Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5. All times are Eastern.
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): America has spoken, and America wants shows that remix familiar fairy tale tropes in new ways, as ABC’s Once Upon A Time looks like the biggest new drama hit of the season, with only Unforgettable (which has fewer young viewers) as its competition. And then there’s Grimm, which didn’t get nearly as many viewers—of course it didn’t on Friday—but was still the biggest new drama NBC has aired this season. Granted, it only had to best The Playboy Club and Prime Suspect, and that wasn’t exactly hard, but it’s still sort of surprising for a show a lot of prognosticators (including our own) mostly wrote off. Anyway, Kevin McFarland checks out episode two to see if the magic will continue. Won’t you drop in?
Chuck (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): So, America, how do you feel about this whole “Morgan is the new Intersect” thing? More likely than not, you don’t watch this show and, thus, don’t have feelings about Morgan being the new Intersect, but hey, this is TV Club, and we know you guys watch everything that’s on because, like us, all of your feelings were ground down ages ago and replaced only by TV-friendly ones like mild pleasure and occasional slight sadness. Ryan McGee understands.
A Gifted Man (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): CBS delayed last weekend’s episode because of the World Series game that ended up happening last Friday unexpectedly (thanks to a rain delay and the Cardinals’ unexpectedly winning game six—just wanted to make you St. Louisians happy again). So can we just recycle last week’s blurb? No. We’re better than that! We’ll write a new blurb with new jokes and stuff like that. There’s a new A Gifted Man tonight, and Todd VanDerWerff will cover it.
Fringe (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): The World Series also put a serious damper on Fringe’s style, but we’re finally going to figure out why a certain someone came back from a certain somewhere naked. Incidentally, why do they always come back naked? Is that a rule for how people are allowed to cross barriers of space and time? Did Inspector Spacetime come back naked after his fifth rejuvenation? Are they called rejuvenations? We’re trying really hard to avoid spoilers. Noel Murray thanks us.
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday): Tonight’s episode is called “The Mentalists,” and while it’s not actually about Sam and Dean invading The Mentalist, it would be great if they did. Come to think of it, there are a lot of bland procedurals we’d love to see Sam and Dean hang out on, if only to get stuff to happen beyond the normal crime-solving fluff. Or, hell, we’d take them on some sitcoms or something. (Yes, we know the show’s already done this as an episode basically. Zack Handlen gave it an A.)
Boss (Starz, 10 p.m., Friday): We kind of can’t believe this show has a character named Zajac. Couldn’t they have just given him a nickname like “The Zaj”? We’re not sure if that would be more believable, but it would certainly be wackier, and isn’t that what this show needs? More unbelievable, wacky shit going on, and then Kelsey Grammer finds out that the first woman he asked on a date is right outside while the second is gettin’ hot and heavy. We like to think Meredith Blake would embrace that.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Charlie Day is the guest host, and that’s got us hopeful for this episode, even though we know it will probably suck. Still, it’s Charlie Day! They’ll figure out a lot of stuff for him to do, and it’ll be funny, and then the musical guest will crank out some great tunes! Right? Oh, Maroon Five is the musical guest? And they’re gonna play that fucking “Moves Like Jagger” song? Great. Look for David Sims’ review of this certain monstrosity Sunday.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Veronica Mars (11 a.m., Friday): Rowan Kaiser took a couple of months off, but he’s back and ready to go with Veronica Mars’ insanely ambitious, incredibly divisive second season. How will he react to such crazy plot twists as Veronica stopping a nuclear bomb bearing cell of terrorists by flying a plane into the desert, only to have George Mason take over the controls at the last minute or Veronica having to shoot Ryan Chapelle or the President being evil? I guess we’ll find out!
Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel (1 p.m., Friday): It’s the end of the road for Angel’s fourth season, which means Noel Murray gets to check out the show’s crazy—and successful!—bid for a fifth season, with a seemingly out-of-nowhere retool in the season finale, “Home.” He also drops in on the antepenultimate episode of Buffy, and we’re not ashamed to admit that we know the word antepenultimate because that guy over at Ain’t It Cool News uses it all the time.
The Adventures Of Pete And Pete (3 p.m., Friday): Marah Eakin returns with her coverage of this series, starting at the beginning of season two, which features an appearance by Iggy Pop in its season premiere. And who does he play? The father of one Nona Mecklenberg, played by Michelle Trachtenberg. And we have to say that the reason we’ve never quite bought Trachtenberg as a grown-up is because we’re always expecting her to turn up with a cast on her arm at some point.
