TV on Tap: A Reality TV Take on “Girls,” Jennifer Hudson Thinks It’s Time for “American Idol” to End and “Fox & Friends” Misreads “Downton Abbey”


White Collar returns tonight. Neal needs to stop looking so hot when he’s feeling distrustful,
it only encourages people to do distrustful things to him.

News

I’ve been watching the right try to claim that Downton Abbey is a conservative show. Jonah Goldberg wrote about it a couple weeks back and now Fox & Friends repeated that Downton challenges how “rich people… are reviled”. Wow. That just says so much about how little they pay attention to everything. I’ll be willing to consider that idea when Lord Grantham orders Mrs. Patmore to start using questionable ingredients when she cooks for the staff so that he can afford to have fancier wines with dinner.

Fox’s ads for The Following broke a rule for television and asked viewers to watch the show on the DVR. Vulture explains what this means and how its another step in changing how viewers watch TV and how the industry responds to it.

It turns out that Zombieland series won’t air on a broadcast or cable channel, it’s being developed by Amazon for its streaming service Amazon Prime, according to io9.

Oh dear. Jezebel notices that someone is working on a reality show that takes inspiration from Girls. The fictional versions are bad enough.

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one wondering why Saturday Night Live had to ruin a funny sketch about bad service at Starbucks with hacky racist stereotypes.

Jennifer Hudson thinks it might be time for American Idol to end, telling Celebuzz, “I think it should just allow itself to go out on top… and gracefully.” She’s probably right but there’s no way Fox is going to give up on a show with ratings like Idol gets anytime soon.

The AV Club makes the argument against bipartisan comedy that pokes fun at both sides and tries to make audiences of all political stripes laugh. When a comedian tries to avoid offending anyone in their late night monologue, they only encourage apathy, while comedy with a strong point of view like Steven Colbert has the power to change the country.

Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Superfan Candace Brooks got sent to attend the inauguration yesterday, and today she’ll be sharing the experience with Anderson. First, however, he’ll be discussing recent events with The People’s Court judge Marilyn Milian.

Katie (syndicated) Check local listings
As part of an episode about moving forward, Katie‘s talking with Judy Shepard, who is keeping her son, Matthew‘s legacy going fifteen years later.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Everyone’s still reeling from the bombs dropped at the wedding as EJ talks with Will and Nick tries to make his case against Will. We’ll definitely be following this one with a liveblog so be sure to join us starting at 1 PM Eastern!

Pioneers of Television (PBS) Check local listings
Are they aiming this season at us? First funny ladies, now Pioneers of Television looks at the glory days of the primetime soap, when Dallas, Dynasty and Knots Landing (with a stop to look at how those shows owe a debt to Peyton Place) were TV’s most-watched shows. It looks like The Carrie Diaries are going to require a renewal or two before it gets into the shoulder pad-wearing glory of the mid-80s, so this will have to fill that gap.

The Scapegoat (Ovation) 8:00 PM ET
Next week, we go back to having a weekly dose of Matthew Rhys on our TVs (with his new FX series The Americans) but first, Ovation has this appetizer about a middle class man in 1952 Britain who meets his twin and wakes up living his twin’s life instead of his own.

Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) 8:00 PM ET
With Aria suffering from the flu, Hanna and Emily are forced to do their own investigation. This should go well since, without Aria around, their collective IQ should triple, though that’s probably not enough to make any deductions about “A“.

Raising Hope (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
What would a sitcom marriage be without a bachelor party episode? Jimmy is smart enough (for once) to see why that can only create trouble, but Burt really wants to throw his son a stag party, even if he knows this will probably only lead to someone getting hit on the head with a TV. Again.

The Taste (ABC) 8:00 PM ET
Fox’s cooking reality shows are primarily about Gordon Ramsay yelling at people, Top Chef has frustratingly devolved into a mess of twists and producers unable to resist the call off reality TV drama (even when it promised to go back to basics) and NBC has committed many crimes against the genre (I have nightmares where I realize Chopping Block is being brought back with America’s Next Great Restaurant and Celebrity Cooking Showdown). Thus, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that ABC’s new cooking competition manages to bring the focus back on the talent of a great chef and the excitement of an innovative take on a dish. I’m encouraged that the judging panel includes Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson (who has been overdue for a proper introduction to stateside audiences) and. Even better, the judges taste food blind so we don’t end up wondering how much slowing-building prejudices play a role in deciding who goes home.

