Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, October 7. All times are Eastern.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): After two years of relatively restrained superheroics on Arrow—and “relatively” is doing some serious load bearing there, as anyone who saw the second season can attest—The CW is ready to embrace the full superpowered craziness of the DC Universe with this spin-off series about Barry Allen, Central City’s own scarlet speedster. Much like how Barry debuted on Arrow before moving over to his own show, regular Arrow reviewer Alasdair Wilkins gave his thoughts on the pilot before handing things over to Scott Von Doviak to handle the week-to-week coverage. The series isn’t quite where it needs to be just yet, but its first episode is plenty of fun, and, if Arrow’s incredible growth is any indication, it’s worth sticking with The CW’s current generation of superhero shows.
Selfie (ABC, 8 p.m.): The second episode is titled “Un-Tag My Heart,” and one of its two main plot threads looks at how “Henry’s first Facebook experience ends with disastrous results.” Not to say this show couldn’t still turn into something special with years’ worth of stories to tell, but just how many episodes can it possibly run before every possible social media-related storyline and title pun is exhausted? Sonia Saraiya is setting the over-under at 25 episodes, and even that feels kind of high.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): The episode description says “Jess goes on a date with a less-than-perfect guy” as part of some attempt to prove women aren’t shallow. It doesn’t say how this guy is less than perfect, but the episode is called “Micro,” so I leave you to draw your own conclusions. What really concerns me is the subplot, in which “Winston and Cece prank Schmidt and Coach by convincing them that they could be male models.” Surely a story that rich is the kind of thing you hang onto as the plot of New Girl: The Movie? Erik Adams nods in sage agreement.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is 80 minutes long, meaning it’s overrunning by 20 minutes. Downright restrained by Sons Of Anarchy standards.
The Shield (11 a.m.): This is a busy week for TV’s own Shane Vandrell, who both “tries to get the upper strategic hand on Vic” and “gets involved with the daughter of an Armenian mob boss.” To my shame, I still have never watched this show, but if you ask me how those two gambits are going to work out, I’d guess “poorly” and “oh dear god, poorly.” We’ll just have to wait for Brandon Nowalk’s ever insightful review to find out if I was right.
30 Rock (3 p.m.): Erik Adams resumes his journey through the first season with “Black Tie” and “Up All Night,” which feature first appearances by some crucial guest stars: Isabella Rossellini as Jack’s ex-wife Bianca, Jason Sudeikis as Liz Lemon’s future boyfriend Floyd, and Will Forte, who plays a princely attendant here a few seasons before returning as Jenna’s equally freaky soulmate Paul. Though honestly, Forte’s character here could totally be Paul, assuming it’s some kind of weird sex thing. “Some kind of weird sex thing” pretty much explained all of Jenna and Paul’s interactions, after all.
Nick News With Linda Ellerbee (Nickelodeon, 8 p.m.): Under normal circumstances, I have less than zero tolerance for 90s nostalgia, but I’ve got to admit that it makes me so damn happy to know that Linda Ellerbee—Nickelodeon’s very own Edward R. Murrow—is still doing her thing and bringing the knowledge to the children. Seriously, pretty much everything I remember about the Lewinsky scandal I learned from the Nick News episode. In tonight’s episode, she talks with gay teenagers, who share their coming out stories.
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m.): It just didn’t quite work out for us to keep reviewing TV’s last surviving link to the old WB, but there’s still plenty to enjoy from the adventures of the brothers Winchester. For instance, apparently one of them is a demon now, and this involves a great deal of carousing with the demon played by ultimate genre actor Mark Sheppard? Yeah, let nobody say this show still doesn’t have its charms.
30 For 30 (ESPN, 9 p.m.): As the ESPN documentary series finishes off its second “volume”—it isn’t really right to call these seasons, as the current one started in October 2012—Ray Liotta takes time out from working on whatever the hell that Elvis/Jesus movie was to narrate the real-life exploits of his Goodfellas character Henry Hill, who once got the Boston College basketball team involved in a point-shaving scheme. We won’t be covering this particular entry, but Noel Murray will be around for some of the major upcoming installments.
CNN Special Report: Vanished: The Mystery Of Malaysian 370 (CNN, 9 p.m.): In case you were wondering, “Hey, is CNN still luridly, even creepily obsessed with that doomed Malaysian airliner a full seven months after it disappeared?”, the answer, at least if this new hour-long special is anything to go on, is “Oh you better believe CNN is still creepily obsessed.”
Beauty Queen Murders (ID, 9 p.m.): “The murder of a swimsuit model is detailed.” And, just in case you thought CNN’s umpteenth Flight 370 special would be the biggest casual exploitation of human tragedy on TV this evening, ID is here to set you straight.
Three Kings (Sundance, 10 p.m.): Some highbrow movie options at the 10 o’clock hour tonight. First up, we’ve got the acclaimed David O. Russell movie where the star swore to never work with Russell again—no, not Lily Tomlin in I Heart Huckabees, this is the one where George Clooney decided he could never work with the guy again—as a trio of disaffected soldiers in the Persian Gulf War go in search of Saddam Hussein’s stolen Kuwaiti gold.
City Of God (TMC, 10 p.m.): On the other hand, if a pitch-black war comedy that prominently involves Mark Wahlberg being tortured is just too lighthearted for you, there’s always this Brazilian film about the rise of organized crime in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. It’s been a little while since I’ve seen this one, but I remember it has its share of uplifting moments—but my goodness, do you have to suffer to get to them. Worth it, though.
MLB Playoff: Game 4: Dodgers at Cardinals (FS1, 5 p.m.): This series between baseball’s biggest-spending, glitziest club and its self-appointed moral guardians—well, at least since the Yankees ran out of money and the Braves got eliminated from contention—is probably some kind of referendum on the soul of the sport, or something equally boring. In the here and now, though, we have Clayton Kershaw—the certain NL Cy Young winner, probable MVP, and the best pitcher alive—looking to avenge his Game 1 shellacking and send his team back to Los Angeles for a decisive Game 5 by pitching on short rest. So yeah, that ought to be pretty damn great.
The Big Bang Theory: Somehow, this show managed to last eight seasons before having its main characters consider buying a comic book store. Kyle Fowle isn’t sure how the show ever held out this long, but he’s got the scoop on how it all went down.