Now that Hanukkah has begun, we’re officially in the holiday season! It’s like awards season, only shorter and also Jon Cryer doesn’t take presents from more deserving people. And despite approximately a hundred listings for Tuesday, it’s going to be a bit of a light week. That’s nothing compared to next week, though. But we’ll fret about that when we get there.
Later this week, a spunkybean Christmas tradition returns with the 12 Days of Christmas Episodes. I wasn’t going to do it this year, but then I was alerted to the existence of an episode of Bones where adult scientists who solve murders for a living debated whether or not Santa Claus is real. And I can’t let something like that pass without comment. So that’ll be starting either Thursday or Friday, depending on whether I include Christmas Day in the count. I don’t know, man. Get off my back.
No movies or video games this week, so let’s get straight to the schedule.
Here’s what to watch on TV this week!
8-9 THE VOICE – The top four artists perform! Also, Michael Buble stops by. Why, did you even know he has a Christmas special airing tonight on NBC? What a coincidence!
9-10 TAKE IT ALL – Series Premiere! Um. Howie Mandel hosts this week long game show event. I don’t even know. NBC is devoting six hours this week to a show with a title taken straight from porn dialogue. It is even weirder when you see the commercial, and people keep saying it. Shudder.
10-11 MICHAEL BUBLE: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – NBC’s second celebrity Christmas special in two weeks! Now, I’ve got a soft spot for Buble because of the “Hamm and Buble” bit on SNL. But still, shouldn’t NBC cross-promote and give some of their own stars a special? Hey, NBC? What do you say to A Vaguely Racist Christmas with Chevy Chase?
8-10 AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS – It’s country music’s third most prestigious genre-specific award! Performers include Luke Bryan, who made his TV debut on Celebrity Apprentice a few years ago and insisted that untucking his shirt would take him too far out of his comfort zone. The hosts are Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth, who in addition to a three-foot height differential have very different opinions on gay people.
10-11 HAWAII FIVE-O – Tom Arnold takes McGarrett and a little girl hostage. I hope he’s playing himself.
8-8:30 RAISING HOPE –Virginia stocks up for the end of the world, while Jimmy tries to make Hope’s Christmas special. Virginia and Mr. K clearly have been reading the same websites. (And if they are reading this website, they have never once posted a comment. Come on guys, join the conversation!)
8:30-9 BEN AND KATE – It’s actually a repeat of the pilot. What the heck? Did they not think they’d make it to Christmas so they didn’t do a holiday episode?
9-9:30 NEW GIRL – Multiple holiday parties have Jess trying to avoid Sam, Nick struggling to keep up with Olivia Munn, and Winston getting a cranberry stuck in his ear. Hee! I am actually more excited about the cranberry than Olivia Munn, which is really saying something.
9:30-10 THE MINDY PROJECT – Mindy hosts the office Christmas party at her apartment. I can not imagine something more awful than co-workers in my house. Seriously. I’d rather have a spider walk across my face.
8-9 HART OF DIXIE – Zoe tries to avoid her visiting mother and almost ruins Christmas Eve for the entire town. So, I have said before that the live-action Grinch movie is the worst thing ever made by the hand of man. Replace Jim Carrey with Rachel Bilson, and you just might have something.
9-10 A MUPPET CHRISTMAS: LETTERS TO SANTA – It’s the Muppets, it’s a Christmas special from 2008, it’s got strange appearances from the Sopranos supporting cast. It’s the most magical time of the year!
8-9 THE VOICE – Two artists face elimination and people who I have never heard of perform. This doesn’t mean they’re not famous, you understand.
10-11 PARENTHOOD – Jasmine and Crosby celebrate their first Christmas as a family, while Kristina and Adam face a health scare. That might be underselling it a bit, based on the preview. Also, Sarah still has to choose between her boyfriend and her boss with a drinking problem. I feel like this is easier than she’s making it.
9-9:30 HAPPY ENDINGS – Jane and Alex’s parents host a party to celebrate 20 years in the mattress business, and Max looks for a new best friend. I could totally hang out with Max! Let’s make it happen, buddy. (Also, guest appearance this week by a certain Boobs Aukerman. No, I will not explain!)
9:30-10 APARTMENT 23–Chloe uses James’ penthouse for one of her scams. Hey, do you think last week’s episode was a Season One holdover? I’m pretty sure James was already competing on DWTS before the break, and last week he met his partner. This irritates me unreasonably.
8-9 SURVIVOR – Castaways strike a deal while separated from their tribe. A deal! Struck! I am trying to retain enthusiasm!
8-9 ARROW – Oliver celebrates his first Christmas since his return. There is a proud tradition of great Christmas stories in DC Comics, so let’s see if some of that magic comes to Arrow. Given that both Tommy and Laurel are mentioned in the episode description, it seems unlikely.
