Spartacus goes for a walk in the woods, probably in search of graphic violence and nudity

Spartacus goes for a walk in the woods, probably in search of graphic violence and nudity

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, February 17, and Saturday, February 18. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK
Spartacus: Vengeance (Starz, 10 p.m., Friday): We’re behind on this one, so we don’t really know what’s happening at present, but Ryan McGee insists to us that it’s been awesome and all that stuff. Tonight, Spartacus tries to lead survivors through the woods to safety, which sounds a lot like our vacation we took in the seventh grade, after our dad pissed off the locals and was forced to distract them by abandoning our car and setting off on foot through the wilderness. Except Spartacus probably has better abs than our dad.


REGULAR COVERAGE
Fringe (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Tonight’s episode description includes the phrase “helps Olivia discover more surprises,” which sounds like it could describe every episode of this show ever. And Noel Murray’s very special surprise birthday party.

Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday): And this episode’s description involves a demon going on a killing spree, which sounds like every episode of this show ever. Phil Dyess-Nugent wants to know if everybody decided to take February sweeps off.

Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday): Okay, this episode involves a motorcycle, and we’re pretty sure this is the first ever Portlandia episode about motorcycles. They’ll probably do something sort of quirky and twee. Just how Christian Williams likes it.

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Maya Rudolph is back to host, but we’re most excited about Sleigh Bells, the musical guest. We’re just sad that we could never be cool enough to date the girl from Sleigh Bells. Not even David Sims.


TV CLUB CLASSIC
Veronica Mars (11 a.m., Friday): It’s time for season three, so Rowan Kaiser’s about to learn a bunch of stuff about mini-mystery arcs, serial rapist plots that are too clever by half, and also Ed Begley, Jr. It’s the last he’s most excited about.

The Adventures Of Pete & Pete (3 p.m., Friday): Meanwhile, Marah Eakin is bringing season two to a close over here, and since the third season has never been released on DVD, whatever will happen next? If only the Internet would rescue us!

The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): Todd VanDerWerff is off in the middle of the Los Angeleno wasteland this weekend, working on a new column, but he’s going to take time out of his schedule to cover two episodes of this show. Just for you!

Cowboy Bebop (3 p.m., Saturday): Simon Abrams is closing in on the end of this show’s run, and he still hasn’t told us which one of these guys is Cowboy Bebop. Honestly, it’s all we want to know. We don’t care if it’s a spoiler! Just tell us!


WHAT ELSE IS ON?
NAACP Image Awards (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): The NAACP, perhaps America’s most prominent and oldest civil rights organization, prepares to give its most prestigious award for the arts to… George Lucas? What on Earth? Mysteries upon mysteries!

Nikita (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday): Here’s another one we haven’t bothered keeping up with, but we’re told that it’s been pretty good this season and that the ratings are so bad that it seems unlikely for renewal. So watch, if you like things, we guess.

A Special Edition Of 20/20 (ABC, 9 p.m., Friday): If you’re looking for some Whitney Houston tributes this evening, here’s your best bet as the venerable newsmagazine looks into the life and untimely death of the famous singer.

I Shouldn’t Be Alive (Animal Planet, 10 p.m., Friday): Tonight, some guy goes on a sightseeing tour to Mayan ruins and somehow ends up lost in the middle of a dense jungle. This once happened to us, but it was on a tour of the Fruit Roll-ups factory.

The Fades (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): If you haven’t been following this enjoyable supernatural drama, it’s gotten pretty entertaining in recent weeks, and we hear tonight’s season finale takes things up to another level of insane chaos.

The Firm (NBC, 9 p.m., Saturday): Do you ever wonder if there’s anybody out there who found out that The Firm was moving to Saturdays and said, “Man, that’s going to rule out doing anything on Saturdays for a while!” Because we’d like to meet them.

Super (TMC, 8 p.m., Friday): Rainn Wilson becomes a most unlikely superhero in this disturbing, violent, dark comedy that seems likely to become a cult classic in the years to come. See it now. When your friends tell you to see it, you can act superior.

Batman Returns (BBC America, 9 p.m., Friday): You should watch this movie, too, so when your kids beg you to go see The Lorax, you can imagine that both Frank Reynolds and The Penguin are voicing that little orange guy. As it should be!

The Train (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): We’ve never seen this one, but it’s directed by John Frankenheimer, and the description—a bunch of soldiers try to stop a Nazi train—sounds like the greatest thing ever. We’ll recommend based on nothing!

NBA Basketball: Mavericks at 76ers (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): Apparently the 76ers aren’t terrible this year? Is this just another way that the sports gods are going to fuck with Philadelphia? Because we’re not sure Philly sports fans can take any more.

NASCAR Racing: Budweiser Shootout (Fox, 8 p.m): Oh, hey, this is back. Anybody in comments care to stick up for NASCAR and insist we’re missing out on lots of strategy and fascinating intricacies? Because we continue to doubt your claims.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
30 Rock (Thursday): Meredith Blake drops in for an episode that makes fun of… The Dark Knight? All right. We guess the show doesn’t need to be a cutting-edge satire anymore, but it would have been nice to get some advance notice, eh? 

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