What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Nathan for You’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

What’s on TV Thursday: ‘Nathan for You’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’


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A scene from “Nathan for You,” with Nathan Fielder, right.

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Comedy Central

“Grey’s Anatomy” reaches its 300th episode. And two comedies revel in their cringiness.

What’s on TV

NATHAN FOR YOU 9 p.m. on Comedy Central. One mission of the Canadian comic Nathan Fielder is to help small-business owners attract customers by whatever means necessary. Those means vary from counterintuitive (letting customers shoplift) to absurd (staging a video of a pig saving a goat at a petting zoo) to morally queasy (advertising at cemeteries). Whether his schemes work is beside the point. “His deadpan genius is in defining the age, not solving its problems,” wrote Neil Genzlinger in a review in The New York Times. In the season finale, Mr. Fielder attempts to help a Bill Gates impersonator reunite with his long-lost love.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011) 7:45 p.m. on FXM. The fifth installment of the “X-Men” franchise jumps back to the 1960s, when the United States was on the brink of nuclear war and turtlenecks were all the rage. James McAvoy (as the idealistic Charles Xavier) and Michael Fassbender (as the bitter, anguished Erik Lehnsherr) anchor the movie; while the world rages around them and governments target them for their mutant powers, the young men slowly transform into the formidable characters of Professor X and Magneto. “The whole enterprise has an agreeable lightness, no small thing, given its rapidly moving parts,” Manohla Dargis wrote in her review in The Times.

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Justin Chambers and Ellen Pompeo in “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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ABC/Mitch Haaseth

GREY’S ANATOMY 8 p.m. on ABC. A small number of American television dramas have reached 300 episodes — the list consists of cultural pillars like “Lassie,” “Law & Order” and “CSI.” On Thursday, “Grey’s Anatomy” joins the club, with a special episode that looks back on the show’s history. Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) find themselves treating a group of patients from a roller-coaster accident who look eerily like the show’s three other original interns: Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and George O’Malley (T. R. Knight). And the showrunners have promised a special Easter egg hunt for fans.

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Pamela Adlon in “Better Things.”

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Liane Hentscher/FX

BETTER THINGS 10 p.m. on FX. In an essay for The Times this week, Pamela Adlon wrote about her agonizing adolescence: “All of 9, and I had legs like Jon Hamm’s face at 5 o’clock,” she wrote. She brings a similar unblinking, uproarious honesty to her show “Better Things,” on which she plays Sam, a single mother of three. In this episode she takes her girls on a trip.

What’s Streaming

AN IDIOT ABROAD on Netflix. One of Nathan Fielder’s spiritual predecessors in cringe humor is Karl Pilkington, an ill-tempered, gormless producer and writer; he makes his friend and collaborator Ricky Gervais crack up with every gripe. In this show, Mr. Gervais and Stephen Merchant send Mr. Pilkington around the world for deeply uncomfortable encounters; he mopes along the Great Wall of China, trains as a luchador in Mexico and learns to samba in Brazil, all the while unleashing his signature tirades on unsuspecting bystanders.



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