Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, January 10, and Saturday, January 11, 2014. All times are Eastern.
Helix (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): As part of Syfy’s New Year’s resolution to actually air some science fiction-related programming, here comes a show about a ragtag CDC staff investigating a mysterious, probably unnatural virus outbreak in the Arctic Circle. Considering the creative team includes Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore and The Middleman’s Javier Grillo-Marxuach, there’s reason to hope Helix improves from the so-so beginning detailed in Todd VanDerWerff’s review. Sonia Saraiya is on hand to guide you through this epic, probably convoluted journey.
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): Tonight’s episode promises some sort of gang warfare, which apparently means it’s high time for Juliette to start kicking some Wesen ass. Kevin McFarland assures us that this all makes perfect sense.
Raising Hope (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): A wrong number provides the perfect excuse for Amy Sedaris to return as Virginia’s rival cousin Delilah, and the two soon find themselves vying for all of Maw Maw’s inheritance in a “most well-behaved granddaughter competition.” Phil Dyess-Nugent actually paid his way through school by judging such contests on the weekends, so he knows what to be on the lookout for.
Enlisted (Fox, 9:30 p.m., Friday): The night’s other big premiere is this winning, funny army base comedy from Cougar Town co-creator Kevin Biegel. Todd VanDerWerff was suitably impressed in his pre-air review, and we’ll find out tonight if Les Chappell feels the same way as he kicks off weekly coverage.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (Classic) (3 p.m., Saturday): It’s time for the original regeneration story, “The Tenth Planet,” in which William Hartnell bids farewell and the Cybermen make their debut. Christopher Bahn can’t explain why these original cloth-faced, singsong-voiced Cybermen are so much creepier than their more robotic successors, but he’s got everything else covered for this hugely important story.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Bigfoot: The New Evidence (NGC, 7 p.m., Friday): This three-hour event will present some sure-to-be compelling proof of various Bigfeet, including the traditional Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest, the Himalayan Yeti, and everyone’s new favorite, Russian Bigfoot. Please respond to the news of Russian Bigfoot with whatever Yakov Smirnoff-style joke you find most appropriate.
The Carrie Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday): As a bit of cross-network synergy with Fox’s Enlisted premiere, tonight’s episode features Carrie’s best friend Maggie accidentally enlisting in the Army. If we had a nickel for every time we’ve made that same mistake… 4.5 nickels.
Dog With A Blog (Disney Channel, 8:30 p.m., Friday): With both Enlightened and Breaking Bad off the air, Dog With A Blog’s path to the top of the next yearend best-of list has never looked clearer. The show can only help its 2014 chances by strategically lifting old Community plots, as tonight’s episode features one of the non-dog, non-blogging characters pretending to be a Spanish tutor to get close to someone she likes, despite not being able to speak a word of Spanish.
Mythbusters (Discovery, 8 p.m., Saturday): Adam and Jamie follow up their Star Wars-themed premiere with something far more serious, as an episode entitled “Moonshiner Myths” asks the all-important question, “Can you use hooch as car fuel?” We’re pretty sure we know the answer to this, but far be it for us to stand in the way of the scientific method in action.
Sex Sent Me To The E.R. (TLC, 10 p.m., Saturday): This week’s installment features “a couple [trying] to have sex in a tree.” We’re so glad that TLC is finally getting back in touch with the learning part of its identity, as that sounds like an educational experience for all involved.
Space Dandy (Cartoon Network, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): We promise to review this show from Cowboy Bebop’s Shinichirō Watanabe just as soon as we can get our hands on some screeners of upcoming episodes. In the meantime, why not enjoy the second episode, in which the easygoing, butt-obsessed Space Dandy and his team go searching for a chef and his legendary phantom ramen?
Seven Psychopaths (Showtime, 9 p.m., Friday): Perhaps this darkly funny, fearlessly postmodern crime caper doesn’t quite live up to the promise of In Bruges,director Martin McDonagh and star Colin Farrell’s previous collaboration. But being “not as good as In Bruges” still leaves plenty of room for fun, and it’s hard to go wrong with a cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson, among many others.
Beverly Hills Cop (CMT, 6:30 p.m., Saturday): There’s probably some logical reason why a channel theoretically devoted to country music is airing Eddie Murphy’s blockbuster action comedy about a Detroit cop investigating a murder in ritzy Los Angeles. It’s probably just because the movie is a pretty good time, and CMT has to fill its programming slots somehow, but here’s hoping this is going to be followed by the world premiere of a heartbreaking acoustic take on Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F.”
Wild Wild West (E!, 8 p.m., Saturday): This Will Smith and Kevin Kline-starring update of the ‘60s steampunk spy show is still probably the worst film your guest What’s On Tonight correspondent has ever seen in theaters. But it did provide one hell of a punchline to Kevin Smith’s story about Hollywood producer Jon Peters, so that’s something, we suppose.
College Hockey: Alabama-Huntsville at Notre Dame (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m., Friday): Yes, you read that right. The Alabama-Huntsville Chargers, Division I’s only college hockey program located south of the Mason-Dixon Line, are headed north—as they always, always are—to play the Fighting Irish. Fun fact for anyone who thinks the conferences in college football make no geographic sense: Alabama-Huntsville shares a conference with two teams from Alaska.
NFL Playoff: Saints at Seahawks (Fox, 4:30 p.m.): Leaving aside the excitement of Alabama-Huntsville hockey for something that’s more of a niche sport, the NFL playoffs kick off the divisional round this weekend with a rematch between the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks. Considering Seattle is damn near unbeatable at home, they won the first round against New Orleans 34-7, and the Seattle forecast calls for rain and high winds, Saints quarterback Drew Brees is probably going to need to live up to that “Breesus” nickname if his team wants to advance.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Elementary (Thursday): Sherlock and Joan decide to investigate the Mafia, because, really, what could possibly go wrong? Myles McNutt filed his review while stranded in Nova Scotia, which, as far as Canadian provinces go, is hardly the worst one to be stranded in. (We’re not naming any names, but hey… Manitoba knows what it did.)