Kate Bosworth leads a cast of good-looking strangers stranded on a desert island in the new science fiction head-scratcher "The I-Land" streaming today on Netflix.
The title is both a pun and a clue. All of the castaways arrive on the idyllic spot without any memory of how they gOt there. As on "Survivor," they are frequently tested, but unlike that reality evergreen, there appears to be a moral compass in this show's universe.
"Players" who behave badly find themselves on the receiving end of gruesome circumstances. Altruism appears to be rewarded. Of course, it takes a while for these amnesia-sufferers to discover "the rules."
We also meet the puppet masters behind this vast game of morality tales. It remains to be seen if "I-Land" offers anything new, or if pop culture has been treading water since "The Truman Show" and "Lost."
-- If that's not sufficiently mind-blowing, there's the docuseries "The Mind, Explained," also from Netflix. Featuring interviews with neuroscientists, it uses charts and animated graphics to explore new breakthroughs in the understanding of dreams, common anxieties, the ability of the brain to make logical and (illogical) connections and the incredibly malleable nature of human memory.
We see here how people can recall situations or events in very different ways at very different times and be absolutely certain, in each instance, that they are 100% correct. And I thought it was just my relatives!
-- Originally a web series and the first drama to debut on the Sundance Now streaming service, "This Close" enters a second season today. Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman, who are deaf, wrote, created and star in the series about differently abled 20somethings adjusting to the peculiarities of life in Los Angeles.
-- The dark Australian comedy "Mr Inbetween" (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA) returns for a second season. Not unlike HBO's "Barry," it follows a hit man trying to reconcile life, love and the pursuit of happiness with the vicissitudes of "the job." Some people like hit-man comedies. I do not.
-- "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) will air live and offer "postgame" commentary on the evening's ABC News Democratic Candidates Debate (8 p.m.).
-- AXS TV launches "Mixtape" (8:30 p.m.), featuring interviews with rock legends who discuss their favorite all-time songs that shaped their lives and creative output. Look for Foreigner's Mick Jones and Kelly Hansen; Rick Springfield; Don McLean; REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin and Dave Amato; Don Felder; Todd Rundgren; The Doors' Robby Krieger as well as Dennis Quaid.
The series will also be available as a podcast on Spotify with each guest's playlist.
TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
-- Regional coverage of Major League Baseball (7 p.m., Fox).
-- The Carolina Panthers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Thursday night NFL action (8:20 p.m., NFL Network).
-- A music industry feud gets physical on "Law & Order: SVU" (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
On two helpings of "Young Sheldon" (CBS, r, TV-PG): sick and tired (8 p.m.), a major meltdown (8:30 p.m.) ... On two helpings of "Superstore" (NBC, r, TV-PG): cleaning up for Sandra (8 p.m.), Amy and Jonah become rivals (8:30 p.m.) ... The Mistress seeks the upper hand on "The Outpost" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
Julie Chen Moonves hosts "Big Brother" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... On two helpings of "The Good Place" (NBC, r, TV-PG): Janet's connection (9 p.m.), a series of sequential events (9:30 p.m.) ... On two "Two Sentence Horror Stories" (CW, TV-14), unseen dangers (9 p.m.), vlogging the obvious (9:30 p.m., r) ... Weapons of mass destruction on "FBI" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
Gerard Butler appears on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS, r) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Jennifer Garner, Jim Jefferies and Megan Thee Stallion on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Sean Penn and Danielle Macdonald appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).
Ed Helms and 5 Seconds of Summer appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).