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Syfy brings back a double shot of sci-fi

Killjoys, Dark Matter (Syfy)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Killjoys (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday) and Dark Matter (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): In the universe of scruffy, mid-budget sci-fi antihero adventure series, both the “space bounty hunters” Killjoys and the “we’re totally dangerous but forgot who we are” Dark Matter are low-key surprise pleasures. Syfy’s brought them both back for a second season and wisely paired them back-to-back for your Saturday night “Well, I’ve already seen every episode of Firefly 10 times” enjoyment. This time out, the sexy space “reclamation experts” of Killjoys continue to cope with the constantly shady jerks of the Quad-ruling Company. Over on Dark Matter, the numbers-for-names amnesiac crew has to deal with the seemingly traitorous actions of [number redacted], and the fact that they’re all in the custody of those jerks of the Galactic Authority. (Plus returning guest-jerk Wil Wheaton.) It’s a space-jerks double feature Friday.


Shark Week: Shark Bait (Discovery, 9 p.m., Friday): We’re just encouraging the sharks at this point, Discovery. Blake Lively’s blood’s on your hands.

Brett Gelman’s Dinner In America (Adult Swim, 11:59 p.m., Friday): Professional disquieter Gelman invites four prominent black actors (Loretta Devine, Shareeka Epps, Joe Morton, and Mack Wilds) over to discuss the state of race relations in America. As in his previous two Adult Swim specials, look for things to go off the rails and get very, very weird and uncomfortable. And funny, if you can handle the uncomfortableness. That’s the Gelman way, as reviewer LaToya Ferguson knows all too well.


Underground marathon (WGN, 10 a.m., Saturday): Did you miss this stirring slavery miniseries that our own Joshua Alston called, among other things, “television’s finest survival thriller”? Here’s your chance to watch the whole, wrenching miniseries from start to finish, just in time to add another shade to your understanding of “Independence Day.”

Premieres and finales

Marcella (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): In the newest grim-but-gripping British detective series to hit America, the always-interesting Anna Friel stars as a troubled former copper who comes back to the homicide squad after her husband leaves her. There, she finds herself confronted by a case that’s unnerving familiar. Rumors that it concerns a pie-maker who can bring back the dead are, sadly, unconfirmed as of press time. In her pre-air review, Molly Eichel says not to worry, though—Marcella’s pursuit of a mysterious killer is plenty strange and compelling enough on its own.

Anna Friel as Marcella (Netflix)

Marco Polo (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Netflix may have had visions of its own Game Of Thrones-level success when it picked up the first season of this lavishly mounted historical action drama about, well, Marco Polo, for an enormous caravan of cash. That didn’t pan out, as the series garnered exasperated reviews, suggesting that things could due with a lot of spicing up. (Our own intrepid Kyle Fowle saw pretty much straight-Cs across the board.) Well, someone must have been enjoying all the silks, and the swords, and so forth, because here comes the second season. We could describe more about the exploring and all, but the real draw is that Michelle Yeoh’s on board this season, which should provide more incentive to check it out than anything we, or Netflix, could say. Here is a picture of Michelle Yeoh, being awesome/Michelle Yeoh.

You’re welcome (Photo: Netflix)

Jim Jefferies: Freedumb (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): That outspoken, cheekily accented standup comedian who’s very vocal about his atheism and what’s wrong with the world has a new special! No, not that one. The Australian one. The one not everyone’s completely tired of yet.


All Or Nothing: A Season With The Arizona Cardinals (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., Friday): No birds were harmed in the making of this sports documentary series that premieres on Friday.

The Great British Baking Show (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): The amazing chefs of this cooking series hear your “English food sucks” jokes and have a well-floured rolling pin with your name on it, pally. The third delectable, buttery season begins tonight.


Vice (HBO, 11 p.m., Friday): The fourth season finale of the newsmagazine series, with titles “$pace Race” and “Closing Gitmo” indicating of what will bum you out this one last time.

Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 & 11:30 p.m., Friday): Sadly, CB!B! listings bump up to the “premieres and finales” section of What’s On Tonight, as it’s no longer on the weekly coverage roster. (Check out LaToya Ferguson and Emily L. Stephens’ excellent reviews to get all riled up about that.) Tonight’s back-to-back episodes mark the series’ summer finale, with Kristen Schaal and Zach Galafianakis joining Scott Aukerman and Weird Al.



U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday)
U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday)


Regular coverage

Outcast (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday)

Streaming pick

SerenityFirefly (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Crackle): Even if you have actually seen it 10 times already, the Firefly pilot is still the gold standard for scruffy sci-fi antihero TV adventure. Big damn heroes, indeed.


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