Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, November 21, and Saturday, November 22. All times are Eastern.
Hello Ladies: The Movie (HBO, 10 p.m., Saturday): Poor Stephen Merchant’s solo series sans Ricky Gervais never caught on (although Molly Eichel thought it got better by the end of its first and, as it turns out, only season). HBO, while initially flattered by Merchant’s attentions, eventually turned him down but, perhaps feeling sorry for his stammering comic desperation, at least threw him this pity movie to wrap things up on a good note. LaToya Ferguson checks in to see just how awkwardly the breakup goes for everyone.
Constantine (NBC, 10 p.m., Friday): Brandon Nowalk appreciated that Constantine was allowed a smidgen of his wonted bastardy last week, although the show continues to present the American network-safe version of the guy. This week, Constantine heads to New Orleans (to be fair the most Europe-like city he’s visited so far) and meets the latest DC Comics character introduced into his world, with John running afoul of copper Jim Corrigan who, after a seriously bad day in the comics, eventually becomes The Spectre. Although a different hypothetical Spectre than Gotham’s Crispus Allen will eventually turn into. Just go with it.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 p.m., Friday): Scott and Reggie welcome the funny and talented Amber Tamblyn to the show (listen, Two And A Half Men isn’t her fault). But prepare yourself—there’s a rumor of Fourvel. LaToya Ferguson reports on whether things get…stabby.
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Cameron Diaz is back to host for the first time since 2005, alongside musical guests Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Since she’s playing Miss Hannigan in the upcoming Annie remake, what are the odds on Kenan Thompson in a Quvenzhané Wallis outfit? Dennis Perkins is taking bets in the comments.
The Legend Of Korra (12 p.m., Friday)
The Twilight Zone (12 p.m., Saturday): In “The Encounter,” actual WWII war hero Neville Brand stars in a postwar parable alongside American internment camp victim George Takei. Plus, in the Old West tale “Mr. Garrity And The Graves,” a swifty comes to town claiming he can raise the dead. Zack Handlen’s sure the guy’s on the up-and-up and will suffer no ironic punishment whatsoever.
In an AVQ&A so intriguing, I couldn’t think of an example, some A.V. Clubbers lay out the endings that made them change their minds about a work of art at the last minute. Then, resident comics expert Oliver Sava applies his finely tuned super-senses to the newest mind-bender from Grant Morrison, Pax Americana. And finally, don’t forget Gwen Ihnat’s Gracepoint review—no spoilers, but I don’t think everyone in that town is telling the truth.
Lilyhammer (Netflix, Friday): At the end of the second season of this Netflix series, Steven Van Zandt’s American gangster ditched his idyllic Norwegian hideaway, perhaps nostalgic for some New York-style violence. Check in on the show’s return to see if the very Silvio Dante-esque Frank Tagliano has brought back some great new Mafia ideas to corrupt his chosen country even further.
Dog With A Blog (Disney, 7:30 p.m., Friday) and My Cat From Hell (Animal Planet, 8 p.m., Saturday):
On boxes of lightning harnessed:
The canine soul given form:
While the cat loosed from perdition:
Heralds the fall of the mind of man.
No one knew what the hell Nostradamus was talking about until now.
Cristela (ABC, 8:30 p.m., Friday): Cristela tries to make the kids watch West Side Story. I’ll call Child Protective Services.
Eat: The Story Of Food (National Geographic, 9 & 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday): Erik Adams saw this documentary miniseries way back at the Television Critics Association top secret conclave to which none of us were invited and says it’s more interesting than a four-part series about how and why and what people have historically eaten has any right to be.
Grimm (ABC, 9 p.m., Friday): All I know is that the promo pictures have a woman cradling a baby pig. Knowing this show, I can only assume that one of the stars has been turned into a pig at some point.
NBA Basketball: Chicago at Portland (ESPN, 10:30 p.m., Friday): The joy of watching the exciting Derrick Rose, coupled with the queasy terror that you might see his legs completely fall off of his body.
College Football: USC at UCLA (ABC, 8 p.m., Saturday): Suspiciously, most of the matchups this week have a team with a number next to their name playing a team with no number next to their name. So, for Cupcake Week, why not check out this all-California battle—they both have numbers!
An En Vogue Christmas (Lifetime, 9 p.m., Saturday): The actual divas of the ‘90s pop R&B group play themselves, reuniting to save the club that gave them their start in a heartwarming holiday movie only slightly less heartwarming because only three of the band’s members are involved. But hey—David Alan Grier plays their manager! Anyone? David Alan Grier?
The Missing (Starz, 9 p.m., Saturday): James Nesbit and Frances O’Connor search for their missing son in both 2006 and the present, where he is still—wait for it—missing.
Hell On Wheels (AMC, 9 p.m., Saturday): The railroad is finally leaving town, presumably leaving Cullen Bohannon with far fewer land barons and company thugs to shoot. Check in on the season finale to see if there’s life after the choo choo goes.
Atlantis (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): Ariadne’s queen now, and fighting with her enemy Pasiphae. It’s no Game Of Thrones, but this reasonably rousing BBC fantasy series should tide you over until February. Sorry “Februarae.”
Black Dynamite (Adult Swim, 10:30 p.m., Saturday): Revisionist history, Black Dynamite-style continues, as this week, B.D. takes on an orphan-kidnapping Mr. Rogers? I don’t know, according to easily-debunked Internet legend, Fred’s arms are covered in killer Marine tattoos.
Internet Film School: In his in-depth discussion of the way Joss Whedon and company used mis-en-scene to symbolize Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s deconstruction of the traditional family Thanksgiving, Scott Kaufman applies rigorous analysis to the show’s visual palette. Plus, we get to geek out on Buffy all over again. It’s been such a long time. Also, A.A. Dowd, Sean O’Neal, and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky say goodbye to Mike Nichols.