TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Drunk History” season-opener, 10 p.m.,
This show delivers history, as told by a drunk. The stories
are true; the emphasis can be wildly funny.
Now comes a daring attempt to give that mistreatment to beloved
civil rights stories. The first (science genius Percy Julian, played by Jordan
Peele) is hilarious; the others are fairly good, offering the tales of boxer
Joe Louis and Claudette Colvin, a teen whose arrest on a Montgomery bus preceded
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” 8:30 and 9 p.m.,
It was a giddy first season for this above-average show.
That included Golden Globes for best comedy and best-comedy actor (Andy
Samberg) and a spot after the Super Bowl. Now its reruns are back, to replace
the failed “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry’’’ and “Riot.”
Tonight’s first rerun starts and ends badly, with a clumsy
take-off on “Hurt Locker.” In between are good moments when Jake (Samberg) meets
a hard-boiled reporter (Stacy Keach) and great ones when Rosa feigns warmth on
the witness stand. The second is fun, with Jake and Amy concluding their
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Tyrant,” 10 p.m., FX.
After a faltering start last week, “Tyrant” shows signs it
could become excellent. It focuses on a staple of fact or fiction, from John
Kennedy to Michael Corleone – the human knack for transformation.
Barry was a Pasadena pediatrician, quiet and diligent. But
in his homeland, he’s Bassam Al-Fayeed; his father’s death and brother’s
near-assassination put him at the edge of ruling a country he hadn’t seen in 19
years. Tonight’s hour cuts back on the anti-Arab stereotypes and gives humanity
to key characters. It avoids the shrill-spouse cliché; Molly (Jennifer
Finnigan) struggles to understand her enigmatic husband.
Other choices include:
“Extreme Weight Loss,” 8-10 p.m., ABC. When Melissa’s
husband (an Afghanistan veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress) committed
suicide, she turned to food for comfort. Four years later, at 301 pounds, she
asked for help; now we see the year-long change.
“NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, Tony’s in a shoot-out and
his dad (Robert Wagner) is the only witness.
“NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9 p.m., CBS. Sam and Deeks have been
rescued from torture, but this rerun finds the team with more lives to save and
a nuclear weapon to locate.
“Celebrity Wife Swap,” 10 p.m., ABC. Penn Jillette and Judy
Gold have little in common except that they’re tall, clever and each have two
kids. She has a cramped Manhattan apartment; he has desert expanse near Las
Vegas. She follows Jewish tradition each Friday; he has mocked religion. She
has a fiancé Elisa; he has a wife. Tonight, Jillette and Gold temporarily
“The Night Shift,” 10:01 p.m., NBC. After a terrific episode
last week, this wildly erratic show has an one that’s mostly awful. As in some early
episodes, it’s wildly overwrought, this time with a mariachi band, a lame
attempt at psych-patient humor and (really) a brawl between surgeons. A
potentially moving portion (involving a closeted gay doctor) fails because of a
“Nathan For You” season-opener 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central. Nathan
Fielder brings a wonderfully quiet approach, while helping real-life business
people. Tonight, he brings a lie-detector to a mechanic and a bizarre ghost-buster
to a real-estate agent. Absurd notions are offered with deadpan wit.