Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, April 7. All times are Eastern.
Blood And Glory: The Civil War In Color (History, 9 p.m.): There’s a whole bunch of premieres tonight, and we’ll admit that there’s every possibility that this documentary about the Civil War is another slice of History Channel bullshit history. If nothing else, we’re not exactly jazzed about the fact that the two “Civil War historians” they mention in the description are Richard Dreyfuss and Ben Stein: Yes, instead of enlisting, say, academics, we’re apparently going to be talked through the bloodiest conflict in American history by Mr. Holland and that jackass who wandered through Dachau equating proponents of evolution with Nazi war criminals. Even so! They colorized a bunch of Civil War photographs, and the history nerd in us is kind of loving it, so we’re totally putting a bunch more of these throughout tonight’s listings. Let’s go to Ulysses S. Grant, who was apparently portrayed by a young Robin Williams.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.): It feels oddly (if somewhat blasphemously) appropriate, just a couple days after Easter, for Jim Caviezel—Jesus to his friends, and dragon-fighting space Viking to his nerdier friends—to rise from the ashes of being shuffled around the CBS schedule with at least a couple straight weeks of new Person Of Interest episodes. Anyway, tonight’s entry finds Reese and Finch looking after a software CEO whose secrets have been revealed by a nefarious hacker. This is why Alexa Planje just posts all her deepest secrets to Vine. Nothing can hurt her if everyone already knows everything! Also, look at how weirdly modern this next photo looks. It maybe doesn’t look like something from 2015, but you could have easily convinced me it was from the mid-20th century or something.
Community (Yahoo!, 3:01 a.m.): This early morning’s entry is called “Laws Of Robotics And Party Rights.” We couldn’t find any further description of this one online, so we’ll just take this opportunity to point out that your What’s On Tonight correspondent is a massive, massive Isaac Asimov fan, to the point that he semi-seriously considers the Three Laws of Robotics the basis of his moral philosophy. No, honestly, he’s written that in applications essays and everything. We’re going to guess that Joshua Alston hasn’t done any of that, because it’s insane enough that one person has done that.
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): One more episode before next week’s series finale. On the one hand, there’s arguably not much point in spotlighting this, as anyone who should be watching it is probably already well aware of when it’s on. But we should note that Justified is reeling off an all-time great string of episodes to close the show, so if you’re not up to date, just know this: Whenever you get caught up, you are in for a treat. Alasdair Wilkins almost envies those who haven’t yet gotten a chance to watch this season for the first time. On the other hand: Damn, this season is great. Also great: this colorized photo of a Civil War band.
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.)
iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.)
Finding Carter (MTV, 10 p.m.)
Colorized Photo Of Union Soldiers In Front Of Tent (Below You, Right Freaking Now)
Molly Eichel examines Oxygen’s new reality series Funny Girls, which premieres tonight at 9. She’s, uh, not impressed:
Unlike something like Marc Maron’s WTF podcast that lifts the veil via a conversation with two insiders, Funny Girls takes the world that these stand-up comedians live in and makes it feel fake. The series itself is centered around five female comedians living in Los Angeles—Yamaneika (a veteran of Last Comic Standing), Stephanie, Nicole, Calise, and Ester (another comic, Scout, is added in episodes after the one sent out to critics). Like any reality show, producers impose relationships on these women, forcing people who would generally not interact to be friends but, more importantly, enemies. The latter concept feels more acceptable when these constrictions are placed on rich housewives. There’s something sadder about forced enmity between women in a creative field, especially a business where others like them are so few and far between.
Then at noon,Libby Hill checks in with a One-Season Wonders, Weirdoes, And Wannabes entry on Sons & Daughters, which was far more than just the proto-Modern Family:
Created by Fred Goss and Nick Holly (and produced by Saturday Night Live boss Lorne Michaels), the 2006 ABC series acted as a kind of trial run for the megahit Modern Family, while maintaining an emotional richness that the latter has only managed a shadow of—and then only in a handful of early episodes, before it became a staid, conventional juggernaut. But it’s also possible that depth of emotion was exactly what doomed Sons & Daughters from inception. It may have been too real for TV, too comfortable with the uncomfortable corners of life and love. So it was canceled. The finale never even aired.
Interesting stuff. Almost as interesting as this full-color version of this famous photograph of Abraham Lincoln meeting with his generals. Man, Honest Abe was just crazy tall.
Inside The Court Of Henry VIII (PBS, 9 p.m.): This documentary promises a look at what it was like to be a courtier for King Henry VIII. Considering the word “beheaded” appears twice in the mnemonic device for the guy’s wives, we’re going to go ahead and guess it was pretty damn dangerous being a lowly courtier.
Your Family Or Mine (TBS, 10 p.m.): Taking over the departed Cougar Town’s timeslot is this family sitcom, which apparently distinguishes itself from other sitcoms by focusing on a different side of the family in each episode.
The Runner-Up (EsquireTV, 10 p.m.): Hey, you remember when Clay Aiken ran for congress in North Carolina? Your What’s On Tonight correspondent actually lives in North Carolina—he even had to live-tweet the last election for some class assignment!—and he still only super vaguely remembers this. So we suppose this reality series chronicling Aiken’s run would serve as a useful reminder, but … nah.
American Dad (Cartoon Network, 10 p.m.): We usually highlight old King Of The Hill reruns in this space, but let’s give it up for the night’s American Dad rerun of the second season “Stan Of Arabia” two-parter, which is still one of the show’s best attempts to weld together its initial political focus with the more freewheeling absurdity that ended up making American Dad so great. And now, General William Tecumseh Sherman and his staff.
Timecop (MovieMax, 7:20 p.m.): Yay, Timecop is back!
Flatliners (Encore, 8 p.m.): We can’t vouch for the quality of this movie, which is apparently about medical students trying to bring patients back from the dead or something, but we can vouch for how useful this movie is as a deep cut when playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt, and Billy Baldwin? Oh yeah, this movie is a cornerstone of all successful Kevin Bacon gameplay.
NBA Basketball: Spurs at Thunder/Lakers at Clippers (TNT, 8 p.m./10:30 p.m.): In the first game, last year’s combatants from the western conference finals find themselves in very different places, with Russell Westbrook putting up superhuman numbers to keep a battered Oklahoma City’s grasp on the final playoff seed, while the surging Spurs could move all the way from sixth to second in the conference if things break right the rest of the way. Meanwhile, the latest battle of Los Angeles can’t really go any worse for the Lakers than the last one, which they lost 106-78 in a game where a 28-point margin undersells how bad things went. So, yeah…
WWE Monday Night Raw: Since there’s no damn chance at all that you missed all those colorized Civil War photos, we’ll spare you another one of those and instead point you to Kyle Fowle’s review of Raw, which is more or less the 21st century answer to the Civil War anyway.