Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1. All times are Eastern.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Poor Chris Rock—after washing out as a mid-level cast member over two decades ago, he slinks back from obscurity Saturday to host. Dennis Perkins guesses Lorne Michaels just threw the poor guy a bone, along with musical guest Prince, who also hasn’t been on since all the way back in 2006, (but who’s been given one, unprecedented 8-minute musical segment with which to blow America’s collective mind). Because he’s Prince.
Constantine (NBC, 10 p.m., Friday): In his review of last week’s pilot, Brandon Nowalk claimed that John Constantine pulled off a great trick right out of the gate and managed to channel some of the spirit of his comics’ source material. Now, with that first show’s deadwood (Lucy Griffith’s Liz) exorcised, the DC Comics bad boy strikes out on his own, this time maintaining his British Isles street cred by fighting an ancient Welsh mining demon, albeit in Pennsylvania.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 p.m., Friday): The rotating, three-headed triumvirate of Comedy Bang! Bang!-reviewing greatness comes up LaToya Ferguson this week, just in time to tackle the legendary comedy stylings of…Flaming Lips’ front man Wayne Coyne. In this Halloween episode, Scott Aukerman confronts the ghost of his past career, and Tig Notaro also appears—if you’d prefer your laughs from a professional comedian, your majesty.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): In “Dark Water,” part one of the season finale, the Doctor finally confronts that weird lady who keeps having his deceased enemies out to her garden for tea. Oh, and the Cybermen take over London, prompting Alasdair Wilkins to exclaim, “Again with the Cybermen…”
The Legend Of Korra (12 p.m., Friday)
Look out next Saturday for the return (and conclusion) of Zack Handlen’s Twilight Zone reviews! He may have a big twist in store—or does he?
A.V. Clubbers are all about the horror this Halloween. Jesse Hassenger extols the virtues of seeing horror movies on the big screen, in the dark, with lots of strangers around. Meanwhile, Mike D’Angelo takes a close look at the exquisite fear of being followed in the original Halloween, and various A.V. Club writers imagine what their horror movie gimmick would be if they were serial killers. What, I said “if”…
Halloween marathon (AMC, 3 p.m., Friday): Sure, AMC is stuck in a never-ending Halloween sequel loop, but you should jump on the stabby merry-go-round at 3 to catch the John Carpenter original, which is still a fine piece of filmmaking where the use of foregrounds to create tension is tr—oh my God!, he’s right behind y…
WWE Smackdown (Syfy, 8 p.m., Friday): In honor of Halloween, I wonder if Syfy will resurrect some of the monster-themed wrestlers everyone joked about when the show first moved to the network. Thematic relevance aside, I think probably not—you were too magnificent to live, Hulktopus.
Cristela (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Ah, a fresh new sitcom’s first Halloween episode. In the years to come, we’ll all look back and laugh at all the dated theme costumes.
Shaun Of The Dead (Comedy Central, 9 p.m., Friday): If there’s a movie that works on every level, it’s Edgar Wright’s hilarious, scary, and unexpectedly moving slice of fried gold of a “rom-zom-com,” where Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s slacker best pals confront the zombie apocalypse with goofy aplomb, pool cues, lots of lager, and perhaps just enough Queen for your Halloween.
Z Nation (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): In her review of the pilot, LaToya Ferguson made the case that this low budget Walking Dead knockoff wasn’t just Syfy’s “Sharknado with zombies.” Whatever—all I know is that tonight’s episode is called “Zunami,” which is described as “an actual tsunami of zombies,” so perhaps a new ruling is in order. At the very least, I’m expecting a vicious “Sharknado vs. Zunami—which is scarier” debate in the comments.
Curse Of The Demon (TCM, 10 p.m., Friday): Director Jacques Tourneur’s cult masterpiece of suggestive horror was almost even subtler. In this tale of professional skeptic Dana Andrews investigating creepy devil cult leader Niall MacGinnis, the director fought in vain against including the final shot—which I can’t tell you about.
The Birthday Boys (IFC, 11:30 p.m., Friday): In “Women Are Funny,” the generally funny Boys invite over the likes of Sandra Bernhard, Riki Lindhome, Kate Micucci, Lennon Parnham, June Diane Raphael, and Casey Wilson to prove the title true. Q.E.D., I’d say.
College Football: Auburn at Ole Miss (ESPN, 7 p.m., Saturday): One’s ranked #3, one’s ranked #4, and you know the old Southern college football saying: “If’n your two competitors’ rankings add up to eight or less, then whoo-dogies, you’re in fer a barn-burner of a hootenanny of a game!” (May not be a saying.)
One Starry Christmas (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): Since Halloween is over, it must be time for made-for-TV Christmas movies, right? Wait, what? ”No it goddamn isn’t, screw you, Hallmark Channel?” Right, fair enough.
Transporter: The Series (TNT, 10 p.m., Saturday): Apparently, there’s a TV series based on those Jason Statham movies about the man who brings things from one place to another place. In this episode, not-Statham is accused of not bringing some Russian mobsters’ thing to the place he was supposed to have brought it. They are understandably upset.
Key & Peele: Brandon Nowalk praised the annual K&P Halloween episode’s ambition, saying, “it’s a risky hodgepodge that works over horror every which way.” Convincing stuff, but everyone should really watch it for its important message: