Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, February 13, and Saturday, February 14. All times are Eastern.
Sexy Beasts (A&E, 10 p.m., Saturday): Sexy singles get made up as monsters and go on blind dates in this remake of a British dating show intended to prove, categorically, that love is only expert monster mask-deep. Or that everyone involved is secretly a furry, one or the other. Snuggle in with your significant monster for four straight episodes of serious art, perhaps even entertainment.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): While Sunday’s big 40th Anniversary special will bring back memories (alongside a small army of SNL alums), Saturday’s the place to see where it all began with NBC re-broadcasting the very first Saturday Night Live ever from October 11, 1975. Of course, it was called NBC’s Saturday Night then (because Howard Cosell, of all people, had started a show called Saturday Night Live earlier in the year). Our SNL nerds would also like you to know: Inaugural host George Carlin (who later confessed to being coked out of his mind) refused to be in any sketches at the last minute, and dressed in a t-shirt and three-piece suit as a compromise with standards and practices. (He did drug and religion jokes that pissed them off anyway.) The Not Ready For Prime Time Players are barely in the show (and had to play the Bees, which infuriated John Belushi). Instead, there are two musical guests (Billy Preston! Janis Ian!), four monologues from Carlin, one monologue from standup comic Valri Bromfield, and Andy Kaufman lip-syncing to the Mighty Mouse theme. The show’s format is almost unrecognizable, SNL’s future unimaginable to a group of shockingly young performers and writers cranking out a ragged, rude, boldly ambitious little late night show no one expected to last a season. Plus Gilda’s there. Gilda should always be there.
Bosch (Amazon, Friday): Warm up your computer-box for the premiere of this Amazon cop series starring the always-formidable Titus Welliver, and created by novelist Michael Connelly and The Wire’s Eric Overmyer. Look for The Wire alums Jamie Hector and Lance Reddick, too. Noel Murray checks in with a TV Review of the first four episodes.
Constantine (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): It’s curtains for Constantine. While he may (or may not) survive his climactic battle with Papa Midnite for his soul, the pitiless axe of NBC sits poised to cut his tale short after this, the season—and most likely series—finale. Brandon Nowalk is on hand, as ever. But all he can do is watch—such is his tragic fate.
Glee (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Speaking of Brandon Nowalk’s tragic fate, he’s pulling double duty tonight, reviewing the sputtering last notes of Glee. At least last week brought Brandon some joy, him describing its triumphant gay marriage plot as “a neocon nightmare. It may also be a no-holds-barred gay-pride bacchanalia.” Tonight, Will teaches the school’s bullies about tolerance—because bullies always respond to musical theater.
12 Monkeys (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday): In “The Night Room,” Cole finally finds the mysterious Night Room which promises the answers to all his time-traveling, plague-preventing problems. Emily L. Stephens hopes he’s not disappointed at what he finds:
Banshee (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): After debating the merits of the best-regarded episodes of this over-the-top Cinemax crime drama, Les Chappell concludes his review of last week’s “Tribal” with this:
All of these have their merits, but the debate ends now: “Tribal” is the best episode Banshee has ever produced.
Safe to say, Les is equally happy that the show has just been picked up for a fourth season.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 p.m., Friday): Awkward, indie love is in the air when filmmaker-turned-TV star Mark Duplass drops by for a Valentine’s Day visit with Scott and Reggie. David Kallison thinks that Duplass should bring a valentine for everyone so nobody feels left out.
Elsewhere in TV Club
For Love Week, your favorite A.V. Clubbers get personal (and maybe a little weepy) as they list the pop culture that’s been ruined for them by bad relationships. Thankfully, we’re all super happy now, right gang? Gang? Oh, man—they got into the ice cream again. Thankfully, Laura Browning writes about the late Elliot Smith’s ultimate “screw you” breakup song to put some steel back in our spines. Then Marah Eakin presents a Valentine’s advice column from kickass comedian fiancees Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher to put things all in perspective.
What else is on
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): When fires start popping up all over town, Nick assumes there’s a supernatural reason for them. He may not be wrong. (Angel’s Alexis Denisof guest stars.)
Shakespeare Uncovered (PBS, 9 & 10 p.m., Friday): More porn for Shakespeare geeks, this week’s pair of episodes sees Kim Cattrall (who’s played Cleopatra twice and is, in fact, British) talking with renowned Cleos Janet Suzman and Vanessa Redgrave. Then Joseph Fiennes talks about his various Romeos with various Romeos.
Helix (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): Infected bees! Infected bees! Infected bees!
World Armwrestling League Championship (ESPN2, 11 p.m., Friday): Insert Over The Top reference here. We’re too busy doing curls with huge stacks of promotional DVDs and commemorative t-shirts here in the A.V. Club offices.
Dinner With Family With Brett Gelman And Brett Gelman’s Family (Adult Swim, 12:30 a.m., Saturday): Gleman’s last Adult Swim special, Dinner With Friends With Brett Gelman And Friends, was an absurdist trip to the comic dark side in the guise of a celebrity-laden reality show. Now he’s added family dynamics to the mix, so, you know—strap yourself in for that.
The Musketeers (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): The Musket-fellas have to rescue Athos when he’s kidnapped and taken back to his own estate? Fairly considerate for kidnappers, really.
Mythbusters (Discovery, 9 p.m., Saturday): The newly stripped-down Mythbusters team tests out the physics behind drift racing. If they say that Zachery Ty Bryan lied to us, then they’re gonna have to answer to one particular woman:
All Of My Heart (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): A small town caterer inherits half a house (which is apparently a thing), and finds she has to share it with a slick Wall Street shark. (A figurative shark—this isn’t Syfy.) Ed Asner’s on hand to provide this TV movie’s delicious crust.
Back To School Mom (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): A world-traveling musician goes back to college, only to find out that her helpful T.A. is—the son she gave up for adoption 20 years ago!? How does that parent-teacher conference even work?
Black Sails (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): The Starz blurb for this new episode says, “Silver connects with an old matey,” so it seems they’re really sticking with that whole pirate thing.
An SNL Valentine (NBC, 10 p.m., Saturday): It’s an hour of love-centric sketches to stoke your fires—for the big anniversary special tomorrow.
In case you missed it
The Vampire Diaries: Carrie Raisler says all the pre-air hype about this episode was something of a bait-and-switch. She also thinks it’s okay if you cried anyway.