Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, November 21. All times are Eastern.
Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): After last year’s Nielsens bloodbath, basically everybody is taking the night before Thanksgiving off. But “basically everybody” has never included the brave souls behind Top Chef, who want to get you in the mood for a big meal by having Emeril Lagasse and Tom Colicchio lead the teams in a Thanksgiving-themed showdown. We can only hope this ends like the Cheers Thanksgiving episode, with everybody throwing mashed potatoes at everybody else, and Tom’s long-talked-about, never-seen wife getting a pie in the face. Margaret Eby steps in for Emily Withrow in throwing that pie.
Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is called “Whiners Are Wieners,” which reminds us of the incredible comic potential there is in the word “wiener.” We want to encourage you to make your top jokes using the word in comments. Carrie Raisler will pick the winner, who will receive precious rice.
American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.): After realizing that last week’s insane near-transcendence wasn’t, somehow, the season finale, Todd VanDerWerff is eager to see how the show is possibly going to top it. He’d be all but certain it can’t, but an upcoming episode features a murderous Santa, so there’s hope!
Key & Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): The TV Guide summaries of the episodes are almost as amusing as the episodes themselves, thanks to a need to keep things family-friendly. This week’s refers to farts as “intestinal gas.” C’mon, TV Guide! Steve Heisler knows you call them farts! Release the tapes!
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Sopranos (1 p.m.): A.J. is feeling sad about his recent breakup. To be fair, she was much older than him and had a son, so there probably wasn’t much of a future there. But A.J.’s a stupid kid, and he didn’t know that, so Todd VanDerWerff will forgive him his crippling depression. But let’s shape up soon, eh?
WHAT ELSE IS ON
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (ABC, 8 p.m.): You’ve read about it in our “impromptu Thanksgivings” inventory. Now watch the thing, and marvel at the idea that anybody could think popcorn and jellybeans might make for a healthy meal. Okay, that “anybody” is a dog, so we’ll cut him a little bit of slack.
Chicago Fire (NBC, 10 p.m.): Our continuing mission of checking out the seventh episode of all new shows—except Partners, because we forgot about that one—moves on to this series, as Eric Thurm lets us know if the show is still all about fires happening within the greater Chicagoland area.
Jim Rome On Showtime (Showtime, 10 p.m.): The very loud sports talk show host—who has a propensity for irritating a great many people—now has his own show on Showtime, and the network is debuting it tonight, of all nights. Seems like a weird choice to us, but, hey, we’re not pay cable execs!
The Soup Salutes WWE (E!, 10:30 p.m.): We know if there are two things you like, they’re people making snarky fun of pop culture and giant men in tiny outfits pile-driving each other into the mat while bloodthirsty fans cheer them on. Since those two things are coming together, we’ll have a review.
Gone With The Wind (AMC, 8 p.m.): Yes, it’s, like, 50 hours long. Yes, it’s kind of horrible when it comes to its politics. And, yes, it’s very much of a bygone era. But damned if this isn’t still an entertaining, giant movie that’s fun to have on while you’re doing other stuff. If you haven’t seen it, it’s time to check it out.
Planes, Trains, And Automobiles (The CW, 8 p.m.): There aren’t a lot of great “Thanksgiving” movies, mostly because it gets overlooked in favor of Christmas by Hollywood so often. But that’s okay, because we have this movie, in which sad John Candy will make you sad. Happy Thanksgiving, America!
NBA Basketball: Clippers at Thunder (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.): Clippers star Blake Griffin is from Oklahoma, which makes it… something… every time he travels back to his home state to play a game. Look. We’re sure he can handle it. The man is a consummate professional! There’s nothing to see here. Move along.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Ben & Kate (Tuesday): Is this the best episode of the show since the pilot? Molly Eichel sure seems to think so, and she’s seen all of them, so we’ll let her be the judge. More importantly, is this the week when the show’s sad and precipitous ratings drop concludes? We’ll keep our fingers crossed for it.