Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

House Of Cards tries to out-crazy reality as Frank hits the campaign trail

Illustration for article titled iHouse Of Cards/i tries to out-crazy reality as Frank hits the campaign trail

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, March 4 & Saturday, March 5. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

House Of Cards (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): What could make Kevin Spacey’s President Frank Underwood stoop to even lower levels of deceit, chicanery, and outright evil? Why, a re-election campaign, of course! The reliably nuts Netflix political drama series returns for your binge-watching pleasure. You know—to give yourself a little respite form the real world, where in no circumstance could a megalomaniacal blowhard get within sniffing distance of the highest political office in the land! Dammit! Anyway, in her pre-air review, Lisa Weidenfeld says that Frank and House Of Cards remain as enjoyably ridiculous as ever:

Your enjoyment of House Of Cards should be roughly calibrated to match your patience with the concept that Frank is perpetually smarter than everyone else. He will always face worthy opponents who seem ready to take him down because they’ve finally uncovered the piece of evidence that exposes his wrongdoings, and he will always prevail at the last minute, often because of a third party’s unexpected actions. Thankfully, watching this happen is usually entertaining, both because the writers are awfully clever at dreaming up new ways for him to escape, and because watching Kevin Spacey tear off words in a hammy Southern rage is always fun.


Speaking of fun, Scott Von Doviak is back on the episodic reviews of this fourth season, with reviews coming to you on Fridays and Mondays.

Also noted

Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): The Jersey Devil comes to Sleepy Hollow? Well, Sleepy Hollow and X-Files reviewer Zack Handlen never got to review the latter’s Jersey Devil episode, so he’s thinking of this one as his consolation prize.


The Vampire Diaries (CW, 8 p.m., Friday): Last week, Carrie Raisler said that a visit to spinoff show The Originals pepped this season up a bit. This week, vampire hunter Rayna is still pursuing anyone with a pair of fangs, Terminator-style, so here’s hoping all the peril keeps things moving at a brisk clip.

Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): “Nick and Monroe travel overseas on a dangerous journey that brings them closer to the source of a long-gestating mystery.” What? Leaving Portland, Oregon? Portland native Les Chappell wanted to just wave this one off, but was told that he has to review Grimm even if it leaves Portland. He wasn’t happy, but news that the Black Claw is still messing up his beloved city placated him somewhat.


Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim, 11 p.m., Friday): Dr. Cat has a crisis of faith. Dr. Glenn has a crisis of punk. LaToya Ferguson’s doing juuuust fine.

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): For the second episode in a row, Lorne Michaels jangles the keys to the Five-Timers’ Club in front of a host and says, ”Riiiight, why don’t you dance for me,” as Jonah Hill returns for his fourth hosting gig. Dennis Perkins admires the fact that Hill is one of the only hosts to ever have a guaranteed recurring character on the show, even if he’s a little “Eh” on Adam Grossman, honestly.


Elsewhere in TV Club

This week’s AVQ&A sees your favorite AV Clubbers listing which television character deaths were the last freaking straw, making them decide to drop a show from their viewing rotation for good. Just a guess that there’s some residual Joss Whedon anger in there.


Then Jesse Hassenger closes out this week’s Watch This feature highlighting the movies that knocked off Die Hard so hard with his look back at Speed, or, as it should have been called, “The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.”

Then check out Marah Eakin’s Interview with Matt Belknap, founder of A Special Thing Records and longtime co-host of the accurately named podcast Never Not Funny.


Then, since Marah’s on a roll, read her For Our Consideration about how Once Upon A Time’s 100th episode marks not only a milestone for the show but also indicates a change in the way TV syndication rules are going.

What else is on

Adam DeVine’s House Party (Comedy Central, 12:30 a.m., Friday): If you can’t get enough of the ever-manic DeVine’s motormouth, sex-monkey routine on Workaholics, his standup/sketch series returns! If you’re reading this, it’s probably already aired, but Comedy Central’s not shy with the reruns.


Lego Bionicle: The Journey To One and Lego Friends: The Power Of Friendship (Netflix: 3:01 a.m., Friday): Two new plastic play-block-related animated series for the kid in you (and your actual kid).

The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): The contestants defy national stereotypes by warring against each other in Geneva, Switzerland.


Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): Nick introduces videos like: “Crashes”; “High Stakes in the Air”; “Inspirational Sports”; and “Crazy Russian Videos.” A clip of the last:

Dr. Ken (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): Ken tries to bond with Molly by taking her to an Emblem3 concert. Emblem3 being the no-doubt most affordable guest musicians ABC was willing to spring for.


