DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

Contributors

GERALD JORDAN

DONNA J. PLESH

NOEL HOLSTON

MONIQUE NAZARETH

JONATHAN STORM

DAVID SICILIA

 
 
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WEDNESDAY
OCTOBER 1
2014

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

TBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Last night, the 2014 baseball postseason began with a one-game American League wild-card playoff game between the Oakland Athletics and the less playoff-experienced Kansas City Royals. The As jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and built to a 7-3 lead in the sixth, but the Royals kept scrapping and fighting, bunting and sacrificing, and getting just enough hits to push the game to extra innings. And, one run down in inning 12 and about to go home until spring, Kansas City found a way to win. Welcome to postseason baseball. Tonight, the National League stages its own one-and-done wild-card game: the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the San Francisco Giants, played in Pittsburgh.

 
  
 
 

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

On ABC this evening, the opening hour is overrun with thespians, as characters on both sitcoms conspire to put on plays. First up, on The Middle, is Sue Heck (Eden Sher), who teams with Brad (Brock Ciarlelli) to not only co-direct and co-write, but co-star in, a senior high school play they’re calling “The Loneliest Locker.” The question is, will it be a dramatic triumph – or a combination destined for embarrassment?

 
  
 
 

ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET

Ana Gasteyer, from Saturday Night Live and Suburgatory, guest stars as a junior high drama teacher who stokes the competitive juices of Adam (Sean Glambrone) by denying him the lead role in a school production of Jesus Christ Superstar. His mom counters, in this period sitcom, by getting him cast in a rival musical production: a version of that Eighties-nightmare roller-skating debacle, Starlight Express.

 
  
 
 

CBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Warning, warning, danger, danger! This is not a recommendation – it’s a big fat warning. Scream creator Kevin Williamson pushed the bounds of both logic and taste when plotting and producing The Following, Fox’s mean-spirited drama about a serial killer. That show appeared to get more delight in sadistically disposing of characters, and from the point of view of the psychotic killers – and Stalker, in its very first repugnant scene, ups that ante in a disgusting way, having a masked character assault and murder a young woman by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire. Do not watch. Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q star – but not, I’m guessing, for long.

 
  
 
 

Comedy Central, 10:00 p.m. ET

SEASON PREMIERE: South Park is back, and with an episode that has me laughing already, just from the title: “Gluten Free Ebola.” If the question is, have the South Park creators softened with age, the answer is, as always, kind of obvious.

 
  
 
 

Comedy Central, 11:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s guest, as part of her already attention-demanding book tour: Girls creator and star Lena Dunham.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

WHOSE VOICE IS IT ANYWAY? -- We’ve seen lip-sync contests on TV before, and not just on The Tonight Show. But there’s something in the way Jimmy Fallon presents them and, more importantly, the people he gets to play along, that make his all the more fun. Fallon often challenges folks who aren’t ordinarily vocalists but in this clip he takes on two who aren’t just singers, they’re coaches: Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton. Sure, it’s a not-so-thinly veiled promo for The Voice but we here at TVWW happen to think it’s also funny and rather charming. I mean, where else can you find a “tap dance” and a lip-sync to hiccups? – Linda Donovan

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


Boardwalk Empire
HBO
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Chair
Starz
Saturdays
11 PM ET 

Dr. Who
BBC America
Saturdays
9 PM ET

The Good Wife
CBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Knick
Cinemax
Fridays
10 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

The Mindy Project
Fox
Tuesdays
9:30 PM ET

Parenthood
NBC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Parts Unknown
CNN
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Strain
FX
Sundays
10 PM ET
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...

TV JUKEBOX

A new edition of Bianculli's favorite TV themes, coming soon!
 
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

2003: ABC Introduced 'Karen Sisco'
By Christy Slewinski
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
Top of the Lake

Jane Campion co-wrote and co-directed this 2013 seven-part miniseries, which stars Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men as a New Zealand detective who returns home to visit family, only to be asked to help solve a local mystery. It’s a strong series of character studies – as full of angst as The Killing, but done the Kiwi way. Holly Hunter co-stars, but the standouts here are Moss (what a performance!) and, playing the menacing father of a girl who goes missing, Peter Mullan (ditto!). Under $15 at Amazon. –David Bianculli