Sunday nights have become a logistical headache for fans of quality TV. With at least two (and often more) strong shows airing at 9 and 10 p.m. ET, figuring out what to watch, record, save for non-traditional viewing or skip altogether requires more than a little bit of planning.
The good news is that after this week, the 9 o’clock logjam will get a little easier: “The Good Wife” has its season finale Sunday (April 29). The bad news, aside from there not being any more “Good Wife” intrigue until the fall, is that with CBS touting the episode as a can’t-miss event, we have to rejigger our viewing priorities a little bit. And that doesn’t even take into account the 10 p.m. dilemma, where AMC’s “Mad Men,” HBO’s “Veep” and “Girls,” and Showtime’s “The Borgias” all reside.
Here’s how we’re handling things Sunday night*. Let us know what you plan to watch in the comments.
(*We’re assuming a home with two TVs, each equipped with a dual-tuner DVR. If you have a whole-house DVR system, congratulations — navigating the TV pileup is a little easier. All times Eastern/Pacific).
This hour is a little easier to manage than the next two hours, since the cable shows don’t start until 9.
Watching: “The Simpsons.” The episode, “A Supposedly Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again,” finds the Simpsons on a cruise and is inspired by the David Foster Wallace essay “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” one of our favorite magazine pieces of his.
DVR 1: “Once Upon a Time.” The episode, in which August (Eion Bailey) shows Emma (Jennifer Morrison) a possible way to beat Regina (Lana Parrilla), sounds pretty interesting, but not enough to trump our long-standing “Simpsons” love.
DVR 2: “The Amazing Race.” It’s getting down to the wire, so we feel like we should at least keep tabs.
Watching: “The Good Wife.” We tend to DVR the show and watch it in two- or three-episode chunks, but the fact that it’s the season finale — and features the return of Michael J. Fox and Martha Plimpton — bumps it up to the live spot for us.
DVR 1: “Game of Thrones.” Our usual live viewing choice goes down one spot this week.
DVR 2: “Desperate Housewives,” because we’re getting into the final few episodes and want to check in one last time, and “Birdsong,” a new “Masterpiece Classic” romance set during World War I that has piqued our interest.
It can wait: We’ll get to “Nurse Jackie” and “The Big C” on demand, and maybe “The Killing” — maybe. “Family Guy” we can catch online.
Watching: “Mad Men.” The seventh episode of AMC’s Emmy winner tends to be a big one — see “The Suitcase” from Season 4, “Seven Twenty Three” from Season 3 and “Red in the Face” from the inaugural season — so we’re very much in for Sunday’s curiously titled “At the Codfish Ball.”
DVR 1: “Veep” and “Girls.” The latter show has generated waaay more discussion, but while we’re liking “Girls” more than a little bit, “Veep’s” premiere last week was a real treat, and we’re looking forward to checking in with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Co. week to week.
DVR 2: “The Borgias.” “Birdsong” runs until 10:30, so it will take up some space here too.
It can wait: “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “The Client List” and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Encores of all three will air later in the week.
That’s our plan, but what’s yours? Let us know what you’ll be watching and recording (and skipping) on Sunday.