Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, Dec. 21. All times are Eastern.
Brad Meltzer’s Decoded (History, 10 p.m.): Simon Abrams has been wanting to cover this one for a while, and when we realized nothing else was on tonight and this episode is going to plumb the secret history of the Vatican, we realized that there was no way we couldn’t let him check it out. We’re hoping that this ends up with a lengthy rant about Cardinal Siri and the antipopes, because we, frankly, can’t think of a more awesome title than “antipope.”
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
100 Orgasms A Day (Discovery Fitness and Health, 8 p.m.): Don’t mind if we do! (And do stick around for the 10 p.m. rebroadcast of Sleep Sex, particularly if you suffer from the condition known as—seriously—sexsomnia.)
GasLand (HBO2, 8 p.m.): The fracking controversy—not to be confused with Battlestar Galactica’s frakking controversy—gets a frank examination in this worthwhile documentary that was up for prizes at Sundance.
Extreme Cheapskates (TLC, 9 p.m.): TLC should just start sticking “extreme” in front of the titles of all of its shows, because that would make all of them that much more intense. This one is about people who totally stiff you on tips and like it.
Full Throttle Saloon (truTV, 9 p.m.): It was an inevitability that Ted Nugent would show up on this “drinkin’ n’ motorcycles” show at some point, and now, it’s happening. No word, however, on when Phil Nugent will turn up on it.
40 Funniest Fails 2 (VH1, 10 p.m.): We’re going to guess these are nowhere near the 40 funniest fails of… whatever indeterminate time period these fails were collected over. We suspect the comments section may wish to weigh in on this.
Moonshiners (Discovery, 10 p.m.): Thank God the Discovery Channel family of networks is still airing new programming, or else we might have to miss out on the adventures of those wacky moonshiners. (We were going to miss out anyway.)
Looney Tunes: Back In Action (Cartoon Network, 7 p.m.): Today’s theme is “underappreciated movies of the last 10 years.” This Joe Dante-directed film captures more of the Looney Tunes spirit than critics gave it credit for.
Funny People (USA, 8 p.m.): Yes, this is way, way too long. Yes, it’s often very indulgent. But in it, Judd Apatow reaches for greatness and (mostly) succeeds by treating his characters harshly and honestly. That’s all we’ll say about that!
Holiday Bowl: California vs. Texas (ESPN, 8 p.m.): On the one hand, this just sounds like a college football game. On the other hand, it sounds like a pretty ideal post-apocalyptic scenario for your next Gamma World tabletop roleplaying session.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors (Tuesday): Phil Nugent hangs out with the president, the first lady, Meryl Streep, Yo-Yo Ma, Neil Diamond, Sonny Rollins, and Barbara Cook, and he somehow lives to tell you all about it.