Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2. All times are Eastern.
Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m., Friday): Another season of quirkiness comes to a close, as Les Chappell watches in horror as the entire city of Portland loses power. If that were the case, though, Les wouldn’t be able to file this review from his beautiful Portland townhouse, o’erlooking the Willamette River, in which he sits, sipping at whiskey, fondling his hat, and brooding over long lost loves. Fortunately for all of us, Portlandia is “fictional.” Les’ super-sweet townhouse and cultured life, however, is nonfiction.
House Of Cards (Netflix, 1 p.m., Friday): Ryan McGee is up to the fifth episode, and we’d be totally fine if he just wanted to turn his reviews into an extensive epic poem about the exploits of Doug Stamper. “And, lo,” that review could begin, “Doug Stamper clothed himself in blood of dragon and cloak of fire.”
Gravity Falls (Disney Channel, 9 p.m., Friday): At some point, Disney realized it still had episodes of this show to air, then decided to put them on the air seemingly at random intervals. Alasdair Wilkins would be upset about this, but this episode is called “Bottomless Pit!” The exclamation point is essential.
Spartacus (Starz, 9 p.m., Friday): We took a look at Ryan McGee’s review of this episode, and we were heartened to see it got a very high grade. No, not an A+, because if somebody gave something an A+, it would break The A.V. Club. Which is why that A+ just sits there in the system back-end. Taunting us.
Young Justice (Cartoon Network, 10:30 a.m., Saturday): This episode is called “Intervention,” and we can only assume it’s a shot-for-shot remake of the immortal Party Of Five episode of the same name, in which Bailey deals with his alcoholism. Playing the part of Claudia will be Zatanna Zatara. Do you get it?
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Kevin Hart is the guest host, but what’s really exciting David Sims is the fact that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are the musical guests. He assumes they’ll perform “Thrift Shop” two times, because they couldn’t possibly have any more songs, could they?
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): In the first of this week’s two episodes, neighbors gang up on a man whose bomb shelter has room only enough for his own family. Todd VanDerWerff has heard this story before, and he preferred it when the man with the bomb shelter was named Ned Flanders.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Baggage (Game Show Network, 8 p.m., Friday): GSN seems to show this series about people choosing potential folks to have relationships with based entirely on their worst secrets so much more since that one time it was featured on Girls last year. Here’s a secret: Watching YouTube cutdowns is a better idea.
Dateline NBC (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): If you were looking for 121 minutes of hard-hitting examination of the Oscar Pistorius situation, well, here you go. And then if you haven’t had enough newsmagazine for the evening, there’s a new Rock Center With Brian Williams on afterward. Three full hours of tragedy!
Tanked: Unfiltered (Animal Planet, 9 p.m., Friday): If you’ve never watched this “aquarium installers to the stars” show, well, here’s an episode featuring Tracy Morgan that will mostly just remind you that 30 Rock is over, and, hey, wasn’t that series finale just the best thing ever? Don’t you miss it all over again?
Radioactive Paradise (Science, 10 p.m., Friday): Science Channel takes you on a submarine voyage into the waters surrounding Bikini Atoll to convince you that if the nuclear bombs fall, everything is going to be just fine, because deep down, Science Channel wants the bombs to fall. It’s wanted that for ages!
The Surrogate (Lifetime, 8 p.m., Saturday): A couple that’s unable to have children hires a surrogate, and would you believe she has deadly designs on them? Well, of course you would, because this movie is airing on Lifetime, not on Hallmark. If it was airing there, the surrogate would fall in love with a hobo.
Swamp Pawn (CMT, 10 p.m., Saturday): Somehow, this series reached the end of its first season without us commenting on it, to our knowledge. We hope that it has an awesome theme song that’s just some Waylon Jennings type wailing the words “Swamp Pawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn!” endlessly.
Fast Five (HBO2, 8 p.m., Friday): We once saw 2 Fast 2 Furious in a movie theater in Rapid City, South Dakota, on opening weekend. The audience was packed, the crowd was excited, and everybody had a good time. Anyway, we hope this series runs through Fast Fifteen, because cars go fast, vroom, vroom.
The Rock (Flix, 8 p.m., Friday): No offense to this movie, which might be the height of Michael Bay’s career (not that this would take all that much), but is it the weirdest movie to be in the Criterion Collection, or does that honor go to Bay’s follow-up film, Armageddon? Why isn’t Bad Boys 2 in there?
Little Children (Sundance, 8 p.m., Saturday): We recall not hating this movie, but every time we’ve tried to discuss it with David Sims since then, he’s gotten very angry and told us it was terrible. He has a tendency to not just like things indiscriminately like we do, though. He has something called “taste.”
Boxing: Dib-Gradovich (featherweights) (ESPN2, 9 p.m., Friday): We never put boxing in the sports pick section, which may be why we didn’t know there was a boxer named “Billy Dib,” which is the best boxing name ever. It sounds like the kind of guy who’d stage an improbable, come-from-behind victory.
College Basketball: UCLA at Arizona (ESPN, 9 p.m., Saturday): The college basketball season is wrapping up, as we head toward March Madness—since it’s March, and how the fuck did that happen already?—and here’s what looks to be the final match-up for the season between these two Pac-12 rivals.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Project Runway (Thursday): TV went away yesterday, thanks to the end of February sweeps, which means it’s a long stretch of hoping your favorite shows are on/watching cable shows instead. Sonia Saraiya would appreciate if you stopped in for her Project Runway coverage. She promises not to bite!