Thursday Watch List: Spell E-X-C-I-T-E-M-E-N-T!

Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and spend five hours with your flash cards. LET’S GO!

2011 SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE – 8:30PM (ESPN) One of my absolute favorite sporting events takes place this evening in Washington DC, as 41 awkward young geniuses compete for the right to be named the best speller in the universe. Watch with delight as the boys try and survive an interview with Erin Andrews without trying to smell her hair! Tweet away whenever you see a kid tracing the spelling on his hand! Try to figure out which parents are pushing their children wayyyy too hard! It’s a breathtaking thing to watch, and I will be watching it with great EBULLIENCE. That’s a real word! ANTICIPATION: WAY HIGH!

MAVERICKS/HEAT – 9:02PM (ABC) Thanks to Dirk Nowitzki’s torn left finger tendon, this series is already something of a fait accompli, which is too bad because I had higher hopes for it. All the more reason for me to click over to the bee every four minutes. LeBron ain’t nowhere near as coldblooded as that 12-year-old who just breezed through “isthmus.” ANTICIPATION: SETTLING!

LOVE BITES – 10:00PM (NBC) NBC is premiering a new romantic anthology series tonight. Oh, anthology series. You’re so fun, yet so underutilized. This one deals with random vignettes about love and sex, making it akin to “Love American Style,” which was the bottom of the barrel for 1980’s sick-at-home programming. I trust this one will be a touch more sophisticated. After all, it IS named after a Def Leppard song. ANTICIPATION: IT BRINGING TO TO MY KNEEEES!

NY INK – 10:00PM (TLC) If “Miami Ink” and “LA Ink” didn’t satisfy your appetite for people with tattoos in large American cities, well then here comes a new iteration set in, you guessed it, Atlanta. No, just kidding. It’s in New York. Expect many a misinterpreted Chinese calligraphy tattoo. ANTICIPATION: INKY!

SONS OF PERDITION – 9:00PM (OWN) Three former members of Warren Jeffs’ notorious FLDS polygamist church (you may know it from Jon Krakauer’s book “Under The Banner Of Heaven”) talk about life within the sect. Prepare for some unpleasantries. ANTICIPATION: CREEPY!

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