Last night was the most intense night of television so far this season—not necessarily because of the nature of the content, but because there was simply so much of it. Five shows had their season premieres last night, and ABC unveiled its last Sunday night soap, the supernatural devil mystery 666 Park Avenue. Plus there was Boardwalk Empire, still glooming along in its third season. That's a lot of TV to watch! But one mustn't panic. There are options, there are strategies to manage it all. One strategy is, of course, to turn off the television and go for a walk or read a book or call your loved ones or something, but that's just silly. You're gonna watch the damn shows, so how best to do it? Here's how we broke down our big Sunday night. This strategy necessitates having a DVR, which, good God, if you don't have one, what are you even doing with your life?
Once Upon a Time, 8 p.m. — Yes, yes, this show is deeply corny and really only for kids and weird Disney 'shippers who lurk in bright-colored corners of Tumblr, but it is, despite all that, pretty damn entertaining. Especially last night, with a cliffhanger-resolving episode about the residents of Storybrooke remembering their fairytale origins and a glimmer of magic appearing on the edges of town. Plus we met some new characters—Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, her seemingly now-departed prince (played by the shoulda-been-Finnick Julian Barnes). It was a fun, goopy way to start the evening and was an easy choice to watch live because, well, there was nothing else on in that time slot that we were interested in. (Some of you may have watched The Amazing Race on CBS, which is more respectable and also worth watching live.) Mind you when we say live we mean "on a 20-minute delay," because who can deal with commercials.