Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Missing debuts, sating America’s appetite for endangered British children

James Nesbitt (Courtesy of STARZ)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, November 14, and Saturday, November 15. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

The Missing (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): For everyone still missing Broadchurch and/or not fully on board with Gracepoint, the BBC thoughtfully serves up another good-looking, intense mystery series about imperiled children! When a British couple’s young son is abducted on a trip to Paris, the father (James Nesbitt) and a retired French detective (Tcheky Karyo) begin an obsessive, years-long search for the boy, destroying his marriage to grieving Frances O’Connor. Kate Kulzick’s TV Review will let you know if the great cast can make this one another must-see series.


Also noted

Constantine (NBC, 10 p.m., Friday): When one of John Constantine’s dumber pals unleashes a demon in downtown Atlanta, it’s up to Matt Ryan’s Constantine to clean up the mess, and up to Brandon Nowalk to ask, “Why is he in America again?”


Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 p.m., Friday): Chris Hardwick leaves his nerd kingdom behind to match wits with Scott and Reggie in their enclave of absurdity, but Emily L. Stephens is, as ever, all tingly at an appearance from Andy Daly’s Chip Gardner, honorary Mayor of Hollywood (and star of one of the best CBB podcasts ever.)

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Providing perhaps superfluous publicity for the newest Hunger Games movie, Woody Harrelson hosts for the fourth time tonight (alongside musical guest Kendrick Lamar). Four times? That means we’re only one more Hunger Games away from Woody hosting the most laid back Five Timers Club sketch of all time. Opening line: “Hey, DeVito, um, are you still…cool?” Dennis Perkins checks in to see if there’s any repeat of last week’s line flub-a-thon—if there is, he suggests we check Woody’s dressing room.


Regular coverage

The Legend Of Korra (12 p.m., Friday):

TV Club Classic

The Twilight Zone (12 p.m., Saturday): Zack Handlen says, “Look over there!,” and then when you turn back around, he’s reviewed both “The Jeopardy Room” where Martin Landau’s Russian defector has three hours to find the bomb in his room, and “Stopover In A Quiet Town,” where a couple wakes up from a bender to discover themselves in a mysteriously empty town. And then Zack says, “But those were there the whole time…


Elsewhere in TV Club

It’s Sesame Street Week here at the A.V. Club, everybody! So check out film critic extraordinaire Ignatiy Vishnevetsky’s look back at one of Jim Henson’s influences, master puppeteer Sergei Obraztsov. Then, have the hand operating you click on this week’s AVQ&A, where a muppet-load of A.V. Clubbers share their fuzziest memories of The Street. Then waddle on over to Marah Eakin‘s touching revisiting of Big Bird’s only big screen starring role Follow That Bird:

What I didn’t remember until the re-watch was just how achingly sad Follow That Bird is. Detailing Big Bird’s quest to find his bird self, subsequent realization that he already had a family, and attempt to return to Sesame Street, Follow That Bird is a story of self, of loss, and of the dumb adventures an 8-foot-tall, 6-year-old bird can get into without the help of friendly adults.


Man, all I remember is Chevy Chase goofing around.

What else is on

The Hollywood Film Awards (CBS, 8 p.m., Friday): You know how everyone gets really annoyed and sad when they see Christmas decorations show up in the stores the day after Halloween? Well, on an unrelated note, it’s the first movie awards show of the season!


Cristela (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Fledgling lawyer Cristela confronts the pervasive issue of the wage gap between men and women while ABC executives whistle tunelessly and check their watches.

Z Nation (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): This week, the survivors run into some radioactive zombies! “What the hell’s next?,” they ask, “Zombies with bees in their mouths, so when they moan they shoot bees at you?”


The Birthday Boys (IFC, 11:30 p.m., Friday): The second season of this Bob Odenkirk-produced sketch show continues to improve. Can an episode called “Love Date Hump” continue the trend? I mean, those are all good things.

College Football: Mississippi State at Alabama (CBS, 3:30 p.m., Saturday): Wait, Mississippi State is ranked #1 in the nation but they’re the underdogs? We’re through the looking glass people. Or else college football ranking are a wildly subjective flim-flam. But I’m sticking with the looking glass thing.


Aaliyah: The Princess Of R&B (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): Trying to replicate the success of last year’s completely necessary VH-1 TLC biopic, Lifetime brings us a major motion picture portrait of the short life of teen songstress Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001.

Northpole (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Saturday): Yes, it’s too early for another made-for-TV Christmas movie, but it’s Robert Wagner and Jill St. John as the Clauses! I don’t even know how to process that information! See?—you try and process this:


Hell On Wheels (AMC, 9 p.m., Saturday): Intrigue threatens beardy’s attempt to complete that damned railroad? This show is taking longer to complete than the actual transcontinental railroad! Wait, what? Actually, it took six years to finish? Well then scheme on, beardy.

Atlantis (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): Rushing in to fill the gap left by the end of Doctor Who, the second season of BBC America’s fun fantasy series which may or may not be about people in togas asking, “Hey, are your feet getting wet?”


Black Dynamite (Cartoon Network, 10:30 p.m., Saturday): This episode of the hilariously bonkers animated series is entitled “Sweet Bill’s Badass Singalong Song or Bill Cosby Ain’t Himself.” Considering this week’s…unpleasantness, I imagine The Cos looking at the TV Guide like this:


In case you missed it

South Park: Eric Thurm says this episode, about the kids getting trapped in some sort of customer service loop from Hell, is just about as fun as a half hour on hold with your cable company.


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