Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4. All times are Eastern.
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday): The February sweeps period is the perfect draw extra eyeballs with outlandish plots and buzz-generating guest stars. Much to the disappointment of Zack Handlen—who has the chorus of “Spice Up Your Life” tattooed on his bicep—Supernatural didn’t bother to reunite a certain U.K. girl group for the episode titled “The Slice Girls.” But the episode does involve rapidly aging children and bodies turning up without their hands and feet, so at there’s that.
Fringe (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): The title of tonight’s episode, “Making Angels,” brings to mind outdoor winter fun—but it most likely refers to a lunatic running amok with a deadly “toxic weapon.” Noel Murray kinda wishes that weapon was a snowball.
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): In a possible crossover with its Friday-night companion, Dateline NBC, Grimm investigates the monster-run black market for human organs. Chris Hansen may have some questions for Kevin McFarland afterward.
Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday): In a match straight out of an A.V. Club editor’s dream, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark guests on the episode which also sees the return of Kyle MacLachlan’s Rose City mayor. Next week, Christian Williams hopes the show finally brings together Andrew Bird and Sherilyn Fenn.
Spartacus: Vengeance (Starz, 10 p.m., Friday): With the gladiators free, they’re just running around liberating everybody in Rome. Ryan McGee leads a rousing rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret (IFC, 10:30 p.m., Friday): The comedy’s tradition of saddling its episodes with unwieldy titles may have reached an apex with the penultimate entry of its second season, “The Crime Scene, The Storyteller, And The Sanctimonious Tower Of Morality.” The only unwieldy title Kevin McFarland demands is “He Of The Especially Busy Friday-Night TV Club Slate.”
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): In one of the weirder host/musical guest pairings in recent memory, tough-guy actor Channing Tatum and willowy indie darling Bon Iver team up in Studio 8H. David Sims prefers the classic, volatile pairing of “Anyone Can Host” winner Miskel Spillman and Elvis Costello And The Attractions.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Veronica Mars (11 a.m., Friday): As Veronica preps for graduation in the season-two finale, she’s also getting closer to solving the mystery of the bus accident. Meanwhile, Casey convinces Henry to begin auditioning again. Rowan Kaiser doesn’t appreciate our joke conflating the ends of Veronica Mars’ and Party Down’s second seasons.
The Adventures Of Pete & Pete (3 p.m., Friday): As promised last week, we’re already weeping over the conclusion of this two-parter. The smell of tire air can’t hide Marah Eakin’s sadness at the pending departure of Artie, The Strongest Man… IN THE WORLD.
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): Submitted for your approval: Rod Serling’s original Twilight Zone pilot, removed from the venue for which it was intended and produced instead for the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. Todd VanDerWerff visits a world where The Twilight Zone was a one-off pitstop along the teleplay highway, here, in the, er, Twilight Zone.
Cowboy Bebop (3 p.m., Saturday): Fresh from the Sundance Film Festival, Simon Abrams tackles “Cowboy Funk,” a Cowboy Bebop episode filled with Sergio Leone homages. If he’s not sporting an impressive mustache, a six shooter, and a 10-gallon hat by episode’s end, then the Wild West is truly dead.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): The third-season première of this antagonistically titled genealogy series sends Martin Sheen to Ireland and Spain. Intriguing ties to the past are uncovered—though nothing that explains what the hell was up with Sheen’s youngest son last year.
Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America (VH1, 10 p.m., Friday): Soul and R&B lost one of their hardest-working ambassadors this week. Help commemorate the life of Soul Train host and creator Don Cornelius with this one-hour retrospective filled with deep grooves, outrageous style, and plenty of sooooooooooooooooul.
Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? (Investigation Discovery, 9 p.m., Saturday): We generally frown upon the grating use of “(Bleep)” as a substitute for good, ol’ fashioned profanity (particularly on a fount of obscenity like the Internet), but we’d be goddamn, ass-backwards fools with fucking shit for brains to pass up a half-hour about a “Gold Digging Grandma” who’s also a bigamist.
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (ABC Family, 9 p.m., Friday): Remember those halcyon days of the mid-’00s, when Vince Vaughn was the face of film comedy? Half a decade and one Wild West Comedy Show later, it’s much more fun to watch Rip Torn chuck wrenches at that face.
Gandhi (TCM, 8 p.m., Friday): Imagine you’re a high-school history teacher in 1982, seeing Gandhi for the very first time. Are you:
a) Enchanted by Ben Kingsley’s Oscar-winning performance in the title role, or
b) Eager for the film’s home-video release, which will allow you to annually kill three-and-a-half class periods for the rest of your career by showing Richard Attenborough’s 199-minute biopic to your students?
Saturday Night Fever (AMC, 8 p.m., Saturday): Given that Saturday Night Fever and Grease are showing on cable tonight, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s John Travolta’s birthday. (The future Tony Manero was actually born on Feb. 18, 1954.) It’s not a celebration of everyone’s favorite Scientologist—it’s just another Saturday night on basic cable.
NBA Basketball: Knicks at Celtics (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): Another New York team gets its time in the national-TV spotlight before the Football Giants have their big Super Bowl Sunday moment in Indianapolis—too bad it’s the perpetually imploding Knicks.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Delocated: We’ve added this brutally hilarious Adult Swim series to our regular rotation, and Steve Heisler couldn’t be happier about spending hours imagining what Jon Glaser looks like under that mask and watching Eugene Mirman’s Russian assassin fall in love.