Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, November 30. All times are Eastern.
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): Unlike the civilization it depicts, The Walking Dead has comeback potential: The first half of season five rediscovered the show’s human element, a rather tough assignment when that human element is surrounded at all times by a shuffling metaphor for mortality. There’s been a renewed sense of purpose to these episodes, one that could easily get cast aside by another fall finale promising yet another climactic showdown between survivors. But that’s the pessimistic way to look at it, and if The Walking Dead’s turnaround has taught Zack Handlen anything, it’s that pessimism isn’t the only lens to view this show through.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): Jake and Amy, sitting in a car: Will they, won’t they, yes they are? Romantic sparks fly as Jake, special guest girlfriend Eva Longoria, Amy, and regular guest boyfriend Kyle Bornheimer take a very special law-enforcement road trip. LaToya Ferguson guest stars as the voice of the gang’s GPS.
The 2014 Nickelodeon Halo Awards (Nickelodeon, 7 p.m.): Nick Cannon honors young community leaders with the help of musical performers Nick Jonas, Meghan Trainor, and Jessie J. (Despite their assistance in the recording industry’s mind-boggling, long running effort to make Jessie J happen, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj are not among the honorees.
Soul Train Awards 2014 (Centric, 8 p.m.): Or, as they’re informally known, the “Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooul Train Awards”
Only Happens In… (Travel, 9 p.m.): A new series highlighting geographically unique activities and hobbies kicks off with an Alaska-centric installment whose segments include “sled dogs delivering pizza”—a premise so adorable, it should already have its own spin-off.
The Mentalist (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): With its seventh season premiering this evening, The Mentalist was unable to provide a greatest service to the television audience this year: Giving you something to talk about with your aunt at Thanksgiving. Instead, The Mentalist provided its greatest service: Making you talk about The Good Wife with your aunt.
The To-Do List (Showtime 2, 8 p.m.): Allow the depraved acts of this throwback sex romp to erase memories of more depraved acts performed by Aubrey Plaza in Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.
A Christmas Mystery (ION, 9 p.m.): What’s On Tonight was prepared to make sarcastic remarks about the recent spate of Christmas whodunits on cable, but then we saw that this one is about letters and it co-stars former sitcom letter carrier John Ratzenberger, so we’re withdrawing our sarcasm.
Sunday Night Football: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (NBC, 8:20 p.m.): After handing over the first victory of the year to the otherwise winless Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs are in a state of lowered self-esteem. This should be the perfect vulnerability for the Broncos to exploit, perhaps by suggesting that no one in the AFC West even likes Kansas City—they just get invited to the division parties so that no one has to feel awkward about not inviting them.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, you picked up some deeply discounted electronics on Black Friday, and now the sounds of “Silver Bells” fill the air. This can only mean one thing—it’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right: Year-end list season at The A.V. Club. This year, we’re saving the worst for first: Our superlatives-style look at the worst TV of 2014. What shows made the list? And is it possible that any of them also made our best TV of 2014 list? No spoilers here—we’re putting a “do not open until midnight on December 1” tag on this rotten little package.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (Friday): David Kallison composes a birthday salute to Scott Aukerman, alongside Kevin Smith, Reggie Watts, and “Stevie Wonder.” Thankfully, that birthday salute forgoes “Happy Birthday To You,” so The A.V. Club doesn’t owe one red cent to those miserly old crones, Mildred and Patty Hill.