8-10 THE X FACTOR – Once again, “The Finalists perform”. Ah, Wednesdays at 8. It’s the moment when TV just shrugs and says “Whatevs.”
9-9:30 MODERN FAMILY – Manny and Luke’s Little League team makes it to the playoffs, which seems unlikely. Also, isn’t this a weird time of year for a baseball plot? The season’s not still going, is it? WHY DON”T I KNOW THINGS ABOUT SPORTS?
10-11 TOP CHEF: SEATTLE– The chefs cater a party for Chris Pratt and Anna Faris! Fantastic! There may not be a new Parks and Recreation this week, but we still get to see Andy hosting a party! Also, I assume that Chris Pratt has the same eating habits that Andy does, so I’m hoping that the guests are all eating spaghetti out of Frisbees.
8-9 UP ALL NIGHT – Two episodes! Chris and Reagan try to take Amy to see snow for the first time, and then we get a look back at their wedding day. I think these are the last episodes before the retooling, where they’ll be shooting in front of a studio audience. I don’t think anybody’s looking forward to that.
8-9 LAST RESORT – A Chinese diplomat arrives to talk with Marcus, while Sam and James leave the island on a rescue attempt. I am so far behind on this show, and I am ashamed of myself. They broke my heart by canceling it! It’s like if somebody tells you that they’re going to break up with you after you finish putting together a bookshelf. Or something. That simile got away from me immediately, and I’d rather not dig myself in any deeper.
8-9 THE X FACTOR – Contestants face elimination and Bruno Mars performs. I have no official opinion on Bruno Mars. He seems to be pleasant, but his fans are super irritiating if you’re Facebook friends with any of them. So there you go.
10-10:30 IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA – Every member of the gang has something to celebrate over dinner. Also, they point out that Dee turns up at a table for one, and that’s how I eat like 95% of my meals. I feel like I’m being judged.
10:30-11:30THE LEAGUE – Two episodes! Again! This time, Ellie’s boyfriend blackmails Kevin, Ruxin has fertility issues, and Rafi and Dirty Randy prepare for the end of the world. That’s right, Seth Rogen is back! More to the point, can you even imagine how Rafi lives his life when he thinks there’s nothing to lose?
8-8:30 LAST MAN STANDING – I promised to watch this show because a wise woman told me that it was better than I think. And then I forgot. So I will start with this, the Christmas episode. I was also reminded that Tim Allen was in Galaxy Quest which is the best, and thus I owe him some slack.
8-9 KITCHEN NIGHTMARES – Gordon Ramsay revisits restaurants he’s previously fixed. The ones that are still in business, at least. (You guys, if you open a restaurant you are almost guaranteed to lose everything you own. TV has taught me.)
9-10 FRINGE – Walter tries to remember a plan to defeat the Observers, while Peter and Olivia come across a gruesome scene. So, who knew the motivating arc of the final season would be Walter trying to remember where he left his keys?
10-10:30 WHISKER WARS – A beard competition brings Jack Passion to Texas– his archnemeses’ home turf. Think he’s going to make hateful comments about Texans? You know it!
10:30-11 PORTLANDIA – Winter special! It is very clearly not a holiday special, by the way. They have made that point abundantly clear. Apparently, hipsters don’t celebrate. (I kid! I love Portlandia! Well, last season wasn’t great. Other than the Battlestar Galactica episode, which was amazing.)
11:30-1 amSATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – Martin Short hosts! They’re bringing out the big guns for the Christmas episode, I guess. Actually, let me check something…. Nope, I was wrong. It’s currently 2012. So what the heck?
8-8:30 THE SIMPSONS – Grandpa has to move back in with the Simpsons and Homer throws his back out. I am occasionally reminded that I’m catching up to Homer in age, and it makes me sad.
8:30-9 BOB’S BURGERS – The family inherits a storage unit, only to find out that there’s somebody living there. Guest star Zach Galifianakis! That guy plays a surprisingly large number of homeless people, you know?
8:30-11:30SURVIVOR – Season Finale! That includes the final episode and the reunion special, for three full hours of people fighting over a million dollars. It’s weird how the reunion has become my favorite part of the season, when I used to just skip it. Have I turned around my opinion on Probst? This is scary. I hadn’t anticipating my opinions still continuing to evolve.
“If all the children leave Arlen, there will be no young to take care of our old. Our old will feed on our very old. Our very old who are not eaten will wish that they had been… eaten.” – Dale Gribble
“Look, I don’t like throw around the word ‘butthead’ often. If you call everyone a butthead, it kind of loses its impact. But I can say without hesitation that Tom is being a dick.” — Leslie Knope