Parenthood presents a very Braverman Christmas—and all the small-scale drama that implies
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Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, December 11. All times are Eastern.
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): This show has the right amount of genuine warmth to pull off a good holiday episode, but its naturalistic approach and modest scale don’t really jibe with the bombast of the typical Christmas fare. So let’s suggest some holiday musical cues for the various ongoing plots to get all the Bravermans in the right mood: Newlyweds Crosby and Jasmine get “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” While scarfing down what could be the final bear claw Imagine Television ever buys him, Jason Ritter belts “Last Christmas” to Lauren Graham. Adam and the ailing Kristina do, er, “The Christmas Shoes”? Oh no, here come the tears. Parenthood might just be too Parenthood to pull this kind of thing off—and Todd VanDerWerff wouldn’t have it any other way.
Raising Hope (Fox, 8 p.m.): The writing staff gives the Chances the season’s hottest gift: Exaggerated Mayan Apocalypse panic. And here Phil Dyess-Nugent thought it was going to be a Slinky!
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): The New Girl writers, meanwhile, give the gift that keeps on giving: “Winston gets a cranberry stuck in his ear.” If it weren’t too late to do so, this would’ve shot New Girl several spots up Erik Adams’ top 20 list for 2012.
Happy Endings (ABC, 9 p.m.): The mythology of the deceptively sinister Kerkovich family deepens with the introduction of Alex and Jane’s parents, played by Julie Hagerty and Christopher McDonald. It’s the Airplane!/Happy Gilmore crossover of David Sims’ dreams.
Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): While the James is away dancing with the stars, the Chloe will play, enhancing emotional scars? The rhymes a bit off, but Krysten Ritter is definitely running some sort of con out of JVDB’s apartment this week—and Emily Guendelsberger wants in on it.
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Mindy’s coworkers meet her boyfriend, and he won’t need to remember their names for long because some of them will be gone by the time the next episode airs. The way things are going, even David Sims isn’t sure if he’ll be around for the next Mindy Project.
Vegas (CBS, 10 p.m.): Turns out “Masquerade” is a really popular episode title for CBS procedurals: Person Of Interest just used it in October; it’s also the name of an NCIS hour from 2010. To avoid further confusion, Phil Dyess-Nugent reminds you that Vegas’ “Masquerade” is the one with the most hats.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Arrested Development (11 a.m.): Noel Murray is concerned about a rival Arrested Development-reviewing outlet that’s sprung up across the way. He encourages you to practice skepticism toward the aggressive “An Arrested Development review that won’t make you sick and kill you” slogan.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Chopper Live: The Revenge (Discovery Channel, 9 p.m.): The first live edition of Discovery’s motorcycle customization show was a smash for the network—so much so that marketing for the sequel affects a decidedly Gabbo-like level of ambiguity. What’s Chopper Live: The Revenge? We figure it’s some guy’s name—some guy named Chopper Live: The Revenge.
Four Houses (TLC, 10 p.m.): A quartet of homeowners decorate for Christmas in a holiday-themed episode of TLC’s home-decor series. Whoever wins will have to work mighty hard to wrestle the Internet’s affection away from the “Skrillex light show” family.
Storage Wars: New York (A&E, 10 p.m.): Money owns which town? Money owns the town so nice they named it twice, apparently, as a brand new cast of colorfully big spenders converge on New York City’s abandoned storage lockers.
The Santa Clause (ABC Family, 7 p.m.): Amid all the farting reindeer and lackluster sequels, it’s easy to forget that The Santa Clause is a legitimately sweet holiday film about a man finally coming to terms with being a father. There’s a big heart under all those fat-suit layers—we swear.
Blow (Fox Movie Channel, 8 p.m.): We’ve never been able to figure out why, but this biopic tracing the rise and fall of coke kingpin George Jung has always been one of What’s On Tonight’s “drop everything” movies. If you have any theories, please hold them until after the raid at the birthday party.
NBA Basketball: Clippers at Bulls (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.): Magnifying the schadenfreude of the Los Angeles Lakers crummy fall: How well L.A.’s other basketball team has been playing, even against opponents like the Bulls, who lost their previous meeting with the Clippers by 21 points.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Misfits: Rowan Kaiser can’t believe how quickly the show wrapped up its “Alex’s missing penis” storyline. He’s relieved, however that he doesn’t have to spend several weeks figuring out different ways to word the phrase “Alex’s missing penis”—so you lose some, you win some.