Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, August 17, and Saturday, August 18. All times are Eastern.
Strike Back (Cinemax, 9 p.m., Friday): At some point in the very recent past, Cinemax decided it didn’t just want to be known as a channel where young, American men could get to see soft-core pornography through the haze of static when it was time for them to come of age, and, indeed, wanted to mix that affection for nudity with its other affection—for things blowing up. It was perhaps a surprise, then, that Strike Back ended up being enormously entertaining. Now, renowned explosion enthusiast Myles McNutt is covering the series’ second season (okay, third season if you’re British, but who’s counting?), which begins tonight with an, er, bang.
Boss (Starz, 9 p.m., Friday): Starz picked up the second season of this one before the first had even aired, though we wonder if they got a little unnerved when they saw just how low the ratings were going. But this is Starz! They don’t care about ratings! They care about prestige! As does Sonia Saraiya.
Lost Girl (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): Bo has a “steamy night” that goes wrong. And if you’re looking at the show on TV Guide’s episode listings, why, it’s right next to Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, which is also about a steamy night that goes wrong and probably something you forgot about. Kevin McFarland sure did!
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Firefly (1 p.m., Friday): After the series highpoint of “Out Of Gas,” it’s time for the crew of the Serenity to invade Alliance airspace to pull off a daring heist. Will they succeed? Probably! This is television, after all. But Noel Murray and Donna Bowman are concerned enough that they’ve knit little pennants.
Chappelle’s Show (3 p.m., Friday): Ryan McGee catches up to the final two episodes of the series proper and sees some foreshadowing of the drama that would erupt between Dave Chappelle and Comedy Central in these episodes. Should we have all seen it coming? Thanks for bumming us out, Ryan!
Animaniacs (11 a.m., Saturday): So as it turns out, we’ve been a week ahead with these little capsules, because… well, we’re not really sure why. Carelessness is probably the answer. Genevieve Koski was going to reprimand us, but instead, she just rolled her eyes, like we were the Brothers Warner.
The X-Files/Millennium (1 p.m., Saturday): Finally, we’ve gotten to the episodes where the series explains its mythology, and we’re pretty sure nothing is going to become any clearer. One thing’s for certain: Todd VanDerWerff has rarely heard this many monologues in one place. Sheesh!
Pulling (3 p.m., Saturday): Haven’t been following along with our coverage of this whacked out British series? It’s your loss, as Margaret Eby has almost reached the end of the road, and you’ll never know just how great it will be when Louise gets addicted to shoplifting. Hilarious! And you’ll never know.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Teachers Rock Presented By Walmart (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): Who better to celebrate the wonder of teachers—and the back-to-school season in general—than Walmart, which is well known for only employing those who’ve received the very best of educations? The only one we can think of is CBS!
Gravity Falls (Disney Channel, 9 p.m., Friday): You rallied and made this very popular on an evening when we generally don’t do a lot of traffic. Now, we want to see if you can do it two weeks in a row. Because we’re dicks that way, and we enjoy jerking Alasdair Wilkins around. That’s why.
A Chance To Dance (Ovation, 10 p.m., Friday): This new series follows two of the U.K.’s preeminent dancers and choreographers as they attempt to set up a new dance company for Nigel Lythgoe in just 28 days. Why are you falling asleep? Don’t you like dancing? Oh, you just don’t like Nigel? Carry on.
Inocente (MTV, 10 p.m., Friday): MTV continues along with its series of documentaries about young people in intriguing situations that absolutely no one will watch because it schedules them when its core audience is out doing shit. Tonight, the network follows around an illegal immigrant, making her way.
Smart Cookies (Hallmark, 9 p.m., Saturday): Finally, the movie about Girl Scout cookies that your grandmother has been waiting for, complete with starring turns from Patricia Richardson—whom she’ll remember from that Tim Allen show—and Jessalyn Gilsig. Actually… did your grandma watch Nip/Tuck?
Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff (Comedy Central, 11 p.m., Saturday): Popular comedian Amy Schumer tells jokes. Hopefully, you will laugh. Actually, it’s 11 p.m. on a Saturday night. Of course you’re going to laugh. Low bar to clear here, Ms. Schumer. Low bar! Fortunately, it appears her jokes will be about cats.
Scarface (AMC, 6 p.m., Friday): AMC hopes that you’ll get ready for Sunday’s all new Breaking Bad by locking yourself in for four hours tonight and watching the entirety of Scarface, just like Walter and his son were doing a couple of weeks ago! Maybe you can terrify your spouse while you’re at it.
Whip It (Style, 8 p.m., Friday): We’ve been told by a handful of people that this roller derby movie starring Ellen Page—the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore!—is worth a look. We’ve been skeptical, but the presence of a whole bunch of people we enjoy might get us to check it out. Will you join us?
Captains Courageous (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): Okay, so, this is a fun, sea-faring adventure from the pages of Rudyard Kipling, but we like to say its title like Captain Caveman used to say his name. Sure, it requires a few extra syllables, but we know you want to shout it. Go ahead. Do it right now.
Little League World Series (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): As we established last week, there is nothing more enjoyable than to see the dreams of children crushed, and in this week’s installment of “children’s dreams crushed on TV,” you can watch the Great Lakes take on the Northwest. Go, Great Lakes!
Bull Riding PBR in San Antonio (NBC Sports, 8 p.m., Saturday): NBC Sports, having grudgingly realized it’s not going to get the Olympics back until 2014, has rolled out a whole mess of shit, until it can get back to showing NHL games. Included in the “whole mess of shit” package: bull riding showdowns!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Burn Notice (Thursday): So, if you paid attention, you’ll know that we do enjoy our explosions here at the ol’ TV Club, and while we think Strike Back does ‘em up just right, we can’t deny the influence of this show and its many, many explosions. Scott Von Doviak, honestly, would love to see more stuff blow up.