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Timeslot face-off: 'Survivor,' 'Bones,' 'Vampire Diaries,' and Thursdays at 8

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Thursday-night-tv-wars_l

Thursday-night-tv-wars_lIt’s all about Mondays and Thursdays this fall, and tonight’s line-up provides yet another DVR conundrum. What to watch? DVR? Skip? Wait for? Aaargh, the whole night is a smorgasbord, so let’s just look at the 8 p.m. slot for now. Jeeze louise, our TV cup runneth over:

Bones, Fox

Reasons to watch: Because it’s Bones, and Bones is fun. Tonight’s episode takes us inside the world of rumspringa, aka Amish Gone Wild, which the show will no doubt handle with its signature quirkiness.

Reasons to skip: Boy do I not give a hoot about Cam’s step-daughter.

FlashForward, ABC

Reasons to watch: John Cho’s teaser wasn’t enough? How about the fact that last week’s pilot was awesome? (If you missed it, watch it on Hulu.)

Reasons to skip: Some of us have been burned by the serialized, speculative-fiction genre in the past — these shows often start strong and then peter out. And can Lost devotees really be a slave to two masters?

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday, NBC

Reasons to watch: It’s consistently funny in a way SNL never has been.

Reasons to skip: Anything really funny will make the Internet rounds tomorrow, and for a show that’s live, the bits can seem a little past their expiration dates.

Parks and Recreation, at 8:30, NBC

Reasons to watch: Amy Poehler, duh, but Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, and Paul Schneider are good reasons, too. P&R is a surprisingly humane little show, and this season it’s figured out how to give its characters stories strong enough to explain and ground some of the weird behavior. Plus comedy god Louis C.K. continues his guest stint.

Reasons to skip: Parks plays better in a binge — store up a bunch of episodes to watch in a row. And if you don’t go for the mockumentary format, then you don’t.

Survivor, CBS

Reasons to watch: Habit? And, you know, it’s a reliable staple in part of your balanced reality diet.

Reasons to skip: If you miss a week, you can catch up with Jeff Probst’s blog posts.

The Vampire Diaries, The CW

Reasons to watch: Eyecandy. And it’s what all the cool kids are doing — The Vampire Diaries had the best debut in CW history, and the buzz is more than holding up. Plus, as fun teen shows go, TVD moves: The show crams a ton of spooky angst into every hour.

Reasons to skip: It’s theoretically possible to have one’s fill of vampires. We hear.

Sort it out, PopWatchers. What are you watching/skipping/DVRing/having beamed directly into your soul at 8 p.m. tonight?

Image credit: Wesley: The CW; Boreanaz: Greg Gayne/Fox; Fiennes: Craig Sjodin/ABC; Poehler: Dana Edelson/NBC; White: Monty Brinton/CBS

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