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

Portlandia is back, making the world safe for unassuming sketch comedy

Illustration for article titled Portlandia is back, making the world safe for unassuming sketch comedy

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, January 6, and Saturday, January 7. All times are Eastern.


Portlandia (IFC, 10:30 p.m., Friday): IFC is bringing two of its comedies back for second seasons tonight, but the one we’re most looking forward to is Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s sleepy little sketch show. It’s maybe not the most uproarious show on TV, but it has its own slacker-ish charm, and we’re glad it got a second season. Christian Williams will once again review the show for us. Here’s hoping Kyle MacLachlan’s “mayor” figures into every single episode somehow.

Chuck (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): Another Friday night, another episode of Chuck NBC is stranding out in the wastelands to be watched by no one. Except for intrepid Ryan McGee, boy TV reviewer, who will surely be entranced by Buy More antics!

Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday): Zack Handlen is on vacation—who takes a vacation in early January?!—so Phil Nugent will step in to cover the show’s return after several weeks away. We’re hoping some demons show up and raise some hell.

The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday): This dark comedy was beloved by some and hated by even more. Now, season two is upon us, and Simon Abrams is covering another season of David Cross’ antics.

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Look, we like Charles Barkley, too, but it seems a bit odd that he’s hosting SNL. Keep in mind that the NFL playoffs may delay the start time of this one slightly. David Sims will have his stopwatch out.

Veronica Mars (11 a.m., Friday): Which Veronica Mars character is Rowan Kaiser most like? With the misfortunes that befall Weevil this week, we’re pretty sure it’s him Rowan, too, has had his bike thrown into the ocean. It was a ten-speed Huffy.


The Adventures Of Pete & Pete (3 p.m., Friday): In the history of television, has there ever been a better named episode than “Halloweenie”? Marah Eakin would like to see every single show on TV do an episode called that every single year.

The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): When will Todd VanDerWerff, who’s undertaking his biannual voyage to the TCA press tour get time to write this? God only knows, but he’ll get it done for you. He knows you depend on it.


Cowboy Bebop (3 p.m., Saturday): Simon Abrams has taken a couple of weeks off, and he’s thrilled to be back, with more tales of interstellar cowboys and their lives and loves. Hopefully, he’ll have worked up a few songs about it and everything.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): Ever since this show’s cancellation, it’s overloaded on schmaltz, desperately attempting self-resurrection. Tonight: “A legally blind widow raising six children in an Iowa farmhouse is helped.”


Wizards Of Waverly Place (Disney, 8 p.m., Friday): Tonight’s series finale will answer for us which of the kids gets to become the family wizard. Why only one of them? That seems vaguely discriminatory. That would never happen at Onion, Inc.!

Tom Papa’s Stand-Up Playlist (Comedy Central, 9 p.m., Friday): Been looking for a bunch of stand-up you can watch tonight? Well, here’s three hours of it, all hand-selected for you by Tom Papa! It’s up to you whether that’s a good or bad thing.


Disaster House (Do It Yourself, 10 p.m., Friday): Description of this episode from DIY: “Unexpected flying objects and the damage they cause.” Which unexpected flying object would you least like to be hit by? We’re going to start with: bear.

My Cat From Hell (Animal Planet, 8 p.m., Saturday): We love how this show makes it seem like cats are the most terrifying things in the world. Tonight: A threatening cat stands to ruin a couple’s in-home Pilates studio. Oh no!


ABC News’ Your Voice, Your Vote: Republican Presidential Candidate Debate In New Hampshire (ABC, 9 p.m., Saturday): Newt Gingrich is throwing bombs, Rick Santorum has unexpectedly arisen to challenge, and Mitt Romney is going to blow a gasket at any moment. Tune in. You know you want to.

Leprechaun In The Hood (BET, 8 p.m., Friday): If you’ve never seen this one, well, we haven’t either, but it’s kind of a bum night for movies, and this sounds like it has all the makings of a bad-movie classic. Tune in if you like yelling at the TV.


Narc (Flix, 10:15 p.m., Friday): Ray Liotta is very, very good in this corrupt cop thriller. It’s nothing amazing, but there’s still plenty to recommend. We’re still waiting for director Joe Carnahan to live up to the promise shown here.

City Lights/Modern Times (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): Look, if you’re not watching the NFL playoffs and you’re home tonight, why aren’t you watching two of the greatest, most life-affirming films ever made? C’mon. Just do it. You’ll thank us.


NBA Basketball: Bulls at Magic (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): Doesn’t it sort of seem like every game in primetime features the Bulls in some capacity nowadays? Not that we’re complaining, but it still seems a little weird. We’re probably wrong.

NFL Playoffs: Bengals at Texans/Lions at Saints (NBC, 4:30 p.m., Saturday): And so it begins. Doesn’t it seem like the NFC is several yards better than the AFC this year? When’s the last time that was true? Anyway, they’re not playing, but go, 49ers!


The Vampire Diaries (Thursday): Carrie Raisler writes about the show’s midseason premiere, which comes complete with a shocker of a twist. It’s called “The New Deal,” so the twist involves Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as it should.