What’s On: Epic Fantasy and Horror on ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Strain’

Game of Thrones - Sophie Turner, sansa stark, cover story
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones (Sunday, 9/8c, HBO): Conspicuously missing from this year’s Emmy nominations—because it has been conspicuously missing from TV for more than a year—the epic fantasy returns for its seventh and next-to-last season. And anticipation could hardly be higher, as Daenarys (Emilia Clarke) sets sail for Westeros to reclaim the Iron Throne, with her dragons and advisor Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) by her side. Winter has arrived, which means the threat from the White Walkers in the north could threaten everyone’s ambitions.

Friends From College (Friday, Netflix): Often engaging and sometimes exasperating, just like any longtime friend, this eight-episode sitcom features an exceptional cast—Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse and Fred Savage are the headliners—as former Harvard classmates who bring out the eternal sophomore in each other. Complicating matters: Key’s character is married to Smulders, but cheating with Parisse. That can’t end well.

PBS British Invasion (Sunday, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): A night of all-British drama includes a finale and a premiere. First up: the season finale of My Mother and Other Strangers (8/7c) unfolds during a turbulent Christmas season, as Rose (Hattie Morahan) is torn between duty to her husband, Michael (Owen McDonnell), who could lose his pub business to a family dispute; and her attraction to U.S. Air Force Capt. Ronald Dreyfus (Aaron Staton). A new episode of the delightful Grantchester (9/8c) is followed by the opener of the creepy three-part supernatural mystery Remember Me (10/9c), starring Monty Python alum Michael Palin as a haunter pensioner whose move to a nursing home triggers a series of bizarre events.

The Strain (Sunday, 10/9c, FX): Nuclear winter—or, as the book series called it, “The Night Eternal”—takes hold in the fourth and final season of the apocalyptic vampire thriller, and for some reason, Eph (Corey Stall) is still seeking his awful son Zack (Max Charles), who set off the nuke that has allowed the demonic strigoi to roam the Manhattan streets in daylight. A new “Partnership” between humans and demons has only emboldened the Master. Can humanity survive?

Inside Weekend TV: Anticipating this winter’s Olympics in South Korea, NBC launches the Olympic Channel in more than 35 million homes on Saturday. … Olympian Michael Phelps may be swimming in slime, receiving the Legion Award at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Sports 2017 (Sunday, 8/7c), hosted by Super Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. … Smithsonian Channel’s America in Color (Sunday, 8/7c) moves into the 1940s, depicting newsreel footage of the attack on Pearl Harbor in color for the first time. The episode also includes home-movie footage of Japanese-Americans interned in camps. On a brighter post-war note, rarely seen film gleaned from private collectors shows the development of Las Vegas into a consumer mecca.