TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Goldbergs,” 8:30 p.m., ABC.
As MTV spread, everyone seemed to start a garage band. It
helped to have wigs, enthusiasm and maybe a garage. Now Adam and his brother
Barry take their turn (loudly).
The result whips us through the extremes of failed rock and
foiled romance, offering the life-cycle of a band in one day. Add their mom’s
plan for a second wedding – she’d prefer harps, actually – and you have a dandy
1980s memory … directed by Fred Savage, whose “Wonder Years” preserved the ‘60s.
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Nashville,” 10 p.m., ABC.
Derek Hough is already the star of ABC’s “Dancing With the
Stars.” In 13 editions, he’s reached the final four 11 times, including five
championships and two runners-up. He continues there, but adds acting.
Hough plays a movie star who will be opposite Juliette in
the Patsy Cline movie … if she manages to conceal her pregnancy. The other big
secret involves Will, who is gay, married and a country star; his wife is ready
to blackmail him. Also, Rayna and Luke finally announce their wedding date.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “American Horror Story”
season-opener, 10 p.m., FX.
Some “Horror” seasons have been so dreary that we’ve fled
quickly; this one is different. The setting is a “freak show” in 1952 Florida.
In silent (mostly) background roles, actors range from Jyoti Amge (20 years
old, 2-foot, ¾ inch) to Erika Ervin, 6-foot-8; in the front is a relentless, would-be
star (Jessica Lange).
Ryan Murphy, who co-wrote and directed, shows the fondness
for outsiders that propelled his “Normal Heart” and “Glee” Emmys; he also shows
his usual darkness. It’s a brutal hour, redeemed by stunning work from Murphy,
Lange, Grace Gummer and more, including Sarah Paulson in a superb double role.
Other choices include:
“Arrow” season-opener, 8 p.m., CW. Just as his life is
becoming semi-normal, Oliver has a new arch-villain. He’s Count Vertigo, played
by Peter Stormare … who’s also in “Blacklist” as villainous Berlin.
“The Mysteries of Laura,” 8 p.m., NBC. A quick ratings
success, this show keeps grabbing all the high-profile subjects. Tonight, that
includes politics, a sex scandal and the gaming world.
“Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS
(check local listings). The delightful, three-week penguin series concludes
with a look at youths learning to head out to the sea on their own.
“Nova,” 9 and 10
p.m., PBS (check local listings). Already planning a new “Why Planes Vanish” hour
at 9 p.m., this show has now added “Surviving Ebola” at 10.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” 9 p.m., NBC.
Demoted to traffic duty, Amaro handles the case of a troubled starlet and is
brought back into the SVU. Soon, he’s investigating her bigger problems.
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC. Putting together the wedding
video, Phil tries to edit out the proof that he spread the cold that has infected
everyone. Also, Manny’s football trouble creates a dilemma.
“Black-ish,” 9:31 p.m., ABC. Dre wants his son to have more
black friends. Also, Rainbow hopes their daughter will follow her path and be a
doctor; she takes her to work on the worst possible day.
“Chicago, PD,” 10 p.m., NBC. A hired assassin continues to
hunt Halstead. Police try to convince Bembenek (now in custody) to call it off,
with no success.