Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13. All times are Eastern.
Spartacus (Starz, 9 p.m., Friday): So this is it. The end of Spartacus. The end of a show that was awesome, but only a handful of you watched, and you’ll catch up on it on DVD years from now and say, “Oh, why didn’t you tell me!” and then we’ll disembowel you with a sword. Ryan McGee’s only hope is that the show dies as it lived: with the entire cast and crew emerging from behind a big, blue curtain to sing, “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together,” a la Carol Burnett, before everybody beheads each other.
House Of Cards (Netflix, 1 p.m., Friday): Ryan McGee has gotten to “the thing” that happens. You know. That big thing that everybody who watched this back when it first came out couldn’t stop talking about? He’s gotten there, and now, he’s going to tell you why he thinks that particular thing doesn’t work.
Happy Endings (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): In the first of tonight’s two all new episodes, it’s “game night,” which sounds promising to us, because “game night” has made for some great sitcom episodes before. David Sims hopes nobody settles for Scrabble or Monopoly. He insists they play Agricola until they die!
Doctor Who (BBC America, 8 p.m., Saturday): What could possibly make Doctor Who better to us? Would you accept a nuclear submarine? No? How about Cold War paranoia? Still no? How about Davos Seaworth himself, Liam Cunningham? Alasdair Wilkins bows his knee to the Onion Knight getting work.
Smash (NBC, 8 p.m., Saturday): In keeping with its overall strategy, NBC is moving this week’s episode of Smash an hour earlier for what appears to be absolutely no reason. Todd VanDerWerff is ready to see what happens to Bombshell in dress rehearsal. He hopes it involves somebody getting slimed.
Orphan Black (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): We hope you enjoyed meeting Alison, our favorite character in this whole thing, last week. Just the right blend of uptight and proactive, Alison is the identical twin soccer mom of our dreams! Caroline Framke thinks we have super weird fantasies.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): David Sims saw that Vince Vaughan was hosting this week’s episode and hightailed it outta here. (He has nothing against Vaughan; Fred Claus just gave him post-traumatic stress flashbacks.) So Dennis Perkins steps in to let you all know just what was funny.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday): Rowan Kaiser assures us that these are the episodes that change everything, when Babylon 5 goes from just a casual fling to a long-term committed relationship for those of you who are predisposed to watch shows about aliens and spaceships and stuff. Hope they’re good!
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): After this season’s Civil War infatuation, The Twilight Zone returns to its most favorite conflict of them all: World War II. In this week’s episode, an American soldier gets a chance to see things from a Japanese point-of-view. Todd VanDerWerff promises ironic twists.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Eve Of Destruction (Reelz, 8 p.m., Friday): Scientists find a new energy source that could save the Earth, but it’s sabotaged by “eco-activists,” which just goes to show you that the people trying to better our planet are liars and fools! You should drive the biggest car you can and burn all your trash. Right now!
Swamp’d (Animal Planet, 8 p.m., Friday): We really have no idea what this is about—beyond a general idea that it might take place in or near a swamp—but we do like that the second episode of tonight’s doubleheader is called “Goat Wedding.” Kindly discuss what you will wear to the goat wedding.
Vegas (CBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Network burnoff theatre continues with this shoulda-been-great CBS period piece procedural that, instead, just ended up fairly boring. Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis will never do TV again after this debacle. You ruined it for everyone, CBS! Don’t think you can get out of this one.
Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz, 9 p.m. Friday): Finally! A series that reimagines Leonardo Da Vinci as the superhero he so clearly was, from the mind of David Goyer, who sees everything and tries to turn it into a superhero! Ryan McGee would like to let you know that this historical drama includes robot birds.
Bet On Your Baby (ABC, 8 p.m., Saturday): The hits just keep on comin’, as ABC brings you a new reality show about parents betting on their toddlers’ ability to perform simple tasks or win simple games. The best toddlers get money toward their college educations. Katherine Miller hopes the worst get the pit.
Louis C.K.: Oh My God (HBO, 10 p.m., Saturday): After superhero Da Vinci and parents gambling on toddlers, wouldn’t it be a relief to just watch a nice Louis C.K. stand-up special? Well, better hope you have HBO, because that’s the only way you’re going to. Kyle Ryan will tell you what was funny, too.
Adaptation (Sundance, 8 p.m., Friday): Charlie Kaufman’s script for this film—in which a screenwriter named Charlie Kaufman struggles to adapt Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief—was justly acclaimed, but don’t ignore director Spike Jonze’s contributions to the film as well. He does some great stuff here.
The Long Kiss Goodnight (MoMax, 8 p.m., Friday): Remember Geena Davis? Remember when she was an actress who was reliably counted upon to carry movies? Then remember how that very slowly began to change? Our friends in high school swore by this movie. We’ve never seen it; for Geena, we might.
About Schmidt (TV Guide Network, 8 p.m., Saturday): Just for the utter incongruity of it airing on the TV Guide Network, we recommend you watch Alexander Payne’s acclaimed story of a Nebraska widower (Jack Nicholson) who embarks on a road trip to his daughter’s wedding. It’s touching and cynical!
The Masters: Second round play (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): Oh, that’s right. It’s time for the biggest golf tournament in the whole wide world. Most of you are probably cheering for Tiger Woods or whatever, but we’ll be content here on our island of Charl Schwartzel love. Who doesn’t want good things for him?
Bowling: NCAA women’s championship (ESPNU, 8 p.m., Saturday): Just because the NCAA basketball tournaments are over doesn’t mean that there’s not still great college sporting events to watch. Why, just this weekend, you’ve got the women’s bowling championship! Doesn’t that sound exciting?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Legit (Thursday): We liked this comedy quite a bit back when it debuted, but our love tapered off with time. Now that the first season has ended, Steve Heisler tries to figure out just what it was about the show that eventually didn’t quite work. Also, he’ll make fun of Australians some. They had it coming!