Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, December 14, and Saturday, December 15. All times are Eastern.
Portlandia (IFC, 10:30 p.m., Friday): In true Portlandia fashion, this isn’t a Christmas special. It’s a winter special, because everybody can appreciate and enjoy cold weather, drizzly precipitation, and just generally wishing that everything would end! To that end, we’ve tasked Portland resident Les Chappell to point out all of the things that this special gets wrong about what it’s like to live in the city of ports, as well as all of the things it gets wrong about winter. Little known fact: Les is also hero of winter Jack Frost!
Fringe (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): In tonight’s episode, Peter and Olivia follow a strange signal into the woods, but it leads to a “shocking” scene. If that shocking scene isn’t the teddy bear’s picnic or perhaps the revelry that goes on at the Bohemian Grove, Noel Murray is going to be very disappointed in the show.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): It’s a night of legends, as Martin Short hosts, and Paul McCartney is the musical guest. David Sims would love to see the two duet on “Silly Love Songs,” but if Sir Paul needs somebody different to sing backup, David will be happy to come in from Brooklyn.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The X-Files (1 p.m., Saturday): One of this week’s episodes is called “The Goldberg Variation,” which, of course, sets us to thinking about Rube Goldberg’s machines, which, of course, sets Todd VanDerWerff to thinking about just where he can get his hands on The Incredible Machine games. Those were awesome!
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Last Man Standing/Malibu Country (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): You’re running out of original network content as everybody’s favorite TV channels shut down for the holidays. Fortunately, Tim Allen and Reba McEntire are there for you tonight. But what will you do next Friday when Tim Allen has deserted you?
Great Performances (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): If you’re watching Paul McCartney on SNL, why not just make it a Beatles weekend, as PBS revisits the making of the band’s film Magical Mystery Tour? Don’t tell anybody, but the soundtrack to that is probably our least favorite Beatles album. And yours?
My Naked Secret (Discovery Fitness & Health p.m., Friday): In its continuing quest to spread only goodness and light into the world, DFH has come up with a show that examines just what people think looks weirdest about them when they’re naked. Here’s What’s On Tonight’s: We’re covered in feathers.
Eugene Mirman: An Evening Of Comedy In A Fake Underground Laboratory (Comedy Central, 11:59 p.m., Friday): Erik Adams takes a look at this new stand-up special from the hilarious comedian/voice of Gene on Bob’s Burgers. Is it too much to ask that he bring along a musical fart machine? Please?
Too Cute! (Animal Planet, 8 p.m., Saturday): We got an exclusive preview of this episode, entitled “Cuddly Kittens,” and it’s going to blow your mind with its revelations about the Too Cute! mythology. For starters: Jeremiah Puddleduck? It turns out he’s working with Euphegenia Bunny! We know.
Six Little McGhees (OWN, 10 p.m., Saturday): Two parents to sextuplets… ah, ah, ah, OWN! We’ll stop you right there! We know you’re a relatively new network, but surely you’re aware putting families with large numbers of toddlers on the air almost always ends poorly, right? Let’s cancel this pre-air.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Disney Channel, 8 p.m., Friday): We know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Charles Dickens write A Christmas Carol?” And we can see where you might have gotten confused on that point. But, actually, A Christmas Carol was written by Walt Disney, and it was written in 2009.
Trouble In Paradise (TCM, 8 p.m., Friday): Turner Classic Movies is airing a bunch of Ernst Lubitsch films today, and this is the best of the bunch, with a jewel thief and pickpocket falling in love while pulling wacky schemes. It’s got great dialogue and fun performances, and you should definitely check it out.
Elf (CBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): Shoot us if you must, but we really enjoy this Will Ferrell vehicle, in which he plays a human who believes himself to be one of Santa’s elves until he’s told that, no, he’s not. For bonus points, check out Zooey Deschanel before she was all sunshine and light 100 percent of the time.
Goodwood Festival Of Speed (Speed, 9 p.m., Friday): Sports picks are rather slim this weekend, but here’s an hour-long show that appears to just be a bunch of people seeing how fast they can drive, instead of racing each other or anything like that. Or, as we like to call it: 15 minutes late for work.
College Basketball: Michigan vs. West Virginia (ESPN, 8 p.m., Saturday): Undefeated Michigan is ranked third in both major polls and looks like one of the strongest teams out there. West Virginia is from West Virginia. We’re pretty sure you can see where this one’s going. But it’s played in Brooklyn!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Unsupervised (Thursday): We can’t believe it happened either, but FX renewed this show for a second season, then unrenewed it, then decided to burn off the three episodes it still had in the can from season one, so Brandon Nowalk is trudging through them, lamenting what might have been.