TV picks for Feb. 14-16:  "House of Cards,” "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” National Theatre

  • Updated: February 13, 2014 - 2:05 PM
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Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright return as a powerhouse Washington couple in Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

Photo: Nathaniel E. Bell • Netflix/Associated Press,

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Lucky 13

Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) returns for another round of deception, manipulation and BBQ ribs in the second season of “House of Cards,” a delicious political thriller. By once again releasing 13 episodes at once, producer David Fincher and his team is proving that the regular network distribution of programs is becoming less and less relevant. Released at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Netflix.

Splitsville

New couples celebrating Valentine’s Day in front of the TV should steer clear of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” an anti-holiday special that “celebrates” revenge-driven break-ups. Turns out just hopping on a bus, Gus, is a lot less effective than driving your car through a cheating partner’s house. 9 p.m. Friday, Investigation Discovery.

Strike up the band

Going to band camp may not be the coolest thing in the world, but it just might save your life. “48 Hours Presents: The Whole Gritty City,” hosted by Wynton Marsalis, spotlights music directors in New Orleans who are using music to keep teenage musicians away from gangs in one of the most violent cities in America. 8 p.m. Saturday, WCCO, Ch. 4.

All the world’s a stage

“National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage” is a particularly rich edition of “Great Performances.” It brings together some of England’s true treasures to celebrate one of the entertainment world’s most cherished institutions. Judi Dench’s rendition of “Send in the Clowns” is so pitch-perfect that you’ll wonder why her “M” in the James Bond films didn’t have musical numbers. 1 p.m. Sunday, TPT, Ch. 2.

Neal Justin

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  • Judi Dench is among the actors featured in “National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage.”

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