Blunt Talk (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): This new Patrick Stewart vehicle, about an acerbic, irresponsible British newscaster attempting to make it big on American cable news comes courtesy of Bored To Death creator Jonathan Ames, a promising combination only endangered by the fact that it’s produced by Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane. Luckily, there’s a great supporting cast, including Jacki Weaver, Romany Malco, Timm Sharp, and Richard Lewis, to tip the scales. Luckily, the A.V. Club is pulling double duty to help you make up your mind, as John Teti gives the season-long overview with his TV Review, while weekly duties fall to Brandon Nowalk. One thing they can both agree on—gratitude that no one made a “warp drive” joke when talking about “Patrick Stewart’s vehicle.” Nope, no one at all.
Hannibal (NBC, 10 p.m., Saturday): The FBI brings back Dr. Chilton in an attempt to catch the Tooth Fairy, which makes sense. You know, since he’s never been hoodwinked by Hannibal Lecter, Dr. Abel Gideon, or Will Graham, or had his kidney stolen by Hannibal, or been manipulated at every turn ever since anyone in the FBI has known him. Oh, wait. Anyway, there’s only one more episode of Hannibal after tonight, ever, because the world is a dark and dull place with no appreciation for the finer things like human kidney pie. Philistines.
Are you one of those annoying people who latches on to a pop cultural catchphrase and repeats it until everyone in your life starts whipping shoes at you? Us too! Check out the AVQ&A on the movie and TV phrases your favorite AV Clubbers find useful and amusing even after all these years. [Ducks shoe.] Then LaToya Ferguson gives her pick for the best Boy Meets World episode ever—one that, she claims, belongs to a different genre entirely.
Defiance (Syfy, 8 p.m., Friday): Nolan, Amanda and Irisa try to keep Kindzi from waking and transporting more Omec to Earth. Since Kindzi’s all invulnerable, should be a breeze on the mean streets of Defiance!
Killjoys (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday): In the season finale, the Killjoys find themselves forced to choose a side in that conflict they’re caught in…the space conflict…you know the one.
National Gallery (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman doesn’t sell DVDs of his movies to the likes of us—unless you’re a school, which, congratulations—so tune in to see his 2014 film, a three-hour examination of the famed London art museum. In his review, our own Mike D’Angelo said this of the film, and Wiseman (bonus points for the stellar use of the verb “plonks,” by the way, Mike:
As always, there are no direct-to-camera interviews, no expository title cards, no efforts of any kind at contextualization. Anyone who doesn’t already know the National Gallery ranks fourth among the most visited museums worldwide (trailing only the Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum Of Art), won’t be fed that information by Wiseman. Instead, he plonks his stationary camera down in various rooms and galleries and just observes what unfolds.
Dark Matter (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): Mercenaries have taken over the ship, plan to turn the crew over to the Galactic Authority, and are not at all fooled by everyone just switching their numbers around.
Maz Jobrani: I’m Not A Terrorist But I’ve Played One On TV (Showtime, 10 p.m., Friday): Standup special from the Iranian comedian and actor, who would like to be cast as something other than “bomb guy.” He did play Dr. Bhamba on Better Off Ted, although that guy was pretty much a dick, come to think of it.
Strike Back (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): The guys attempt to foil the unholy union between Office 39 and the Yakuza, which seems like a no-brainer, except that Michelle Yeoh makes everything seem completely reasonable and beautiful and bad ass.
Marlene Dietrich Marathon: The Blue Angel, The Garden Of Allah, A Foreign Affair, Stage Fright, Judgement At Nuremberg, Witness For The Prosecution, Shanghai Express (Turner Classic Movies, beginning 9:15 a.m., Saturday): Any excuse to see Gilda and Madeline:
World Series Of Beach Volleyball (NBC, 4:30 p.m., Saturday): Sand! Sand everywhere!
The Unauthorized Full House Story (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Sometimes a picture says more than we ever could.
Cedar Cove (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): It’s a Hallmark series with a wedding-planning subplot—we are doily condition red, people! This is not a drill!
Aquarius (NBC, 9 p.m., Saturday): In the season finale, David Duchovny’s Hodiak struggles to keep his rebellious son out of trouble. Oh, and Charles Manson’s still out there, just waiting for season two to really get going on the evil.
Hell On Wheels (AMC, 9 p.m., Saturday): “Cullen and Mei take a dangerous journey through the California wilderness.” Man, if only there were some sort of recently completed rail system they could use—come on!
Mythbusters (Discovery, 9 p.m., Saturday): The ’Busters spend a whole show testing out viewer suggestions, all of which just said “BLOW SHIT UP! SEE IF YOU BLOW STUFF UP, THE STUFF BLOWS UP! BLOW IT UP!!! [String of 14 explosion emojis].”
Survivor’s Remorse (Starz, 9:30 p.m., Saturday): Joshua Alston’s on the season two premiere of this Lebron James-produced series about Jesse T. Usher’s now second year pro basketball player and his family. Apparently the people behind this underrated (and ratings challenged) show and HBO’s similar (but highly rated and poorly reviewed) Ballers are all up in each others’ grills over who is the true “rich athletes and their problems” cable drama, so tune in and make the call for yourself.
Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted (HBO, 10 p.m., Saturday): The resurgent and delightful Notaro launches her new special on HBO tonight. In addition to all the jokes, there’s something in there so [redacted] that Emily L. Stephens had to write a Spoiler Space review in addition to her regular review. How can there be spoilers in a comedy special? Damned intriguing, Stephens. Damned, damned intriguing.
Natasha Leggero: Live From Bimbo’s (Comedy Central, 11 p.m., Saturday): Hey, it’s funny lady comedy special night! Pop over to Comedy Central after Tig Notaro’s done and continue the laughs with this new standup set from Another Period’s Leggero.
Documentary Now: Bill Hader and Fred Armisen (and Helen Mirren) introduce their new faux documentary series with a great, super-weird take on Grey Gardens. Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is full of praise for Hader, especially—and IFC, of whose continued adventurousness she says:
IFC is a place for the weird and the specific, and Documentary Now! might just be its weirdest and most specific comedy yet—if you can even call it a comedy.