Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, February 21, and Saturday, February 22. All times are Eastern.
Helix (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): As with most science fiction shows nowadays, this one is at its best when it just goes completely off-the-wall and weird. Since Sonia Saraiya is covering this live on a Friday, then, we’re going to hope that, for her benefit, the show unleashes, like, a lemur with magic powers or a wombat that can travel through time, just to spice things up. Sadly, it will probably just have lots of scenes where people who shouldn’t be kissing start kissing, and everybody acts like that’s a big deal instead of super boring.
The 2014 Winter Olympics (8 p.m., Friday and Saturday): Friday sees the arrival of America’s top contender in the women’s slalom, who’s just an 18-year-old kid, by golly. Scott Von Doviak will have a look at that, and then Gwen Ihnat takes a look at Saturday’s figure skating gala.
Black Sails (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Somehow, “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for Rowan Kaiser” doesn’t work as well as “me.” We’re going to have to go back to the drawing board on this. And future Black Sails capsules, if we want to avoid shitty jokes about sea shanties.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The X-Files (Saturday, 1 p.m.): A long time ago—2002 or thereabouts—a kid named Vince Gilligan wrote a script, and an eager young lady named Michelle MacLaren made her directorial debut on it. It became “John Doe,” and Zack Handlen will shed a few more Breaking Bad-related tears.
Doctor Who (Classic) (Saturday, 3 p.m.): It’s a “Carnival Of The Monsters”! The last time the carnival of the monsters passed through town, Christopher Bahn was but a wee pup. Now he can share the carnival with his own wee ones!
ELSEWHERE IN TV CLUB
We’ve got a couple of TV Reviews coming your way. First, Erik Adams isn’t a huge fan of NBC’s new Growing Up Fischer. And later today, Todd VanDerWerff has some thoughts on the first four nights of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
We’ve also got a look back at Doogie Howser, M.D., for our Memory Wipe feature, as well as a chat with Jason Katims, who turned About A Boy into a TV show. Sadly, the latter doesn’t have any brilliant teenage doctors.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
The Waltons (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Friday): If you’re just fucking done with the Olympics already, then why not take a trip back to the rural South in the Great Depression, by way of the 1970s? Tonight’s episode involves a big motorcycle race!
Dog With A Blog (Disney Channel, 8:30 p.m., Friday): What?! Dog With A Blog has been back this whole time, and nobody told us about it? We count on you for Dog With A Blog updates, Pilot Viruet!
Great Performances (PBS, 9 p.m. Friday): Guess what, America? Sting’s here, and he’s brought a song cycle about a ship-building town in the United Kingdom, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Hello, Ross (E!, 10 p.m., Friday): “Well, hello to you!” said Ross, before realizing the TV wasn’t actually addressing him.
Status: Unknown (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): A woman reconnects with a friend at her high-school reunion, and then that friend disappears a year later, and the first woman is the only one who can solve the disappearance. We guess? The premise of this movie makes no sense.
Ripper Street (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): Is this basically the British version of Copper? Wait. Copper aired on BBC America, too, even if it was an American show, technically. So why did we ever have both shows? No matter. They’re both canceled now, though season two of this starts here tonight.
The Matrix Reloaded (BBC America, 8 p.m., Friday): Sure, it’s cool to hate on the Matrix sequels, but there’s a lot of pretty cool shit in both of them. Like, we’re glad we saw that freeway chase at the very least, right? Aren’t you? Probably not. Sad face.
The Silence Of The Lambs (IFC, 8 p.m., Friday): Guess what, everybody? Hannibal is back next week, and it is awesome. Prepare for the return of Will, Hannibal, and all your TV pals by watching the first film to star Anthony Hopkins as the serial killer. It’s also preparation for the Oscars, since it won five.
The Red Shoes (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): This film by Powell and Pressburger is one of the most beautiful films ever made. Plus, everybody loves the ballet, and if you don’t, please don’t bring it up in comments. You’ll only make us angry.
NBA Basketball: Nuggets at Bulls (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): The Nuggets and Bulls are the exact mirror image of each other, as the former is 25-28 and the latter is 28-25. What’s even sadder is that the Bulls would be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with that record if the playoffs were held today.
College Basketball: Brown at Cornell (NBC Sports, 8 p.m., Saturday): You know what will probably make for an exciting Saturday evening spent in? Watching the basketball game between Brown and Cornell!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
About A Boy (Saturday): You haven’t missed this yet, because it makes its debut after the Olympics on Saturday night (at the good-for-watchin’ hour of 11:07 p.m. Eastern), but our own Todd VanDerWerff already had some thoughts on the first three episodes.