Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Red Band Society walks into the light—take its hand and say good night

Octavia Spencer, Griffin Gluck, Adrian Lester (Fox)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, February 6, and Saturday, February 7. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Red Band Society (Fox, 8 p.m., Saturday): Fans of gooey sentiment and heavy hospital drama were hoping for some sort of miracle, but the signs (feeble ratings, irregular critical signals) just couldn’t be ignored any longer. Sure, specialists in alternative treatments (“It’s The Breakfast Club, but they’re all dying!,” “Musical montages—more musical montages, stat!”) tried their best, but tonight, Fox sits Octavia Spencer, Adrian Lester, and all those winsome kids down and gives them the cold hard truth—tonight’s two-hour season finale will, tragically, be its series finale. Cue sad medical show music montage:

Also noted

Constantine (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): John investigates a mysterious attack at a spooky old hospital. Brandon Nowalk says if you’re gonna get attacked by the forces of evil, there are worse places to be than in a hospital.

“If you could just press that call button over there, mate…” (NBC)

Glee (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Can Glee rebound from last week’s episode (which raised the ire of Brandon Nowalk last week to the tune of the rare non-gentleman’s ‘F’)? Some people respond that it’s fun to watch this show go completely off its nut in its final season, to which Brandon counters, “The aggressive dissonance might be fascinating if the episodes weren’t so boring.”


12 Monkeys (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday): Cole and Ramse are chased by a gang of marauders trying to keep them from doing what they’ve already done, or will do, or will have done at some point. Emily L. Stephens assures us she has it all figured out.

With science! (Syfy)

Banshee (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): Last week, the big secret that Lucas Hood is a crook posing as a cop finally came out! Les Chappell praised the improbably effective, seasons-long balancing act to this point, saying: “It’s the sort of premise that seems like it’s built for either miniseries length or a series that proves weekly Roger Ebert’s theory of the Idiot Plot, i.e. something that would be solved instantly if all of the characters were not idiots.” This week, the fallout starts, with—we’re just spitballing here—some insane violence.

Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11:30 p.m., Friday): In “Simon Helberg Wears A Sky Blue Button Down And Jeans,” Scott and Reggie have some serious suspicions that their guest is a robot. LaToya Ferguson thinks they should be more worried that he’s a suspiciously damp supervillain henchman.


TV Club Classic

Doctor Who (Classic) (3 p.m.): Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor continues to search for the pieces of the all-powerful Key of Time in the 1978-79 arc “The Power Of Kroll.” He and Romana find out it’s been swallowed by a some sort of hideous monster, which Christopher Bahn assures us makes a whole bunch o’ sense.

“You’re totally goin’ down, bro.”

Elsewhere in TV Club

Erik Adams is first on the scene to give us all the lowdown on the most anticipated show of the weekend, the Bob Odenkirk-led Breaking Bad spinoff/prequel Better Call Saul. Then, Joshua Alston chimes in with a TV Review of the HBO documentary series that’s getting compared to Serial quite a bit, Jinx. Then be sure to check out Marah Eakin’s Hatesong interview with Matt Braunger in advance of his new comedy special, which premieres on Friday at midnight!


What else is on

NBA basketball: L.A. Clippers vs. Toronto Raptors (ESPN, 7 p.m., Friday): Watch two of the few teams in the NBA with winning records! NBA mediocrity—catch it!


Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): Nick and Frank follow a trail of bodies to a mysterious bounty hunter, who may, in fact, be some sort of supernatural monster.

Just a guess. (NBC)

Shakespeare Uncovered (PBS, 9 & 10 p.m., Friday): Shakespeare nerds are all aflutter about this double feature of distinguished black actors examining their most memorable Shakespearean performances. First up is Morgan Freeman, chatting sonorously with Tracey Ullman, who co-starred with him in a memorable Old West-set Taming Of The Shrew. Then David Harewood talks with the likes of Adrian Lester and Patrick Stewart about being the first black actor to play Othello at London’s National Theater.

Kate, Petruchio (PBS)

Hart Of Dixie (CW, 8 p.m., Friday): The synopsis of this episode, where Zoe and Wade decide they need more money for their upcoming baby, contains the phrases “Rammer Jammer” and “singles hoedown.” We’re just gonna let those facts sit there.

I Do, I Do, I Do (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Friday): It’s a wedding day Groundhog Day when a bride keeps experiencing her nuptials over and over again. Here’s hoping she learns a valuable lesson from this.


Helix (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): The CDC team hides out in the abbey and edges ever closer to finding a cure for the disease that’s killing everybody.

Granted, they’re a litle late for that guy. (Syfy)

Matt Braunger: Big, Dumb Animal (Comedy Central, 11:59 p.m., Friday): Big, smart comic (and @Midnight ace) Braunger debuts his new standup special just before midnight, when his powers are especially potent.

Austin City Limits (PBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): The Foo Fighters perform songs from their 2014 album “Sonic Highways.” No word on if the 1994 Foo Fighters are horrified at this turn of events.


So You Said Yes (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): Hallmark continues to mine the frosted battlefield of wedding days for sugary drama, with a bridal shop owner falling in love with the son—of a rival bridal shop owner! We smell a cake fight!

The Musketeers (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): When a peasant girl who thinks she’s talking to God raises a rebellion in France, the Musketeers are called in to musket everything back to normal.


Megachurch Murder (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Malcolm Jamal-Warner stars in Lifetime’s foray into crime drama in this original movie about a guy who murders really big churches? Presumably using a huge wrecking ball? Tune in and see!

Black Sails (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): Flint sails back to Nassau, where the incessant bickering over the administration of the Mos Eisley-esque criminal refuge there is exactly the sort of pirate action viewers have come to love!


Transporter: The Series (TNT, 9 & 10 p.m., Saturday): In this two-part second season finale, Frank transports his way through warlords, minions, cyber-bombs, and his arch nemesis, Señor Stationario, who used violence to make sure things remain in one place. (Perhaps not his real name or modus operandi.)

In case you missed it

Babylon: This energetic British cop dramedy from creator Danny Boyle keeps pulling off its tricky mix of action, comedy, and social satire with aplomb according to Genevieve Valentine, who writes of new episode “Hackney Wick”:

Power on this show does more than corrupt. No one can keep hold of it for long precisely because of how slippery it is; it blinds you by its very nature, and makes you foolish.


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