Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, Jan. 26. All times are Eastern.
Parks & Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Last summer, when we interviewed Michael Schur about his inspirations for the show, he mentioned a book called Bowling Alone. And though we doubt this episode has anything to do with that book’s larger thesis of the death of community organizations, we know that it involves bowling, and we know that America can’t get enough of red hot bowling action. Steve Heisler has bowled a 300 game precisely… never.
30 Rock (NBC, 8/9 p.m.): The Office is taking the night off, and NBC has a surplus of 30 Rock episodes, so we’re getting two episodes for the price of one, with only a Parks separating them. Meredith Blake isn’t sure she can handle all the zaniness.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): Tonight, the auditions take their bi-annual swing through Texas, this time visiting the pleasant burg of Galveston. Actually, we have no idea if Galveston’s nice. Never been. Maybe Claire Zulkey can figure it out for us.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): We don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this is the “show that no one hates,” according to this article on the occasion of the show’s 100th episode. Oliver Sava doesn’t hate the show, but some of you may beg to differ.
Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Genevieve Koski is doing such a good job with this show that we almost made it the top pick, but then we saw Parks & Recreation features bowling. Anyway, check out Genevieve’s review either way.
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): So it’s come to this: Cyril has been promoted to field agent, since Gillette is now rather unable to handle himself in dangerous situations. This reminds Todd VanDerWerff of the time he was promoted to field agent. He died.
Unsupervised (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Brandon Nowalk sympathizes with Gary and Joel, who realize they’re poor, because it sucks to realize you’re poor, then have to watch your boss float by on an inner tube made of money, wearing a top hat made of gold.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (11 a.m.): Odo is accused of the murder of a murderer in one of this week’s two episodes. That’s just a really awkward phrase to say. “Murder of a murderer.” Zack Handlen tried to say it five times fast but tripped up after two.
Seinfeld (1 p.m.): David Sims reaches the end of season eight, as Kramer takes everybody on a reality tour of his life, while Elaine gets obsessed with muffin tops, which had a much kinder, gentler meaning back in the halcyon days of 1997.
Cheers (3 p.m.): Two oddly dramatic episodes come up as we head toward the end of season one. First, Harry the Hat tries to win back Coach’s money in a high-stakes poker game; then, Diane’s mother needs Diane to get married to keep her fortune.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Fireball Of Christ (National Geographic, 8 p.m.): Sometimes, you see titles in the listings, and you say to yourself, “Hey, that looks like it’s going to be good for What’s On Tonight?” It’s never as good as the title. Still, Fireball Of Christ? Awesome title.
Selling LA (HGTV, 9 p.m.): This real estate show sounds pretty boring, but we’re recommending it for what must be the worst episode title ever: “An Agent Holds A Vegas-Themed Party, While Another Must Convince Clients To Lower Their Sale.”
Fat Chef (Food, 10 p.m.): Food Network attempts to create the Holy Grail of cross-pollinated reality shows with this brand new show that’s a cooking show and a weight-loss show… about fat chefs! Margaret Eby appreciates truth in titling things.
Inside Comedy (Showtime, 11 p.m.): In this new interview series, comedy legend David Steinberg goes behind the scenes of the comedy world with top comedians to glean their secrets. Scott Von Doviak watches the premiere—in Seinfeldvision!
The Flintstones/The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas (ABC Family, 7 p.m.): Over four hours, you can watch one of the weirdest movies to become a mega-blockbuster, then the even worse sequel that bombed atrociously at the box office.
Somewhere (HBO, 7:15 p.m.): Or if Sofia Coppola-style dreaminess is more your speed this evening, you can hang out with Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning in a Los Angeles hotel in this hypnotic, surprisingly involving little tone poem of a film.
Winter X Games: Snowmobiling, skiing (ESPN, 9 p.m.): Sick of basketball clogging up your sports programming? ESPN has a bold bid for your attention in 1997, with the latest edition of the Winter X Games. Break out some outdated slang.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Alias (Wednesday): How many times are we going to have to tell you Ryan McGee’s Alias reviews are awesome before you start reading them? Are we going to have to get the dentist? Because we’ll totally get the dentist. Stay there. We’re getting him.