What’s Worth Watching: Oscar worthy films, ‘The X-Files’, ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ and more for Monday, February 1
31 Days of Oscar (starts at 6 am/5c, TCM): The annual cavalcade of Oscar-winning (or nominated) films comes with a twist this year—a “360 Degrees of Oscar” stunt in which each of the 360 films being screened can be connected by an actor in the movie preceding and following (see the full list starting here), starting with 1958’s Gigi and culminating on March 2 with 1956’s Around the World in 80 Days. The first full day of Oscar-bait selections is heavy on epics, including 1959’s Ben-Hur (4 pm/3c), and two David Lean greats: 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia (10/9c), followed by 1957’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (2 am/1c).
The X-Files (8/7c, Fox): “I forgot how much fun these cases could be,” says Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) in the instant classic “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” a delightful exercise in spooky whimsy directed and written by Emmy winner Darin Morgan. Reminding us how varied this iconic series can be in tone, this escapade sends Scully and Mulder (David Duchovny) to the Oregon woods, where they encounter a most reluctant shape-shifter (a droll and funny Rhys Darby) whose origin story is delightfully twisted and whose take on humanity is suitably bleak yet hilarious. This is the first episode of the current reboot that will truly rekindle your desire to believe.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (8/7c, The CW): Once again, award-winning Rachel Bloom runs the emotional gamut from delusional and berserk to vulnerable and endearing, as Rebecca (Bloom) follows her enduring crush Joshua Felix Chan (the adorable Vincent Rodriguez III) into volunteering at a youth camp she hopes will rekindle memories of their summer-camp past. “Whoa, that bitch is thirsty,” observes one of the mean girls Rebecca is supposed to be mentoring—but guess who gets empowered instead? Back in West Covina, Rachel’s unhappily divorced doofus boss Darryl (Pete Gardner) hopes to make new friends by inviting Greg (Santino Fontana) and his buds to his home for a party, which leads to some startling discoveries, including the fact that cynical Greg harbors a longtime crush not unlike Rebecca’s on Josh.
The Great Human Race (National Geographic TV, 10/9c): A survival series with an historical imperative, this amazing Race teams archaeologist Bill Schindler and survivalist Cat Bigney on a worldwide quest to retrace mankind’s evolutionary and migratory history, using only the tools available at the time. The journey begins in East Africa, traversing the savanna as our ancestors did some 2.6 million years ago, without fire.
Inside Monday TV: It’s Bizarro vs. Supergirl (8/7c, CBS) when Kara (Melissa Benoist) faces off against her twisted mirror image (Hope Lauren). But somehow she still finds time to fall for her boss’s son, Adam (Blake Jenner, Benoist’s real-life husband). … The cast of the telenovela within NBC’s Telenovela (8:30/7:30c) has two reasons to be anxious this week: Mimi (Diana Maria Riva) asks them to give her son “the sex talk” after she finds a provocative photo of Ana (Eva Longoria) under his mattress. Also, the guys are facing a magazine cover shoot, without benefit of Photoshop. … Worlds collide on Freeform’s Recovery Road (9/8c) when Maddie (Jessica Sula) plays hooky from her halfway house to hang with her old party crowd, who have no idea she’s in recovery, only to run into two of her fellow residents. Busted!