The big event this week is the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live. There are also about a million other things to watch this week. We’ve got Better Call Saul! We’ve got Archer! We’ve got Parks and Recreation! We’ve got Justified! It is a week of wonders, to be sure.
In movie news, I saw Jupiter Ascending. It is not very good. I usually cut the Wachowskis a lot of slack because they’re so enthusiastic and visually interesting, but this was just joyless and incoherent. They don’t even really do anything new and exciting with the effects, which is a real bummer. But if you like Channing Tatum saving Mila Kunis at the last second using jet boots, well, they can accommodate. Over and over.
Here’s what to watch on TV this week!
8-10 CELEBRITY APPRENTICE – The first hour is actually a clips show, which means I only have one hour to recap this week. It’s TV’s gift to me! In the second hour, they get down to the final two and begin the last task. It’s going to be Geraldo and Leeza Gibbons, right? I think we all saw that coming.
9-10 GOTHAM – Gordon and Bullock go after Professor Crane, Fish Mooney continues plotting and also probably fighting pirates, and Falcone tries to change Maroni’s plan. I’m not sure Maroni is a “plan” guy. He seems to be working about two minutes ahead at any given moment.
10-11 BETTER CALL SAUL – After Sunday’s premiere, Saul moves to its regular night and time. I’m a little surprised that AMC is moving to two nights a week since they don’t actually have that many shows. Maybe they’re planning on blowing up, FX-style over the nest year. Or else they’re going to move forward on that Walking Dead spinoff, which means that franchise will take the Sunday slot 32 weeks of the year and thus they have to expand. in order to be able to run other shows.
8-9 PARKS AND RECREATION – We’re past the halfway point of the final season now! Maybe I’ll start crying now just to get a headstart. This week, April struggles with her future, and then goes on a scavenger hunt with Ron. Then, Leslie and Ben come under fire for participating in a Pawnee tradition. You can fill Pawnee with cutting-edge tech, but it’s still going to be a weird, weird place.
9-9:30 MARRY ME – It’s a Valentine’s Day episode! It’s just early enough in the week to remind you of the holiday so you can still throw together plans for Saturday. TV bails you out once again!
9:30-10 ABOUT A BOY – This week’s total is “About a Cat Party”, and I don’t even want to read the description because I want to believe that it’s going to be an episode about Xander Crews’ ringtone.
8-9 MASTERCHEF JUNIOR – The kids run a restaurant! But is it possible to care in a world where tiny little Riley has been eliminated?
9-9:30 NEW GIRL – Jess and Ryan consider their future, Nick plays a Valentine’s Day pub crawl, and Schmidt considers a future in politics. Hey, quit ripping off Ben Wyatt! Actually, since Parks is set in 2017, Schmidt had the idea first. There’s a hole in the timeline!
9:30-10 THE MINDY PROJECT – Mindy tries to tell Danny her big news but is interrupted by the arrival of the rest of his family. More Castellanos! I’m totally on board for that!
9-10 AGENT CARTER – Peggy comes to a shocking realization and Sousa narrows in on the truth about Peggy. Also, probably lots of kicking. This is a show that knows how to do some fight scenes, man.
10-11 JUSTIFIED – Raylan declares war on Markham and his real estate cartel while Boyd and Duffy set out to find a safecracker. And I will be a nervous wreck because I’m convinced that Raylan won’t survive the season. I mean, they’ve ended every season with the song “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”, and that’s exactly what Raylan plans to do.
10:30-11 COUGAR TOWN – Jules coaches Andy through his job interviews, while Ellie and Grayson hide out in Bobby’s boat. Once again, the final season is all people talking about how much better it would be if Bobby was there.
10:30-11 KROLL SHOW – C-Czar goes on a date with Lauren Lapkus (Yay!), and Bobby Bottleservice directs an action movie about his mother’s feelings for Eagle Wing. Oh yeah, we’ve got Mantzoukas again!
8-9 AMERICAN IDOL – Hollywood Round 3! He paused for just a moment before opening the door. It was a large office and behind the oversized desk stood a horse wearing a necktie. Kevin took a seat on an old barrel. “It’s nice to meet you, Nibbles. Mr. Nibbles?” The horse snorted.
9-10 EMPIRE – Cookie manages a faded star who hasn’t produced a hit in years and a mystery woman from the past shows up. I’ve only watched the first episode so far, so everybody is mystery to me!
8:30-9 THE GOLDBERGS – Murray watches football with Lainey’s dad, played by David Koechner. Garlin! Koechner! How do you not watch that?
9-9:30 MODERN FAMILY – Gloria’s sister visits while Phil and Claire resume their annual role play. I was trying to find out who would play Gloria’s sister so I went to IMDB and found a furious argument over whether Jay should leave anything to Manny in his will.
