Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, February 5 & Saturday, February 6. All times are Eastern.
Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): While his Comedy Central series may be done, that only means Hannibal Buress has that much more time to devote to his standup career, which is a win for us, really. In his new Netflix special, the comic brings his deceptively potent style to bear on his life and career among other things, promising the sort of rope-a-dope comedy punching power Buress is known for. And, since Broad City doesn’t come back until February 17, this should bridge the long, Hannibal-less gap until we get to see if his amiable dentist Lincoln is still really good at naming dogs. Dennis Perkins is on reviewing duties, lucky sod.
Animals (HBO, 11:30 p.m., Friday): This new HBO animated series may be about the most universally despised members of the NYC animal kingdom, but, voiced as the various rats, pigeons, bedbugs, roaches, and the like are by some of the funniest people out there, the little creepers are likely to be endearing nonetheless. Executive producers the Duplass Brothers have pulled in a truly impressive indie voice cast to bring these loquacious vermin to life. Think we’re exaggerating? Well, listen for the likes of: Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Lauren Lapkus, Neil Casey, Katie Aselton, the Duplasses, Jon Lovitz, Scott Aukerman, Nathan Fielder, Nick Kroll, Jason Mantzoukas, Wanda Sykes, Zach Woods, Matt Walsh, Justin Roiland, Pete Holmes, Ben Schwartz, Marc Maron, Jenny Slate, and a lot more, frankly. Molly Eichel, in her pre-air review, says the whole enterprise is as quirky and entertaining as you’d expect. And, for Animals completists, Erik Adams has an interview with show creators Mike Luciano and Phil Matarese, who explain what’s the deal with all the vermin.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): Even if this engaging supernatural series (”a fun goofy horror adventure show,” according to series reviewer Zack Handlen) started to drift in the wake of Abbie and Ichabod’s defeat of former Big Bad Moloch, the chemistry between Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison is enough to carry things along entertainingly. Returning for its winter premiere tonight, the intrepid and twinkly duo carry on their battle against Pandora (yes, that Pandora) and the Hidden One, even though the last time we saw Abbie she was sacrificing herself to Pandora’s evil tree. Zack’s back on the reviews, and remains relatively confident that Ichabod can get her out—and that the show can pull things together.
The Vampire Diaries (CW, 8 p.m., Friday): In its return last week, Carrie Raisler was pretty impressed by the show’s transformation into a vampiric Groundhog Day, as Ian Somerhalder’s Damon relived his Civil War horrors again and again while trapped in the phoenix stone. This week, while Carrie’s more or less over that, Damon is still coping with the fallout, while the town of Mystic Falls endures another supernatural invasion.
Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall (Showtime, 9 p.m., Friday): Spike Lee directs his second documentary about Michael Jackson (after 2012’s Bad25), this time delving into the creation of the seminal album Off The Wall. In his review, Noel Murray says this career-centric biopic is, in Lee’s hands, an unsurprisingly thoughtful and insightful examination of both Jackson and a specifically important slice of time for black artists in music.
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): Nick is taken to a secret government base deep under the streets of Portland. Meanwhile, there’s a lake monster in Portland. Portland, Oregon, native Les Chappell would like all of us to know that, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein aside, that’s the real Portland. Secret bases and sea monsters, all the way down. That, and, of course, the Grimm Monster Picture of the Week! Wait, what? NBC isn’t posting any pictures of this week’s episode? Well, that can only mean that this will be the greatest and most impressive sea monster ever seen on a TV screen ever. No pressure, NBC. (By the way, that the episode is called “A Reptile Dysfunction”? Not a great start, NBC.)
Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim, 11 p.m., Friday): Henry Winkler’s administrator Sy finally gets tenure and decides the best way to celebrate is by building a jetpack. [Cut to: LaToya Ferguson plugging her ears with her fingers and shaking her head vigorously back and forth.]
