Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, April 2. All times are Eastern.
Olympus (Syfy 10 p.m.): Sure Game Of Thrones has dragons, boobs, and a whole lot of bloodshed, but Syfy’s new Ancient Greece-set series Olympus has gods, a Cyclops, and a protagonist literally named Hero. Helped by the “twisted” Oracle of Gaia, the “sorceress” Medea, and the “genius inventory” Daedalus, Hero’s destiny is to unlock the doors to Olympus and become an immortal. In other words, it’s basically Disney’s Hercules (minus the Danny DeVito-voiced satyr) crossed with Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys told with Sharknado-level production values. Not only did Scott Von Doviak give the show an “F” in his pre-air review, he also writes: “It’s as if Olympus can’t be bothered with the most rudimentary attempt at crafting suspense or even basic storytelling.” In other words, those enjoy shitty TV might want to tune in to this one.
Also the Cyclops looks like this:
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): It seems like only yesterday that Archer’s “un-rebooted” sixth season premiered, but it’s already time for the season finale. Part one of this two-part adventure offered more setup than story, so Caroline Framke is hoping the conclusion provides substantial mission antics or at least some more Slater/Archer dick jokes.
The Red Road (Sundance, 10 p.m.): Jason Momoa (aka Khal Drogo aka super serious Aquaman) returns as Phillip Kopus in the second season premiere of this Sundance original series. The first drama-filled season centered on the tension between Kopus’ Lenape tribe and a local white cop and his family. Since season one managed to cram in murder, robbery, cancer, and election drama, season two naturally kicks off with yet another murder.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Myles McNutt has long been wondering when Elementary would finally weigh in on the tension between ridesharing services and city cab companies. Thankfully, the show buckles down and deals with that hot-button issue as Sherlock and Watson investigate a murderous cabbie and his rideshare driver victim. (Plus Sherlock has a lover, but who cares about that?) And since Elementary knew the whole Internet would be abuzz about Olympus tonight, they went ahead and named this episode “The View From Olympus.”
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 5 p.m.)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.)
Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)
Fortitude (Pivot, 10 p.m.)
Vikings (History, 10 p.m.)
American Crime (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Futurama (10 a.m.): It’s the holiday season in the Futurama world. In “A Tale Of Two Santas” Fry tries to take down Robot Santa and bring back the true meaning of Christmas. And while “The Luck Of The Fryrish” doesn’t explicitly deal with St. Patrick’s Day, Zack Handlen is counting that seven-leaf clover as a nod to the holiday anyway.
Mad Men Week continues as Emily L. Stephens eloquently explores the way the show juxtaposes past and future frontiers by pitting the Old West against the Space Age. She writes:
These superficially discordant visions of cowboy and astronaut are fundamentally similar: exploring a frontier, expanding the mapped world, and returning home to tell the tale. Astronauts orbit and return to Earth. Cowboys ride the range and bring the livestock home. These connotations of repetition and return undermine the frontier’s twin promises of opportunity and escape.
That contrast is at the heart of Mad Men, which asks whether people are capable of change—and whether they want to be. Amid the show’s flamboyant parade of changing styles and social mores and its characters’ shifting families and career trajectories, it’s easy to ignore how often they lapse into repeating old patterns and recreating the relationships they learned in childhood, no one more than Don Draper.
We’ve also got Scott Von Doviak’s aforementioned take on Oylmpus, plus Gwen Ihnat celebrates The Slap with a brand new For Our Consideration examining how the series has successfully presented the dark side of parenting. She writes:
My great takeaway from The Slap, and from life, is that parenting is the hardest job there is. It’s so difficult that there’s no way to prepare for it… The most painful lesson for kids is when they learn how imperfect their parents really are: Fortunately, amazingly, they give us a brand-new chance every day to make things right. It’s a 24-7 job that appears to lighten when the kids finally leave home, but as The Slap points out, is never really over.
Regular Show (Cartoon Network, 7:30 p.m.): Mordecai and Rigby have to buy a new garage door after their optical illusion causes Pops to drive into the old one. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
8 Minutes (A&E, 10 p.m.): This brand new A&E reality series follows a police office-turned-pastor who tries to help sex workers and potential sex trafficking victims escape their dangerous situations. Pastor Kevin Brown poses as a client in order to talk to the women and according to A&E: “With over 20 years of law enforcement experience, Brown has determined that eight minutes is the maximum amount of time to safely convince these women to leave with his team.” Hopefully the show does a better job than that press release of explaining the reason for this ridiculously short time limit (other than to raise the dramatic stakes, of course).
Lip Synch Battle (Spike, 10 p.m.): It’s taken a few years, but Jimmy Fallon has successfully incepted America into thinking there’s nothing we love more than watching celebrities lip synch battle each other. Fallon takes on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the premiere of this new Spike series, while Common and John Legend duke it out in the follow-up episode. Now all Fallon has to do is incept America into thinking we love Lip Synch Battle hosts LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen too.
The Slap (NBC, 10 p.m.): Like Archer, The Slap also reaches a finale tonight. Unlike Archer, no one on The Slap is going to be miniaturized and sent into a toe. Although, admittedly, that would be a pretty great twist. (And be sure to read Gwen Ihnat’s FOC for less absurd speculation.)
2 Fast 2 Furious (Spike, 7:30 p.m.): Those who can’t make it to the movie theater to see 7 Fast 7 Furious can just stay home and watch this gloriously titled, much-maligned sequel instead.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (Disney, 8 p.m.): Enjoy the Phil Lord/ Chris Miller animated film that isn’t The Lego movie, but is still pretty delightful.
Tennis: Miami Open (ESPN2, 7 p.m.): It’s the men’s quarterfinals and the women’s semifinals at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. Serena Williams and Andy Murray are both set to play matches although, unfortunately, not against each other.
Broadchurch: Gwen Ihnat is still on the case of Broadchurch’s second season. Most likely the show will never top last week’s awkward Hardy/Miller roadtrip, but Gwen would love to see it try.