Here’s what’s up in the world of television for Monday, August 18. All times are Eastern.
America’s Next Top Model: The Boyz R Back (The CW, 9 p.m.): The reason why this is tonight’s Top Pick isn’t because “the boyz r back” (gross), or even because it’s the twenty-first season premiere of an American treasure (at least according to Tyra Banks/What’s On Tonight’s collegiate self). No, this premiere is tonight’s Top Pick because the big kickoff challenge is…to take the best selfie. While walking a runway. We’re not as cranky about selfies as some—we’ve even been known to take them alongside our brunch with very little irony—but this is objectively hilarious. We at least hope there’s a dramatic third act reveal that someone meant to use the Valencia filter, but she accidentally clicked Lo-Fi, so is she even serious about this competition at all?! But who are we kidding—we just want this moment again, always.
Switched at Birth / The Fosters (ABC Family, 8 p.m./9 p.m.): ABC Family Correspondent Carrie Raisler will be writing up the season finales of this emotional bloc, which features a graduation, surprising reveals, and various building tensions of the teen variety (our personal favorite).
Gargoyles (1 p.m.): In our haste to pay tribute to Channing “Human Treasure” Tatum, we neglected to highlight Oliver Sava’s Gargoyles review for TV Club Classic, and we’ve felt bad ever since. Observe us righting that wrong now.
Dallas (TNT, 9 p.m.): Did you know that the new Dallas has been around long enough and has done well enough to have a third season premiere? We did not, but we suppose there are stranger things in this crazy world of ours. Like this. Or this. Or this. (If you couldn’t tell, we here at What’s On Tonight are equally fascinated and terrified by the ocean, which is seventy-one percent of the Earth and yet we still haven’t explored ninety-five percent of it, and…what were we talking about to get here, again? The TNT “we know drama” remake of a once-beloved primetime soap? Cool, just checking.)
Today kicks off The A.V. Club’s 1994 Week! There will be many articles in the coming days to remind you of pop culture past and your dwindling mortality, but for now, you can read Gwen Inhat on how Friends changed sitcoms forever, Sean O’Neal on how Reality Bites maybe ruined him forever, and a whole mess of A.V. writers on the trends that defined 1994…forever? That sentence structure didn’t really pan out like we had hoped. TL;DR—these are good pieces, you should read them.
The Young Ones (11 a.m.)
American Ninja Warrior (NBC, 8 p.m.): The first stage of the American Ninja Warrior final starts in Vegas, as was foretold in the book of Revelations.
Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart (HBO, 9 p.m.): In the words of TV Guide, this documentary digs into the case of “Pamela Smart, a New Hampshire woman who was convicted in 1991 for conspiring with her teen lover to kill her husband.” On a hunch, we looked to see if there was already a Lifetime movie with that very same description, and were surprised to discover that there was not. There was, however, a CBS special starring Helen Hunt entitled Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story, and now we are straight-up giddy:
What a treat.
Doctor Who: The Ultimate Time Lord (BBC, 10 p.m.): Fifth Doctor Peter Davison talks to Doctor Who creative types from throughout the series’ run to kick off the Doctor’s fiftieth anniversary week, which will culminate with Peter Capaldi’s debut/our newfound interest in Scottish silver fox aging punk types, probably.
Monday Night Football: Preseason: Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins (ESPN, 8 p.m.): There’s a joke to be made here (“something something beginning of the Redskins backlash season something”), but that title had a lot of punctuation to get through and now we’re tired, so: football! Cranky White Dudes! Lukewarm hot dogs and institutional bullshit! Etcetera!
Dora and Friends: Into the City!: Doggie Day! (Nick, 8 p.m.): And now that we’re noticing excessive punctuation, we have to call out this egregious nonsense. We know this is a series premiere and that Dora is a super cool lady, Nick, but one exclamation point/colon combo will do just fine.
Paw Patrol: Pups And The Pirate Treasure (Nick, 8:30 p.m.): And so we’re not featuring this because it’s a season finale in an incredibly bleak summer television hellscape, or even because it sounds incredibly cute, but because Paw Patrol: Pups And The Pirate Treasure only has one colon. Ten points to Paw Patrol!
The Expendables (Spike, 7:30 p.m.): Yes, Expendables 3 is out , but the real reason we’re pointing this out is because we were genuinely startled to discover that Designated Man Channel Spike isn’t actually just The Expendables on a loop.
The Strain: had not been kind to LaToya Ferguson as of late, but she still had interesting things to say about it (she’s good that way). But she last night’s episode, and the things she has to say about it are no less interesting.