Dave (Encore, 8 p.m., Friday): In this enduringly funny and patriotic (in the good, hopeful way) 1993 comedy from Ivan Reitman, regular Joe and presidential look-alike Kevin Kline steps into the shoes of the cynical, right-wing president and fixes America. Pending the results of this coming election, that sounds like the only viable solution, frankly.

The Originals (CW, 9 p.m., Friday): After sire show The Vampire Diaries swans back out of town, Klaus and the rest of the fang gang still has to deal with a vampire with a vendetta against him.


Second Chance (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Pritchard must confront a 20-year-old murder and a former informer who’s now a drug lord. Sample dialogue: “So—remember when you used to tell me stuff?” “Sure.” “Wanna tell me some more stuff? I’m young now.” “No thanks. Would you like some drugs, though?”

American Masters (PBS, 10 p.m., Friday): In “Loretta Lynn: Still A Mountain Girl,” country music legend and Coal Miner’s Daughter Lynn gets the worshipful American Masters treatment, with special guests Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, Jack White and Trisha Yearwood.


Vice (HBO, 11 p.m., Friday): The title this week: “Meathooked/The End Of Water.” So forget eating and drinking then, apparently.

Animals (HBO, 11:30 p.m., Friday): Does this description of the newest episode of this animated series draw you in?The invention of pants by a rat; a moth trying a neon light for the first time; a tense dinner for two fish couples.” Well, what if you know that the animals are voiced by the likes of Kerri Kenney, Thomas Lennon, Marc Maron, Neil Casey, and Pete Holmes? Thought so.


Scorpion King marathon (Syfy, 2 p.m., Saturday): There are four of these!

Q: The Winged Serpent (El Rey, 4 a.m., Saturday): Larry Cohen’s endearingly dippy monster movie about a giant lizard-god snapping up people in NYC airs in the wee hours when you’ve come home from the bar, which is really the best time to watch it. And check out the great oral history of the film from AV Clubber Will Harris (writing for the late, lamented The Dissolve).

Mythbusters (Discovery, 8 p.m., Saturday): Look upon this series finale and tremble, America—henceforth, all myths, no matter how ludicrous or impossible, shall go unbusted, free to rampage in tin-foil-hatted, misspelled online forum wantonness across the land. What will be the last myth busted? Will busting it break open the seal on certain lawmakers’ pigheaded belief in the myth that global warming isn’t happening? Once all myths have been busted, will science and reason finally rule, ushering in a golden age and the next step in humanity’s evolution (also not a myth)? Only one way to find out, people. And after the finale, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman hold a reunion show where they (and those lesser mythbusters they fired, which seems awkward) reminisce about the show and their favorite busted myths. (And, in case you have any myths that need re-busting, that’s followed by the very first episode. Myths are like dandelions—you’ve gotta keep busting them or they grow right back.)

Nightmare Nurse (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): A couple hires an attractive nurse to care for the husband after an accident. Is she an attentive, responsible caregiver without dark secrets that threaten to destroy her new employers? Remember—Lifetime.


Black Sails (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Those pirates of Nassau thought Captain Flint was dead? Silly pirates.

Beowulf (Esquire, 10 p.m., Saturday): “The Wulfing Raiders set their Barghest wolves free to terrorize Herot.” Shhh, Beowulf—you had us at “Barghest wolves.”


And now… sport

U.S. Curling Grand Prix (NBCSP, 7 p.m., Friday)

NBA Basketball: Wizards At Cavaliers (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday)

Bellator MMA (Spike, 9 p.m., Friday)

NBA Basketball: Hawks At Lakers (ESPN, 10:30 p.m., Friday)

ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament: A Semifinal (ESPNU, noon, Saturday)

Gymnastics: American Cup (NBC, 1 p.m., Saturday)

Men’s College Basketball: North Carolina At Duke (ESPN, 6:30 p.m., Saturday)

Men’s College Basketball: Louisville At Virginia (ESPN, 8:30 p.m., Saturday)

NBA Basketball: Rockets At Bulls (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Saturday)

Showtime Boxing Special Edition: Williams-Matano (Showtime, 10 p.m., Saturday)

In case you missed it

Baskets: Chip and Eddie take a road trip. Vikram Murthi says it’s the funniest “two guys on a pointless trip into the desert” since Gerry! (Anyone? Gerry?)


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