Face Off (Syfy) 9:00 PM ET
I wasn’t a big fan of last season’s superhero challenge, probably because I’m not particularly drawn to characters like The Thing or Hellboy, which is the kind of hero you’re inclined to design when you’re working with prosthetics. Maybe I’ll be more drawn into this week’s superhero challenge, where the winner ends up seeing their character appearing in something published by DC Comics.

Go On (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
NBC uses that corporate synergy to cross over Go On with Covert Affairs as a very popular member of the support group (Piper Perabo) returns and leaves Ryan feeling vulnerable about his place in the group. Of course, we know she only stopped attending meetings because she wrapped her mission, right?

The Lying Game (ABC Family) 9:00 PM ET
Since Emma seems to keep defeating Sutton‘s schemes to get her life back purely by the power of her good nature, Sutton challenges her sister to a tennis match to determine who gets to live in the big fancy house.

New Girl (Fox) 9:00 PM ET
When Nick becomes suspicious of one of Jess‘ night school students (I’m guessing he’s played by guest-star Nate Corddry) he decides to start an undercover investigation. I’m expecting to see Nick try to convince Jess that glasses and a mustache make him a different person.

The New Normal (NBC) 9:00 PM ET
Rocky and Jane have a crisis of gaydar when they suspect that their crushes (John Stamos and Mark Consuelos) may be gay. Bryan thinks he can figure it out at a…. oh, are we really doing an “Is he or isn’t he?” story years after that Sex and the City episode about “gay straight men” vs. “straight gay men”? Shouldn’t we do an episode where Jane wonders if women can have sex like men?

Chopped (Food Network) 10:00 PM ET
As the Champions competition continues, the cheftestants find peanut butter, jelly and squab in one basket. I guess that means it’s not commonplace to put peanut butter and jelly in chicken salad?

The Joe Schmo Show (Spike) 10:00 PM ET
I’ve only just gotten caught up on Spike’s returning prank show and it turns out this season has a gay storyline. Lavernius has come out to this season’s Joe, Chase, but asked him to keep it secret — just in time for two of the female competitors to admit to a crush on Lavernius. The clueless woman with a crush on a gay guy is a tired joke, but Joe Schmoe smartly made the joke about Chase’s reaction at being stuck in the center of such a situation. Tonight, Chase tries to convince Lavernius to come out to the rest of the cast.

Justified (FX) 10:00 PM ET
Did they really give us Beth Grant last week? Perfect. Just perfect. Even better, tonight Preacher Man makes a move against Boyd. Justified usually takes a few episodes before the season really gets going, but Boyd’s religious rival has the season at the must-watch level already.

White Collar (USA) 10:00 PM ET
It has been too long since you’ve had something new to watch with Matt Bomer being ridiculously perfect in (that New Normal appearance was two whole weeks ago). Thankfully, White Collar returns tonight and has Neal dealing with his father.

Cougar Town (TBS) 10:00 PM ET
Jules is worried that the passion is already gone from her marriage, at least until Ellie completely turns that around with advice she clearly isn’t using in her marriage.

MTV2′s Guy Code (MTV2) 11:00 PM ET
I’ve only seen a little of this series. Mostly the comedians involved have made me want to stay away. But, if the episode title (“Virginity, Gay, Birthdays, Being Sick”) is any indication, it sounds like tonight’s show will discuss some kind of gay topic. Brace yourselves.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) 11:00 PM ET
Andy‘s talking with Kristen Johnston and Luke Perry tonight.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central) 11:00 PM ET
Jennifer Lopez will be talking with Jon tonight. I’m sure she has plenty going on, but I’m hoping there will be a mention of the ABC Family drama she’s producing.

What will you be watching tonight? Please share in the comments!

Tomorrow’s Preview

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Sarah Paulson‘s talking with Anderson about American Horror Story tomorrow.

The Rachael Ray Show (syndicated) Check local listings
John Gidding is on tomorrow with more design tips.

Katie (syndicated) Check local listings
Katie‘s talks with Barry Manilow about his long career.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listing
You know we’re headed to a custody battle, right? Nick doesn’t, so he’ll be trying to pressure Will to sign away his parental rights tomorrow. Join us for a liveblog and vent your anger through snarky comments.

 

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