Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, August 30, and Saturday, August 31. All times are Eastern.
Wonderfalls (3 p.m., Friday): As cruel fate has taught us again and again, loving a Bryan Fuller show means learning to say goodbye long before its fans would want to. So it was with Dead Like Me, so it was with Pushing Daisies, and so it was with Mockingbird Lane, if you want to be a little generous about the existence of a fanbase for a rejected pilot. (We’ll refrain from any speculation about how things will be with Hannibal, because it just seems cruel under the circumstances.) And now so it is all over again with Wonderfalls, as Les Chappell reaches the end of its all too brief run. He would happily spend his final review reminiscing about all the good times, but first he’s got to solve a hostage crisis. That happens to him way more often than you might think.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday): Sarah Silverman is the latest guest to pay Scott a visit, but she might not be able to get a word in edgewise when the world’s fastest talking man is also in the studio. To better understand this fast talking character, David Sims has been taking auctioneering lessons at his local auctioneering night school, because David Sims is just that committed.
Borgen (LinkTV, 1 a.m., Saturday): The coalition hits its latest stumbling block as the extremist Freedom Party tries to lower Denmark’s age of criminality to just 12 years. After spending so many episodes in opposition to the vacationing Todd VanDerWerff, shadow reviewer Sonia Saraiya is ready to address the floor and make known her own controversial opinion, which is that she is against incarcerating all children. She’d rather be right than popular!
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday): The third season approaches its end as Captain Sheridan prepares for a major battle against the Shadows and welcomes a most unexpected visitor. Rowan Kaiser is pretty sure that he isn’t the most unexpected visitor, but he admits that still wouldn’t be the absolute craziest thing that’s happened this season.
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): In this week’s pair of episodes, a toy designer becomes the latest Twilight Zone denizen to relive his childhood, and then a dictatorial leader refuses to give up control of a failing space colony. Zack Handlen would be happy to tell you all about his own experiences running a space colony, but he’s not allowed to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Doctor Who (Classic) (3 p.m., Saturday): It’s time to break out the evil eye patches as Jon Pertwee’s Doctor goes hurtling into an alternate universe in the all-time classic “Inferno.” Christopher Bahn invites you to join him aboard the TARDIS, which he confidently informs us is some sort of space rocket with Batman at the controls.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
M*A*S*H (TV Land, 5:30 p.m., Friday): TV Land has again reached the point in its syndication cycle when it’s time to air the show’s epic, two-and-a-half-hour series finale “Goodbye, Farewell And Amen,” although we’re going to go out on a limb and say 121.6 million people aren’t going to watch this particular airing. Still, don’t think of this as an ending so much as a prologue to the glory that was AfterMASH.
Side By Side: The Science, Art And Impact Of Digital Cinema (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Christopher Kenneally and Keanu Reeves’ astute documentary about cinema’s digital revolution—in which the Matrix star discusses the future of moviemaking with such luminaries as Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, and, for reasons that we’re sure make sense in context, Joel Schumacher—originally appeared in theaters over a year ago, but a condensed, hour-long version makes its TV debut tonight. Check out Noel Murray’s review of the original, cinematic version, and then settle in for another shocking reminder of just how much sharper the real-life Reeves is compared to his onscreen persona.
Continuum (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): The second season finale finds the show’s half-dozen or so time-traveling factions poised to go to war in the streets of Vancouver. Alasdair Wilkins checks in once again to see how the series is doing, although thanks to his own time traveling, this is actually the first episode he’s reviewing from his perspective. Shh! Don’t tell him how the show starts!
Cracked (Reelz, 10 p.m., Friday): Speaking of Canadian cop shows, Reelz is debuting this drama import, which follows a newly formed team of police officers and psychiatrists that takes on only the most disturbed criminals and witnesses. That seems compelling enough, we suppose, but now that we know Canadian cop shows can have time travel, we’re a bit confused as to why any of them don’t. Dangerous psychopaths from 2013 just seem so passé when one could be tangling with their counterparts from 1835 or 2256, or whenever.
Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): This monthly retrospective on each of the 11 Doctors has reached Paul McGann’s eighth incarnation, who had only a single 90-minute adventure in 1996 before the show went into hibernation again. That means this half-hour special is about a third as long as the entire “era” it hopes to cover, which may mean this episode has to be more in-depth and incisive than the rather breezy previous entries in the series… or it might just mean this weekend’s episode is going to play the same three or four clips over and over. Here’s hoping this one is included.
All Access: Mayweather Vs. Canelo (Showtime, 10 p.m., Saturday) This is the second episode of Showtime’s four-part series chronicling the run-up to September 14’s light middleweight championship fight between unbeaten boxers Floyd Mayweather and Saúl Álvarez, better known as El Canelo. Our exhaustive research—otherwise known as a 10-second Google search—suggests that that nickname means “The Cinnamon-Colored One,” in reference to Álvarez’s red hair and freckles, which really doesn’t seem to possess sufficient intimidation or braggadocio to be a really effective prizefighter’s nickname. Presumably these are just the sorts of completely valid, non-silly questions All Access will answer.
Con Air (Spike, 7 p.m., Friday): As has been argued around these parts previously, either this movie is a knowingly ludicrous, frequently hilarious sendup of all the conventions of bad action movies… or it’s just sort of terrible. Whatever the case, we just want to point out Colm Meaney’s characters on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Hell On Wheels would be so much cooler if they too drove starships and/or trains with “AZZ KIKR” license plates.
Paths Of Glory (TCM, 8 p.m., Friday): For those who, for whatever reason, don’t consider Con Air highbrow enough for their tastes, there’s always Stanley Kubrick’s devastating 1957 antiwar film, in which Kirk Douglas plays a French colonel in World War I who tries to defend some of his men against charges of cowardice after they fail to die during what their generals know is a de facto suicide mission. Well, something has to make Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, and pretty much all of Kubrick’s other films look light and upbeat by comparison.
The Player (Sundance, 5:15 p.m., Saturday): Robert Altman’s 1992 movie about making movies represented something of a critical comeback for him after a decade spent making films that, while frequently fascinating, were often just a bit too offbeat to win him much contemporary acclaim. For its part, The Player has just about everything: murder, romance, Hollywood satire, roughly 60 celebrity cameos, and a lengthy opening tracking shot that explicitly pays homage to Orson Welles’ similarly impressive opening to Touch Of Evil.
MLS Soccer: Salt Lake vs. Portland (NBC Sports, 10 p.m., Friday): Only six points separate MLS-leading Real Salt Lake from their western conference rival Portland Timbers, which boasts one of the loudest, fiercest home crowds in American soccer. But then, even that really shouldn’t be any match for a team that enjoys the special patronage of the King of Spain, as is only fitting for a Utah-based soccer team. Seriously though, that’s still what “Real” means in this context, right?
College Football: Georgia at Clemson (ABC, 8 p.m., Saturday): The college football season’s opening weekend doesn’t feature too many big-time matchups, as most powerhouses are content to roll up the points against lesser foes. But this evening matchup between southern contenders—who form opposite ends of a rivalry quadrangle with Georgia Tech and South Carolina—does feature two potential first-round draft picks in quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd, so expect plenty of pretty passing.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Children’s Hospital: Last night’s episode presented the latest chapter in the epic love story between Erinn Hayes’ Lola Spratt and Jordan Peele’s Dr. Brian, a love so eternal and true that the show actually bothered to keep continuity and show clips of what happened between them in real previous episodes. Even David Sims was shocked about that one.