Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hannibal moves to Saturdays, is doomed

Mads Mikkelsen is sad Hannibal (NBC)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Hannibal (NBC, 10 p.m., Saturday): Just in time for the most shocking plot twist of an already stellar season, NBC moves Hannibal to the “rating wasteland” that is Saturday nights and pins a “kick me” sign to Hannibal Lecter’s impeccably hand-tailored suit. Molly Eichel kicked off her review of the last episode, “Dolce,” by simply saying, “What a great episode of television.” So, you know, thanks, NBC. At least you’ve got your artistic priorities straight.


Also noted

BoJack Horseman (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): A surprise critical hit last season, this improbably moving and funny animated series about a washed-up, horse-headed actor voiced by Will Arnett trying to make his way in the seediest parts of Hollywood. Caroline Framke takes on reviewing duties (look for them at noon on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and 6 p.m. thereafter) as The A.V. Club jumps on BoJack’s back and rides! (Do not ride BoJack Horseman.) Vikram Murthi jumps on as well with his TV Review of the whole season.

Caroline assures us this makes perfect sense (Netflix)

Tig (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Funny and no doubt heart-wrenching documentary about standup comic Tig Notaro whose career took off just as her life went to hell in literally every way something could go to hell. Kyle Ryan grabs his hanky and reviews it for us. Meanwhile, check out Jenni Miller’s interview with the always fascinating and funny Notaro.

One can only assume that baby tries to strangle her after this (Netflix)

Catastrophe (Amazon, noon, Friday): Last episode got a big, unqualified ‘A’ from Molly Eichel, who wrote:

[Sharon] Horgan’s performance throughout this episode was so deeply and incredibly felt that it’s near impossible to watch and not feel something. All at once in that final scene, she’s able to convey terror, uncertainty, and regret. It’s a wholly lovely performance in a gut-punch of an episode.


And that’s for a comedy, folks. So watch Catastrophe, is what we’re saying.

Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 6 p.m., Friday & Saturday): Speaking of “Onion Friend,” the most recent episode of this weird and wonderful animated series, Eric Thurm said:

Let’s put it a different way: I don’t care nearly as much what each episode of Steven Universe is about in the abstract (though that’s certainly a consideration) as I do about how it’s about it, and why. And the level of detail packed into “Onion Friend” and its subtle examination of the way people drift apart and grow to misunderstand each other is just delightful.


Eric’s on hand for two new episode reviews this weekend, people.

Power (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): The cat’s out of the bag as far as Ghost and Angela go, leading to a game of cat and mouse. It’s all cats over at Power, but Joshua Alston is an expert cat wrangler. This week, Angela doubles down on pursing Ghost.


Aquarius (NBC, 9 p.m., Saturday): That devious Charles Manson moves this entire series to Saturday nights in order to escape David Duchovny and the Cancellation Bear. Gwen Ihnat hasn’t been impressed with this season, but NBC has (especially its online ratings), enough so that it’s already been renewed for a second season. Not Hannibal, though. Just putting that out there, NBC.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (BBC America, 10 p.m., Saturday): This supernatural series is really coming into its own, according to Caitlin PenzeyMoog, who said of last week’s episode:

The show by episode five is a different beast than the first episode; there is none of the lightheartedness and easy humor contained in the earlier episodes, with each progression into the story directing it down a decidedly darker path. It’s good; it demonstrates a showrunner who isn’t afraid to commit to the dark stuff, and for book-readers, it rings true to the ill-fated characters and bewitching aura of the original story.


So tune in—if you dare! Seriously, though, you should dare.

Elsewhere in TV Club

You know when you tell someone that you love something and they say they love it too but then you discover that they mean a vastly inferior piece of pop culture that has the same name and then your blind date is officially over? Well, this week’s AVQ&A explores the most annoying pop culture name duplications according to some very vexed AV Clubbers. Then check out Oliver Sava’s Big Issues review of Island, the ambitious new comics magazine from Image Comics.


What else is on

Defiance (Syfy, 8 p.m., Friday): An arms dealer comes to the bitterly divided powderkeg that is Defiance. Always a sign of peace and prosperity.

Thanks a bunch, dick (Syfy)

Killjoys (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday): They’re space bounty hunters! They’re sexy! They’re being haunted by their worst secrets on a derelict spaceship! They’re Killjoys!


The Messengers (CW, 9 p.m., Friday): The angels bust someone out of government custody. Which doesn’t sound very angelic, honestly.

Great Performances: Driving Miss Daisy (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Is Alfred Uhry’s patronizingly cozy racial parable kind of paradoxically racist? Well, maybe. But will the combined star power of James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury in this 2013 Australian stage production make your mom watch it? Yup.


Dark Matter (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): Hypnosis allows Five to recall disturbing details about Four and Six. And then Seven ate Nine.

The Bride He Bought Online (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): This week, Lifetime doubles down with its message of not trusting anyone of the opposite sex, ever. A team of mean teenage girls creates a fake “international dating” profile and catfishes a lonely weirdo who goes berserk when the woman willing to give herself to a foreign stranger for money turns out not to be real. Lifetime must be a fun place to work.


Cedar Cove (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): Our own Carrie Raisler once called this show, about Andie MacDowell’s small-town judge sipping herbal tea, dispensing justice, and romancing a hunky local reporter, “blandly picturesque.” Which, to be fair, is Hallmark’s very lucrative wheelhouse. The third season premieres tonight.

The Millers (CBS, 8 & 8:30 p.m., Saturday): The back-to-back summer burn off concludes the second and last season of this CBS sitcom. Oh, The Millers, we barely noticed your passing except as the sweet release it represents for Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, and Beau Bridges to the bright, relatively fart-jokeless sunshine.


Hell On Wheels (AMC, 9 p.m., Saturday): The fifth season begins and that damned railroad isn’t built yet?

Mythbusters (Discovery, 9 p.m., Saturday): In this 18th season premiere, myths will, indeed, be busted all to hell. Guarantee that. (One of them is Breaking Bad related!)


Mega Shark Vs. Kolossus (Syfy, 9 p.m., Saturday): A top secret Russian doomsday robot is messing stuff up! Don’t worry, Mega Shark is on the case—his methods are unorthodox, but he gets results, you stupid chief!


Pan American Games (ESPN2, 8 p.m., Friday)
International Champions Cup Soccer: América vs. Manchester United (Fox Sports 1, 11 p.m., Friday)
British Open Golf (ESPN, 9 a.m., Saturday)
Golf: American Century Championship (NBC, 3 p.m., Saturday)
Baseball: Dodgers At Nationals (Fox Sports 1, 4 p.m., Saturday)
Premier Boxing Champions: Frampton Vs. Gonzalez (CBS, 4 p.m., Saturday)
Baseball: Indians At Reds (Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m., Saturday)
Showtime Championship Boxing: Chavez Jr. Vs. Reyes (Showtime, 10 p.m. Saturday)


In case you missed it

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll: In his first A.V. Club review, Michael Roffman declares this new Denis Leary show about a washed-up rocker just about what you’d expect from a new Denis Leary show.


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