TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Welcome to Sweden” finale, 9 and 9:30
It’s been an odd month for this neatly offbeat
Swedish-American comedy. NBC suddenly aired two episodes last week, skipped a
transitional episode entirely and now airs the dandy final pieces.
In real life, Greg Poehler was a lawyer who moved to Sweden
with his girlfriend; in the series, he plays Bruce, who did the same. In the
missing episode, life crumbled: They had a semi-breakup … her parents split,
sending the dad to the hospital in despair … and he took a three-month deal to
return home and help Amy Poehler (Greg’s sister, but not Bruce’s). Now things
are resolved in clever and amiable ways.
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Defiance” season-finale, 8 and 9 p.m.,
A rough, gruff loner, Joshua Nolan (Grant Bowler) sometimes
seems to care about no one … except Irisa, the fierce alien orphan he’s raised
as his daughter. Now her being is possessed by the Kaziri and she heads toward creating
mass destruction. He wants to stop her; his colleagues want to kill her.
There’s much more to worry about in this ambitious series.
That, includes battling the Earth Republic and facing Pilar (Linda Hamilton),
Rafe’s crazed wife, who’s on the loose after 15 years in prison.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Great Performances,” 9 p.m., PBS
(check local listings).
For many viewers, this will be a fresh journey – a chance to
visit a glorious music genre we rarely hear. Itzhak Perlman, known as a
classical master, performs the traditional Jewish music he’s always loved.
Perlman is surrounded by stunning talent, including cantor
Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, a chamber orchestra and Hankus Netsky and his Klezmer
Conservatory Band. There are also memories from Joel Grey, Neil Sadaka and
author Elie Wiesel, who recalls bringing his violin to Auschwitz.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE II: “The Honorable Woman,” 10 p.m.,
For the first half of its eight-week run, this
thick-but-compelling story kept hinting at secrets. Now they to cascade. That
begins with a flashback to eight years ago, with Nessa (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and
her translator held hostage; raped by the son of an Arab official, she’s
Then we leap back to where this started. Nessa runs the
family business (a job her brother vacated); the translator’s son has been
kidnapped. As spies and journalists probe, schemes unravel.
Other choices include:
“The Quest,” 8 and 9 p.m., ABC. Now that “Rookie Blue” has
finished its season, ABC scrambles to fill up Thursdays; tonight brings a 10
p.m. special and this double episode: There are eight role-players left, facing
fresh challenges – first a raid, then a spy. By the end of the night, only six
“Two and a Half Men,” 8 p.m., CBS. Don’t look for “Big Bang
Theory”; it temporarily moving to Mondays (starting Sept. 1), to make room for
football. Tonight, “Men” borrows the spot; Alan tries to impress his new
girlfriend (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) with the beach house when Walden visits
“Project Runway,” 9 p.m., Lifetime. Last week’s challenge
(rerunning at 8 p.m.) was to design a gown for Heidi Klum to wear on the red
carpet gown. Tonight, designers must create offbeat wedding dresses.
“World’s Wildest Commercials,” 10 p.m., ABC. These
collections of international oddities tend to be thoroughly entertaining. Chris
Parnell hosts this one, with such categories as “animals with attitude.”
“Elementary,” 10 p.m., CBS. This rerun finds a murder on
U.S. soil to have international impact. British agents arrive and Watson
re-evaluates her relationship with Sherlock and his brother Mycroft.