By MIKE HUGHES
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Middle,” 8 and 9:31 p.m., ABC.
This quietly clever show has never grabbed the attention it
deserves. In five seasons, it has exactly one Emmy nomination, for make-up.
Still, it remains consistent. Tonight’s first rerun, the
show’s 100th episode is terrific, catching the town’s centennial;
Brick is zealous about the city’s motto contest, his parents are grumpy about
driving a giant cow in the parade. The second one has Dave Foley as the
counselor, when Brick shows rampant fears.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” debut, 8
Four talented magic acts perform, with the Penn-and-Teller
duo watching closely. If those guys can’t guess how the trick is done, the act
gets a spot in their Las Vegas show.
That gimmick is only mildly interesting; even when the guys
have the answer, they usually don’t share it with the viewers. More important
is the chance to see some fine work. Two acts – Mark Shortland and Young &
Strange – are thoroughly entertaining; then Penn & Teller wrap things up
with a classic gem.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” 9-11
After years of making deliberately loopy movies with
deliberately goofy titles, Syfy had a winner. “Sharknado” (2013), rerunning at
7 p.m., drew a big audience; now the sequel offers more of the same.
Having survived a Los Angeles tornado that flung sharks at
them, Fin and April (Ian Ziering and Tara Reid) fly to New York. Their plane is
hit by a bigger storm, with meteorologists calmly predicting 3-6 inches of
sharks. Soon, they’re battling the creatures with everything from chainsaws to
a pizza oven. Filled with odd cameos and occasional gore, “Sharknado 2” is
usually silly and sometimes fun.
Other choices include:
“So You Think You Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox. Last week was
tough for dancers who specialize in Latin ballroom. Two of them, Brooklyn
Fullmer and Marcquet Hill, were ousted. That leaves 14 dancers tonight; also,
Academy of Villains – one of the groups competing for a spot in the finale –
“Tombstone” (1993, CMT) and “Escape from New York” (1981,
Sundance), both 8 p.m. These films have Kurt Russell at his gritty best. In
one, he’s Wyatt Earp; in the other, he must rescue the president, whose plane
landed in the prison island of Manhattan.
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC. Phil’s rivalry with another
Realtor reaches obsession in this rerun.
“Extant,” 10 p.m.,
CBS. In a late switch, CBS is nudging this show back an hour. Tonight, there
are efforts to quarantine Molly, who became pregnant during a solo space
mission. With her husband and son, she retreats to an island where her
estranged father (Lou Gossett Jr.) lives.
“The Bridge,” 10
p.m., FX. Increasingly dark and tangled, this story sees people whose lives
crashed when drugs and money were seized. A rancher (Annabeth Gish) is on the
run … a shunned Mennonite woman has terrorized a banker. Tonight, each person’s
story wobbles and one ends with a jolt.
“Taxi Brooklyn,” 10:01 p.m., NBC. Cat found her fame by
catching the Park Slope Stalker. Now the Stalker’s wife has been killed and Cat
reluctantly leads the investigation.
“The Meltdown,” 12:30 a.m., Comedy Central. An uneven comedy
night is boosted by a wittily perverse song by Nick Offerman (“Parks and
Recreation”), about the Importance of always having a handkerchief.