Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hannibal would like to have you for one, final dinner

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Top pick

Hannibal (NBC, 10 p.m., Saturday): On the eve of Hannibal’s final episode, a playlet.

Hannibal Lecter [in the NBC boardroom, wheeling in a cart with several covered dishes]: Gentlemen. It is my understanding that you are displeased with our professional relationship.
NBC exec [nervously]: No, no… no. It’s just that these numbers…the demographics…
Hannibal: Please, let us not trouble ourselves with such trivialities. We are all men of the world.
NBC exec [warily relieved]: So we’re good, muchacho?
Hannibal: Of course. In fact, I have prepared a special meal for us to share as a gesture of good will. It’s a recipe inspired by your choice of our replacement.
NBC exec [greedily tucking a hanky into his collar]: Well…that’s very understanding of you. What’s it called?
Hannibal [smiling as he adjusts the cloth covering Adam Levine, Craig T. Nelson, and Wesley Snipes’ severed heads underneath the cart]: Oh, it’s something especially suited to your… taste.
[And… scene.]

Milly Eichel has a nice bottle of wine ready to say goodbye to one of the damnedest shows ever on network television.

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Regular coverage

Blunt Talk (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Patrick Stewart’s careening newsman Walter Blunt is a glorious mess in this comedy series created by Bored To Death’s Jonathan Ames, according to Brandon Nowalk, who knows a thing or two about glorious messes. Tonight, Walter blows a chance to cover the glorious disaster of a huge storm, his staff scrambles to keep him from creating one of his own.

“Oh, they shall be very. very unsuccessful, I can assure you.”
“Oh, they shall be very. very unsuccessful, I can assure you.”

Survivor’s Remorse (Starz, 9:30 p.m., Saturday): Now that Ballers is over for the season, Joshua Alston thinks you should transfer your love of half-hour dramedies about wealthy pro athletes to this superior (although Rock-less) example. As Joshua points out in his review of last week’s season premiere, Survivor’s Remorse engages in its premise with a lot more effort, describing the conflict between series protagonist Cam and team owner Flaherty:

Specifically, Flaherty doesn’t understand how the subtext of his professional relationship with Cam informs their interactions. No, Cam is not literally a slave or an indentured servant, he’s a stupid-rich professional basketball player. Still, there are racial undertones that have to be considered if they’re going to work constructively together. Flaherty wants to be respected as the man holding the purse strings, while Cam wants to know that Flaherty understands the difference between owning the team and owning him. While I’m glad O’Malley’s script doesn’t hit the nail so squarely on the head, it would have been forgivable to invoke Donald Sterling’s name.

Jessie T. Usher as Cam Calloway, non-regulation basketball
Jessie T. Usher as Cam Calloway, non-regulation basketball

Elsewhere in TV Club

Of course, we here at the A.V. Club all love our bosses unreservedly and worshipfully, but this week’s AVQ&A gives us a chance to list our favorite fictional bosses of all time. Note the “fictional,” as we, repeat, love our bosses here with all our hearts. All the hearts. Then in his Fan Up feature, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky interviews actress Elisabeth Moss and director Alex Ross Perry about their shared love for the films of Roman Polanski.

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What else is on

Narcos (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): The TV-friendly debauched thrills of infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar form the basis for this flashy period Netflix series. Our own Joshua Alston had a look-see for his TV Review and says, in part:

Narcos has the misfortune of occupying the same period-piece space Netflix fouled up with Marco Polo. And on its face, the show is a similarly facile attempt to woo an international audience by taking an over-examined, inherently violent story and adding pay-cable acidity with sex scenes bathed in golden-hour light. But Narcos is a far more compelling—and, yes, addictive—show than Marco Polo. And miraculously, the show is fun to watch not because it bucks the clichés of a war-on-drugs drama, but because it embraces them. It’s the woefully rare example of by-the-numbers storytelling that serves as a reminder of how those numbers got their sequence in the first place.

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Defiance (Syfy, 8 p.m., Friday): A suicide mission against the Omec is everyone’s last-ditch effort at survival in the season three finale. Will it succeed? Well, they haven’t announced whether the show is being picked up for another season, so there’s some extra suspense for you.

Casablanca (Turner Classic Movies, 8 p.m., Friday): No one cares if you’ve seen it 82 times. You’re watching it again. And Sam is your best friend.

NFL Preseason Football: Lions at Jaguars (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): Tune in for some more pretend football! (And, no, that wasn’t a Jacksonville slam, so cool it, Florida.)

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Great Performances: Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2015 (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Conductor Zubin Mehta presents an evening of classical music on the grounds of Austria’s Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, which, honestly, sounds like just the right place for that sort of thing.

Dark Matter (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): When the crew’s handler sends them on a mission to rescue a scientist, things go horribly wrong in this two-episode season finale. Not to criticize, Mr. Handler, but that’s sort of why amnesiac rescue teams are generally passed over in favor of space crews that know their own names.

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Strike Back (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): When the Strike Back team is involved, you know there’s gonna be some serious shootin’! And stuff blowin’ up real good! Bald guys…with guns! And…yup, the episode description is not available come press time! But ker-blam! Almost sure of it!

NFL Preseason Football: Seahawks At Chargers (CBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): Tune in after 8:45 to see some of the Canadian Football League’s all stars! Go Roughriders! And go Rough Riders!

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Cedar Cove (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): Andie MacDowell’s dreamy judge Olivia receives the troubling advice that Liz may have motives that are less than dreamy. Possibly partly dreamy, sure, but not Cedar Cove dreamy.

Fatal Flip (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): A young couple learns the true danger of predatory gentrification when their plans to refurbish and sell—or “flip,” if you will—a dilapidated house go awry after they hire one of those hunky contractors with a shady past to render the place flippable. Flip!

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Let The Church Say Amen (BET, 8 p.m., Saturday): Actress Regina King directs this movie about a single mom whose also a preacher’s daughter, probably the most awkward combination of things you could be. Based on the inspirational novel by ReShonda Tate Billingsley.

Hell On Wheels (AMC, 9 p.m., Saturday): In the fifth season summer finale, the Swede makes a move against the Mormons, Cullen enlists the help of President Ulysses S. Grant, who probably didn’t have much in common with Mormons, come to think of it.

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Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (Syfy, 8 p.m., Saturday): Monkey reaction shots, Shia LaBeouf, and nuking the fridge. And tossing the last handful of dirt on the grave of your childhood. So, you know, enjoy that.

Mythbusters Vs. Jaws (Discovery, 9 p.m., Saturday): If the guys are taking on Bruce in a rigorous scientific examination of the premises presented in the original movie, then, okay, money on the Mythbusters. A chomping on things contest, though? Bruce all the way.

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In case you missed it

Review: Is it classic review if Forrest only gets stabbed once? Well, Emily L. Stephens is still squirming and laughing after writing her review, so—yes?

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