What to Watch This Weekend: The Walking Dead, Black Mirror, Westworld
Plus: 'Black Mirror' returns, better than ever
Your daily guide to the most interesting stuff happening on TV and streaming. All times Eastern.
PICK OF THE WEEKEND
The Walking Dead
AMC, Sunday, 9 p.m.
It’s only been 203 days since The Walking Dead aired its dramatic season 6 finale, but feels like it’s been longer. Finally, fans will finally know whom the new bad Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) dispatched. What’s billed as an emotionally exhausting episode was equally exhausting for the cast and crew. “It was by far the most emotional episode that I’ve ever shot,” director Greg Nicotero told EW’s Dalton Ross. “It was exhausting, and it was no fun,” star Norman Reedus added. Read all of Ross’s TWD coverage here.
Netflix, Friday, streaming
People call Black Mirror the 21st century’s Twilight Zone. That’s certainly high praise, but the show’s ultra-eerie third season lives up to that promise. The visually stunning premiere, about an extreme social-media-controlled future, features a thrilling Bryce Dallas Howard performance for the ages (or at least for the Emmys). The “Playtest” episode, directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane), uses augmented-reality videogames — think Pokémon GO — to chillingly explore the malleability of our thoughts and memories. Inevitably, some critics will mock the series for being antitechnology, but they’re watching it wrong. At its core, Black Mirror is pro-humanity. A-
RELATED: Breaking Down Season 3 of Black Mirror
DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR SHOT
PBS, Friday, 9 p.m.
Haven’t scored tix? PBS takes you to the room where it happens with this doc, which includes the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical’s backstory and performances from the show itself.
The Vampire Diaries
The CW, Friday, 8 p.m.
When Damon Salvatore first returned to Mystic Falls in the Vampire Diaries pilot, he was the villain in Stefan’s story. Now, heading into the final season, Damon’s once again the villain — but only because he’s under the influence of something far more evil. “This particular beast has quite an influence over people mentally,” showrunner Julie Plec told EW’s Samantha Highfill. “It’s hungry for death, and right now, Damon and Enzo are its faithful servants.” And yet there’s one thing this villain can’t kill, and that’s love. “There’s a strong romantic core to this season,” Plec added, who also promised “lots of big moves and big declarations” in the show’s final 16 episodes.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
BBC America, Saturday, 9 p.m.
Todd (Elijah Wood) ends up in the middle investigation when he walks in on a murder scene. Dirk (Samuel Barnett) is dead-set on the duo solving the case together. “Though it’s not lacking the manic energy of writer Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Dirk is missing something essential,” EW’s Kevin P. Sullivan writes. “The series’ attempts at cleverness come off as a screechy homage to Adams rather than channeling his wit and the big, silly heart hidden inside.”
BACK TO THE ROBO-SALOON
HBO, Sunday, 9 p.m.
Dr. Ford and Theresa debate the future of the park. Something tells me they aren’t thinking, “Let’s make Westworld more kid-friendly!”