“Soundbreaking,” 10 p.m., PBS.
How much studio time
does it take to make a record? The Beatles first album (that's 14
songs) took 12 hours, we're told here; The Beach Boys' “Good
Vibrations” (one song) took 90 hours.
And now some
perfectionists spend even longer, searching for just the right riff.
This second chapter in a terrific, eight-part series traces the
history of extreme production. It goes back to Les Paul creating
multi-tracks, turning his wife into a 20-voice chorus. It visits the
triumphs – “Sgt. Pepper,” “Pet Sounds” -- and lets Lindsey
Buckingham gamely defend the excesses of Fleetwood Mac's “Tusk.”
II: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” 8 p.m., Fox.
Here is an episode
as fast and frantic as its mission: Prepare an ambitious wedding in
14 hours. Adrian Pimento is suddenly back and in love and/or lust
with Rosa; now Amy must plan the rest.
There are lots of
roadblocks ahead, from a burned-down pawn shop to a debate about
balloon arches. Some of this is silly and much of it is very funny.
ALTERNATIVE: “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise,” 8-10
Henry Louis Gates
may be the perfect person to recap a half-century of black history.
Growing up in a pleasant, working-class world in West Virginia, he
was startled at what he saw on TV. He went to Yale, where two early
beneficiaries of affirmative action became lifelong friends: Sheila
Jackson Lee has just been elected to her 12th term in
Congress; Gates, 66, is a renowned author and Harvard professor.
In this first half
of a two-Tuesday documentary, he takes us through the rise of Martin
Luther King, Mallcolm X and beyond, while asking: “How did we go so
far – and yet have so far to go?”
ALTERNATIVE II: “Shooter” debut, 10 p.m., USA.
This series has one
thing in common with USA's “Mr. Robot” -- a sharp opening scene
that establishes a unique character and his distinctive sense of
justice. Then, alas, it becomes more ordinary.
Bob Lee Swagger
(Ryan Phillippe, taking a role Mark Wahlberg filled in the 2007
movie) is a former military sniper, now seeking rural peace with his
wife and daughter. Then a friend tugs him back in. Some portions
seeem unlikely and some merely seem ordinary, after the show's strong
“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. Here's the episode that was scheduled earlier, then delayed.
Torres (Wilmer Valderrama) breaks protocol when he learns that a key
witness is sought by U.S. Immigration.
“The Voice,” 8
p.m., NBC. Fresh from his fifth Entertainer of the Year award from
the Country Music Association, Garth Brooks is expected to have his
second straight night on “Voice.”
“New Girl,” 8:30
p.m., Fox. Maybe Jess should wear a caution sign. She's returning to
the dating scene ... and posing physical danger to the guy she
chooses. There are some good sight gags here, to highlight an
inconsistent but funny episode.
9 and 10 p.m., TNT. Michelle Dockery is far from her “Downton
Abbey” turf. Now she plays an addict and ex-con; it's tough to
adjust to the former Lady Mary having drunken sex with a stranger ...
and tougher to see her cleaning a toilet bowl. Dockery is terrific,
but this takes cable's anti-hero obsession to an extreme: She's
self-destructive, linked to a hit man; it's hard to root for anyone.
Beyond Magic,” 10 p.m., ABC. Blaine thrives on close-up illusions,
filmed in a documentary style. Here, the people he fools include
Arnold Schhwarzenegger, David Beckham, Johnny Depp, Dave Chappelle,
Drake, Stephen Curry, Emma Stone and John Travolta.
Antarctica” opener, 10 p.m., National Geographic. In size and
ferocity Antarctica is stunning. It's a “5.4-million-mile desert,”
this series says; one island is bigger than France. Its average
winter temperature is 29-below; its record is 135.8-below. Visually
and emotionally, this is a great place to set a series; the opener,
however, follows some relatively mundane scientific missions.