Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, December 18, 2013. All times are Eastern.
Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): The show closes out 2013 by having the chefs feed hungry students at Louisiana State University, which college football fans know means that we were this close to the awesome prospect of “Les Miles, guest Top Chef judge.” The actual guest is Questlove, who visits the kitchen to help judge the contestants’ efforts with poultry. Yes, the Roots drummer will be offering his thoughts on a bunch of—get ready for it—drumsticks. Sonia Saraiya is fairly sure she can recover from the silliness of that pun in time to write her review, but she’s making no promises.
Key And Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): The sketch show wraps up another reliably excellent season with a finale that presents a tyrannical boss and the origin story of a well-known expression. Brandon Nowalk hopes the expression in question is “Everything’s hunky-dory,” because seriously: Where the hell did “hunky-dory” come from?
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Mad Men (11 a.m.): In a classic episode, Peggy proves there’s far more to her than her bosses at Sterling Cooper ever imagined. Todd VanDerWerff likes to think of all his reviews as little baskets of kisses, but he’s weird that way.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Diabolical (ID, 8 p.m.): This three-hour, one-night event purports to reveal why seemingly normal people can commit the most brutal murders. And, sure, maybe this show will indeed offer piercing insight into the dark side of the human condition, but we can already guarantee that it will feature a bunch of wonderfully stupid reenactments, because we’ve seen this promo. Seriously, the ludicrous facial hair is only the third or fourth funniest thing about that video.
Kathy Griffin: Record Breaker (Bravo, 8 p.m.): As the title suggests, Kathy Griffin is going to
smash a bunch of LPs receive the Guinness World Record for “Most Stand-Up Specials by a Comedian” for this, her 20th comedy special. And, so long as Miley Cyrus continues to do scandalous things that can be humorously misunderstood by Griffin’s elderly mother, there should be plenty of material for 20 more.
The 10 Most Fascinating People Of 2013 (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): Barbara Walters returns with the 19th edition of her yearend special, and this year’s batches of fascinators includes Pope Francis I, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, news anchor and cancer survivor Robin Roberts, and record-breaking long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad—not to mention infinitely more accomplished people like Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, and the Duck Dynasty family. Still, we’re most excited for her hard-hitting interview with the 4-months-old Prince George.
Michael Bublé’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special (NBC, 10 p.m.): The Canadian singer’s latest Yuletide show features guest appearances from Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, and Rod Stewart, not to mention real musical legends like Cookie Monster and Elmo. No word on whether Jon Hamm will also be on hand to announce his and Bublé’s latest pork and champagne-themed restaurant venture.
Unforgiven (Reelz, 8 p.m.): Clint Eastwood’s first Best Picture winner serves as a bleak yet fitting final statement on the Western genre and Eastwood’s outsize place in it—at least until Space Cowboys came along, which makes all the same basic points but is much better because it involves space. (Disclaimer: We may not have seen either of these films in a while.) Plus, those looking to celebrate the larger life and legacy Peter O’Toole may enjoy the appearance of his longtime hellraising partner Richard Harris as the outlaw English Bob.
Cool Runnings (Flix, 9:45 p.m.): In the spirit of the season, your humble What’s On Tonight? correspondent presents what he quite wrongly considers the ultimate Christmas movie, all because he got it as a present one year and proceeded to watch it every night well into January. He claims he was still a child when this endless Cool Runnings marathon occurred; either way, the story of the Jamaican bobsled team is worth revisiting.
NBA Basketball: Pacers at Heat (ESPN, 7 p.m.): Indiana won the first rematch of last year’s epic Eastern Conference Finals, and the Pacers’ return to Miami just got a little easier with the news that LeBron James is a game-time decision as he nurses a sore left ankle. His potential absence might make this game lose some of its luster, but, when these are still two of only three teams in their entire conference with a winning record, this is easily as good as it gets when it comes to basketball east of the Mississippi.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Awkward.: The show ended its third season on a high note with a terrific finale. Myles McNutt only hopes the show will remain capable of such heights after the departure of creator Lauren Iungerich, even if he’s worried that a fourth season with new showrunners following an episode that feels so much like a series finale might prove a bit... what’s the word? Uncomfortable? Tricky? Klutzy? Yes, let’s say klutzy.