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

Survivor returns with a gimmick that could be its best or most awful one yet

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Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, September 18. All times are Eastern.


Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): It’s the 27th season of Survivor, which means it’s time for yet another new gimmick, except this one sounds like it could be good—or absolutely awful, which is almost as good. Former castaways are sent back into the game (like it’s the fucking Quarter Quell or something), and they’re sent with loved ones, deposited in the jungle to hunker down, only to learn that the former players and their loved ones will be on separate teams. Gasp. Carrie Raisler was once deposited in the middle of the jungle with all of her best friends, and she alone escaped to review Survivor for you.

The Bridge (FX, 10 p.m.): Here’s what we’ve been wondering now that we’ve seen much of how this story, improbable as it may be, plays out: What on Earth do Denmark and Sweden have to argue about that’s as much of a political hot potato as the U.S./Mexican border? Molly Eichel guesses meatballs.

Broadchurch (BBC America, 10 p.m.): With just one episode left to figure out who killed young Danny, Gwen Ihnat is pointing directly at the camera to say, “I can’t solve this case; can you?” only to reveal she was speaking to Chief Wiggum all along. He won’t do a very good job of solving it, we’re sad to say.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX, 10 p.m.): The gang realizes it’s never won an award, so it does its level best to change that fact. This may or may not be a reference to Sunny’s continued lack of Emmy dominance, but you can decide for yourself. Dennis Perkins is hastily making a fake trophy for the show.

Key And Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): Our favorite current sketch show returns, and we’ve got Brandon Nowalk on the Key And Peele beat this year. Will the struggle of reviewing a show made up of disconnected pieces week to week defeat him? If we know Brandon, then the answer is no, it won’t.

The League (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): Kevin and Jenny run into Jay and Kristin Cutler at their preschool, and What’s On Tonight’s wife is really excited to find out her team’s quarterback will be awkwardly performing improvised comedy. Pilot Viruet has neither Jay nor Kristin Cutler on her fantasy team.


Earthflight: A Nature Special Presentation (PBS, 8 p.m.): In our imagination, the pitch for this one was just the executive producer of Nature going into PBS president Paula Kerger’s office and saying, “You know what’s cool? Birds!” before running around her office, flapping his arms like wings.


Toddlers & Tiaras (TLC, 9 p.m.): Here’s another program What’s On Tonight’s wife is really excited to see returning to the air. Seriously, when we told her about it, she got a big case of the Christmas morning face, and we had to back away, eyebrows raised in concern. Enjoy your show, honey!

Big Brother (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): The hugely contentious 15th edition of the show wraps up, probably with Julie Chen attempting to soothe America’s bruised feelings or something. Ryan McGee will stop in to do his very own soothing of your hurt feelings. Commenters? Bring him all your troubles and be healed.


Too Young To Marry? (OWN, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode of this show is called “This Wedding Is Not Valid,” which is the greatest episode title of the night, hands down. Frankly, every show on the air should have an episode called “This Wedding Is Not Valid.” It combines forcefulness and formality.

Zero Dark Thirty (Starz, 7:20 p.m.): We liked this movie. Glenn Greenwald and a collection of other political thinkers and activists did not. We’re going to put this to you bluntly: Whom do you trust? Your old pal What’s On Tonight? Or some blogger? Think carefully about this answer. Don’t regret it.


Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans (Sundance, 8 p.m.): Nicolas Cage is at his Nicolas Cageiest in this Werner Herzog film. When we asked on Twitter if Dylan McDermott is the Nic Cage of TV, somebody asked if he had a performance like this in him. Just let him try, television gods! Just let him try!

MLB Baseball: Rangers at Rays (ESPN, 7 p.m.): The American League’s Wild Card race continues to be one of the most enthralling things in the world of sport. As we write this, the Rangers and Rays are tied atop the Wild Card standings, with the Indians just a half game back. So a win for either would be good.


New Girl (Tuesday): Was it the greatest episode of television ever made? Nah. But c’mon, you guys. New Girl is back! New Girl New Girl New Girl! Before we start shouting random nouns and reveal how little critical distance we have from this program, we’ll refer you over to Erik Adams’ excellent review.