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): Todd VanDerWerff covers “The Fever” and “The Last Flight,” and both episodes will surely have some ironic justice dispensed at one point or another. Actually, the second was written by the great Richard Matheson, who is probably responsible for at least one nightmare you’ve had in your life. You know the one. The one where you die, and the only two people you meet in Heaven are Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Cowboy Bebop (3 p.m., Saturday): Simon Abrams’ coverage of this anime classic returns from the dead (okay, returns from a short hiatus) to close out the series. Highlights of the Wikipedia page listing its episodes: the part where the episode capsule for “Bohemian Rhapsody” says, “The title of this episode is a reference to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen.” I mean, yeah, there are probably some people who don’t know that, but you’d think they could still figure it out via judicious Googling.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Nikita (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday): We’re all in favor of attractive women kicking each other in the face, so we’re happy to announce that we’ll be Open Threading this one for the foreseeable future, so you fellow fans of attractive women kicking each other in the face can all get together to have a “Face Kick-o-meter,” if you can get Nathan Ford’s Evil Twin to watch the show.
Bad Sex (Logo, 9 p.m., Friday): Kenny Herzog jumped right at the chance to review the premiere of this new show on Logo. Hmmmm… we wonder why that could be! (Obviously, it’s just because he’s fascinated by weird reality television concepts and just wanted to see what a show titled Bad Sex could possibly be about.) Look for his review this afternoon.
Give Me The Banjo (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Somebody got a camera and decided to make a documentary about banjos, and Steve Martin decided to narrate it. Run.
Ask Oprah’s All Stars (OWN, 10 p.m., Friday): We love the description of this episode, entitled, “Is This Normal?” Apparently, Oprah’s gathered a bunch of her all-star friends to get together and answer the questions of Americans who want to know if their sex lives or weird fetishes or cancerous growths are “normal,” and then we’ll get to watch it on TV! This one might be worth staying home for, folks.
River’s Edge, (Flix, 8 p.m., Friday): When we were in high school, we dated this girl (yes, collectively; please stop asking) who was really into the soundtrack for this movie, and she always wanted us to get her the soundtrack from it. And years later, when we reconnected with her on Facebook, we asked her if she’d ever gotten the album, and she was all, “What?” Anyway, this movie is pretty all right. Watch it.
The Grapes Of Wrath (Fox Movie Channel, 8:19 p.m., Friday): Whenever there’s an episode of Whitney to recap, we’ll be there. Wherever there’s a CBS procedural beatin’ up on an interesting cable drama, we’ll be there. Wherever there’s a reference to American Horror Story’s Rubber Man awkwardly stuck in the middle of an otherwise thoughtful defense of The Middle, oh, we’ll be there.
Yachting: World Invitational Cup (ESPN Classic, 8 p.m., Friday): Yeah, motherfuckin’ yachting is ON TV TONIGHT! Granted, it’s on ESPN Classic, which is pretty much the lowest ebb of the ESPN totem pole (though we still love it), but YACHTING! On TV! We can pretend it’s the Olympics! We’ll get out our little captain’s hats and chant “USA!”
The Pastor’s Wife (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Rose McGowan is in a Lifetime movie as—surprise!—a pastor’s wife. And, of course, this being Lifetime, she shoots her husband. Right in the face! She should talk to the ladies over on Nikita about how to handle such situations. (Hint: Far more kicking. Leaves less blood than the shooting.)
Wendy Liebman: Taller On TV (Showtime, 8 p.m., Saturday): We don’t really know anything about Liebman’s stand-up, but we know plenty of you enjoy watching stand-up specials, so we thought we’d note that there would be one featuring her on tonight. You’re welcome, you ungrateful bastards.
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (History, 8 p.m., Saturday): It’s difficult to say what exactly will be gained by this slow-moving, mesmerizing, terrific movie by being interrupted every 15 minutes by loud, fast-paced, aggressive advertising breaks, but it’s just nice that a network where people might see it will be showing it.
East Of Eden (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): Elia Kazan directed this tale of families and teenage rebellion set in World War I-era California, and James Dean became the movie’s big breakout star upon its release. You’ll, perhaps, be surprised to learn that the figure he plays is slightly rebellious and often tortured about his own role in the world. We know. It came as a shock.
College Football: LSU at Alabama (CBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): It’s here that we would make up something about this game or that we would go look up how these teams are doing or that we would pretend to care, but, honestly, it’s about time to be done with this bullshit, and Marcus Gilmer is far more well-versed in the intricacies of SEC rivalries—though, as a diehard Auburn fan, he doesn’t really have a dog in this fight). Maybe he can tell you all about it in comments.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Parks And Recreation (Thursday): Not that anybody was terribly worried that the show had “lost it” or anything (okay, some people were, but we had them locked up), but “End Of The World” should have been more than enough indication that the series still has it. It even had a closing montage set to sappy music that didn’t feel too forced! Steve Heisler checks in and nods his approval.