TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “24” opener, 8-10 p.m., Fox.
For eight straight years, Jack Bauer saved officials, his
loved ones and (quite often) the world – always in one day and barely in time.
Then “24” quit and he disappeared.
Four years later, he’s back in a 12-hour version that again
covers 24 hours of story. We’re instantly reminded how preposterous the stories
are; tonight, Jack takes the most circuitous plan possible, needing constant
breaks to survive. We’re also reminded that this doesn’t really matter. Sleekly
conceived and tautly directed by Jon Cassar, this is riveting TV that has us
gleefully suspending disbelief.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “The Blacklist,” 10:01 p.m., NBC.
There are plenty of season-finales tonight, but this one -- the
start of a two-parter – stands out.
Furious about learning that Red was around at the time of
her father’s death, Liz refuses to work with him again; also, she tells the FBI
everything she knows about her husband’s secret life. Red promptly brings in a
case too big for anyone (including Liz) to ignore, leading to next week’s
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Louie,” 10 and 10:30 p.m., FX.
After taking a year off, Louis CK is back with a show that
is even better – and weirder – than before. The stories still offer a
heightened version of his own life – a divorced dad who chats with fellow
comedians (tonight’s poker-game dialog is way too adult for many viewers) and
is often quite weary.
The first episode is about getting older, complete with bad
back (Charles Grodin plays an awful doctor) and iffy sex life; it manages to
tie things together in a wonderfully Seinfeldian way. Appropriately, Jerry
Seinfeld is in the second episode, playing a cruel version of himself. That sparks
a bizarre adventure involving a gorgeous model, played by Yvonne Strahovski
(“Chuck”), who’s also the new “24” antagonist.
Other choices include:
“The Voice,” 8-10:01 p.m., NBC. The eight finalists push for
a spot in next week’s semi-finals.
“So You Think You Can Dance,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. Last week,
NeNe Leakes was ousted and Amy Purdy, the Paralympic snowboard star, was
hospitalized with a shoulder injury. Now we learn if she’ll continue.
“2 Broke Girls,” 8 p.m., CBS. It seems that Caroline missed
a test and never graduated from high school. In this season-finale, Max wants
to help her get her degree and re-connect with her mother.
“The Tomorrow People,” 9 p.m., CW. Here’s another
season-finale, with Stephen feeling he may be too late to prevent the end of
the human race. If he’s right, it won’t be much of a second season.
“Mike & Molly,” 9 p.m., CBS. Molly spots an apparent
tryst between her sister Victoria and Mike’s police partner Carl. She’s not
sure if she should tell Mike.
“Warehouse 13,” 9 p.m., Syfy. After three mostly serious
weeks, “Warehouse” has one of its goofiest detours – with an unwilling Pete and
Myka propelled inside a Spanish-language soap opera. It’s fun for a moment, but
we look forward to seeing the show raise its stakes in its next (and final) two
“Independent Lens,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings). The
Jayson Blair story defies all logic: A gifted reporter, working for a great
newspaper (the New York Times), fabricated stories. This compelling film
skillfully blends Blair, his colleagues and the El Paso reporter who found her
words under his byline.
“Bates Motel,” 10-11:02 p.m., A&E. One more
season-finale: Romero and Dylan try to wrap up the drug war, while Norman feels
haunted by his past.