Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, October 4, and Saturday, October 5. All times are Eastern.
The Neighbors (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): It took this show the bulk of its first season, but it turned into a reliably entertaining and funny comedy, one that makes us laugh more than a lot of better shows. Yet ABC buried it on a night when few would be looking for it, after a lead-in that’s rather incompatible, and the ratings have sunk like a stone. (Why hasn’t ABC become the catch-all for stupid programming decisions? At least NBC knows how to use its one big lead-in!) Subsequently, our readership numbers have dropped too. Todd VanDerWerff steps in for Kenny Herzog for one week and one week only to determine the future of Neighbors coverage at T.V. Club. Come prepared for battle.
The Legend Of Korra (Nickelodeon, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Last week, Emily Guendelsberger wondered why nobody on this show is blinking anymore, blaming it on a new animation studio. Has she ever considered that everybody on this show is dealing with the Weeping Angels? That makes much more sense to us.
The Hollow Crown (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): As it turns out, there’s a Henry IV, Part II, and Kevin McFarland will check that out tonight. It really suffers from copying most of the plot from the first movie, like the part where Hal befriends yet another old, lonely person who helps him fight off the burglars in the end.
Strike Back (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): Scott’s stuck in prison, and Stonebridge is off… somewhere, and Myles McNutt is just waiting for something to blow up. To be fair to him, he’s almost always waiting for something to blow up. Sitting and watching and waiting and smiling at that which will soon explode.
Borgen (LinkTV, 1 a.m., Saturday): Season three begins with over two years having passed and Birgitte trying to come back from a devastating blow. Sonia Saraiya had her thoughts on season three as a whole, while Todd VanDerWerff will dive in on the episode-by-episode basis tonight. Go, Denmark!
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Miley Cyrus hosts, and she’s the musical guest. For our very own David Sims, who knows every word to “Party In The USA” in six different languages, this is a chance to say “so long!’ to the haterz. For the rest of America, this is something something twerking.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The X-Files (1 p.m., Saturday): Our X-Files reviews return just in time for Fox Mulder to completely disappear and turn into Robert Patrick. Okay, that’s not precisely what happens, but it’s how it worked out in the unpublished novelization of these episodes that Zack Handlen wrote back in 2004.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising (The Hub, 8 p.m., Friday): We got to “Transformers,” then weren’t sure we understood what any of the other words were supposed to mean following each other like that. Then we got to “Rising” and understood it was probably a bad thing.
Dog With A Blog (Disney, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Dog With A Blog airs its Halloween episode, which is entitled “Howloween,” probably because the titular dog with a Wordpress account will spend the entire episode howling at assorted things. Just a solid half-hour of howling. We can’t wait for our ears to bleed.
Beneath (Chiller, 9 p.m. Friday): A bunch of teenagers celebrating their graduation find themselves stranded in the middle of a lake in a leaky boat, hunted by a vicious predator beneath the surface of the lake. October means that every channel gets to do a low-budget horror movie! What a great month!
World’s Strangest UFO Stories (Science, 10 p.m., Friday): Here is What’s On Tonight’s super strange UFO story: Once, while driving to a nearby town to buy a TV with a friend, What’s On Tonight saw a strange light jet straight up into the sky, then take a 90-degree angle and jet off again. Straaaange!
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO, 8 p.m., Saturday): Stephen Frears directed this movie about Muhammad Ali’s battle to regain his title after having his conscientious objector status stripped by the government. Christopher Plummer stars, and Phil Dyess-Nugent has thoughts on how it all turned out.
Hell On Wheels (AMC, 9 p.m., Saturday): We didn’t cover this this season, but it unexpectedly proved solid for AMC on the night—at least among the audience AMC cares about, which is “people who like Westerns,” apparently—so Phil Dyess-Nugent will check out the third season finale and have thoughts.
Goodfellas (Encore, 8 p.m., Friday): Martin Scorsese is one of our greatest directors, and this is one of his greatest films. If you like gangster films and crime dramas, you’ll want to see Ray Liotta’s descent into a life of dark exuberance, in what feels like the blueprint for every antihero TV show ever made.
Night Of The Living Dead (TCM, 9:30 p.m., Friday): The dead rise, George Romero gets a career, and seemingly every other zombie movie of all time finds an inspiration. This is a great film any time of the year, but it’s particularly great when watched on a chilly, dark October night. Grab your popcorn.
The Player (Sundance, 8 p.m., Saturday): Sundance continues its journey through Robert Altman’s work from the ‘90s with this airing of one of the best Hollywood satires ever made, with Tim Robbins as a studio executive who finds himself drawn ever deeper into murder and intrigue. With dozens of cameos!
MLB Playoffs: Game 1: Tigers at Athletics (TBS, 9:30 p.m. (approximate), Friday): Here’s the first game of a series that should prove fairly evenly matched. Actually, we feel like we’ve heard very little about the A’s this year, probably because the Dodgers were good, so California focused on that instead.
College Football: Ohio State at Northwestern (ABC, 8 p.m., Saturday): Yeah, the Buckeyes are one of the top five teams in the nation, but ABC just keeps showing their games in primetime on Saturdays, and it’s weird. You’d think the network would find some other team to highlight, but that’s just not the case.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Originals (Thursday): Do you like exposition? Then have we got the show for you! This Vampire Diaries spinoff got its start after the season premiere of its parent show. Carrie Raisler had early thoughts on the first episode, while Rowan Kaiser had the full write-up for you exposition-heads.