Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, January 30. All times are Eastern.
White Collar (USA, 9 p.m.): Tonight, the fifth season of White Collar draws to a close. We have been hoping against hope this whole time for White Collar to reboot itself, Archer-style, into a screwball comedy about a dry cleaners. Peter would be the gruff man behind the desk; Neal, the handsome, careless inheritor of a dry-cleaning fortune; Mozzie, the owner of the rival laundromat down the street; and Elizabeth, I don’t know, she could be everyone’s boss. But anyway, as lovely as this fantasy is, it’s not happening tonight. Instead, in “Diamond Exchange,” Neal and Peter run around looking for a treasure that is beneath New York City, which is not somewhere we have looked. Kenny Herzog will be extra-attentive the next time he’s on the subway.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Sheldon can’t get tickets to Comic-Con, so he stages one of his own. We’re alarmed to discover that Sheldon hasn’t been hosting his own comic-con in his apartment for the last nine seasons. Oliver Sava, what is this show about, anyway?
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Leslie throws a party for Ann and Chris, as the couple spends their last night in Pawnee. Everyone else tries to find a good going-away present. Alasdair Wilkins bought them a Snuggie. Michigan is cold, yo.
Saturday Night Live Presents a SNL Sports Spectacular: (NBC, 9 p.m.): SNL presents a clip show of a bunch of times in which they were funnier than they are now! Or at least, perhaps, more topically funny about sports, probably especially football. Seth Meyers hosts.
ALSO IN THE A.V. CLUB
Molly Eichel takes a look at the much-promoed Lifetime original movie, The Gabby Douglas Story—and gives it a D+. Besides the fact that the film wastes the considerable talents of S. Epatha Merkerson, it also ignores how Douglas’ race factored into America’s perception of her:
It’s impossible to ignore that Douglas is a black woman competing in a sport that is predominantly white. Even while Douglas was a favored presence at the games, her race was an issue of discussion, ranging from NBC’s botched coverage of her time in London to arguments about her hair. Douglas has not been silent on the issue, either. In a 2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Douglas explains she felt so isolated because of the racism she experienced at her original Virginia Beach gym, it was one of the reasons for her move to Iowa.
And John Teti returns with his football column, Block & Tackle, to inform us: “Nobody cares that you don’t care about the Super Bowl.” Way down at the end, What’s On Tonight’s very own Erik Adams weighs in on football, which is pretty great, because he has no idea what he’s talking about. Naturally, things devolve into conspiracy theory: “’Hey, oil baron, would you like to watch our fellow millionaires sustain potentially life-threatening head trauma?’ ‘Certainly, communications tycoon!’ It all makes sense now. This thing goes straight to the top.”
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (10 a.m.): Zack Handlen’s Fictional Space Station Support Group will be meeting at the usual time and place. Zack has started on season seven, with all the delights and dangers that entails.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
The Taste (ABC, 8 p.m.): The nine remaining chefs are tasked with an impossible challenge: to cook something vegetarian.
The Sixties: British Invasion (CNN, 9 p.m.): The news network takes a look at how rock music transformed America. This hourlong special is a prelude to a 10-part series which will begin airing in May. It will likely be less educational than a close watch of Cadillac Records, but hey, Questlove is interviewed, so who knows!
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (TLC, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.): Four new episodes follow the family’s RV trip and the girls’ efforts to convince their mother to buy them a pool.
Party Down South (CMT, 10 p.m.): In “Things Are Gonna Get Weird,” things get weird. (“Mud-slugging” is promised.)
Groundhog Day (Esquire, 8 p.m.): It’s just two days until our nation’s greatest holiday. Prepare by watching Bill Murray relive that holiday a near-infinite number of times. And also maybe learn the meaning of life.
Burlesque (Oxygen, 8 p.m.): We caught this movie on ABC Family about a year ago, and we have to say—it was much better than we thought it would be. The story, of course, is negligible, but Cher and Christina Aguilera having a little diva-off—with Kristen Bell on the sidelines being snarky—is not a terrible way to spend two hours of your life. Plus, singing!
NBA Basketball: Cavaliers at Knicks (TNT, 8 p.m.): Fair Knickerbocker, do not be so Cavalier with our affections! For we have a pile of TNT strapped to our television set, and at eight o’clock in the eventide we will make ready to ignite it! And then we won’t be able to watch TV! ::wrings hands::
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Top Chef: The finale (part one) is finally here! Sonia Saraiya has strong opinions about the art of cooking, and the art of traveling to Hawaii in January. More opinions on the latter.