Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

When you play the game of adapting a George R.R. Martin book for TV, you win, or you win

David Ajala, Eoin Macken
Photo: Jonathan Hession (Syfy)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, December 2. All times are Eastern. 

Top pick

Nightflyers (Syfy, 8 p.m.): Syfy’s Nightflyers ain’t perfect. All the same, it’s George R.R. Martin on TV. What were we going to do, not have it as the top pick? We once ran a news story about three seconds of new Game Of Thrones footage, there’s no way we’re not putting this thing front and center. Y’all love G.R.R.M.

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And you know what? We love sci-fi. So let’s put the brakes on for a minute and get into this thing. Nightflyers is an “original space horror drama” based on a Martin novella, which centers on a group of scientists who, in the year 2093, set out to find other life forms in the far reaches of the solar system. It will not surprise you to learn that it goes badly. Here’s our own Alex McLevy on the effectiveness of the premise and its execution:

It’s a testament to the pulpy dramatics of the source material that Nightflyers remains enjoyable to watch despite [its] weaknesses. There’s an admirably lowbrow B-movie appeal to the proceedings, the series quickly dashing from one absurd sequence to the next in an effort to keep the story from collapsing under the weight of its many implausibilities.

The other interesting thing about Nightflyers: The manner in which its being rolled out. Episodes will air nightly, Sunday through Thursday, this week and next (and there will also be weekend catch-up marathons). But all 10 episodes will debut in time with the premiere broadcast at Syfy.com, through the Syfy app, and On Demand.

Short version: There’s a new G.R.R.M. television show, and it starts tonight. Enjoy.

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Regular coverage

Doctor Who (BBC America, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Outlander (Starz, 8 p.m.)
Supergirl (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)
Charmed (The CW, 9 p.m.)
My Brilliant Friend (HBO, 9 p.m.)
Escape At Dannemora (Showtime, 10 p.m.)

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Wild card

Life-Size 2 (Freeform 9 p.m.): Remember Life-Size?

Well, there’s a sequel now. Enjoy!

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.