Nikita (Friday, Nov. 22, The CW), final-season premiere: Before Arrow came along, Nikita was the only viable action series on The CW; Maggie Q’s titular character is every bit the ass-kicker The Not Green Arrow is, all while weighing in lighter than one of his jade hoodies. The complicated/convoluted (complivuted?) tale of a former agent’s war on the evil quasi-governmental operation that created her comes to an end with this fourth and final season—which is only six episodes long. (The final two, airing in the holiday burn-off dead zone of Dec. 20 and 27, are “Bubble” and “Canceled”—ha!) The ever-twisting conspiracy against Nikita “goes higher” than target villainess Amanda (Melinda Clarke), of course. The Only TV Column That Matters™ believes this overlooked series will wrap more satisfyingly than, say, Chuck or Burn Notice did with twice as many farewell hours. Netflix it, latecomers.
Lucas Bros. Moving Co.; Golan the Insatiable (Saturday, Nov. 23, Fox), series debuts (preview): Fox’s late-night Animation Domination High-Def “answer” to Adult Swim—and “competition” to Saturday Night Live—finally introduces two more shows to follow-up Axe Cop (solidly weird) and High School USA! (half-baked, but admirably offensive): Lucas Bros. Moving Co., about twin brothers (voiced by actual twin comics Kenny and Keith Lucas) who, you guessed it, start their own moving company; and Golan the Insatiable, about a monster from another dimension trapped on suburban Earth and befriended by a 10-year-old goth girl. Like 80 percent of Adult Swim shows, neither is fully realized out of the gate, but the potential for at least a fraction of Axe Cop greatness is there—and they contain at least as much funny as the average SNL episode. These shows preview tonight before returning in January.
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (Saturday, Nov. 23, BBC America), two-hour special: Like you need me to tell you about this, Whovians.
Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles (Saturday, Nov. 23, HBO), standup special: Filmed in front of an audience of 39 (!) at Los Angeles’ Largo in May, We Are Miracles is a more-straight-forward standup performance than the comic’s wacktastic 2005 Jesus Is Magic concert film, or the sadly short-lived Sarah Silverman Program. We Are Miracles won’t receive the HBO-comeback fanfare that Louis C.K.’s Oh My God did earlier this year, but Silverman’s cheerfully biting riffs on everything from porn to Obama are just as pointed and funny, but more subtle and steeped in ’90s ironicism (which Silverman still wears better than most of her contemporaries). If only she hadn’t filmed this before the rise and fall of twerking …
Getting On; Ja’mie: Private School Girl (Sunday, Nov. 24, HBO), series debuts: After the sure-to-be-hilarious Season 4 finale of Boardwalk Empire, HBO debuts a pair of oddball short-run comedies that are perfect reminders of how creatively risk-averse, say, Showtime tends to be. Getting On is set in a Long Beach women’s extended-care facility (read: a home for old ladies running out the clock) that works as a dark hospital comedy more so than Showtime’s Nurse Jackie or Netflix’s Derek, thanks largely to TV veterans Alex Borstein (the voice of Family Guy’s Lois Griffin) and Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory, Roseanne). On the less-morbid mirth side, Ja’ime: Private School Girl would be funny even if it wasn’t 40-something male show creator/director Chris Lilley playing teen-girl Ja’mie (pronounced “Juh-may,” of course).
DVD ROUNDUP FOR NOV. 26!
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
A documentary about the great ’70s band you’ve never heard of that inspired all of the ’80s bands you’re somewhat familiar with. Includes previously unseen footage and interviews, because everything about Big Star is previously unseen. (Magnolia)
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series
It’s the epic tale of a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who became a meth kingpin with the help of a former student (Aaron Paul) and—spoiler—several doomed associates. All 62 episodes and 55 hours of extras (!) come in—spoiler—a handy black barrel. (Sony)
When a trust-fund film producer (James Deen) finds out his girlfriend (Lindsay Lohan) is banging her co-star—without letting him watch—unpleasantness and Acting! ensue in Lohan’s sexiest movie role since Herbie: Fully Loaded. (MPI)
Please Kill Mr. Know It All
An anonymous newspaper columnist (Lara Jean Chorostecki) unwittingly falls in love with a hit man (Jefferson Brown) who’s been hired to kill her alter ego. Lessons: Love conquers all, and somebody’s apparently still reading newspapers. (Monarch)
The geezers (Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren) and the MILF (Mary-Louise Parker) set out on another mission—this time to 1) retrieve a nuclear bomb in Russia, and 2) act almost interested in doing it. At least one of those two things is accomplished. (Summit)
More New DVD Releases (Nov. 26)
Animals, Applause, Battle Ground, Bill Cosby: Far From Finished, Black Sabbath Live: Gathered In Their Masses, Getaway, Jim Breuer: And Laughter For All, Jobs, Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition, Pete’s Christmas.