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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns to shower you in musical-comedy madness

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Photo: CW)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW, 9 p.m., Friday): Last season’s finale saw Rebecca finally hooking up with Josh—and then confessing that she’s essentially been stalking him all year. And that’s just as Greg admits that he truly loves Rebecca—after his drunken attempt to be the cool, detached guy drove her to Josh. Meanwhile, Paula looks ahead to a life where masterminding Rebecca’s love life isn’t the one thing that distracts her from how unhappy she is in hers. (At least White Josh and Darryl seem happy.) Like the similarly delightful Jane The Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend sees love’s chaos transforming its characters’ lives into the heightened exploits of fiction, with creator and star Rachel Bloom turning Rebecca’s world into a musical instead of Jane’s telenovela. As Allison Shoemaker’s been telling us in her reviews, the result is funny, heartbreaking, and complexly human (often at the same time).


The Onion Presents: The Iconic Images Of Election 2016 (Fusion, 9 p.m., Friday): What will be the lasting impression of this contentious election season? Will it be a portrait of the first woman presidential nominee, staring ahead at the challenges to come while looking back at the long road America has run to get to this point? Will it be that same woman candidate being stalked at a presidential debate by her Republican adversary, looming behind her for all the world like a bloated Michael Myers with his mask spray-painted sour orange? Will it be an innocuous cartoon amphibian inexplicably loaded down with Nazi paraphernalia? Only our funnier cousins at The Onion know for sure, so check out this satirical rundown of just what the hell is going on around here. [Note: Fusion, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]

Joe Rogan: Triggered (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Standup and ultimate fighting hype man Rogan takes to the stage to, judging by the title of his new special, bluster at us for being too sensitive. And possibly for mentioning that the former NewsRadio star has finally completed his physical transformation into UFC head Dana White.


Great Performances: Hamilton’s America (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): For everyone who didn’t get to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton on Broadway, this documentary about the making of the game-changing, undeniably stunning musical is going to have to suffice. Meanwhile, there’s never a bad time to listen to “Wait For It.”

Shadows Of The Dead (Syfy, 9 p.m., Saturday): Syfy describes this original horror movie thusly: “A group of teenagers try to escape a creature that lives among the shadows and is hunting them down one by one.” Sample dialogue:

  • Teen #1: “It can only kill us from the shadows!”
  • Teen #2: “Don’t worry, I have this flickering candle!”
  • Teen #3: And I have this battery-powered fan in case you get too hot from the candle!”
  • All: “We are gonna live forever!”

Weiner (Showtime, 9 p.m., Saturday): This documentary about the titular former congressman gets its cable debut. In his initial review, Noel Murray was effusive in how directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg put the media on trial without ever letting serial sexter Weiner off the hook as they follow his attempted political comeback—right up to the point where another sex scandal makes him a laughingstock once again. No word if his most recent, post-documentary scandal is going to get a cinematic postscript.


Premieres and finales

Black Mirror (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Whether you’re reading this on your computer, phone, tablet, or some sort of cranial port the rest of the world doesn’t know about yet, this British sci-fi series about the actual and fancifully theoretical dangers of technology maintains that you’re totally doomed. But, as Erik Adams says in his pre-air review of this third season, Black Mirror may offer you the merest glimmer of hope this time around. Either that, or it’s just a glitch in the Matrix-style simulation you contentedly plugged yourself into so long ago you’ve forgotten what real hope looks like. Either way, Zack Handlen is on episodic reviews this time around, braving The A.V. Club’s CMS, which we all know shares a lot of similarities to Tron’s MCP.

Damn you, technology! (Photo: Netflix)

Midnight Diner (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): In this 10-episode Japanese import, a taciturn, scar-faced man opens his diner from midnight to 7 a.m. every night, feeding an assortment of lonely, hungry people. Based on the manga by Yaro Abe.

Ramen with a side of sage wisdom (Photo: Netflix)

The Vampire Diaries (CW, 8 p.m., Friday): Beginning its eighth season tonight, The Vampire Diaries officially passes Buffy The Vampire Slayer in longevity, if not all that other stuff. After a shaky season seven, The A.V. Club is dropping regular coverage. But put down those stakes and torches, you. Carrie Raisler’s coming back to do a full review of the season premiere before switching to that new “discussion post” format all the kids are talking about.


High Maintenance (HBO, 11 p.m., Friday): Unlike its often-hazy, wobbly, weed-dealer protagonist, this series’ seriocomic meandering has remained deceptively focused, for the most part. As has the dutifully disciplined (but funny) Steven Shehori, who wraps up his reviewing duties with tonight’s finale.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): The Beeb takes a second swing at adapting Douglas Adams’ admittedly difficult-to-adapt comic detective novels. This time, some might be skeptical of the American influence on this quintessentially British creation, what with the presence of series co-star Elijah Wood and series creator Max Landis (who comes with his own skeptical baggage). But Samuel Barnett (Penny Dreadful’s Renfield) looks suitably tapped into Gently’s spiritual huckster genius, and, in his pre-air review, William Hughes says that, at its best, Landis’ messy expansion of Adams’ clockwork plot is “a swirling Rube Goldberg machine of violence, chaos and coincidence.”

“Yes, we WILL be better than the previous version” (Photo: BBC America)

Regular coverage

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

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

Star Wars Rebels (DXD, 8:30 p.m., Saturday)

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

Streaming pick

Party Political Broadcast,” Monty Python’s Flying Circus (Seeso): Among his many achievements, Dirk Gently creator Douglas Adams was one of the very few people outside the Monty Python crew to receive a writing credit on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Sure, it’s in the very last episode ever, and he only contributed one sketch (“Patient Abuse”), but that’s still impressive company to be in.


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