Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23. All times are Eastern.
The Legend Of Korra (Nickelodeon, 11 a.m., Saturday): It’s season finale time, as Korra goes undercover to learn the secret of the Equalists. This sounds like a good goal to us, but we’re mostly sad that the show is going away (likely for a year) just when we were finally getting to know it. Emily Guendelsberger is sad to say farewell to all of these new characters, but she’s certain all of us will be watching and rewatching the series in the off-season, to get ready for whatever happens in season two. Our prediction for this finale: very few things that are good.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday): Rowan Kaiser makes a visit to “The Parliament Of Dreams,” which is the place we go every night. There are only five officials seated in our parliament of dreams, but all of them are Vikings, and at least one of them is a duck in Viking helmet who controls our every thought.
Firefly (1 p.m., Friday): Donna Bowman and Noel Murray are getting ready for a little “Shindig,” and this is an episode we don’t really remember, except that we think everybody looked very fetching in it. Does that sound accurate? Anyway, if you’d like to see the cast of Firefly looking fetching, now you know.
Chappelle’s Show (3 p.m., Friday): Ryan McGee is gonna break this one down, sketch-by-sketch, for you, and then he’s gonna tell you what worked and what didn’t work. Considering this week has a sketch called “Frontline: Racist Hollywood Animals,” we’ll assume the “what worked” section will just be that.
Animaniacs (11 a.m., Saturday): One of this week’s episodes is entitled “Operation: Lollipop.” Genevieve Koski watched enough Saturday morning cartoons in the ‘80s to know the real Operation: Lollipop is designed to see how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop.
The X-Files/Millennium (1 p.m., Saturday): Zack Handlen watches as Mulder switches bodies with Michael McKean, and all he got was this lousy two-parter. Okay, it’s not actually lousy, and the first episode has some fun gags in it. But the joke only works if we use the word “lousy.” Sorry, fans!
Pulling (3 p.m., Saturday): Louise looks for a gift for Donna on the Internet, but instead, she ends up looking at porn. If we had a nickel for every time this had happened to us, well, a nickel isn’t all that much money, so we’d probably only have about $50. But Margaret Eby would still judge us for it.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
20/20 (ABC, 9 p.m., Friday): Feeling the need to wash yourself off with a hose? Well, the venerable newsmagazine has a brand-new, exclusive interview with Rielle Hunter, John Edwards’ mistress, and we’re betting everybody involved in this enterprise will make you want to scrub yourself with iodine.
Whale Wars (Animal Planet, 9 p.m., Friday): We talked to a guy who knows his reality TV, and he said this is one of the best reality shows out there. We’re inclined to believe him, except for the fact that it doesn’t appear to be about whales taking up weapons and destroying each other. What gives, whales?
Don Friesen: Ask Your Mom (Showtime, 10 p.m., Friday): We know you guys like your stand-up comedy, so here’s a brand new special from Friesen, who is described as a “relatively clean” performer in the first paragraph of his Wikipedia entry. Hence the 10 p.m. Friday slot on Showtime, known for being clean.
Femme Fatales (Cinemax, 11 p.m., Friday): Somebody turned the movie magazine into an anthology drama, and we don’t really know much about the result, but season two begins tonight. We’re going to guess from the time slot that there are probably some naked people in it, so watch if you like that.
Ivory Wars (Discovery, 8 p.m., Saturday): Maybe Whale Wars really is that good, since it looks like Discovery is ripping its sister channel’s show off with this series, about the rush to stop ivory poachers. We know the best way to stop an ivory poacher: with a gun that fires only ivory bullets.
Tall Hot Blonde (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Concerned that he would no longer be typecast as a weirdo psychopath after his considerable success on Raising Hope, Garret Dillahunt signed on to play a middle-aged man who has an online affair with an 18-year-old in this movie directed by Courteney Cox.
The Shawshank Redemption (AMC, 8 p.m., Friday): Though this movie has been over-praised by that guy who stares at you intensely and says, “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’” like it explains all of life, it’s still a pretty great little tale of attempting to hold onto hope while incarcerated, with terrific acting.
Godzilla (Showtime 2, 10 p.m., Friday): Last weekend, we recommended the original version of this monster lizard tale to you, and we recommended it heartily. This week, we’re recommending the 1998 version, mostly because it’s awful, but can you remember how Hollywood just assumed we’d love it?
Rebel Without A Cause (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): If you haven’t seen this one, consider it your mandatory viewing for the weekend. James Dean became an almost instant icon, thanks to his work in this film, and it’s a surprisingly moving look at teenagers living on the brink of self-destruction.
NHL Draft (NBC Sports, 7 p.m., Friday): Our one friend who knows a lot about hockey wanted us to promote this one because his beloved Edmonton Oilers might end up with a great player named Nail Yakupov, which, fine, but c’mon. His name is Nail! Actually, we’re reconsidering. That name is awesome.
U.S. Olympic Trials: Track and field (NBC, 8 p.m., Saturday): The Olympics are this summer, which means that we’ll spend all season pretending to care about sports we normally wouldn’t pay any attention to. Here, for instance, is your chance to care about track and field for a little while. Go, you!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Newsroom (Sunday): Get ready for the weekend’s big TV debut by reading Scott Tobias’ early look at the newest Aaron Sorkin show. Did Scott like it? Well, yes, in some places. But there were also places when the thing didn’t really work for him. In short, it’s Aaron Sorkin at his Sorkin-iest. Watch as you will.