TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Sixties,” 9 p.m., CNN.
Last week, this documentary series opened with a relatively
weak hour; looking at television, it covered too much turf with too little
insight. Now comes the opposite approach, tight and compelling.
John Kennedy was to the right of Richard Nixon on
foreign-policy rhetoric, it points out. He had faith in his military leaders …
until the Bay of Pigs debacle. As the Cuban missile crisis grew, Kennedy was
almost the only key person to oppose a direct strike; he prevailed, as the
world teetered near war.
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: Basketball, 9 p.m. ET, ABC; Jimmy
Kimmel at 8 and preview at 8:31.
After assembling his superteam in Miami, LeBron James has
partly fulfilled goals. The Heat has reached the NBA finals four straight
years; it lost once, but is now going for its third straight championship.
Still, this is no dominant team. Last season was the only
one in which it had the better regular-season record and the home-court
advantage; tonight, the best-of-seven series starts in San Antonio.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Gang Related,” 9 p.m., Fox.
This tough, taut show took a harsh spin downward when Ryan
Lopez set up an ambush that left Carlos Acosta sprayed with bullets from the
rival gang. Last week, we learned he had somehow survived; now we see his ordeal
adjusting to paralysis; we also see the vendetta started by his dad, Javier.
All of that weighs down on Lopez, who has been befriended by
Javier since childhood. Tonight, he faces the challenge of getting an informant
and his family to safety … with Javier urging him not to. It’s a brutal hour,
much of it excellent and some of it excessively nasty or (with a little girl)
Other choices include:
“Sixteen Candles” (1983) and “The Breakfast Club” (1985), 7
and 9 p.m., ABC Family. In tone, these films differ sharply – a
birthday/wedding comedy and a detention-day drama. Still, each is about teens,
has Molly Ringwald as a star and was written and directed deftly by John
Hughes. For more fun from that era, catch “Ghostbusters” (1984), from 8-10:31
p.m. on AMC.
“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. This Christmastime rerun
finds Sheldon gone home to Texas. The others ponder how much he’s changed their
lives and what they would be like without him.
“Hollywood Game Night,” 8 p.m., NBC. Jenna Fischer revisits
Thursdays, the night where she had “The Office.” Also playing: Mario Lopez,
Darren Criss, Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs and Natasha Lyonne.
“Undateable,” 9:01 p.m., NBC. Justin really wants to be more
than a mere friend to Nicki, who works at his bar. Now Danny coaches him on
making the next move. It’s a so-so episode with a good ending, followed by a
second one in which things reverse and Justin gives dating advice to Danny.
“Two and a Half Men,” 9:01 p.m., CBS. Walden has already
become a tech billionaire. In this rerun, he wants to work for a beautiful
ex-employee (Odette Annable), in a start-up company in her garage.
“Last Comic Standing,” 10 p.m., NBC. After finishing auditions
from the 100 invited stand-up comics, judges trim the field for the
“Elementary,” 10:01 p.m., CBS. This rerun has Paul Sorvino
as a suspected Mafia boss.