Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, January 18, and Saturday, January 19. All times are Eastern.
Fringe (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): After five seasons, 100 episodes (exactly), and almost five years on the air, Fringe is ending as it lived: trying to save the world, getting up in everybody’s business, and garnering what will surely be low ratings. Still, if you’re one of the few who stuck with this all the way to the end, you’re either wildly excited for the end of what’s been a thrilling season, or you’re pretty sure everything is just going to disappoint you. And guess what! Both of those things are probably going to be self-fulfilling prophecies! Noel Murray takes a Sundance break to see how everything wraps up.
Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday): The title of this episode is “Squiggleman,” and just the idea of something called Squiggleman has given Les Chappell so many nightmares that he’s not sure he’ll be able to make it through his screener without hiding his eyes and weeping. Stay strong, Les!
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Now, we here at What’s On Tonight don’t often watch SNL, because we never watched it in adolescence and caught the bug, but the idea of Jennifer Lawrence hosting has us all twitterpated. David Sims knows that’s because she’s all lollipops and sunshine.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The X-Files (1 p.m., Saturday): Supposedly, “First Person Shooter” is the worst episode of this show ever, to hear some fans tell it. Todd VanDerWerff has never seen it, but he’s just the man to tackle it, we thought, because, secretly, we hate him. Try not to tell him about this, but if it comes up, it comes up.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Most Embarrassing Living Room In America (HGTV, 8 p.m., Friday): The most embarrassing living room in America? You’re lookin’ at it! Actually, you probably aren’t, because you’re not the one writing these words right now. Are you? Okay. Pretend you can see our living room. It’s embarrassing, right?
Nikita (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday): Even though it feels like the show went even further off the radar this season than it has the previous two, we’ve been told it’s still a lot of fun and one of TV’s best action dramas. Look. We don’t have time to watch everything, all right? We’ve got to catch up on Bunheads!
Oprah’s Next Chapter (OWN, 9 p.m., Friday): If you missed the first part of Oprah Winfrey’s game changing interview with Lance Armstrong, well, you can watch the second part and hear some boring stuff about sponsors or whatever. Or you could read Kevin McFarland’s review of part one here.
Best Week Ever (VH1, 10 p.m. Friday): If you’ve missed this show, it’s back, to fill the hole in your heart that The Soup left when it absconded to Wednesdays. VH1 promises a “new” cast of comedians, there to comment on the ephemera and weirdness of the week that was. Maybe you’ll laugh at what they say!
An Idiot Abroad/Stuff You Should Know (Science, 9 p.m., Saturday): First up, Ryan McGee watches as Karl Pilkington begins his third voyage around the world. After that, the popular podcast heads for the small screen, in a series that… well, it’s described as a “mockumentary,” which just confuses us.
Ripper Street (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): A bunch of cops chase after Jack the Ripper in a vaguely steampunk-themed new detective show imported from overseas. Zack Handlen is on the case, and he’s probably just going to realize his great-great-great-great-great grandmother was Jack the Ripper. Twist!
The Fast And The Furious (TNT, 8 p.m., Friday): After five movies—and surely more will be coming—it’s time to relive how it all began, when Vin Diesel thought he only needed to be in one of these things and Paul Walker seemed like a really good idea. Most importantly, the cars go fast. Do you need more?
Hannibal (BBC America, 9 p.m., Friday): Here’s a sequel to Silence Of The Lambs that pretty much everybody saw, but then nobody remembered all that much about it, because we all signed a contract agreeing we’d forget all about it. Julianne Moore fills in for Jodie Foster, but Anthony Hopkins returns.
Lolita (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): You can’t go wrong with a little Stanley Kubrick, even if it’s one of his lesser films. James Mason plays the man who becomes obsessed with a young girl (Sue Lyon), in a movie that—like the book it’s based on—is surprisingly funny. Oh, and Peter Sellers turns up in it, too.
NBA Basketball: Bulls at Celtics (ESPN, 7 p.m., Friday): For the second week in a row, ESPN is airing a Bulls game in its Friday night slot, presumably because all anyone in America cares about anymore is the Bulls. Anyway, both of these teams have winning records, but the Celtics only just barely. Could be fun!
Australian Open: Early-round play (ESPN2, 9 p.m., Saturday): Wait. Australia? Just how long are your “early rounds” going to go on? Because we’re about ready for some quarterfinals or some semifinals or something. We’re not sure how much longer we can take all of this undefined play before we lose it!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Suits (Thursday): We here at What’s On Tonight got caught up on Suits over the long break, and we’re pleased to say it lived up to all of the nice things Carrie Raisler’s been saying about it. The more important question, though, is if she was down with the midseason premiére. Watch it and find out!