TV picks for Aug. 17-21: - "The Simpsons,” "Wipeout,” Pamela Smart, "Wizard Wars”

  • Updated: August 18, 2014 - 1:48 PM

Cowabunga!

There are certain things we take for granted in the world: electricity, a comfortable bed, Mom’s home cooking — and “The Simpsons.” The show, which recently wrapped up its 25th season, is older than some of its fans. While we can moan that later episodes don’t measure up to the early years, it’s still one of TV’s wittiest shows. To celebrate its milestone, tune in to a 12-day lovefest that will consist of all 552 episodes being broadcast in chronological order, making it the longest-running marathon in TV history. Starting in October, you can also celebrate the wisdom of Homer on SimpsonsWorld.com, a digital service that will allow fans to explore Springfield’s characters and locations while putting together unique play­lists and collecting favorite clips and quotes. 9 a.m. Thursday through Sept. 1, FXX

Running on empty

“Wipeout,” which features the world’s most torturous obstacle course, sets its sights on former couples, including a pair called Hot Pants and the Heartbreaker. I usually don’t encourage anyone to go through the rigors of this ridiculous game show, but for folks with nicknames like that, I’m willing to make an exception. 7 p.m. Sunday, KSTP, Ch. 5

Get Smart

One could make a good argument that reality TV can be traced back to the 1990 murder trial of high school teacher Pamela Smart, a case that inspired shows, books, plays and films (including “To Die For” with Nicole Kidman). “Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart” features a new interview with her, as well as commentary from officials and journalists who had a front-row seat to the tragic circus. 8 p.m. Monday, HBO

Do you believe in magic?

Eden Prairie’s Justin Flom has done a nice job co-creating “Wizard Wars,” an engaging new series that could have just as easily been called “Iron Magicians.” That’s because competitors are given three or four common objects and assigned to build acts around them. Penn & Teller are among the celebrity judges. For more on Flom, see Tuesday’s Variety section. 9 p.m. Tuesday, Syfy

Neal Justin





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