What not to miss on TV this week
Happy midterms! Schedule your study breaks around this handy guide to this week’s TV offerings. Bonus points if you turn on the subtitles so everyone else in 209 can tune in as well.
The Second Presidential Debate (airs Oct. 16 at 9:00, all major networks) – Round one went to challenger Romney, but Obama hasn’t been KO’d yet. The incumbent blamed his lackluster performance in the first debate on excessive kindness, and this second showdown is in the form of the generally less combative town hall meeting.
Keeping with the boxing metaphors, this begs the question — will the gloves come off? Watch and find out, but don’t forget to take bets on Big Bird shout-outs first.
Jersey Shore (airs Oct. 18 at 10:00, MTV) – Yes, I know, “Jersey Shore” is everything wrong with humanity and/or a sign of the impending apocalypse. But with Snooki pregnant, the Situation sober, and the rest of the house generally domesticated, the show hasn’t even retained its guilty pleasure appeal.
Instead, this season, the last, has turned into something much more interesting: the tragicomic attempt of a bunch of overgrown kids to embrace anything resembling adulthood. That said, this episode’s title is still the not-terribly-sophisticated “Merp Walk,” proving that not all change happens overnight.
American Horror Story: Asylum (airs Oct. 17 at 11:00, FX) – After rewarding loyal fans by killing off all of the major characters in the first season finale, AHS declared itself an anthology show. This means familiar faces playing different characters in a brand new plot promising nuns, Nazis, aliens, and more in an insane-asylum setting.
Also, the acting wonders of one Adam Levine. Tune in to find out what’s more horrifying – the asylum itself or creator Ryan Murphy’s absolutely bananas brain.
Suburgatory (airs Oct. 17 at 9:30, ABC) – In its first season, this show established a witty sensibility and willingness to indulge in joyous ridiculousness that makes for a thoroughly pleasant show, if not high comedy. The show’s more absurdist elements are grounded by sardonic leading lady Jane Levy, forever haunted by her uncanny resemblance to Emma Stone, and the believable father-daughter relationship Levy has built with Jeremy Sisto.
There’s also the fun of repeatedly rediscovering that Sisto is Elton from “Clueless.”
Call the Midwife (airs Oct. 21 at 8:00, PBS) – Need some highbrow with your low? Bide the time until “Downton Abbey” returns with this BBC import about midwives and nuns in 1950s London. The characters populating this show lack the refined class of early twentieth century aristocrats, but the heartfelt drama and sly British humor is more than intact.
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