What to Watch This Weekend: Portlandia and the Series Premieres of The Firm and House of Lies
We did it! We all tumbled through the paper-tape finish line in a million-way tie for first place, then tumbled to the ground in a heap of joy. Our trophy? The weekend. Our spoils? A bunch of good TV:
What to watch on Friday, January 6...
In "Adventures in Babysitting," Sam helps a teen girl search for her supernatural-investigator father. Elsewhere, Dean goes on the hunt for Dick Roman (who despite that name is probably not a 1970s male porn star).
SEASON 2 PREMIERE, 10pm, IFC
Although not the ratings juggernaut that is Fred Armisen's day job (SNL), Portlandia can boast one of the most widely praised comedy reputations among hipsters and other critical tastemakers. (This show is ABOUT those types of people, after all.) Now that we've all watched Season 1 on Netflix Instant (RIGHT?) it's time to tune in for the much awaited Season 2 premiere! Topics to be skewered include mixology and home-pickling.
SERIES FINALE, 8pm, Disney
Wizards of Waverly Place
This is not the first time I've un-ironically endorsed Wizards of Waverly Place, but it's probably the last! That's because tonight is the show's series finale. The hour-long episode will finally answer the series-long question of which of the three siblings will become the family wizard (only one family member ever gets to keep his or her powers, FYI). Although this show is sort of headache-inducing, I'm telling you, it's charmingly absurd and Selena Gomez is genuinely funny on it, despite seeming super boring in real life. (Question: Does this endorsement cancel out any hipster cred I may have earned by praising Portlandia?)
In "Whistle Blower," Erin is devastated to learn that her primary informant has been killed, so she teams up with Danny to figure out who did it. VERY serious stuff going on over there. No child wizards of any kind.
SEASON 2 PREMIERE, 10:30pm, IFC
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret
Yet another of IFC's cult comedy hits returns tonight when David Cross's title character finds himself in a troublesome situation and his attempts to solve things just make everything worse. (That's sort of the show's premise.)
PLUS NEW EPISODES OF...
A Gifted Man, 8 p.m., CBS
Chuck, 8 p.m., NBC
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 8 p.m., ABC
Nikita, 8 p.m., CW
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 8 p.m., Cartoon Network
America's Most Wanted, 9 p.m., Lifetime
CSI: NY, 9 p.m., CBS
Gold Rush, 9 p.m., Discovery
Infested!, 9 p.m., Animal Planet
The Life and Times of Tim, 9 p.m., HBO
Tom Papa's Stand-Up Playlist, ORIGINAL SPECIAL, 9 p.m., Comedy Central
Tyler Perry's House of Payne, 9 p.m., TBS
20/20, 10 p.m., ABC
Confessions: Animal Hoarding, 10 p.m., Animal Planet
Dateline NBC, 10 p.m., NBC
Deadly Women, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery
Four Weddings, 10 p.m., TLC
Merlin, SEASON 4 PREMIERE, 10 p.m., Syfy
Marvel Anime: X-Men, 11 p.m., G4
David Duchovny and Wild Flag on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:35 a.m., NBC
Don Cheadle and David Cross on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 12 a.m., ABC
Glenn Close on Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11:35 p.m., NBC
Kristen Bell on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35 p.m., CBS
Michael Clarke Duncan and Laura Prepon on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37 a.m., CBS
Rosie Perez on The Wendy Williams Show, 12 a.m., BET
What to watch on Saturday, January 7...
Saturday Night Live
Noted comedian Charles Barkley returns to SNL tonight to read cue cards in a very likable way, plus Kelly Clarkson will be there to bust out some new hot jams. (Is that a phrase young people use?)
ORIGINAL MOVIE, 8pm, Hallmark Channel
The Hallmark Channel would very much appreciate it if you tuned into its newest direct-to-TV romantic comedy, Fixing Pete, in which a fashion columnist played by Brooke Burns attempts to give a handsome-but-sloppy sports writer a makeover. There is a chance they fall in love too, but who can say? I am not psychic and neither are you. (Right??)
SEASON 2 PREMIERE, 8pm, Animal Planet
My Cat From Hell
One of the best-titled shows on television is actually a bit misleading: The moral of every episode is that the cat is fine and its owner is the problem. Okay, whatever Jackson Galaxy, like I'm supposed to trust a host who drives around with the vanity plate "CAT DADDY." That said, this is definitely a good show to watch if you like your cat videos vicious, and tonight's premiere involves an aggressive cat who terrorizes a couple's in-home Pilates studio.
