TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Selfie” debut, 8 p.m., ABC.
Karen Gillan provides the perfect vessel for great writers.
Tall (5-10) and thin, she projects comic clumsiness; once a shy kid from
small-town Scotland, she projects fragility and humanity.
First, Stephen Moffat, cast her as Amy in “Doctor Who”; now
Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”) has given her another gem. Gillan plays Eliza
Dooley, who has 263,000 friends in social media and none in real life; she
wants Henry (John Cho) to teach her. This variation on “Pygmalion” is superbly
filmed and acted.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project,” 9
and 9:30 p.m., Fox; or “Makers,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
The Fox comedies and ABC’s “Selfie” have key things in
common – female creators, female stars and sharp wit. And airing at the same
time, a PBS documentary reminds us how tough the odds once were.
The comedy-club circuit was 95-percent male, it says; TV
writers’ rooms were similar. “Golden Girls” – with a female creator and stars –
had one female writer and 12 guys. This “Makers” documentary is prone to wild
overstatement – Carol Burnett’s ditzy secretary is somehow described as a
satire on media images – but it has great comments and clips from the late Joan
Rivers and others.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Finding Your Roots,” 8 p.m., PBS
(check local listings).
Just after the final crescendos of Derek Jeter’s baseball
career, here’s a chance to visit his roots. Jeter talks briefly about being a
mixed-race kid in Kalamazoo, Mich.; then experts dig into his family, finding
quick achievers. On one side is an ex-slave man turned preacher and landowner;
on the other is an English immigrant who owned a rowdy bar and then a furniture
Other stars – Billie Jean King (tennis) and Rebecca Lobo (basketball)
– learn about their roots. Lobo’s careens from the Spanish revolution to a
missed boat ride and some unexpected ethnic ancestry.
Other choices include:
“iHeartRadio Music Festival,” 8-10 p.m., CW. Here’s the
second half of a concert with One Direction, Lorde, Train, 50 Cent, Ed Sheeran,
Iggy Azalea, Paramore, Weezer, Calvin Harris and Eric Church.
“NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. A Navy officer has been killed on the
way to a meeting with the President
Baseball, 8 p.m. ET, TBS. For the first time since 1985, the
Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs. To stay there, however, they must win
this wild-card game; they host the Oakland A’s.
“Manhattan Love Story,” 8:30 p.m., ABC. Dana moved to New
York, determined to focus on career success, not romance failures. Peter has
lived there his entire life; his focus is on one-night stands. She’s idealistic;
he’s not. They are, in short, a logical romantic-comedy couple. Like “Selfie,”
this show has a sleek look and funny moments. What it lacks is a consistent
script, a likable guy and Karen Gillan.
“NCIS: New Orleans,” 9 p.m., CBS. When a Navy lieutenant
dies of bubonic plague, the team must find his colleagues. Several “NCIS”
people – Tony, Vance and Abby – get involved.
“Agents of SHIELD,” 9 p.m., ABC. With his team on the run,
Coulson takes a dangerous step.
“Live Free or Die” debut, 10 p.m., National Geographic. A
former financial advisor lives alone in the Georgia swampland, foraging for
food. A former teacher lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, sometimes with his
5-year-old daughter. Two married couples re-define wilderness life. These are
interesting people to follow … even if it is tough to empathize with deliberate