TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” debut,
8 p.m., ABC.
Ever since Buffy started hunting vampires on TV, fantasy
fans have savored writer-producer-director Joss Whedon. He delivers
high-octane, sci-fi fun, yet laces it with humor and humanity.
Tonight, a superhero team pursues an ordinary guy who
suddenly has extraordinary (and dangerous) powers. Lots of heroes do super
things … but they’re led by Phil Coulson, an almost-average guy. As played by
Clark Gregg, he provides a human touch that makes this a Whedon-esque delight.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Trophy Wife” debut, 9:31 p.m., ABC.
Kate (Malin Akerman) is no mere trophy. But she is a new
wife; she has a much-older husband (Bradley Whitford), three step-kids and many
visits from their moms.
Pete’s first wife (Marcia Gay Harden) is precise and driven;
his second (Michaela Watkins) is the opposite. Somewhere between is Kate, in a
slick and funny show.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE 2.5: “The Mindy Project,” 9:30 p.m., Fox.
Last week, Mindy got sick in Haiti and was airlifted home.
Now she’s at her old medical practice … except a charismatic newcomer (James
Franco) has her office, her patients and
Worse, Mindy might no longer be the cutest person in the
office. Life can be cruel (and funny).
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Latino Americans,” 8-10 p.m., PBS
(check local listings).
During World War II, Latino-Americans had a shot at equality
and heroism, this film (the mid-section of a three-parter) says. Many
triumphed; one single-handedly captured 800 men on one day.
But things were different just before the war -- Los
Angeles’ “Zoot suit riot” found soldiers assaulting young Latinos, while police
looked on – and afterward. One war hero was denied service at a nightspot in
his Texas home town. This excellent film follows events leading to civil-rights surge in the 1960s.
Other choices include:
“NCIS” season-opener, 8 p.m., CBS. An explosion at a
black-tie affair occurs with Gibbs’ team down three people. Ziva is gone;
DiNozzo and McGee join the probe as civilians.
“Dads,” 8 p.m., Fox. Let’s not tell Nancy Reagan about this
one: It starts with the older guys accidentally munching a son’s pot-laced
brownies; it ends with an inter-generational puff-off. Some portions are very
funny; more are merely heavy-handed.
“NCIS: Los Angeles” season-opener, 9 p.m., CBS. Continuing from
last season’s cliffhanger, Sam and Deeks are rescued, but their torture
after-shocks linger. Then the search for nuclear weapons grows.
“The Goldbergs” debut, 9 p.m., ABC. When Adam F. Goldberg’s
family got a camera; he obsessed, recording every quirk. Now, 26 years later,
he’s created this fairly fun series about a kid like him.
“Face Off” and “Fangasm,” 9 and 10 p.m., Syfy. Tonight’s
first “Face Off” challenge is weak, but the second (creating a look based on an
art style) brings strong results. Then “Fangasm” debuts, with seven proud geeks
working as interns at a sci-fi convention. The bad news is a contest that’s
merely endurance torture; the good news is a charming visit by “Star Trek”
veteran George Takei.
“Lucky 7” debut, 10 p.m., ABC. TV rarely gives us regular,
blue-collar people. Now we meet lots of them in Queens … except their lives
turn upside down when they win the lottery. The result is uneven.
“Sons of Anarchy,” 10 p.m.,. FX. Already tough and taut,
this show grew by adding someone (Donal Logue) obsessed with bringing down the
bikers. Tonight, we learn just how broken his own mind is.
“Chicago Fire,” 10:01 p.m., NBC. Sevaride’s troubles build,
in this OK season-opener. His girlfriend’s pregnancy doesn’t add up … the station
could be closed … and an arsonist seems to be targeting him.