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

Louie brings existential angst (and comedy!) back to our screens

Louis C.K. in Louie, FX
Louis C.K. in Louie, FX

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, April 9. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Louie (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Louie wrapped up its fourth season last June, which means it’s been almost a year since we’ve had to confront the existential angst of modern life. Thankfully, the FX show is back to remind us of the comic bleakness of our existence with a season premiere that centers on a potluck dinner. Given that star Louis C.K. has described season five as more “laugh-centric,” Brandon Nowalk is hoping the entire meal doesn’t revolve around the impending sense of doom all humans face as they age. Maybe just save that conversation for dessert.

Also noted

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): In “The Fortification Implementation,” Sheldon and Amy build a massive blanket fort, Howard discovers he has a half-brother, and Penny gets invited to audition for Clerks 3. Coincidentally, Kyle Fowle’s favorite childhood activity was watching Clerks in a blanket fort with Howard’s half-brother.

Fortitude (Pivot, 10 p.m.): Libby Hill’s excellent reviews of this Pivot drama must sadly come to an end as Fortitude reaches its season finale. The sleeper series built to a rather shocking conclusion in its penultimate episode, and tonight Libby will see if it can stick the landing (which can be hard to do in its Arctic setting).

The Comedians (FX 10 p.m.): This brand new meta series stars Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as two comedians who pair up to produce an FX sketch show. The actors play heightened versions of themselves, and as far as we can tell, the whole thing is basically Curb Your Enthusiasm without the subversive streak. In her pre-air review Kate Kulzick notes, “Though it has a ways to go before reaching the upper echelon of its subgenre, The Comedians’ likable cast compensates for its familiar premise.”


Regular Coverage

Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 5 p.m.)

Vikings (History, 10 p.m.)

American Crime (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.)

TV Club Classic

Futurama (10 a.m.): It’s a Bender-heavy week as the ornery robot poses as a penguin in “The Birdbot Of Ice-Catraz” and sleepwalks in “Bendless Love.” More importantly, Bender’s robot twin Flexo makes his glorious return, which has finally given Zack Handlen the courage to admit he’s actually the goateed twin of the real Zack. Nah, he’s just messing with you. (Or is he?)


Elsewhere in TV Club

Having conquered film and network television, the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe finally takes over our streaming services with the new Netflix original series, Daredevil. While superhero fans can marathon the whole thing starting at midnight tonight, Noel Murray already checked out the first five episodes for his pre-air review. He writes:

The show’s creative team has translated the kineticism of superhero action to the screen in impressive ways, akin to lean Hong Kong cops-and-robbers pictures.

What they haven’t done is make great television.

The failings of Netflix’s Daredevil may just be inherent to some kinds of made-for-streaming series. Like Amazon’s disappointing Bosch, Daredevil isn’t structured or paced like episodic TV (though it’s broken up into fairly uniform 50-minute installments, for no real reason beyond convention). This show is made to be binged, which means it doesn’t seem obliged to conform to the usual dramatic arcs that TV writers use to pull viewers through commercial breaks, and to keep them tuning in from week to week.


Elsewhere, we’ve got Kate Kulzick’s aforementioned Comedians review plus a new Random Roles with character actor Frank Whaley. And for the film buffs out there, we’ve also got *drum roll please* our top 20 films of the decade.

What else is on?

Resident Advisor (Hulu): This new Hulu series is a “workplace comedy” set in a college dorm (which doesn’t sound like a workplace, but whatever). Ryan Hansen (i.e. Veronica Mars’ Dick Casablancas/Party Down’s Kyle Bradway) stars as one of the resident advisors who must “navigate sex, drugs, and midterms.” Just hopefully not all at the same time.


Regular Show (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.): Rigby and Mordecai come up with wacky games to make boring chores more interesting. Also the Baby Ducks return!

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9 p.m.): To honor the Grey’s legacy and/or fill time while Scandal takes a week off, ABC is airing the 2005 Grey’s Anatomy pilot at 8 p.m followed by a brand new episode. That makes this the perfect opportunity to see just how much the original cast members have aged in 10 years.


Life Below Zero/The Watch (NGC, 9/10 p.m.): For many people spring is a time for renewed social activity. For the National Geographic Channel, however, it’s a time to release shows about isolation and harsh environments. The fifth season premiere of Life Below continues to follow Alaskan subsistence hunters, while the series premiere of The Watch documents the “lone wolves” who have chosen isolating professions like lighthouse keepers and night watchmen.

Lip Sync Battle (Spike, 10 p.m.): Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt lip sync battle tonight, but considering the big moments in Hathaway’s “Wrecking Ball”performance have already gone viral, we’re not exactly sure what incentive you have to watch this one live.

Fast Five (USA, 7 p.m.): Generally agreed to be the best entry in The Fast And The Furious franchise, this film features both The Rock and a massive train heist—two things we heartily approve of.


Jaws (AMC, 8 p.m.): Enjoy this airing of Steven Spielberg’s suspenseful masterpiece and feel free to insert your own stay out of the water/bigger boat/bad hat joke here.

Chicago Sports Zone!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from writing these sports entries it’s that geographical pride matters. So since The A.V. Club offices are located in Chicago, here are the two places you can see our local teams play tonight. Go sports!

  • Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.)
  • NBA Basketball: Bulls at Heat (TNT, 8 p.m.)

In case you missed it

Lost (Classic): Congratulations, if you’re reading this you lived through Lost day yesterday on 4/8/15 when at 16 hours, 23 minutes, and 42 seconds all of Hurley’s magical numbers were in order and a giant polar bear attacked us or something. Myles McNutt celebrated the occassion by looking back at Lost’s most infamous episode, “Stranger In A Strange Land.”