Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, January 20. All times are Eastern.
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): Last season was a bumpy one for ol’ Raylan Givens, as Justified struggled not only to find a compelling follow-up to the great Drew Thompson mystery but also to get audiences to buy into the very New York Michael Rapaport as a lowlife Floridian crime lord. (Things got better once Eric Roberts showed up, which true of most things.) But now the stage is set for what could well be one hell of a final season for the show, as Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder—plus Mary Steenburgen!—wage their last battle for the soul of Harlan County. Alasdair Wilkins should probably go spend some time down at the shooting range, just to get in the right mindset for what’s coming.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.) State Of The Union Address (9 p.m., ABC/CBS/Fox/NBC/PBS): Poor Person Of Interest is just one of the several shows preempted by the State of the Union. And really, how strong can our union possibly be when Person Of Interest can’t air a new episode on a consistent basis? What can the supposed leader of the free world tell us that the real leader of the free world—you know, that machine thingy, or possibly Michael Emerson—does not already know? We’re going to go ahead and assume several dozen of you are nodding in vigorous agreement right now.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): All that Reverse Flash business that closed out the first half of the season is all well and good, but let’s be real, people: In the long run, The Flash, like all incarnations of the character, is all about the Rogues. Hence tonight’s episode, “Revenge Of The Rogues,” which sees Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller return as Captain Cold, this time with a dude named Heat Wave along for the ride. As long as the key to success doesn’t prominently involve lukewarm temperatures, those guys should be pretty much invincible, at least according to Scott Von Doviak’s math.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8 p.m.): The first of tonight’s two episodes is called “William Henry Harrison,” and one plotline involves Ron trying to thwart Leslie’s plans by “bringing on a celebrity as a minority owner.” Between that title and that description, Alasdair Wilkins is pretty sure that a certain 9th president of the United States is a-coming to Pawnee to lend a little star power. Kids love the William Henry Harrison! (Even if, like some kind of Whig president Tamagotchi, it’s damn near impossible to keep him alive for more than a month.)
Marvel’s Agent Carter (ABC, 8 p.m.): If you’re precisely one episode behind on Agent Carter, then it’s time to offer a hearty, earnest, “Thanks, Obama!”, because ABC is taking this opportunity to rerun last week’s episode. If you’re all caught up on the show and annoyed that the State of the Union is delaying the show by a week, then it’s time for a derisive, sarcastic “Thanks, Obama!” And if you still haven’t watched any of the show but can’t do anything about it because you forgot your damn Hulu password, then we recommend the classic non-sequitur “Thanks, Obama!” The point is, as long as we’re all thanking Obama at all times—seriously or not, pretty sure it doesn’t make any difference—we should all be good to go.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (BBC America, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s primetime TNG reruns are the “Chain Of Command” two-parter, famous for posing such difficult moral questions as “How many lights are there, four or five?”, “Is Cardassian David Warner the scariest David Warner?”, and “Wait, so are we really supposed to think it was cool for Riker to be flagrantly insubordinate to his hard-ass but not particularly incorrect captain, or what?” The answers to those are, of course, “Depends on how far into the torture we are,” “Not as long as Ra’s al Ghul is still out there, at the very least,” and “Oh damn it, we just opened up a massive can of worms, didn’t we?”
King Of The Hill (Cartoon Network, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s reruns aren’t quite up to the usual standard that I like to highlight, but these are slightly desperate times, and these are still a pair of perfectly decent later-season entries, as “Care-Takin’ Care Of Business” finds Hank and his friends live out all their greatest lawn-care fantasies while covering for Christopher Lloyd’s senile groundskeeper, and “Arlen City Bomber” finds Peggy and Luanne living out their true destiny as roller derby players. That last episode is worthwhile strictly for Tom Petty’s confident but admittedly nonsensical explanation of the rules of roller derby.
Gravity Falls (Disney XD, 8 p.m.): So, um, is this show ever coming back, or what? In any event, tonight’s selection of reruns are the show’s first two episodes, which stand up extremely well considering we’re pretty sure they premiered in March of 1983.
Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer/Ocean’s Eleven (AMC, 8 p.m./10 p.m.): Going out on a bit of a limb here, but we’re going to say that one of these movies is slightly cooler than the other. (Hint: Remarkably, it’s the one with Casey Affleck.) Either way, hell of a double feature, though.
Lord Of War (TMC, 8 p.m.): Given Nicolas Cage’s well-known penchant for either being completely over the top and ludicrous or just painfully phoning it in—sometimes both at once!—it’s always nice to check in on the occasional reminder of why he’s still not worth giving up on. This movie about international arms dealers is one of the better such reminders.
College Basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin (ESPN, 9 p.m.): These two ranked teams find themselves tied for second atop the Big Ten standings, played a pair of tight games in their clashes last season, and feature a pair of excellent big men in Iowa’s Aaron White and Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky. Wisconsin has got to be favored here, especially since they’re playing at home, but this could turn into a good old-fashioned Midwestern brawl real quick.
The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore: The Daily Show’s new late-night partner has begun its run, and if last night’s premiere is any indication, Wilmore and company already know how they want this to be different from the late, lamented The Colbert Report. David Kallison is here to break down how successful that attempt is in the show’s first outing.