TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Survivor” (CBS) or “American Idol”
(Fox), both 8 p.m.
Each Wednesday, the original reality giants collide.
Tonight, each is at a pivotal point.
“Survivor” has seen its “brains-brawn-beauty” theme collapse;
the “brains” tribe lost three people in four weeks (“beauty” lost the other),
so they’ll re-form into two tribes. Meanwhile, “Idol” has found its top 10 for
a tour; tonight, they do songs that reached the top 10 sometime between 2010
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “The 100” debut, 9 p.m., CW.
Our story starts almost a century after nuclear radiation
made the planet uninhabitable. The only sure survivors were people on space stations;
generations later, they send 100 young prisoners back to Earth.
In theory, they’ll monitor life down there … sort of like
the Greek dramas, with the gods controlling from above. These young rebels,
however, defy the plan. Ramping up the
drama, “100” creates antagonism that’s unrealistic, even on a planet of
prisoners. Still, it has an interesting plot and a telegenic cast, led by Eliza
Taylor and Marie Avgeropoulos as young opposites, pragmatic and passionate.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “The Americans,” 10 p.m., FX.
Things are caving in on these Russian spies. She’s trying to
seduce an earnest young sailor into stealing classified records; his fake
marriage (to a woman who thinks he’s an American agent) is wobbling.
In their marriage to each other, the big problem is that
their daughter – who thinks this is an ordinary, suburban-American family – is
praying and going to a church. (For 1980s Russian spies, this is worrisome.)
And then, in tonight’s final minutes, there’s a fierce surprise; it’s another
Other choices include:
“Revolution,” 8 p.m., NBC. While Monroe tries an attack on
the Patriots, Miles and Gene look for allies.
“Who the (bleep) is Arthur Fogel,” 8 p.m., Epix. This
interesting documentary was previously yanked, ostensibly to add Lady Gaga
footage. It profiles the quiet Canadian who stages epic rock tours.
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC. In a rerun, Jay’s dinner reservation
is endangered when everyone (including his wife Gloria) is running late.
“Mixology,” 9:31 p.m., ABC. It’s time for Cal to have his
moment, in a potential connection with a sweet waitress … except that the
moment (like the show itself) is promptly blighted by his semi-friend Bruce.
There are some good bits -- especially with shy Liv and drolly British Ron -- but
the rest is so-so.
“Legit,” 10 p.m., FXX. At his class reunion, Jim finds some
surprisingly sweet and moving moments. There’s humor around him, however, and his
friend Steve soon descends into drunken excess.
“Doll & Em” debut, 10 and 10:30 p.m., HBO. It’s lucky
this airs two episodes, because the first one takes British restraint to an
extreme. Slow and dry, it sees a Hollywood star (Emily Mortimer) hire her
friend (Dolly Wells) as an assistant. The second half-hour starts to offer
brief blips of drama and comedy.
“Deal With It” season-opener, 10:30 p.m., TBS. With hidden
cameras set up in busy restaurants, people win money by following the odd
instructions that celebrities (tonight, Howie Mandel and Nick Cannon) say into
their earpieces. The result is mildly amusing.