DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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TUESDAY
APRIL 25
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

The Voice tried something new last night – adding a fifth chair to its live, two-hour Top 10 performance show, to let a guest mentor chime in with after-performance reactions. The inaugural mentor for this experiment was Shania Twain, who was very nice, and always had positive things to say. She did not, however, say them quickly enough, or originally enough, to warrant all the air time she gobbled up. But with the right mentor, this might prove to be another welcome addition. On tonight’s elimination show, though, the primary bit of business is to whittle the Top 12 down to the Top 11.

 
  
 
 

CW, 9:00 p.m. ET

This ought to be perfect for a CW series. In tonight’s episode, Liv (Rose McIver), as always, eats the brains, and temporarily absorbs the memories and personality, of a murder victim, in order to help solve the crime. But this week’s victim is so CW-ready. The victim is, or was, a young woman prone to spreading stories. In other words, a gossip girl.

 
  
 
 

National Geographic, 9:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: In AMC’s The Son, a young actor and a veteran one share the same role, portraying the identical character at different times in his life. That’s the same approach used in this new National Geographic series, only the subject, and protagonist, in question is Albert Einstein. As a young man, he’s played by Johnny Flynn. Later in life, he’s played by Geoffrey Rush, who played a different type of genius, a musical one, in the 1996 movie Shine. For a full review, see Uncle Barky's Bytes

 
  
 
 

ABC, 10:00 p.m. ET

Maybe it’s only me, but I always am fascinated whenever one of the Star Trek series visits an alternate reality, in which the crew members are portrayed as slightly twisted doppelgangers. This current story line on Marvels’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing the same thing – and allowing several of its cast members to play severely against type. And to play severely, period, as in the former android now known as Lady Hydra.
 
  
 
 

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

In this fascinating documentary, journalist Paul Greenberg vows to eat only fish for one year as his main source of protein, then travels the globe to check out conditions of fish and waterways, and also to try a wide variety of recipes. I hate to be suspicious, but this entire experiment sounds rather fishy. It also sounds rather low-budget. I wonder if he was paid scale. Check local listings.
 
  
 
 

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

This season’s story line on The Americans has been a real Paige-turner. They’ve started turning Paige (Holly Taylor, playing the daughter of the embedded Soviet spies masquerading as everyday Americans) into a fledgling spy. And the more she spies on the people she’s babysitting, the more involved she becomes…

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

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Long Laughs – Andrea Martin has a new NBC series, Great News, and it’s no surprise that after starting her comedy career, ahem, 40 years ago on Canada’s SCTV, (Second City Television) her physical comedy has lasting star power. The kids will remember her from My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 2002, but the rest of us treasure (and still liberally reference) her work on the landmark SCTV sketch comedy series with Martin Short, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara. The SCTV premise was about a low-budget independent TV station with all sorts of one-off programming and commercial spots. One of Martin’s characters was Edith Prickley, the off-center station manager who was usually in a leopard-print suit and rhinestone studded glasses. Here she is in “Cooking with Edith Prickley” and BTW, don't miss the stuffing of the turkey at 1:50. —Eric Gould

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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


The Americans
FX
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Bates Motel
A&E
Mondays
9 PM ET

Better Call Saul
AMC
Mondays
10 PM ET

Brockmire
IFC
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

The Circus: Inside the Biggest Story on Earth
Showtime
8 PM ET

Fargo
FX
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

iZombie
CW
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

Last Week Tonight
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Silicon Valley
HBO
Sundays
10 PM ET

The Son
AMC
Saturdays
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...
 
 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
The Birthday Boys: Season One

Bob Odenkirk has returned as everyone’s fave crook lawyer for the third season of Better Call Saul. But before his spin as Jimmy McGill, (who would take the name of Saul Goodman for Breaking Bad) he had a career in sketch comedy, even penning the “Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker” sketch for Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live. Odenkirk’s long resume includes four seasons on HBO in the ’90s in Mr. Show with David Cross, and in 2013-14 he starred in this sketch comedy show, The Birthday Boys, for IFC. Odenkirk and crew delve here into the thinking man’s absurdist style of humor, recalling the best of Monty Python, Kids in the Hall and The Ben Stiller Show. On sale at Amazon for $14. – Eric Gould