Jim: The James Foley Story (HBO, 9 p.m., Saturday): Documentary about acclaimed journalist Foley, whose lifetime of courageously cataloguing the worst humanity has to offer met its end when the latest title holders, ISIS, filmed themselves cutting his head off. Kenji Fujishima has steeled himself for the review.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): When Larry David wrote for SNL back in 1984-85, he legendarily got, depending on who you listen to, maybe one sketch on the show the whole time. The fact that his recent appearances in Studio 8H as Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders have seen him greeted like a conquering hero has to tickle David to no end, as must the fact that he’s hosting the show this week (alongside musical guests The 1975). Dennis Perkins is hoping the show simply consists of his old rejected sketches.
Elsewhere in TV Club
Look, we’re a courageous bunch here at the A.V. Club—LaToya Ferguson reviewed her way through all of Scream Queens, for God’s sake. But, sure, we get a-sceered sometimes, and, yes, sometimes at weird stuff. This week’s AVQ&A sees your favorite A.V. Clubbers admit to the perhaps silly things a piece of pop culture has made them feel a little funny about. Then, in his For Our Consideration feature, Alex McCown takes a look back at the late, semi-lamented jock comedy TV series Blue Mountain State—and says it’s a little more interesting than those who remember it may think. Then, Marah Eakin has an Interview with comic and cooking show host Max Silvestri where he picks his top five favorite hosting role models of all time. Will the guy from Double Dare make the cut? Tune in and see. And, just to finish the weekend off with some insanity, Mike D’Angelo’s Scenic Routes asks, “How do you get an actor to look genuinely terrified at having arrows shot at him?” (Answer: Just shoot a hundred real freaking arrows at him.)
What else is on
47th NAACP Image Awards (TV One, 8 p.m., Friday): Hi, Oscar voters. If your feelings are easily hurt, you should probably not tune in for host Anthony Anderson’s opening monologue. You’re not going to come off well.
Undercover Boss (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): “Hi, I’m Matt. I’m a radar technician.”
Last Man Standing (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): Tim Allen’s Mike bullies his male friend to do something, but said friend backs out, teeing Allen up for some of that “I’m the last man standing” material.
Dr. Ken (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Ken gets parenting whiplash when his son scores a date with the daughter of the most feared medical malpractice lawyer in town. Side note—don’t you think Richard Jenkins’ character from Step Brothers and Dr. Ken would get along really well?
Shark Tank (NBC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): It’s an all-veteran episode of Shark Tank, so look for the hosts to do more soft-soaping than usual before kicking would-be inventors out the door.
The Originals (CW, 9 p.m., Friday): Elijah teams up with Aya against his better judgement when they find out there might just be a doodad out there that could kill an original vamp for real. And while The Originals may have fallen out of the A.V. Club review rotation some time back, Elijah wanted us to relay the message to The Vampire Diaries that, “At least we all haven’t got amnesia over here in spinoff city! Watch your pale, deathless asses—we’re the late-season Angel to your late-season Buffy! Oh, and, sure it’s a pun, but we don’t care—suck it.”
Super Bowl’s Greatest Halftime Shows (CBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Hey, is the Super Bowl on this week? Anyone know?
Second Chance (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Child prodigies are being killed and newly-young Frankencop Jimmy Pritchard once again resists the urge to just drop and show the suspects how many pushups he can do.
Tomorrowland (Starz, 9 p.m., Friday): People did not climb aboard this Brad Bird-directed, theme park-themed flight of fancy, a fate that our A.A. Dowd says was predictable, if not entirely deserved. States A.A.: “This is one strange contraption of a movie, a $200 million exercise in corporate synergy that’s also an earnest passion project for nearly everyone involved.” As a general rule, grand flights of folly are worth a look.
Live From Lincoln Center: Richard Tucker Opera Gala—From Bocelli To Barton (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Just the thing to get you fired up for the Super Bowl.
The Rap Game (Lifetime, 10 p.m., Friday): The competition’s not only for aspiring rappers, but their prospective managers, too, so this week there’s a marketing challenge involved. Because that’s what makes for the best music.
