DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

Contributors

NOEL HOLSTON

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

JONATHAN STORM

DONNA J. PLESH

DAVID SICILIA

 
 
Enter your email address:
 
 
 
Shop JibJab!
 
TUESDAY
MARCH 31
2015

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Even with a scorecard, it’s gotten all but impossible, on this show, to tell the good guys from the bad guys, especially when there’s talk of the “true S.H.I.E.L.D.” Perhaps tonight’s episode will offer some clarity in its flashback, a tie-in to the most recent Avengers movie which recounts the day the spy agency was attacked from within, as well as without.

 
  
 
 

CW, 9:00 p.m. ET

I don’t know if Rose McIver, as Liv, is having as much fun playing her zombie character as I am watching her do it, but so far, it’s been a blast. She has to munch on cadaver brains, attained at her morgue job, to keep from turning into “full-out Romero” zombie mode – but the clever twist here is that as she consumes each dead person’s brains, she also temporarily absorbs some of their memories, abilities and emotions. So already, we’ve seen Liv get more artistic, more emotional, more ruthless, and a lot more skilled at martial arts. She’s like one of the reprogrammable ciphers from Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, only with a pastier complexion.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Part 2. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, this three-night, six-hour documentary series, presented by Ken Burns, continues. If you saw yesterday’s Part 1, you’ll most likely be captivated enough to stay tuned to follow the progress of the understanding and treatment of this infuriatingly complex disease. It’s presented and structured here more like a murder mystery, with clues, dead ends, red herrings and inspired leaps of logic – and, in one sense, a murder mystery is exactly what the story of cancer is. Check local listings.   

 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

I keep warning that the final episodes of this great series are likely to serve up surprises and shocks – but even I was unprepared for the sudden turn of events in last week’s show, which found Raylan, Boyd and Ava in the same scene, with Boyd’s ill-gotten gains, Raylan’s determination to arrest him, and Ava’s sudden trump card, which had her becoming the number one fugitive on Raylan’s list, and everyone else’s.

 
  
 
 

TV Land, 10:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: TV Land is trying something new here, and it’s worth a peek. It’s a single-camera hour-long filmed comedy from Darren Star of Melrose Place and Sex and the City fame, not a sitcom performed in front of a live audience, and it’s got a premise that should appeal to viewers much younger than, as well as smack in the middle of, the TV Land demographic. Younger stars Tony-winning Broadway musical headliner Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes) as Liza, a woman who left the New York publishing world 15 years ago to devote herself full-time to marriage and parenthood. Now, with her child in her teens and her marriage over, she wants to re-enter the workplace, only to be rejected for being much too old for an editorial assistant position. So Liza lies about her age – a lot – with help from a fashion and makeup makeover from a supportive close friend (Debi Mazar). She hits the job-hunting trail again, this time posing as a fresh-faced 26-year-old, and nails it. Now all she has to do is maintain the illusion…
 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

AND JON MADE NOAH AND SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD – Umm...who? I'm sure that's what a lot of you said this morning when Trevor Noah was announced as Jon Stewart's replacement for The Daily Show. You probably quickly Googled his name and, if you're a Daily Show fan, said, "Oh, that guy! He's good!" He is good and no stranger to hosting; Tonight with Trevor Noah was a late night talk show in Noah's native country of South Africa. But for the uninitiated, or for those who need a refresher, here is one of Noah's Daily Show appearances. In this clip he addresses the U.S.'s desire to "hire" chess players to compete for America. The new Daily Show host believes Americans can't possibly want more. After all, as he says, we already have a bounty of Dakotas: "You've got...North, South, Fanning, Johnson. Leave some Dakota for the rest of us!" While I'll miss Jon Stewart, I'm looking forward to the Trevor Noah era. Yes, this guy is good. This guy is very good. -- Linda Donovan

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


American Crime
ABC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

The Americans
FX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

Battle Creek
CBS
Sundays
10 PM ET

Better Call Saul
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET 

Bloodline
Netflix
Streaming

The Good Wife
CBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

Jane the Virgin
CW
Mondays
9 PM ET

Justified
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

The Walking Dead
AMC
Sundays
9 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!
 
 
 

From TV Worth Watching
TOP PICKS FOR YOUR HOME LIBRARY

The TVWW Seal of Approval is an honor we save for TV’s very best – our picks for a truly teleliterate home video library.
 
 

OLIVE KITTERIDGE – Often releases awarded the TVWW Seal of Approval have been a part of TV history for a while. This particular treasure is quite new but we are featuring it because it deserves a spot in a solid home-video library. Frances McDormand stars in the title role, playing an acerbic, intelligent, often depressed woman over a period of decades. This four-part 2014 miniseries, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout, features Richard Jenkins as Olive’s husband, and Bill Murray as an acquaintance she meets later in life. Lisa Cholodenko directs. – David Bianculli

 
 
The Walking Dead Official Store

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$

Carnivàle: Season 1

One of the recurrent references in the recent FXX series Man Seeking Woman was that the couple never finished binge-watching the 2003-05 HBO series Carnivàle.  Unsettling and unusual in its art direction  (think American Horror Story), the series set a Dust Bowl era traveling circus as the supernatural battleground between forces of good and evil. A rocking good way of exploring old-time American values, Carnivàle got five Emmys after its first season and had a great cast including Amy Madigan, Ralph Waite, Clancy Brown, Nick Stahl and Michael J. Anderson from Twin Peaks. One of the great cinematic TV efforts, the series got cut short after its second season. Season One and Two available at Amazon for $15 each. –Eric Gould