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

Our long national shortage of fitfully funny sketch comedy is over: Saturday Night Live is back

Illustration for article titled Our long national shortage of fitfully funny sketch comedy is over: iSaturday Night Live/i is back

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, September 27, and Saturday, September 28. All times are Eastern.

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): It’s been a whole summer without America’s favorite late-night sketch comedy show that airs over the weekend, and David Sims has been breaking out in hives without being able to review the general craziness that results when he tries to break down the unbreakdownable, isolate the best bits of a show that will be in a most likely messy transition. Fortunately, the new cast will have the steadying hand of Tina Fey around, probably to make fun of that lady who wrote the “300 sandwiches” article in the New York Post.

The Legend Of Korra (Nickelodeon, 7 p.m., Friday): After her folks are wrongfully imprisoned, Korra fights to clear their name in the second part of “Civil Wars.” Emily Guendelsberger wasn’t too wild about last week’s installment of this particular story. But that’s probably because she wrote her piece from jail.


The Neighbors (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Yeah, the ratings for this show were pretty poor last week, but we don’t think they were so poor as to require the April Fool’s Day episode to be rushed to the air in September! Kenny Herzog cautions everyone involved with the show to take a few deep breaths.

The Hollow Crown (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Kevin McFarland just loves Henry IV, Part I, but mostly because it’s the one where Henry has all the awesome stunts. There are things to recommend in Part II, to be sure, but far fewer stunts. Kevin won’t rest until Henry has jumped a motorcycle over the Grand Canyon.


Borgen (LinkTV, 1 a.m., Saturday): Season two ends with Birgitte figuring out how the plates have shifted after she took leave to deal with a family situation. Meanwhile, Todd VanDerWerff tries to figure out if he’ll take leave to deal with having reviewed 30 episodes of this show once season three is done.

Doctor Who (Classic) (3 p.m., Saturday): Of all of the Doctors, Jon Pertwee is our favorite, because just saying “Pertwee” fills us with a joyous feeling. Christopher Bahn takes a look at the last time Pertwee worked with Katy Manning, in a serial that features, among other things, giant mutant maggots.


MasterChef: Junior (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday): Phil Dyess-Nugent, our intrepid MasterChef correspondent, drops in for the first episode of this child-themed concoction, meant to make us tremble with excitement at the thought of Gordon Ramsay taking out his frustrations on some poor children.


Hawaii: Five-0 (CBS, 9 p.m., Friday): CBS is debuting all three of its Friday night shows tonight, but the one that’s likely of most interest to you folks is that this one has moved from its comfy Monday nights at 10 p.m. perch to the more foreboding waters of Fridays at 9 p.m. Godspeed to you, Scott Caan!

Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out (Showtime, 9 p.m. Friday): Remember when Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski was arrested in 2009 in Switzerland over his statutory rape charge in the United States? This film dissects the extradition battle meant to return him to the U.S. Phil Dyess-Nugent checks it out.


Secret Life Of Predators (National Geographic, 10 p.m., Friday): The name of this episode is “Wet,” which sounds kinda gross when you consider it with the title of the show, even though the subject is obviously “predators that live in watery areas.” Subjects include the poisonous sea snake. Super gross.

Cupcake Wars (Food, 8 p.m., Saturday): Meanwhile, friendly neighborhood film critic Leonard Maltin is living through his own personal nightmare, as he drops by to join the judges’ table for this episode, in which he will help pick the best of the best when it comes to Wizard Of Oz-themed cupcakes. Joy.


Spawn Of Jaws (Discovery, 8 p.m., Saturday): Uhhhh, Discovery Channel? Doesn’t everybody know the “spawn of Jaws” was the killer shark in Jaws 2? It had a deep-seated grudge against Sheriff Brody, since he killed the shark’s father, and it decided to take it out on Amity. Sheesh. Did you even watch Jaws 2?

Hocus Pocus (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Friday): October is just a few days away, which means it’s time to break out all the movies that you found vaguely scary as a kid and laugh with recognition at all the stupid shit you were scared of when you were a kid. Like Bette Midler in this movie. Or just Bette Midler in general.


The Time Machine (TCM, 8 p.m., Friday): Turner Classic Movies has been airing some great sci-fi classics over the past month, and tonight’s lineup is solid as well. It all culminates in one of Charlton Heston’s most over-the-top performances in The Omega Man, but this one is the best movie out of the bunch.

Short Cuts (Sundance, 8 p.m., Saturday): Director Robert Altman’s tribute to the works of Raymond Carver unfortunately kicked off an unnecessary subgenre of movies told in tiny bits and pieces, filled with all-star casts and lots of stories that pointed to everyone being connected. But this one’s great!


MLS Soccer: Kansas City vs. Phildelphia (NBC Sports, 8 p.m., Friday): For the most part, the cities with MLS franchises are large enough to support another pro team or starved for major league attention. But we’re not quite sure why Kansas City got a team. Does the city boast a hotbed of soccer fandom?

College Football: Wisconsin at Ohio State (ABC, 8 p.m., Saturday): The rivalry between these two teams isn’t legendary, but we’re all but certain it’s more heated than you’d think it would be. What you don’t know about the Midwest is that everybody secretly carries a seething hatred for each other. Seething.


Elementary (Thursday): This riff on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson quietly became one of our favorite detective shows on TV in its first season, and Myles McNutt is happy to say that it started off season two in style, with an episode he gave an A-. Now might be the time to hop on board this show.


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