TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “A to Z” debut, 9:30 p.m., NBC.
Imagine a first-rate indie-movie romantic comedy, one with
charm, wit, surprises and two immensely likable people. Now shrink that to a
half-hour and you have this dandy debut.
Andrew (Ben Feldman) is an optimist, working for a matchmaker;
Zelda (Cristin Milioti, the “How I Met Your Mother” mom) is a lawyer who’s
given up on romance. Their friends provide broader comedy, but these two have a
subtle, fragile feel. Beautifully filmed and smartly written, “A to Z” Is a
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Gracepoint,” 9 p.m., Fox.
“Broadchurch” was the sort of compelling drama we might
expect from cable or from England. A BBC America mini-series, it traced a
murder case, with deep portrayals of people in a seaside town.
Surprisingly, Fox decided to do an American version, with
the same star (David Tennant) and a different ending. More surprisingly, the
opener is a tad better than the original. Anna Gunn plays a police detective,
bitter that a newcomer (Tennant) is in charge of the case. Nick Nolte plays a
codger who looks guilty, in a Nolte-esque way. Other richly layered characters
fill this 10-week tale.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “The Vampire Diaries” and “Reign”
season-openers, 8 and 9 p.m., CW.
After some lame years, the CW will debut two strong shows next
week. First, these two return.
“Diaries” has Elena starting her sophomore year of college
and learning what Stefan is up to; also, Jeremy adjusts (badly) to the loss of
Bonnie, Alaric adjusts to being a vampire. “Reign” – the teen-monarch-angst
story – has a bigger problem: the bubonic plague.
Other choices include:
Baseball, 5:30 p.m. ET, TBS. The first full play-off round
starts with an American League doubleheader.
As best-of-five series begin, Baltimore hosts Detroit and the Los
Angeles Angels host the Kansas City Royals.
“Bones,” 8 p.m., Fox. Last week’s season-opener found Booth cleverly
framed for murder. Now a newcomer, federal agent Aubrey (John Boyd), helps
probe a deeply imbedded conspiracy.
“Grey’s Anatomy,” 8 p.m., ABC. The season’s second episode
focuses on Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary), the newcomer. She keeps trying
to make a good impression, under tough circumstances.
“The Biggest Loser,” 8 p.m., NBC. After some early two-hour
episodes, this shrinks to an hour.
Football, 8:30 p.m. ET, CBS. With Minnesota visiting Green
Bay, this could have been a battle of teams with losing records. But both had
key victories last week, putting them at 2-2; now one will be a winner.
“Bad Judge,” 9 p.m.,
NBC. The pilot film simply tried too hard, with Kate Walsh as a hard-living,
hard-drinking judge who drums in rock band and houses a homeless kid. Now
that’s been toned down – no drums, no live-in kid. The result is still busy and
erratic, but has its moments of humor and warmth.
“Scandal,” 9 p.m., ABC. Mary McCormack is familiar to
capitol-drama fans, via “West Wing” and “K Street.” Now plays half of a power
couple, key to the president’s state-of-the-union address.
“How to Get Away with Murder,” 10 p.m., ABC. Keating should
be focusing on defending a mogul facing murder charges. Still, she’s distracted by a possible link
between her husband and a missing student.