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

Billy Bob Thornton takes on a legal giant in Goliath

Goliath (Photo: Amazon)
Goliath (Photo: Amazon)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Goliath (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., Friday): What are you gonna do—legendary TV creator David E. Kelley likes shows about lawyers. This time out, he’s co-created (with similarly law-obsessed Jonathan Shapiro) a show about… lawyers! Billy Bob Thornton’s the David of Goliath, playing a drunken, down-and-out lawyer who goes up against the big, evil law firm he helped found. The 10-episode series features a great cast, including Maria Bello, William Hurt, Harold Perrineau, Molly Parker, and Dwight Yoakam, most of whom will be playing lawyers. In his pre-air review, Erik Adams delivers an “emptily entertaining” verdict.

Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-Qiang (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): In his positive review of this documentary about a famous Chinese firework artist, Noel Murray says:

A portrait of an ambitious and often personally conflicted environmental artist, Sky Ladder has a lot in common with the likes of Rivers And Tides and the Maysles brothers and Charlotte Zwerin’s Christo films, in that it creates a permanent cinematic record of work designed to be ephemeral. But Macdonald also captures the long, hard struggle of Cai Guo-Qiang to realize some of his grandest projects, often over the objections of his own government and patrons.

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Sure, that sounds ambitious, but we all want to know, “Can he do giant cowboy hats?”

Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Those hip-hop badasses at Lifetime are gonna go ahead and air this biopic of singer Michel’le despite former Michel’le boyfriend Dr. Dre’s announced intention to sue over the fact that it depicts him abusing her. (Something he’s sort of but not quite admitted at various times over the years.)

Stake Land 2 (Syfy, 9 p.m., Saturday): Syfy is premiering this sequel to the scruffily effective 2010 vampire apocalypse flick Stake Land tonight, a pleasant surprise to fans who had no idea such a thing was happening. Original director Jim Mickle (Cold In July, We Are What We Are) is off being interesting and talented elsewhere, but original co-writer and star Nick Damici is back in both capacities, alongside co-star Connor Paolo and, just guessing here, a ton o’ vampires.

Kyle Kinane: Loose In Chicago (Comedy Central, 11:59 p.m., Saturday): New special from everyone’s favorite drinking buddy and voice of Comedy Central Kinane continues to show that the grumbly, boozy comic is one of the best standups out there. As reviewer Dennis Perkins states, “A Kinane set is like the ideal outcome of being regaled in the bar by a guy who says he has something funny to tell you.” (And check out Marah Eakin’s interview with Kinane where he lists the things that make him laugh.)

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Premieres and finales

This Is Not Happening (Comedy Central, 12:01 a.m., Friday): It’s the third season premiere of this standup show where comics, including host Ari Shaffir, share the worst thing that ever happened to them. You know, but in a fun way.

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Haters Back Off! (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): In her review of this YouTube show turned Netflix series, Danette Chavez calls lead character Miranda Sings (played by series creator Colleen Ballinger) “an overly confident woman of unspecified age—she’s homeschooled, but never described as a teen—and indiscernible talent.” She also says this exercise in cringe comedy is as consistently funny as it is painful, with would-be internet superstar Miranda enabled by able supporting actors Angela Kinsey and Steve Little.

Wolf Creek (POP, 10 p.m., Friday): “Look, just don’t come to Australia under any circumstances,” would appear to be the slogan for this serial killer horror drama—spun off from the two Wolf Creek movies—where outback maniac Mick Taylor (the returning John Jarratt) stalks, kills, and does really terrible things to every backpacker in sight. In his pre-air review, Alex McCown-Levy says the bloody mayhem might be a little too thin to sustain a whole season.

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Glitch (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Saturday): Speaking of creepy Australian things, Netflix is premiering this Aussie supernatural series about a cop and a doctor in a rural town confronted with their dead loved ones rising inexplicably from their graves. Think The Returned, but with just a few more kangaroos.

Regular coverage

Z Nation (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday)

The Exorcist (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday)

High Maintenance (HBO, 11 p.m., Friday)

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday)

Streaming pick

Lin-Manuel Miranda/Twenty One Pilots,” Saturday Night Live (NBC, YouTube): If you’ve ever wanted to hear a future EGOT winner call a certain current presidential candidate a piece of shit, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s future-Emmy-winning musical monologue is for you. “Never gonna be president, never gonna be president…”

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