Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7. All times are Eastern.
Master Of None (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): As everyone’s favorite Indiana metrosexual, Tom Haverford may have been a master of swag (also: Vine, Instagram, Twitter, pocket squares, artisanal cheese plates, and SkyMall’s liberal return policies), but Aziz Ansari breaks out of Pawnee at the wheel of his excellent new Netflix sitcom. Aziz stars as Dev, a 30-ish actor coasting through life on the back of the royalties his seemingly effortless middling success provides, and coping with a love life and relationship with his disapproving parents troubled mostly by his unwillingness to engage in any meaningful way. Starting on Friday, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya will be doing the review-a-day marathon of the whole season, but in her pre-air TV Review, Molly Eichel reassures Ansari enthusiasts that the comic’s new show “has a point of view and a voice that is singular to its creator.” Oh, and is really, really funny—Molly compares it to Louie, so that’s a good sign.
Reign (CW, 8 p.m., Friday): Mary, Catherine, and Elizabeth may have their differences, but they can all agree on one thing—being royalty pretty much sucks. Thankfully, Genevieve Valentine says the show does not—see if tonight’s episode can break the “all B’s” grade ceiling she’s established for this third season.
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 8 p.m., Friday): A full week of new Adventure Times has had Oliver Sava all giddy with joy. (Seriously, he’s hopping around all over the place.) In this last new episode of the week, Jake and Finn’s friendship is tested when they’re sent out to collect magic mushrooms, which does not presage some sort of Breaking Bad scenario. Oliver would like to stress that unequivocally.
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): Nick tries to keep his new baby safe. Oh, new monster baby—sorry about that. Les Chappell contemplates whether protecting a monster baby is more or less difficult than protecting a garden-variety baby. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks. Oh, and here’s the official Grimm monster picture of the week:
Please Like Me (Pivot, 10 p.m., Friday): The friends at the center of this thoughtful, funny series continue to find—and lose—love in every possible variety of ways. Tonight, Rose’s online date takes her to an all-you-can-eat buffet, to which Brandon Nowalk says no—just, no.
The Knick (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): Then Brandon shifts gears to check in on this excellent season of this gripping, gory hospital series. This week, Clive Owen’s Thackery finally tests out his risky syphilis treatment, which could conceivably kill people. Still, syphilis though.
Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories Special (Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m., Friday): Masters of brilliantly offputting comic weirdness Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim return with another installment of their horror comedy anthology series. Dan Caffrey is strapping himself in in preparation for the signature Tim & Eric blend of brilliant conceptual comedy and stuff that makes you feel slightly unwell.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): In the second half of the two-parter “The Zygon Invasion,” the Doctor deals with—well, the title really is a dead giveaway there, as the red, sucker-faced, shape-shifters continue to menace the world in a political allegory Alasdair Wilkins calls, “fundamentally different from what the show usually gets up to.”
Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Ash is back! And, according to Michael Roffman’s review of the impressively disreputable premiere episode, his irresistible mix of boneheadedness and bumbling heroism arrived intact after the 30-year layoff:
So, why’s this all happening again? Well, Ash got stoned and tried to impress a girl he took home by reading the Necronomicon Ex Mortis. Yes, it’s as easy and shameful as that, but totally in line with the spirit of his charming idiocy.
Sounds like our Ash, all right.
Guardians Of The Galaxy (Disney XD, 9:30 p.m., Saturday): Quill gets caught up in a family squabble, which doesn’t sound so bad until you find out it’s Gamora fighting with her equally super-powered sisters Nebula and Korath. Given that, in his review of last week’s episode, Kevin Johnson said this animated space opera is edging closer to Firefly territory, this might be the time to check it out. There’s a tree guy and everything.
The Returned (Sundance, 10 p.m., Saturday): For those of us who like their undead less shambling and flesh-hungry (pfft, zombies are so last year), this French import series about the dead returning with more enigmatic motives is an eerie, unsettling, but welcome cadeau. So catch up in time for this week’s episode, where everyone in the small town beset by mysterious resurrections struggles to discover what it all means. Oh, and the birth of a seemingly impossible child Erik Adams evocatively referred to last week as a “Cronenberg baby.”
The Last Kingdom (BBC America, 10 p.m., Saturday): Uhtred finally has it out with the frankly terrifying Ubba, as his divided loyalties see him taking on the invading Danish ships. Last week, Kyle Fowle called The Last Kingdom “the best historical drama you‘re probably not watching.” And he should know, since he’s also reviewing the worst historical drama you’re probably watching.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Well, this is happening. Dennis Perkins follows up on his recent thoughts about a certain presidential candidate being invited to host SNL with a review evaluating just how the show’s writers and performers dealt with the mess dropped in their laps.
Okay, Horrors Week is over, but we’re still feeling a little shaky around the A.V. Club office, so we’re ’fessing up about the things we’re ashamed to say scare us. Don’t judge us, you—there’s a monster in your closet. On a less-terrifying note, Marah Eakin brings us a Random Roles with ubiquitously hilarious comic actor Brian Huskey of Childrens Hospital, Veep, and about 50 other things you like but didn’t know he was in. (You’ll recognize him when you read it.) And then Becca James’ Hear This feature examines how a Bob Dylan song was used to excellent narrative effect in the opening credits of Watchmen. And then the rest of the movie happens.
