This week brings pirates, Grammys, gold diggers (the literal kind), sketch comedy, and hamburgers, plus a new dramedy starring Greg Kinnear.
Monday, January 20
Klondike (9-11:05 pm, Discovery)
So Discovery is doing scripted programming now? Okay, sure. The question that comes to my mind is: will viewers be able to tell the difference? Klondike is a three-night miniseries about prospectors hoping to find gold in the Yukon Territory in the 1890s. (Additional episodes air Tuesday and Wednesday, also at 9 pm.)
Tuesday, January 21
Kroll Show (10:30-11 pm, Comedy Central)
Nick Kroll’s loopy sketch show returned for its second season last week; my apologies for overlooking it. He’s created a number or characters that he revisits multiple times over the course of the season, furthering their stories in bite-size sketch chunks. My current favorite: Rich Dicks.
Wednesday, January 22
Wahlburgers (10:30-11:31 pm, A&E)
This is a “reality” show about the Wahlberg brothers and their hamburger joint in Hingham. I’m mentioning it only out of a vague sense of obligation due to its local connection.
Also tonight: Comedy Central bolsters its sketch-show portfolio with the premiere of Broad City, based on a web series with an appealingly low-rent vibe created by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (10:30-11 pm).
Thursday, January 23
Rake (9-10 pm, Fox)
Greg Kinnear is charming attorney Keegan Deane, who’s finding that his charm doesn’t get him as far as it used to. A show depicting a good lawyer who isn’t necessarily a successful lawyer is an interesting idea, and one that Kinnear’s genuine appeal can sustain up to a point, but the show’s ultimate success or failure will depend on what it does with the character.
Friday, January 24
The Greatest Event in Television History (12-12:15 am, Adult Swim)
Adam Scott returns with the fourth and allegedly/possibly/probably final installment of his spoofy re-creation tributes to the TV shows that nurtured the children of the ‘80s; Paul Rudd guest stars. (Thursday at midnight is technically Friday, just so you know when to set your DVR for.)
Saturday, January 25
Black Sails (9-10 pm, Starz)
In describing this show, it’s tempting to write “Game of Thrones on the high seas” and be done with it, but while I can’t call myself a fan of either the HBO hit or the pirate genre, this looks like a solidly entertaining flight of fantasy. The first episode is already online if you’re interested.
UPDATE: A couple of early reviews of this show are mediocre at best, claiming that it’s dull and lacking in action. Of course, some people may enjoy it regardless, but some may not want to invest time in a show that is not going to be satisfying.
Sunday, January 26
56th Annual Grammy Awards (8-11:30 pm, CBS)
LL Cool J has proven himself a worthy host of this music awards show, but your mileage will vary significantly depending on your age and taste in popular music. Of late, the main reason to watch has been the eclectic performance lineup: most music fans can appreciate seeing Metallica perform with classical pianist Lang Lang, but the most talked-about performance will likely be Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, and Stevie Wonder. (And maybe us old folks will get some sort of Paul McCartney-Ringo Starr pairing.)
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Tim Robbins plays a postal worker haunted by memories of his combat experience in Vietnam and a dead child. I haven’t seen this since it came out, but at the time it was one of the most disturbing and frightening movies I had seen.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)