Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Television, perfected: Discovery feeds a man to a giant snake

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Here’s what’s up in the world of television for Sunday, December 6. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Eaten Alive (Discovery, 9 p.m.): Since RCA displayed its world-changing innovation at the 1939 World’s Fair, television has brought mankind’s greatest triumphs to the masses: The moon landing, the Olympics, the fall of the Berlin Wall, The Rockefeller Center Salute To Fireworks. But all of these achievements pale in comparison to the wonders that viewers will behold when they tune in to the Discovery Channel tonight and see a live anaconda devour a similar live human being. Surely, this is the type of thing Philo T. Farnsworth and Vladimir K. Zworykin envisioned before their collective innovations were steamrolled by the Radio Corporation of America: Man, anaconda, man force-feeding himself to anaconda. Truly, ours is a golden age of television.

Also noted

The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): It’s no animal activist giving back to nature by giving himself to nature, but The Simpsons’ 25th birthday victory lap hits a full-circle moment tonight, as the show’s most recent Christmas episode airs 10 days shy of “The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire”’s 25th anniversary.

The Librarians (TNT, 8 p.m.): An elite team of adventurers retrieves and protects the world’s magical artifacts, under a banner that’d be more appropriate for a band of super-“shoosh”ers. Joshua Alston says the first two episodes are fun, but all that fun and magic and non-shooshing might be too much to bear week after week. Have they considered adding an anaconda?

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): All you need to know about your television priorities is in the title of tonight’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “The Return Of The Pontiac Bandit.” LaToya Ferguson thinks it’ll be the most fun you can have tonight without watching a man get eaten by a snake.


Regular coverage

Homeland (Showtime, 9 p.m.)

The Newsroom (HBO, 9 p.m.)

Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)

The Comeback (HBO, 10 p.m.)

The Affair (Showtime, 10 p.m.)

TV Club Classic

The Simpsons (Classic): In “El Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Jomer” (Spanish for “The Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Jomer”), Homer eats a legendarily spicy pepper, after which he meets a coyote with the voice of Johnny Cash and undertakes a search for his true soulmate. The same thing happened to Oliver Sava once, but his coyote sounded like Buck Owens.


Also Christmas (but no snakes)

I Love Lucy (CBS, 8 p.m.): The holiday tradition (of showing a colorized version of a clip show with a holly-jolly framing device and a grafted-on greatest hit) continues.


Christmas At Cartwright’s (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): Keywords for the latest product of the Random Hallmark Christmas Movie Generator: Santa, angel, department store, single mom, new romance.

I Didn’t Do It (Disney Channel, 8:30 p.m.): Disney Channel is more than the last refuge of the multi-camera family sitcom—it’s also the last refuge of multi-camera family sitcoms riffing on It’s A Wonderful Life, as this episode attests.


Cutthroat Kitchen (Cooking, 10 p.m.): Alton Brown pulls Christmas into his swirling descent into (highly watchable) madness, turning Cutthroat Kitchen’s usual bidding process into a white elephant exchange, then challenging contestants to bake festive cookies over the yule log.

Family Guy (Fox, 9 p.m.): Peter tries to get Jesus laid, in what would be the top “nothing is sacred” moment on any night that doesn’t include a Robot Chicken special.


The Christmas Secret (Hallmark Movies And Mysteries, 9 p.m.): So what’s the Christmas secret? What’s On Tonight has its money on “One Tree Hill’s Bethany Joy Lenz is falling for a man who’s actually the son of Santa Claus.”

Merry Ex-mas (Ion, 9 p.m.): A.k.a. A Former TV Superman And The Big-Screen Buffy Reconcile While Trapped In A Cabin At Christmastime.


Robot Chicken (Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.): The “Lots Of Holidays But Don’t Worry Christmas Is Still In There Too So Pull The Stick Out Of Your Ass Fox News Special” takes its title to heart, covering the most wonderful time of the year as well as less-wonderful celebrations, all of which have some potential for jokes that involve cartoon characters fucking.

Vaguely Christmas, but maybe some snakes?

The Red Tent (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Based on the 1997 novel by Anita Diamant, The Red Tent expands the Biblical stories of Dinah and other women of the Old Testament. So there has to be at least one snake in this thing, right? The Old Testament is full of the damn things: devilish snakes, snakes on fire, snakes made out of bronze…


No snakes, no Christmas, just football

Sunday Night Football: Patriots at Chargers (NBC, 8:25 p.m.): Until the NFL decides to rectify its recent public-image problems by feeding Roger Goodell to a burmese python at halftime of the Monday Night Football matchup on December 22, that is.



As Best Of 2014 coverage continues, Oliver Sava dives into one of the year’s best TV debuts, Jane The Virgin, getting the scoop on what it’s like to adapt a telenovela for a broadcast network in the U.S. Something you might not expect: Any instance of “El” is easily and humorously replaced with the English word “The.”


In case you missed it

The Twilight Zone (Saturday): Hey, is that Robby The Robot? What’s he doing in a Twilight Zone episode? Usurping the inefficient hu-man worker, of course, just as he’ll one day do to all of us. Not Zack Handlen, though, because the analysis of The Twilight Zone will always require the one thing Robby can’t possess: A human heart. (The staff of The A.V. Club hereby requests that its readers not give Robby The Robot a human heart. Do it for all of us—do it for humanity.)