TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Jane the Virgin,” 9 p.m., CW.
Last week’s opener was fresh, funny and a tad goofy. A
future teacher – bright, beautiful and virginal – was accidentally inseminated
by sperm from her boss, his final sample before cancer left him sterile.
Now, surprisingly, this second episode is even better than
the first. It still has laughs – including tonight’s final line – but it also
adds warmth and depth. Led by the remarkable Gina Rodriguez as Jane, we see
people with real layers and humanity, alongside a world of gorgeous visuals and
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “The Big Bang Theory” and “The
Millers,” 8 and 8:31 p.m., CBS.
This is the final week for “Big Bang” to prop up CBS’ Monday
line-up. Next week, TV’s best comedy returns to Thursdays; tonight, it has
Sheldon and Raj trying to duplicate the rigors of a salt mine.
Then “Millers” has its belated season-opener. Carol is ready
for her own apartment and her kids want her far away; she soon has a new best
friend, linking Emmy-winners Margo Martindale and Sean Hayes. And then? After a
year of being safely tucked behind “Big Bang,” next week the show will be on
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Independent Lens,” 10 p.m., PBS (check
Here is a great human drama, spanning 5,000 miles and
opposite worlds. It starts with a quirk: Only through a scheduling mix-up did families
learn that the babies they adopted in China are twins.
In Sacramento, Mia lives a heavily scheduled life of Scouts,
soccer and lessons; she’s not allowed out on her own. In a gorgeous Norwegian
village of 243 people, Alexandra simply wanders. Each shows a deep affection
for her twin; they have letters, gifts, computer links. And at 10, we see them
cruise their bikes through the Norwegian countryside, with a quiet freedom Mia
could have barely imagined.
Other choices include:
“Dancing With the Stars,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. Last week
brought a partner switch, low scores, but no ouster. Now the dancers –
including driver Michael Waltrip, with the bottom score – face elimination.
“The Voice,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. The “battle rounds” continue.
“Scorpion,” 9 p.m., CBS. As a nuclear reactor nears
meltdown, the team turns to a troubled ex-colleague.
“American Dad” season-opener, 9 p.m., TBS, and 10 p.m.,
Cartoon. After almost 10 seasons on Fox, this series is doing double duty on cable
networks. TBS starts a five-hour rerun marathon at 4 p.m., leading into the
opener: To get people to hear her causes, Hayley turns blonde … and temporarily
has her IQ plummet. After one more rerun at 9:30, you can switch to Cartoon for
the same, so-so opener.
“Private Violence,” 9-10:30 p.m., HBO. Deanna Walters’
ordeal lasted four-and-a-half days. In the back of an 18-wheeler (with her
brother-in-law driving and her 2-year-old nearby), she kept being beaten by her
estranged husband; at first, he wasn’t arrested. That story and others provide
the core of this dark and involving documentary, focusing on the advocates, lawyers
and cops who struggle to stop abuse.
“The Blacklist,” 10 p.m., NBC. Eco-terrorists are in pursuit
of a major weapon. Meanwhile, Liz wants to shed her guardian and Red is trying
some personal manipulation.
“Castle,” 10:01 p.m., ABC. Rick goes undercover at a school,
to find a 2nd-grader with key information.