9:30-10 BLACK-ISH – More Valentine’s Day episodes! TV is determined to make sure I feel deeply alone and worthless.
10-11 NASHVILLE – Rayna prepares for a return to the stage and Gunnar tries to mend fences with his nephew. That could be literal, actually. That would be kind of great.
9-10 TOP CHEF – Season Finale! The Boston season ends as it must, in Mexico. The final two ride a hot air balloon and then create a four-course meal. I’m not sure that the balloon ride is necessary, frankly.
10-11 THE AMERICANS – Danger mounts for Elizabeth and Philip. Yes, I know. That’s every episode. It’s weird how this show has really long descriptions that are about as useful as the six word AMC summaries.
10-10:30 IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA – Mac, Dennis, and Dee spy on a fish factory. Then Frank and Charlie gets suspicious of those three and spy on them. So they’ve answered the questions there. Who watches the watchmen? Frank and Charlie do.
8-9 THE SLAP – Series Premiere! This is a mini-series about a guy who hits somebody else’s kid for misbehaving. Apparently it tears a town apart. It might be good, but the ads are completely ridiculous and it all sounds a little silly.
8-9 AMERICAN IDOL – Hollywood Rounds part 4! Kevin paused, not sure how this should work. Finally, the silence got to him and he just started talking. “I don’t know if you’ve had time to look over my resume, but I’m fully certified in all the current QA training. I’ve even had Sigma 6, though I think we both know that’s not going to come up anytime soon.” He laughed nervously while Nibbles moved his head from side to side.
10-10:30 ARCHER – Archer’s first weekend alone with baby AJ is spoiled by a Pakistani intelligence officer. Hey, do you think we’ll see Woodhouse? He hasn’t appeared for a long time. I miss that sad old man!
8-9 BE MY VALENTINE, CHARLIE BROWN – This is a fairly cute Peanuts special – the first half at least is one of the better ones. The second half is one of those where they take a bunch of strips and animate them with some new connective tissue. Better than that CGI movie they keep threatening, I bet.
11-11:30 COMEDY BANG! BANG! – Mark Duplass of The League is Scott’s guest! Also, Jessica St. Clair finally appears on the show, but not as podcast mainstay Marissa Wompler. That’s OK, because I feel like Marissa would almost have to be animated to live up to the audio version. Point is, these are great guests!
12-12:15 am NEWSREADERS – This is probably the season finale, but Adult Swim is bad at providing that kind of information.
12:30-1 am DINNER WITH FAMILY WITH BRETT GELMAN AND BRETT GELMAN’S FAMILY – The best title of the year! This is the second installment in the Dinner with… series of specials from Brett Gelman and spunkybuddy Jason Woliner. The first one was great and I have to assume this will follow in that tradition.
11:30-1 am SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – In advance of the 40 year celebration, SNL is repeating the very first episode tonight, with host George Carlin. They reran it years ago when Carlin died, and here’s a thing you’re going to learn – it is not very good. I mean, it is a slog trying to get through it. People remember every era of SNL being better than it was because you see the good stuff endlessly repeated or the half-hour cuts on cable. When people complain about the show going downhill, they’re usually wrong. Yeah, “Little Chocolate Donuts” was great, but it was surrounded by a lot of stuff that you’ve forgotten.
8-8:30 THE SIMPSONS – Marge gets work as an Uber driver and Homer bankrupts Moe after watching the bar for a night. I feel like that first part is not going to age well in syndication. Five years from now, it’ll be “I know that’s a parody of something.”
8:30-9 BROOKLYN NINE-NINE – Charles tries to get a confession out of an elderly suspect. Also, Jake teams up with Holt’s husband which means we’ve got an episode focused on spunkybuddy Marc Evan Jackson!
9:30-10 BOB’S BURGERS – Tina and Louise run Jimmy Jr.’s campaign for class president and Bob becomes obsessed with a $300 knife.
8-11 SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – It’s a live 40th anniversary spectacular bringing back all your favorites. I don’t know what the format is, will there be new sketches? Clips with people reminiscing about them? Testimonials? I don’t know! But it’ll be lots of fun, I bet!
9-10 THE WALKING DEAD – The group feels beaten but must continue to go on. Yeah, those are the useless AMC listings I’ve been missing.
10-11 TALKING DEAD – People talk about the episode you just watched! What people? Who knows?
“We gotta get out of here. The smoke breaks are too short, the food is good at best, and the anti-depressants are making my mouth dry and happy!” — Dale Gribble
“History began on July 4, 1776. Everything that happened before that was a mistake.” — Ron Swanson