Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, January 16, and Saturday, January 17. All times are Eastern.
12 Monkeys (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday): TV series based on movies are always a bad idea. Except when they’re a great idea (Fargo, Hannibal). So let’s all hold our judgement of this Syfy series based on the 1995 Terry Gilliam film of the same name (and Chris Marker’s 1962 La Jetée before that, if you want to get technical). This time around, Aaron Stanford is our Bruce Willis (or Davos Hanich), hurled back to our time from a post-apocalyptic future to try and prevent us from causing that whole apocalypse in the first place, with pals Kirk Acevedo and Amanda Schull providing backup, and our Emily L. Stephens deciding how well he’s doing. As an added monkey-bonus, Noel Murray chimes in with a pre-air TV Review of the first seven episodes.
Constantine (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): After a month in the lurch, Constantine returns for the second part of “The Saint Of Last Resorts,” deciding, in typical J.C. fashion, that the only way to save everybody is to summon a demon into himself. Brandon Nowalk has been handling the hiatus as best he can.
Glee (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Will Rachel and Kurt succeed in rebuilding McKinley’s glee club? Brandon Nowalk is betting on yes. What with “glee” being both the title and the raison d’etre of the show and all.
Banshee (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): Lucas and Carrie discover some spooky tunnels under the town, thus making Banshee, PA, some 12 per cent creepier! Les Chappell, in his review of last week’s season premiere, called Banshee “a gloriously over-the-top example of pulp fiction strengthened by the support beams of solid characterization and inspired direction.” Yeah, but 12 per cent creepier, Les!
Helix (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): Our dear, departed friend Sonia Saraiya (she’s not dead, she just got a great new job) gave the season one finale of this wildly uneven sci-fi series a big, ol’, Saraiya-sized ‘F’ on the way out the door, so it’s dropping out of regular coverage for now. If this second season premiere shows massive, improbable improvement, maybe we’ll pick it up again. In the meantime, Alex McCown brings you his TV Review of the first two episodes of the new season.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 p.m., Friday): LaToya Ferguson draws the long straw in the three-person CBB reviewer tag team this week, as she reviews an episode featuring the awesome-funny-lady guest star duo of Maya Rudolph and Maria Bamford. Oh, and Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts are there, too.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Kevin Hart returns for his second stint as host, bringing Sia along for musical support. If he’s feeling jittery, Dennis Perkins knows Mr. Hart has just the thing to calm himself down:
The golden glow you feel is the A.V. Club’s Simpsons Week, still going strong. Or you’re looking at a sunset. Whichever, Joshua Alston’s For Our Consideration makes the case for keeping Dr. Hibbert in Springfield, even if the formerly beloved TV icon who inspired him has turned out to be a cautionary tale of conflating public image and private awfulness. Then, in what may be the most comment-generating (in a good way) article in A.V. Club history, your favorite A.V. Clubbers pick their all-time favorite Simpsons quotes. We are going to get them all wrong! Please correct us in the comments! And then John Teti pens a lovely Hear This paean to the classic Simpsons musical number “Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?” which let Apu take a big step away from the stereotype he started out as. Finally, let Erik Adams fly in the face of a million lazy “it’s not as good as it used to be” tweets with his list of 10 Simpsons episodes from the last 10 years that…aren’t that bad.
World’s Funniest Fails (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): Adding “fails” to America’s Funniest Home Videos doesn’t really fool anyone that this isn’t just Takin’ It In The Nuts: 2015. However, anything that gives the world more Terry Crews (on hand as host for this series premiere), makes America a greater and more wonderful nation. Up first:
Cristela (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): When Isabella gets in trouble at school, Cristela tries to find out where she learned to be a bully, not remembering that, “You, okay? I learned it from watching you!” commercial.
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): When the Wesenrein crash Rosalee and Monroe’s wedding, it’s gonna get Grimm-y. Especially since they seem to be some sort of Nazi monsters, which are pretty much the worst wedding crashers you can get. Seriously, look at these guys:
Blue Bloods (CBS, 10 p.m., Friday): Tom Selleck is a cop. He sires only cops. They solve crime. Tonight, they solve the crime of aunt murder. Do not murder aunts in Tom Selleck’s family’s city.
College Basketball: Duke at Louisville (ESPN, 12 p.m., Saturday): That’s a #4 at a #6, people! They will almost certainly throw balls in baskets at a satisfying rate!
College Football All-Star Game: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl (ESPN2, 4 p.m., Saturday): One of America’s most beloved post-season college football traditions since 2012, this game sees NFL eligible seniors playing for the scrupulous analysis of pro scouts everywhere, while the players’ families all cringe every time it looks like they might get hurt before the big payday.
Whitney (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): It’s tempting to compare this Lifetime biopic of late diva Whitney Houston to the network’s laughable Aaliyah flick from last year, but this one was directed by the formidable and talented Angela Bassett, so let’s give it the benefit of the doubt.
The Musketeers (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): Still swashing and buckling harder than ever, the Musketeers kick off a second season of swordplay, musketry, and all manner of cape-friendly adventures.
Mythbusters (Discovery, 9 p.m., Saturday): The Mythbusters continue to bust myths on their own, having ditched the junior Mythbusters at the end of last season. Will the original Mythbusters be able to bust “The Busters Of Lost Myths” all alone?
Bridal Wave (Hallmark, 9 p.m., Saturday): A shipment of toxic canapes sends every bride-to-be in America into a murderous aquatic rampage as they sweep over the—oh, wait, it’s about a bride who has second thoughts and thinks about getting back together with her architect ex. We apologize for getting your hopes up.
Transporter: The Series (TNT, 10 p.m., Saturday): Frank “The Transmonster” Martin transports a briefcase to a mine in the middle of the desert—you know, typical transmonster stuff. But then there’s a mine collapse! Will he be able to use his transporting skills to transport the miners out of harm’s way?
Elementary: If you’re suffering from Cumberbatch withdrawal, Myles McNutt swears by the Jonny Lee Miller Sherlock Holmes brand.