Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and play “LA Noire” for the next 78 hours, with no pee breaks. LET’S GO!
MAVERICKS/THUNDER – 9:00PM (ESPN) The NBA’s Western Conference Finals open tonight, featuring two teams no one really expected to be here in Dallas and Oklahoma City. Dallas got here by crushing the imploding Lakers, and Oklahoma City managed to squeak by those pesky Memphis Grizzlies. And so here we have two teams at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Dallas is an aging team featuring guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd vying for a potential last shot at glory, while the Thunder are barely out of their pull-ups and hope to win a title a few years ahead of schedule. Expect lots and lots of offense. You’ll enjoy watching a Western Conference Finals that, for only the second time in thirteen years, does not include either LA or San Antonio. Hooray for new blood! ANTICIPATION: HIGH!
EXPLORER – 10:00PM (NatGeo – an NBC/Universal network) Join scientists as they study the fossilized remains of the megapiranha. Yes, you heard me. MEGAPIRANHA. This ancestor of the deadly fish was up to four times the size of current piranhas. Has anyone alerted the folks at SyFy about this? Because this will be a TV movie starring Bobby Brown and Tisha Campbell two weeks from now. ANTICIPATION: MEGAPIRANHA!
INDEPENDENT LENS – 10:00PM (PBS) Ever wonder why Japanese people adore insects so much? What’s that? You were unaware of the love affair between Japanese people and insects? Well, let PBS both introduce and explain the phenomenon to you. I’ll watch with great curiosity, seeing as how I once had a pet cockroach in my old New York apartment, one I did not ask for. ANTICIPATION: BEETLEMANIA!
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL – 10:00PM (HBO) Tonight on Bryant Gumbel house of sad sports journalism, you’ll get an interview with Bob Uecker (who will always be Harry Doyle to me), plus a look at Donald Trump’s golf course over in Scotland. The Donald says it is a YOOGE success, and that it leads in all polls. ANTICIPATION: TRUMPY!
THE WOMAN WITH FIFTEEN PERSONALITIES – 10:00PM (OWN) Well, someone likes to hog personalities now, don’t they? Hey lady, save some of those for people who need them, like Ryan Seacrest. ANTICIPATION: LIKE UNITED STATES OF TARA BUT REAL!