What to watch this week instead of the election

As much as it might seem like it, polling returns and obsessive analysis aren't the only things on TV this week. Here are the best episodes of your regularly scheduled programming to tune into for the next week.

Castle (airs Nov. 5 at 10:00, ABC) – Even for all of its other attributes, this show's success rides on the plentiful charm of Nathan Fillion. With this week’s murder at a sci-fi convention, Fillion will have ample opportunity to shine as he revels at what better be many hints at a very geeky past. Disclaimer: this could just be the wishful ramblings of an ever-forlorn Browncoat.

Election Night 2012: This Ends Now (airs Nov. 6 at 11:00, Comedy Central) – Election coverage is stressful enough without all of the creepy holograms and apocalyptic graphics that major networks seem to love. Try to get a little bit of fun out of the drama with Jon Stewart’s always-fresh coverage. What he lacks in shameful abuse of modern technology, he makes up for with spontaneity and hilarious exasperation.

Arrow (airs Nov. 7 at 8:00, CW) – It would be easy enough to dismiss this freshman drama as all abs and no substance, but the so-bad-it’s-good-or-maybe-it’s-actually-good scales are leaning increasingly in the show’s favor. Last week’s episode ended with emotionally damaged billionaire Oliver Queen being arrested as the Hood, a plot development that similar shows would save for future seasons. If the show can only deal with the increasingly uncomfortable sexual subtext between Oliver and lil’ sis Speedy, it has clear potential as a CW guilty-pleasure staple.

Grey’s Anatomy (airs Nov. 8 at 9:00, ABC) – This episode promises to celebrate the ladies a.k.a Meredith Grey and Christina Yang a.k.a the emotional core of the show – don’t let McDreamy fans tell you otherwise. While Christina continues to work with the doctor we all still think of as Mr. Feeny, Meredith is finally due to deal with her feelings about Lexi’s death. I have a sneaking suspicion that the latter means some of the best television sobs this side of Claire Danes’ MVP work on “Homeland.”

Parks and Recreation (airs Nov. 8 at 9:30, NBC) – Ben’s proposal was literally the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen. In this week’s episode, great worlds collide as Leslie meets Ben’s divorced parents, elder Wyatt played by Breaking Bad’s Jonathan Banks. Compounding the awesomeness of everything about this show, the time has arrived for the glorious return of the epically ridiculous Jean-Ralphio. That this show can produce someone who makes Tom seem understated really just says it all about television’s best comedy.


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N.B. posted on

Stewart has said that the special will also be available for live streaming. Here's hoping Comedy Central doesn't fuck it up.