Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Brad Meltzer’s Lost History finds history

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, January 2, and Saturday, January 3. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Brad Meltzer’s Lost History (H2, 10 p.m., Friday): After a season of seeking out (and sometimes even finding) some of the most-lost artifacts in U.S. history, novelist, historian, and comic book writer Meltzer brings the first season of his historical reality series to a close with an episode entitled “Evidence Found.” Which probably means he finally found that crate with the Ark in it. Well done.

It was in Superman’s abs. (DC)

Regular coverage

Mozart In The Jungle (Amazon): While this series about an orchestra has had its high and low notes, Vikram Murthi’s been overall impressed—at least until last episode’s off-key trio of unconnected stories landed like someone smashing three boxing gloves on a piano keyboard. After a day off for New Year’s, Vikram’s back on Saturday to see if the show can regroup heading into its final few episodes.

TV Club Classic

Doctor Who (Classic) (Saturday, 2 p.m.): Christopher Bahn returns from wherever his personal time machine takes him in between his monthly Doctor Who reviews. This time, he continues to track the progress of Tom Baker’s iconic Fourth Doctor, checking out the still-creepy “Robots Of Death.”

And, yes, Leela is involved. (BBC)

Elsewhere in TV Club

We at the AV Club may be the wisest, and smartest, and shiniest in all the land—but we ain’t perfect. So check out our contributors’ pop culture resolutions for 2015 in this first AVQ&A of the year for the tiny tweaks we’ve got planned to our all-encompassing genius. Then, as evidence of said shininess, read the TV Reviews of the new seasons of Downton Abbey and Galavant, from shiny, happy people Joshua Alston and Kate Kulzick, respectively. And, Nazis aside, Nick Schager revisits one of the darkest musical classics ever, as he tells you to Watch This (the “this” being Cabaret).


What else is on

Under Armor All-America High School Football Game (ESPN2, 3 p.m., Friday): Before the NFL playoffs kickoff this afternoon, why not indulge your love for football with (theoretically) less cash, corruption, and head trauma as the nation’s top high school players square off in Florida.


College Football: [Corporate Naming Rights] Alamo Bowl: Kansas State vs. UCLA (ESPN, 6:45 p.m., Friday): After the big semi-final playoff games Thursday, the also-ran bowls trot out to diminished effect. At least this one has two ranked teams battling for our entertainment.

Billy Joel: The Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Everybody’s favorite singer/songwriter with a couple of songs you sort of like gets the big, career retrospective prize, alongside well-wishers like Tony Bennett, Michael Feinstein, Natalie Maines, and Boyz II Men. Question: would the world simply collapse in on itself if he didn’t close with “Piano Man?”

“Mr. Joel, you must play it!” “I…refuse.” “AIIEEE—The Convergence!!”

Hawaii Five-O (CBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Dead tourists, art hostages, and a shrimp cook-off in that place where your aunt and uncle took that vacation last year! CBS!!


Blue Bloods (CBS, 10 p.m., Friday): In this winter premiere, Tom Selleck returns as the steely, yet twinkly, patriarch of a cop family. There—that is the most CBS sentence that’s ever been written.

Off The Map With Shannen & Holly (GAC, 11 p.m., Friday): Former Charmed stars and best buds Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs hit the road on a viewer-voted path through the Southland in this new reality series which promises, at least, to be a marginally less-loathsome The Simple Life.


NFC Wild Card Game: Arizona at Carolina: (ESPN, 4:35 p.m., Saturday): Carolina strides confidently into this one riding its 7-8-1 record into battle against the 11-5 Cardinals, whose calamitous injury situation may mean we’ll see a cardboard cutout of Kurt Warner at QB. Expect some great football!

Damaged (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Chris Klein—perhaps after spending too much time with Matthew Broderick in Election—plays a high school teacher whose inappropriate relationship with a student somehow goes awry when she turns out to be a psycho. “Television for women” continues relaying its message—all women, no matter their age, are crazy and dangerous. Thanks, Lifetime!


AFC Wild Card Game: Baltimore at Pittsburgh (NBC, 8:15 p.m., Saturday): Each team is pretty good, they’ve beaten each other once each in the regular season, neither team has a racist nickname—play ball!

Surprised By Love (Hallmark, 9 p.m., Saturday): A young woman brings her new boyfriend home to meet her parents only to feel that feeling for her old high school flame. Directed by the person responsible for From Justin To Kelly. Which is a thing that exists because of him.

But we all let this happen. (20th Century Fox)

The Missing (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Another kid goes missing? Dammit, acclaimed BBC drama—one is enough already.


The Transporter (TNT, 10 p.m., Saturday): Bad guys are transporting fake medicine and Frank is all like, “I am the one who transports—but not fake medicine, because that is a perversion of transporting! Transport!!”

In case you missed it

A To Z: While this mildly adventurous sitcom rom-com never quite pulled it together, it benefitted greatly from charismatic leads Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman, and Brandon Nowalk gave solid marks to the last two episodes before this, the beginning of the great burnoff.


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