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

It’s politics as usual—only more unusual

BrainDead (Photo: CBS)
BrainDead (Photo: CBS)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, June 13. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

American Dad (TBS, 8:30 p.m.): “When Bullock is upset that somebody did not bring a gift to the CIA secret Santa party, Stan goes on a mission to find out who it was. Meanwhile, Steve poses as the good guy boyfriend of several female classmates.” Are you people happy?


Turn (AMC, 10 p.m.): Meanwhile, how are things going with that whole treasonous, traitorous Benedict Arnold guy? “The Culper Ring is resurrected in time to save Washington’s army. Simcoe terrorizes Setauket as he hunts for Rogers. Anna infiltrates New York.” We swear, this is the first synopsis of the season not to mention Benedict Arnold. We feel ripped off. But we’re still intrigued, because we’re truly curious how 18th century America turns into the 21st century America where bugs eat the brains of Washington D.C.’s political animals. Oh, you didn’t get the memo? Allow us…

BrainDead (CBS, 10 p.m.): The Good Wife is over, but who cares when Robert and Michelle King already have a new show on their mind? (Just ignore that them having a new show on their mind might have been a problem as The Good Wife got closer to being over.) So, um, what’s this show about? “When Laurel Healy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) returns home to Washington, D.C. to work for her brother, Senator Luke Healy (Danny Pino), on Capitol Hill, she is caught in the midst of two huge problems: The government has stopped working due to budgetary disagreements, and mysterious bugs are eating the brains of a growing number of Congress members and Hill staffers.” Oh. That’s not like The Good Wife. That’s also not like CBS—ask Limitless, a show that just got canceled for so much less. But what a pilot title: “The Insanity Principle: How Extremism In Politics Is Threatening Democracy In The 21st Century.” Tony Shalhoub also stars. If it’s good enough for Monk, we suppose it’s good enough for us.

Premieres and finales

Southern Charm (Bravo, 8 p.m.): And so begins the most Bravo shows we’ve probably ever mentioned in a What’s On Tonight, at least under this current format. Southern Charm moves to a new time slot tonight with its 11th episode of its third season, “Words Of Wisdom.” How wise are the women of Southern Charm?

Image for article titled It’s politics as usual—only more unusual

Not enough for a little variety, apparently.

American Ninja Warrior (NBC, 8 p.m.): The “Indianapolis Qualifier” for American Ninja Warrior finds the show in a new time slot. It also finds a reason for us to talk about professional wrestling—as though your friendly neighborhood What’s On Tonight contributor needed a reason—as one-legged wrestler Zach Gowen will be competing on this particular episode. And now here’s a video of the face of the WWE struggling to take Gowen to the woodshed:

But seriously, Zach Gowen has been through a lot of ups and downs (mostly downs, as this particular clip was in the up camp) in his life and career, and American Ninja Warrior is a much-needed up. Win or lose, American Ninja Warrior will definitely be a great experience for one-half of the Handicapped Heroes.


The Real Housewives Of Orange County (Bravo, 9 p.m.): This particular episode—or, “one-hour special presentation”—is titled “Uncensored.” Well, that sounds dirty.

The Real Housewives Of Dallas (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The Real Housewives Of Dallas ends its first season with “The Full Nelson,” and now you can’t blame anyone but the show for another wrestling video:

You can blame someone for choosing a wrestling video with both Chris Masters and Bobby Lashley though. Blame this week’s RAW reviewer, Kyle Fowle—he’ll never know what hit him!


Are You The One? (MTV, 10 p.m.): Are You The One? season four begins tonight, and at this point in the series, all we see is red as it guarantees more future useless competitors for The Challenge’s franchise. In fact, this season of The Challenge makes us take back every bad thing we ever said about last season of The Challenge, because that season at least had consistent challenges and eliminations. Just bring back Road Rules, MTV.

Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge (NBC, 10 p.m.): If you thought American Ninja Warrior was some “weak shit” (because they turned you down and you’re trying to save face), then how about a team competition? That’s what you get with NBC’s new series, Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge: “From the producers of American Ninja Warrior comes Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, featuring six teams per episode competing on a mile-long course that’s equally demanding and punishing. Each team of five will be responsible for getting their teammates through mud, water, and barbed wire, culminating with an attempt to conquer the dreaded Slip Wall for a shot at $250,000.” So it’s like the final challenge in The Challenge, only with 100 percent (just based on the description) less food, puzzles, or even, well, challenge. This is probably actually difficult, but even though we’re in a lovers’ quarrel with The Challenge, we still recognize that its athletic challenges (especially the final ones) are probably even more deserving of attention as ones from “an exhilarating new summer competition show” that boasts “the most grueling obstacle course ever made.” Especially when Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Ranch could probably also say the same about its obstacle course, actually…


Kardashian: The Man Who Saved O.J. SImpson (Reelz, 9 p.m.): We don’t really know how Reelz is going to stretch this video out—

—but we would love to find out.

Major Crimes (TNT, 10 p.m.): Major Crimes begins its fifth season with “Present Tense”: “The Major Crimes squad investigates the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl, who vanished while volunteering at a homeless shelter, while Buzz cracks open the decades old ‘cold case’ file on the murder of his father and uncle. Andy Flynn considers selling his house.” Is Flynn going to sell his house to the homeless? Because we know it’s not meant to sound insensitive, but that particular sentence coming after the one about the main case makes Flynn house thing sound insensitive.


Regular coverage

Reign (The CW, 8 p.m.)

WWE Monday Night RAW (USA, 8 p.m.)

Wander Over Yonder (Disney XD, 8:30 p.m.)

Angie Tribeca (TBS, 9 p.m.)

UnREAL (Lifetime, 10 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Political Animals (Netflix): Sigourney Weaver. Carla Gugino. Sebastian Stan. James Wolk. Ciarán Hinds. Ellen Burstyn. There are more names, but we were kind of sold at Sigourney Weaver. Sure, there were no brain-eating bugs in USA’s “limited series event” from 2012—if there were, maybe it wouldn’t have been just a “limited series event”—but all six episodes are still worth the watch.