PLUS NEW EPISODES OF...
Cops, 8 p.m., Fox
Suze Orman Show, 9 p.m., CNBC
48 Hours Mystery, 10 p.m., CBS
Graham Norton Show, 10 p.m., BBC America
Untold Stories of the E.R., 10 p.m., Discovery Fit & Health
Would You Rather? With Graham Norton, 11 p.m., BBC America
What to watch on Sunday, January 8...
Once Upon a Time
Things get contentious in Storybrooke when Emma runs for public office and Mr. Gold and Regina take the other side. Meanwhile, in the fairytale world, an increasingly desperate Rumplestiltskin attempts to save his son from a futile war. Or something. I don't know, ask Lily.
SERIES PREMIERE, 9pm, NBC
If you enjoyed the John Grisham novel or the Tom Cruise-starring film adaptation, you MIGHT like this 10-years-later TV sequel of the same name. In it, main attorney dude Mitchell McDeere (Josh Lucas) resurfaces after a long exile and works to bring down the dastardly law firm that tried to have him killed. Also starring Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer, Deadwood's Molly Parker, and celebrated musician Juliette Lewis.
The Good Wife
A divorce gone awry comes back to haunt Lockhart/Gardner when the couple in question brings a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the firm. Turns out it's a bad thing when lawyers convince you to divorce for financial gain? Tell it to my 17 ex-wives!
SERIES 2 PREMIERE, 9pm, PBS
The BBC's unlikely smash hit returns to PBS with the U.S. premiere of its second series (pro tip: Series 1 can be seen on Netflix Instant RIGHT THIS SECOND). Tonight's episode deals with WWI, specifically certain characters' presence in the trenches and others back home trying to get involved somehow. Also manners, manors, maids, butlers, etc.
SERIES 7 PREMIERE, 10pm, BBC America
Tonight's thoroughly welcome British invasion continues when BBC America premieres the first of three new AbFab episodes! In "Identity," Patsy and Edina opine about such current tabloid fixtures as the Kardashians and Edina does some soul-searching after an unsettling homecoming at Chez Monsoon.
SERIES PREMIERE, 10pm, Showtime
House of Lies
Truly funny (but too-often dramatic) Don Cheadle jumps into a more comedic series to stars as Marty, a high-rolling and ridiculous, yet effective, management consultant who both celebrates and exploits members of the 1 percent. Add in Kristen Bell and tons of timely, relevant riffs on the current financial crisis and it appears that Showtime's recent winning streak will continue.
SEASON 2 PREMIERE, 9pm, Showtime
Tonight William H. Macy's drunken family man returns to TV with his entire ill-behaved brood. In the Season 2 premiere, Frank uses Liam to help clear up a gambling debt, plus Fiona gets a lucrative job slinging shots down at a local dive, and Ian decides to take over the Kash 'N Grab. These people are really something.
PLUS NEW EPISODES OF...
America's Funniest Home Videos, 7 p.m., ABC
Dateline NBC, 7 p.m., NBC
60 Minutes, 7 p.m., CBS
Mob Wives, 8 p.m., VH1
Oprah's Next Chapter, 8 p.m., OWN
The Simpsons, 8 p.m., Fox
The Cleveland Show, 8:30 p.m., Fox
Baseball Wives, 9 p.m., VH1
Desperate Housewives, 9 p.m., ABC
Family Guy, 9 p.m., Fox
Hoarding: Buried Alive, 9 p.m., TLC
Leverage, 9 p.m., TNT
Nightmare Next Door, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery
The Real Housewives of Atlanta, 9 p.m., Bravo
American Dad!, 9:30 p.m., Fox
All-American Muslim, 10 p.m., TLC
Angry Boys, 10 p.m., HBO
Chef Roblé & Co., 10 p.m., Bravo
CSI: Miami, 10 p.m., CBS
Hell on Wheels, 10 p.m., AMC
Kourtney and Kim Take New York, 10 p.m., E!
Pan Am, 10 p.m., ABC
Tom Papa: Live in New York, ORIGINAL SPECIAL, 10 p.m., Comedy Central
Californication, SEASON 5 PREMIERE, 10:35 p.m., Showtime
Robot Chicken, 11:30 p.m., Cartoon Network
What are you watching this weekend?
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