the episode, the gang gets together to watch a zombie movie, but the title they selected—Frederick Douglass: Zombie Slayer—sparks a heated conversation. If you prefer your spoooooky stories without the laugh track, the satire, or the social commentary, may we direct your attention to The Woman In White (PBS, 10 p.m.), a new miniseries adaptation of the classic Wilkie Collins novel? It begins its five-week run tonight, and seems likely to give one the willies.