Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13. All times are Eastern.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday): Last season, we opted not to cover this show week to week because, ultimately, it was sort of a talk show, and we lacked writers who had the vision to make that happen on a weekly basis. Yet this season, in the wake of the show being the only one in our top 30 last year to not have regular coverage, David Sims, who once said to us, “Yeah, I think I can figure out how to cover Childrens Hospital weekly” then did, has stepped up to the challenge. Will he succeed? Or will he be felled by the lack of obvious story and character arcs? Tune in weekly to his reviews to find out!
Gravity Falls (Disney, 9 p.m., Friday): Hey, look, everybody! Gravity Falls is new again, and it involves the characters wandering through dreamscapes and stuff, just like they’re in a Myst clone from 1997 that was made in HyperCard. Alasdair Wilkins thinks we might be referring to Sierra Online’s Lighthouse.
Magic City (Starz, 9 p.m., Friday): Ben puts a kink in an arms deal involving the Cubans, which he probably shouldn’t even be involved in, because arms deals involving the Cubans inevitably almost escalate to World War III. Will Harris likes to imagine he’s a JFK, but he knows he’s really a Krushchev.
Borgen (LinkTV, 10 p.m., Friday): With just two episodes left in season one, Todd VanDerWerff is on pins and needles to find out if the Danes will ever lose confidence in Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg, thus sending him into a tailspin of depression and anxiety. He probably needs to care about television less.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday): The second and third legs of Babylon 5’s big trilogy of episodes are another series highlight, proclaims reviewer Rowan Kaiser. Didn’t that sound like a Leslie Knope headline? There weren’t enough breathless superlatives in there to make it one, we don’t think, but you be the judge.
The Larry Sanders Show (1 p.m., Friday): Bobcat Goldthwait is one of the big guest stars this week, and that pleases Kyle Ryan just fine, because he’s the world’s biggest Bobcat Goldthwait fan, to the degree that he runs the unofficial fan site SuperBobcat.org. He’s just counting the days until Bobcat notices!
Wonderfalls (3 p.m., Friday): This week’s episode is entitled “Muffin Buffalo,” which almost rhymes, but, on another more technical level, doesn’t rhyme at all. Les Chappell, who likes to speak in rhyming iambic pentameter whenever possible, finds every inch of his being violated by this title choice.
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): Todd VanDerWerff digs deep for the beginning of the fourth season, made up of 18 one-hour episodes. In actuality, the season isn’t as bad as its reputation, but it does have more stinkers than the other four seasons of the show, so that should make for a good time.
Doctor Who (Classic) (3 p.m., Saturday): The Doctor and company wander into a scenario featuring a society that proclaims to have “cured” criminality, which sounds an awful lot like A Clockwork Orange to us, but Christopher Bahn assures us—and the Anthony Burgess estate—all similarities are unintentional.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Moone Boy (Hulu, 5 p.m., Friday): Phil Dyess-Nugent takes a look at this new Irish sitcom from Chris O’Dowd, which made its American debut on Hulu this week. Fortunately, Phil’s seen the whole of the first series, so he’ll let you know if it’s as awkwardly charming as its leading man or more of a mess.
Cult (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday): Alas, poor Cult. You have left us and disappeared, and now, we will have only our memories of a fertile period in February when batshit crazy shows like this one and Zero Hour seemed to be appearing and racing at our faces from left and right. We’ll pour one out for you, Cult.
Beware The Batman (Cartoon Network, 10 a.m., Saturday): Somewhat unusually, most of the TV action this weekend is on Saturday, and Oliver Sava leads off our fleet of weekend reviews with this new animated series about a guy who dresses up like a bat to fight crime. Whatta loon, are we right?!
The Haunted Hathaways (Nickelodeon, 8:30 p.m. Saturday): Without looking this new kids show up, we’re going to assume it’s about what happens when a bunch of ghosts move into Anne Hathaway’s house, stop being polite, and start getting real. We’ll have a review to let you know if that’s the case.
666 Park Avenue (ABC, 9 p.m., Saturday): Remember this show? Well, ABC is bidding it adieu after running out the last of its handful of remaining episodes, a finale that is somewhat optimistically entitled “Lazarus, Part 1.” Phil Dyess-Nugent watched the whole thing, and now he’ll review the finale for you.
Being Human (BBC America, 10 p.m., Saturday): The final season of the original vampire-werewolf-and-ghost-as-unlikely-roommates series begins its American airing with the première episode of said final season. Phil Dyess-Nugent has been keeping up with this, too, and will let you know his thoughts.
Ocean’s Twelve (Cinemax, 7:50 p.m., Friday): This is our favorite of the Ocean’s movies, but we always get weird looks from people when we say that, so we’ve mostly stopped doing so. The meta-textual playfulness that turned so many audiences off hits our sweet spot dead on. We defy you to disagree!
The Dark Knight Rises (HBO2, 8 p.m., Friday): Commence the discussion of whether this final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy lived up to the previous two chapters. As for us, we thought it was a whole lot of bombast signifying not a whole hell of a lot, but you are quite likely to disagree, we assume.
Kinsey (Sundance, 8 p.m., Saturday): We enjoyed this biopic of Alfred Kinsey from director Bill Condon, complete with strong work from Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, as well as a heartbreaking late-in-film performance by Lynn Redgrave. But you probably disagree about that, too, don’t you, you jerk?
Women’s Softball: U.S. vs. Australia (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): There’s a softball world cup, and the U.S. women are playing the Australian women. We’d like to play this up as a meeting between two bigtime rivals, but for all we know, they actually are rivals and us playing that up would just end disastrously.
MLL Lacrosse All-Star Game: From Charlotte (ESPN2, 7 p.m., Saturday): Look, we didn’t even know Major League Lacrosse existed a week ago, and now we’re learning that it has an all-star game. What’s more: There’s a skills challenge at halftime. Well, we’re tuning in just to see that! You almost have to!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Sharknado (Thursday): Did your Twitter feed explode with Sharknado tweets Thursday night, including some from Mia Farrow? (She watched with Philip Roth, we hear.) Do you want to know what the phenomenon is all about? Then Caroline Framke has the Sharknado guide for experts and newbies.