Matt's Weekend Picks: January 28-30
Supernatural (Friday, 9/8c, The CW)
After a long holiday break, the winter run begins with questions lingering around Sam and his long-lost soul. Namely, was Death able to restore the poor boy's essence of humanity without driving him bonkers? Dean and Bobby are on pins and needles as they wait, but they've got other things lighting a fire under them. Most notably, a dragon (!), which seems to be the cause of a series of disappearances of virgins. Dean as dragonslayer? Reason enough to welcome this show back. An hour earlier, on Smallville, all hail the return of Chloe. But is she a good Chloe or a bad Chloe?
Ernest Borgnine Tribute (Saturday, 8/7c, TCM)
On the eve of Sunday's SAG Awards (8/7c), when the 94-year-old actor receives a Life Achievement Award, TCM pays tribute to the Oscar-winning character actor (and star of TV's McHale's Navy) with a lineup of four of Borgnine's best-known movies: Bad Day at Black Rock and The Dirty Dozen, followed by a replay of his 2009 Private Screenings interview with Robert Osborne, then resuming with his Oscar performance in 1955's Marty and concluding with the Peckinpah classic The Wild Bunch.
The Lost Valentine (Sunday, 9/8c, CBS)
TV hall-of-famer Betty White is everywhere these days — so why should Hallmark Hall of Fame be exempt? In the franchise's latest heartwarmer, White plays Caroline, a woman telling her bittersweet WWII love story to TV reporter Jennifer Love Hewitt. Every Valentine's Day, Caroline returns to the train station where decades ago as a pregnant wife she sent her Navy pilot husband off to WWII, during which he was declared MIA and never found. As the former Ghost Whisperer investigates what might have happened to Caroline's lost love, the reporter finds herself drawn to the sweet lady's protective grandson. Because that's how things roll in stories like this. Romantics, you've been warned.
Downton Abbey (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS)
This delightful and utterly absorbing Masterpiece Classic miniseries about the intrigues among a family and the staff of a grand English country estate reaches its conclusion far too soon. If the ending seems a bit abrupt, as the start of WWI heralds change for all the characters, not to worry. A second season is in the works for next year. In the meantime, savor the sophisticated blend of humor, tragedy, romance and unabashed sentiment for a long-ago era. And all those splendid performances, including Elizabeth McGovern as the American mistress of the manor and the hilarious Maggie Smith as her imperious in-law. No one does this sort of thing better than Masterpiece.
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