Undateable (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): Has the all-live, all-the-time experiment changed the face of the network sitcom forever? Anyone? Seriously, we’re asking.
MasterChef Junior (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): For the fourth season premiere, Gordon Ramsay promises he will not make any young aspiring cooks cry. He’s like 70-75 per cent on that.
The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): The contestants end up in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where, for stereotypical reasons, everyone’s suspiciously cool with an American game show tramping all over the canals and Rembrandts and whatnot.
Last Man Standing (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): Tim Allen… something about men and women being different… grunting noises… you know the drill.
The Death Of Superman Lives: What Happened? (Showtime, 8 p.m., Friday): Sure it’s got the most cumbersomely confusing title around, but this documentary about the (thankfully) aborted Superman movie starring Nicholas Cage and directed by Tim Burton is sure to be of interest to fans of things that might (but should definitely not) have been.
Earthfall (Lifetime Movie Network, 8 p.m., Friday): Breaking from its lucrative “men are dicks” formula, Lifetime beings us a cut-rate Armageddon. At least that’s what we can figure out from the 15-second trailer, which is all they’ve offered as proof. All available dialogue follows: “Hey!” “A rogue planet had a near-miss with Earth.” “This cannot be how this ends—no!”
Then it turns out the meteor is actually her stalker ex-husband
Dr. Ken (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Ken finds out his daughter drank a beer at a party and sets out to prove how bad booze is by drinking a lot of booze. Don’t worry—he’s a doctor.
Hawaii Five-O (CBS, 9 p.m., Friday): McGarret plans his first date with Lynn on a deserted island, where, immediately, they’re hunted Most Dangerous Game-style by a mobster. Brought to you by the Hawaii chamber of commerce.
Great Performances—Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Broadway legend Rivera (“Chicago,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “West Side Story”) gets an all-singing, all-dancing tribute from colleagues and fans like Ben Vereen, Dick Van Dyke, and Carol Lawrence.
Shark Tank (ABC, 9 p.m., Friday): Jimmy Kimmel returns to swim with the sharks, where “swimming” equals “busting out another farcical fake invention that can be recycled as a bit for his talk show.”
America’s Next Top Model (CW, 9 p.m., Friday): “At the photo shoot, they pose in the woods in total darkness.” Sure, that’ll save money on costumes, but is it really the best move for a beauty contest? Eh, they know what they’re doing.
Z Nation (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): So if The Returned is too much of a cerebral take on the whole Walking Dead idea, why not spin the wheel all the way over into Crazytown, or, in the case of this episode, RoZwell, where Z Nation introduces UFO zombies into its loopy post-apocalyptic mix. Space zombies! That is happening!
Blue Bloods (CBS, 10 p.m., Friday): The last remaining Mustang used in Steve McQueen’s Bullit is stolen, leading the fruits of Tom Selleck’s cops-only loins to engage in some dogged, methodical investigative work. Oh, wait, no—gonna be a big ol’ car chase! Yeee-haaawww!
Satisfaction (USA, 10 p.m., Friday): Adriana introduces Grace to the world of BDSM, and, since this series about a married couple testing the waters of escorting is better than you’d think, their adventures should be better written than 50 Shades Of Grey, anyway.
Black Jesus (Adult Swim, 11 p.m., Friday): When one of his disciples gets a job as a liquor salesman, Black Jesus asks, “Don’t you mean blood of Black Jesus salesman?” and stares everyone down until they laugh because he’s Black Jesus, dammit.
Caught (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): A housewife kidnaps her husband’s teenage mistress (because men and young women are evil). Oddly [SPOILER], things go awry.
Ice Sculpture Christmas (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): If you want in on what Fox News calls the “war on Christmas,” then the beginning of the Hallmark, made-for-TV Christmas movie season is your call to action. In this one—which airs on the first week in November!!—there’s a chef, and a romance, and, yes, a damned ice sculpting contest. An ice. Sculpting. Contest.
Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz, 8 p.m., Saturday): Leonardo investigates a horrific murder, which he solves by determining that the movement of the planets and the anatomical drawings he made of the body indicate that the murderer is… that one shifty guy from the alchemist’s shop that’s always murdering everybody.
The Salvation (Showtime, 10 p.m., Saturday): If you’re going to murder a peaceful settler’s family in the Old West, you should probably make sure it’s not Mads Mikkelsen. That’s just common sense.
Survivorman (Discovery Science, 10 p.m., Saturday): It’s the sixth-season premiere of that show about a rugged fellow eating bugs. No, the other one.
It’s everywhere. Good God, it’s everywhere. Just pick a channel. If there isn’t college football on it, then flip one spot—college football. You cannot escape it.
Sleepy Hollow: Zack Handlen is guardedly optimistic about the renewed energy of this season of Sleepy Hollow. From his review:
This season of Sleepy Hollow has been considerably more consistent than the show at its worst, but the lack of danger and real thrills has robbed it of a good deal of its energy. As is, it’s passable, but nothing grabs your interest.
What, we said, “guardedly.”