Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, July 22, and Saturday, July 23. All times are Eastern.
Looking: The Movie (HBO, 10 p.m., Saturday): When the book is finally closed on HBO (once we all have our cranial enter-cation pods or whatever), the network will get heaps of deserved credit for kicking off small, character-driven, meditative series—and an equal amount of scorn for yanking the plug on them when these decidedly uncommercial enterprises turned out to be, well, uncommercial. (See also: Enlightened, Togetherness, Getting On.) At least fans of this outstanding series about a group of gay friends in San Francisco will get some solace from the fact that creator Michael Lannan was able to wheedle an 84-minute finale movie to wrap up the stories of the characters we’ve all come to know and love, and sometimes be absolutely infuriated with. (Looking at you, Patrick. C’mon, buddy.) In this last outing, Jonathan Groff’s romantic but perpetually noncommittal Patrick (Jesus, Patrick, c’mon) returns to San Fran after nine months away in order to attend a wedding. (We’re not supposed to reveal who’s getting hitched, but it’ll make viewers happy, believe it.) He gets sucked back into the lives of his friends, and we all get one more chance to warm ourselves in the glow of one of those great little HBO series that made TV better just for having existed—for a little while, anyway. Here’s the trailer, which you shouldn’t watch if you don’t want to see who’s getting married, but should if you want to be happy about it. Your call—we’re not your mom.
Live From Comic-Con (Syfy, 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday): Will Arnett hosts Syfy’s blanket coverage of the vaunted San Diego event where we find out what will be the next superhero property that will be completely, irrevocably ruined! Look out in the crowd for various A.V. Clubbers, who are rumored to be in attendance, and who are always drawn to such places. (Hint: Everyone from The A.V. Club always goes dressed as a member of the Legion Of Substitute Heroes.)
Killjoys (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday) and Dark Matter (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): As good a place as ever to remind people about Syfy’s mini-resurgence in interesting original sci-fi programming. (Upcoming, ongoing Sharknado unpleasantness notwithstanding). And for you to re-read Kyle Fowle’s excellent examination of same.
Premieres and finales
BoJack Horseman (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): BoJack’s back, baby! The most hilariously depressed former sitcom star who’s also a horse for some reason returns as the entire third season drops online at the prime binge-watching hour of 3:01 a.m. This time out, Will Arnett’s BoJack finally has things going his way—so, naturally, he’s got to self-sabotage the hell out of that. Look for series regulars Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), Diane (Alison Brie), Todd (Aaron Paul), and Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) to similarly realize that they are their own worst enemies in the show that continually alternates your laughter with long, pained silences larded with self-reflection and existential dread. And vice versa. Les Chappell’s episodic reviews run every other day, staring Friday at 3 p.m., and Danette Chavez found a lot to like, as her review of season three reveals. Enjoy!
Degrassi: Next Class (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Bless those Canadians for birthing another generation of endearingly confused teenagers.
The Real Housewives Of Melbourne (Bravo, 9 p.m., Friday): As the third-season premiere will reveal once more, if you’re going to have boorish fame-hounds hurling wine at each other, it’s always more entertaining in an Australian accent.
The Rap Game (Lifetime, 10 p.m., Friday): The second-season premiere of this musical competition reality show returns to assert that when you think cutting-edge hip-hop, you think Lifetime.
Angel From Hell (CBS, 8:30 p.m., Saturday): The burn-off series finale of this amiably entertaining show you forgot was still a thing proves that neither divine intervention nor the always-welcome presence of Jane Lynch as a weird guardian angel means a thing if your numbers are low.
Hell On Wheels (AMC, 9 p.m., Saturday): In the second hell-based series finale of the weekend, the final spike is driven, as the railroad finally comes to the 1860s town of Promontory. Since the artwork for this season sees two locomotives on the verge of colliding right on top of dusty-yet-hunky series protagonist Anson Mount (Cullen Bohannon), look for things to end, as they say, with a bang. And check out our Watch This series over this past week, which featured our favorite episodes about trains, in Hell On Wheels memoriam.
Stranger Things (Netflix, noon, Saturday)
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 7 p.m., Friday)
Dead Like Me: Life After Death (Available for rent at Amazon, Apple Tunes, PSN): Look, we’re all happy Looking’s getting a final movie to give everyone some closure. It really looks great. But for a lesson in “be careful what you wish for,” go no further than this feature-film wrap-up of Bryan Fuller’s spiky, quirky supernatural cult series that did basically everything wrong. Fuller had already quit/been forced out over creative differences, but this misbegotten movie finale effectively sunk whatever goodwill remained among the series’ remaining fans. Mandy Patinkin’s mysterious, sardonic boss Reaper Rube? Does not appear. Neither does Laura Harris’ Daisy (at least she just got recast). And the whole affair, as reviewer Genevieve Koski said at the time, “feels like the bloated, reanimated corpse of the short-lived series,” suggesting that, like the show’s many restless deceased folk, sometimes it’s best to just let things go.