Vice (HBO, 11 p.m., Friday): The fourth season premiere of this documentary series is here, just because February isn’t too dark, and bleak, and depressing. This time, the newsmagazine looks at the murderous horror gang that is Boko Haram and how new, super-easy gene-splicing methods promise to turn everything into a Dr. Moreau hellscape in our lifetime. Thanks, Vice!
Smartest Guy In The Room (History, 11 & 11:30 p.m., Friday): It’s a game show where you have to have actual, practical knowledge.
Republican Presidential Debate (NBC, 8 p.m., Saturday): After [laughably awful, pandering, yet somehow viable candidate’s] strong showing in Iowa, [laughably awful, pandering, yet somehow viable candidate] is sure to take a lot of heat from his/her [laughably awful, pandering, yet somehow viable challengers] in this—three hour—debate. (Writing this before Saturday, but you can fill in the blanks.)
Mythbusters (Discovery, 8 p.m., Saturday): Tonight, the guys turn their truth-verifying analytical powers on the statements in tonight’s Republican debate. Ha ha haaa—jokes. Nope, tonight, they just test out the best zombie-dispatching weapons.
Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials All-Star Countdown (CBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): Seriously—trying to find out if the Super Bowl is this week. C’mon, you guys.
Manson’s Lost Girls (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Lifetime, perhaps running low on fictional tales of murderous women made murderous by murderous men, decides, “Eh, what the hell—another Charles Manson movie?” This is another Charles Manson movie.
Austin City Limits (PBS, 11 p.m., Saturday): Leon Bridges and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats put on a show for us.
Appetite For Love (Hallmark, 9 p.m., Saturday): A corporate executive returns to her hometown to take over a darling little restaurant for her heartless corporation. But the restaurant is run by a hunky-yet-crusty chef who isn’t interested, and—wait for it—is also her high school sweetheart. Will these two crazy kids make it work out all right, and rosy, and delicious in the end? There’s no way to tell, but we do know this—there’s gonna be a cooking montage set to a pleasant but affordable song.
5th Annual NFL Honors (CBS, 9 p.m., Saturday): Well, it seems there’s simply no way to know if the Super Bowl is on this weekend—or what network it’s airing on. Thanks for nothing, everyone.
Black Sails (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Pirates! Sure, there aren’t many details on tonight’s episode of this series prequel to Treasure Island, but… pirates! What more do you people want?
Beowulf (Esquire, 10 p.m., Saturday): Still a lot of election talk in this adaptation of the ancient classic monster tale (“Rheda comes under increasing pressure, with her bid for leadership dependent on Scorann’s vote”). Still, in his pre-air review, Dan Caffrey promises monsters, and a decent amount of entertaining silliness.
And now… sport
NBA Basketball: Pacers At Hawks (ESPN, 7 p.m., Friday)
NBA Basketball: Spurs At Mavericks (ESPN, 9:30 p.m., Friday)
Men’s College Basketball: Cincinnati At Memphis (ESPN2, noon, Saturday)
Bundesliga Soccer: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (Fox, 12:30 p.m., Saturday)
X Games Aspen 2016: Anthology (ABC, 1 p.m., Saturday)
Men’s College Basketball: Iowa State at Oklahoma State (ESPN2, 2 p.m., Saturday)
PGA Tour Golf: Phoenix Open (NBC, 3 p.m., Saturday)
Men’s College Basketball: Florida At Kentucky (CBS, 4 p.m., Saturday)
Men’s College Basketball: Arizona At Washington (Fox, 4:30 p.m., Saturday)
Men’s College Basketball: Stanford At California (ESPN2, 4 p.m., Saturday)
Men’s College Basketball: Mississippi State at LSU (ESPN2, 6 p.m., Saturday)
Men’s College Basketball: Baylor At West Virginia (ESPN2, 8 p.m., Saturday)
NBA Basketball: Thunder At Warriors (ESPN, 9 p.m., Saturday)
Men’s College Basketball: Wichita State at Illinois State (ESPN2, 10 p.m., Saturday)
In case you missed it
Idiotsitter: Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya asks, “Can anyone come between Jillian Bell’s Gene and Charlotte Newhouse’s Billie?” And then she answers, “Duh, Channing Tatum.”