Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, September 1. All times are Eastern.
Drunk History (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): The most disarmingly self-explanatory premise on television—it’s history, as explained by drunk people—is back for its third season, and this season promises explorations of exotic locales like New Orleans and Las Vegas. But the season kicks off with an episode simply titled “New Jersey,” because if you’re going to drink heavily, why not do it in the Garden State? Anyway, tune in tonight for inebriated explanations of paleontological rivalries and Big Bang-related discoveries—the latter courtesy of Jenny Slate, with Justin Long and Jason Ritter handling reenactment duties—plus presumably some rambling about Bruce Springsteen, as is required by any New Jersey-related drunkenness. Something alike this ought to do nicely.
Also, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya will be kicking off regular coverage tonight, so that’s a doubly good reason to swing on by!
Playing House (USA, 10 p.m.): Tuesdays have gotten dang quiet as we finish up the last week or so before the fall TV season starts, so why not make the most of this last little lull by checking out this winning comedy from Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair? Molly Eichel will thank you for it—possibly personally, depending on how much time she can free up in her schedule.
Scream: The TV Series (MTV, 10 p.m.): The show is wrapping up its season, and LaToya Ferguson is going to drop in one last time to give her thoughts. We would subject this show to the usual round of pillorying, but, we don’t know, it feels kind of weird doing that right after Wes Craven died, so … yeah. Let’s all just go watch A Nightmare On Elm Street instead, maybe? And then just read LaToya’s review anyway, because she’s good people?
Tim O’Neil has written a whole bunch of words on how the Aqua Teen Hunger Force finale represents an end of an era for animation, particularly for adult swim. Go read it.
Hotel Impossible (Travel, 9 p.m.): Hospitality expert—that’s what it calls him on his Wikipedia page, so who are we to argue?—Anthony Melchiorri is back for his sixth season of improving hotels that are all a bit shit in their own specific ways. The premiere features a trio of hotels along the Arizona portion of historic Route 66, but we’re going to go ahead and say the one to pay attention to is the “former bordello on the National Registry of Historic Places,” especially if Melchiorri’s advice boils down to, “Go ahead and drop the ‘former.’” We’re aware he probably isn’t going to do that. But maybe!
In Their Own Words (PBS, 9 p.m.): This latest biography series builds itself around key quotes from its chosen subjects, plus what it promises are “deeply personal interviews” with those who knew the subjects best. Also, non-linear storytelling is involved, which feels like it will probably be a plus. Either way, it’s hard to argue too much with a lineup of subjects that includes Jim Henson, Muhammad Ali, and tonight’s subject, Queen Elizabeth II.
Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels (History, 10 p.m.): “A look at how the bikers fund their many enterprises.” Is it through cooking meth? We feel like it’s probably through cooking meth. But maybe we’re just falling prey to lazy stereotypes!
Tyrant (FX, 10 p.m.): Oh hey, so this is finishing up its second season—and possibly just finishing up in general, given its ratings are down a decent bit from last year. Anyone want to have a go at defending this show’s virtues, which we’ll just go ahead and assume it has some of? This is what passes for us feeling charitable.
Transporter 2/Lethal Weapon 3 (IFC, 8 p.m./10 p.m.): We’re not entirely sure why IFC chose to play these particular entries in their respective franchises, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say that, yeah, you can probably go ahead and watch these without feeling lost, even if you have somehow not having watched all the previous entries.
Mission Impossible III (Showtime 2, 10:30 p.m.): We’re going to go out on a slight limb here and say the third Mission Impossible movie is both the best film J.J. Abrams has directed—it’s certainly the most tightly written and paced—and the secret highlight of what is generally a very good series. Most of that is down to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s incredible work as the villain, but don’t sleep on just how amazing Tom Cruise’s running is in this movie, even by the high standards of Tom Cruise running. Just look at this!
U.S. Open Tennis: First-round play (ESPN, 1 p.m.): It’s still early days for the final Grand Slam of 2015, so not every match is going to be a winner, but you never know when some unheralded qualifier is going to put a scare into one of the heavy favorites.
WWE Monday Night Raw: Honestly, if you did miss this, we probably need to go ahead and have a frank discussion about your priorities. Wrestling is important!