What’s Worth Watching: Superstore and Telenovela on NBC, The Bachelor on ABC and more for Monday, January 4
Superstore, “Mannequin,” Monday, Jan. 4, 8/7c, NBC; Telenovela, “The Kiss,” Monday, Jan. 4, 8:30/7:30c, NBC
Seizing an opportunity on a night otherwise lacking in laughter—unless you count the preposterous antics on The Bachelor—NBC builds an hour comedy block with two promising sitcoms that got sneak peeks in December. (Here are my initial reviews of Superstore and Telenovela.)
On the charming Superstore, cutie-pie newbie Jonah (Ben Feldman) can’t take a joke when his co-workers tease him over his resemblance to a store mannequin, and the more he tries to convince Amy (America Ferrera) he’s cool with it as the pranks escalate, the more everyone knows he isn’t. On the more manic and farcical Telenovela, Eva Longoria is gloriously comical as she taps into her inner diva, with the usual slapstick results, to prepare for a date with her smitten boss (Heroes Reborn‘s Zachary Levi, reminding us his forte is in comedy).
REALITY CHECK: NBC’s The Biggest Loser (9/8c) has promoted Bob Harper to host for a new season with a “Temptation” theme to challenge eight teams of two, including the reality-veteran pairing of Survivor‘s notorious Richard Hatch and The Voice‘s season 2 semi-finalist Erin Willett.
Hewing to the formula of recycling a dumped suitor from the previous season of The Bachelorette, handsome 26-year-old Hoosier Ben Higgins assumes the position of ABC’s The Bachelor (8/7c), seeking true love amid a field of 28 hopeful bachelorettes. In the premiere, he gets dating tips from former Bachelors Sean Lowe, Chris Soules and Jason Mesnick, because one thing that has always been true about the participants on this show is they can never get enough TV face time. Speaking of which, a Bachelor Live after-show will begin immediately after the episode (10:01/9:01c) for true gluttons. Chris Harrison does double duty hosting this as well as the regular show for the next four weeks. (That’s what Castle fans get for being so critical of the current season.)
The brain-teasing trivia on Jeopardy! pales next to the displays of mental and sensory legerdemain promised by Fox’s Superhuman (8/7c), a two-hour special hosted by Kal Penn in which contestants use extraordinary gifts of memory and overdeveloped senses of sight, hearing, touch and the like to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. This is based on a format from Germany that has spread to other countries. We’re the seventh.
INSIDE MONDAY TV: Missing Empire already? (The Fox hit is on hiatus until the end of March.) VH1 tries to fill the void with the hip-hop movie The Breaks (9/8c), set in 1990 as the genre takes hold in New York City, where three friends try to break into the music business. The film is scored by executive music producer DJ Premier. … Smithsonian Channel relives one of last year’s most shocking tragedies in Paris Terror Attack: Charlie Hebdo (8/7c), an hour-by-hour account of last January’s massacre within the offices of the satirical magazine, the hostage crisis that followed, and the ensuing manhunt for the terrorist murderers. Who could have imagined this was just a precursor for an even more deadly attack on Paris in November? … Guilty pleasure alert, and just in time for winter: The brainiacs of CBS’s Scorpion (9/8c) head to icy Antarctica to rescue a Special Forces unit. Could they do something about global warming while they’re at it?