Animal Planet dares rank the top 20 puppies; prepare your torches and pitchforks

Animal Planet dares rank the top 20 puppies; prepare your torches and pitchforks

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, August 23, and Saturday, August 24. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK
Too Cute! (Animal Planet, 8 p.m., Saturday):
You know What’s On Tonight loves a good countdown, and on this long, mostly television-free weekend, Animal Planet has come up with a doozy: It’s going to count down the top 20 puppies. Are these the top 20 puppies of all time? The top 20 puppies of right now? The top 20 kinds of puppies? The top 20 puppies you haven’t heard of yet? We don’t know yet, and we don’t know how Animal Planet would have accomplished any of those well-nigh Herculean tasks. But stick around after the puppy countdown is over. The next episode? “Puffy Beach Kitties.” Yes.


REGULAR COVERAGE
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday):
Andy Richter drops by to have a nice time with everybody on the show, and maybe he’ll offer up some talk show advice to the gang. Like… don’t leave a steady gig to make it in Hollywood, because those things often end poorly. David Sims just loved Quintuplets.

Borgen (LinkTV, 1 a.m., Saturday): When’s Birgitte gonna get this damn bill passed? If she wants to make her mark on the nation of Denmark, she’s gotta reform the welfare system or… something. We don’t entirely understand it. Todd VanDerWerff just knows something’s rotten in the Denmark state.


TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday):
One of this week’s episodes is called “Grey 17 Is Missing,” and all Rowan Kaiser wants to know is where it went. Actually, since he’s actually watched this episode, he probably knows where it went. But he’s not telling us, because he’s pretty much just an asshole that way.

Wonderfalls (3 p.m., Friday): With just two episodes left, Jaye has learned why the tchotchkes of the world have chosen her as their mouthpiece, and Les Chappell found the moment appropriately emotional when it arrived. He was so moved he spent several hours crying over a salt shaker afterward.

The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): Goddammit, people who live in The Twilight Zone! When will you learn to stop making deals with the devil? Todd VanDerWerff has seen this exact scenario play out so many times, and it never ends well for you. Then again, he’s pretty sure he could outsmart ol’ Scratch.


WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Definitive Guide To Aliens (Science, 8 p.m., Friday):
The Science Channel is airing two hours of this, which is good, because we need to be more definitive about our aliens nowadays. After all, if cable television doesn’t expose us to the reptilians David Icke has been warning us about, then who will?

Perfect Score (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday): A pair of 30-year-old friends are in a race to get married, which sounds like an excellent way to meet the person who will make you happy for the rest of your life and not a good way to find someone who might make you happy for a little while before the sadness sets in.

Dateline NBC (NBC, 9 p.m. Friday): NBC continues to feature its exclusive interview with Hannah Anderson—the 16-year-old San Diego girl who was kidnapped by a family friend and dragged off to Idaho—because no sensitive subject can’t have several hours of television devoted to its exploitation.

What Not To Wear (TLC, 10 p.m., Friday): This show is still on the air, and it tosses out an episode tonight where a tomboy is informed it’s time to stop dressing in camouflage and start dressing like a lady, goddammit. We’re holding out for the show to have a crossover with Duck Dynasty ourselves.

Escape From Polygamy (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Despite the word “escape” being in the title, we somehow doubt that this one will be turned into an exciting and immersive theme park ride at Universal Studios Florida. Though if the park is at all curious, we’ve been Imagineering up some ideas over here.

Axe Cop/High School USA! (Fox, 11 p.m., Saturday): Fox’s new ADHD animated bloc goes on hiatus for a few weeks after getting a summer tryout. Will it prove the future of television? Probably not, but we’ve been enjoying both programs’ scruffy charm. We suspect you may have other feelings on the matter.

Looper (Starz, 9 p.m., Friday): Rian Johnson’s gleefully entertaining time travel movie was a whole mess of fun, and it made us believe in the greatness of Emily Blunt and Bruce Willis all over again. As to Joseph Gordon Levitt, well, we never stopped believing in you, Golden Joe. And we never will.

Venus And Serena (Showtime, 9 p.m., Friday): Showtime offers up the TV debut of this sports documentary that’s about the Williams sisters, as you might expect. They’re the ones who play tennis, in case you’d forgotten. We can still remember the days when Venus had more Grand Slam titles. Sigh.

The Lady Eve (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): We’ll take just about any excuse to talk about the incandescent films of Preston Sturges here at What’s On Tonight, and the occasion of an airing of one of his best three or four (or five) films, featuring the great Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, seems like a great one.

NFL Football Exhibition: Seahawks at Packers (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): These were two of the NFC’s best teams last year, so thrill to the sight of their second-string offenses taking on each other’s third-string defenses. We’ll be in the corner hyperventilating about the 49ers sharing a division with the Seahawks.

WNBA Basketball: Chicago at Atlanta (ESPN2, 7 p.m., Saturday): The top two teams in the Eastern Conference face off in a game that will see if Atlanta can make up any ground on Chicago in the standings. If you’re missing basketball action—and we all are—then give this one a chance.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Pitch (Thursday):
We keep hearing that this AMC advertising agency-set reality series is one of the best reality shows out there, but we still have yet to check it out. Instead, we sent Gwen Ihnat—who knows a little something about advertising because she plays Peggy Olsen on Mad Men—to check it out.

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