The Peanuts gang has given so many of us our perspective on the holidays, so when the first shots of the Christmas tree being erected in NYC’s Rockefeller Center, we were a bit surprised at the reaction. What would be a more perfect symbol for a 2020– a year that was trying to say the least–than its central Yuletide celebration anchored by a trademark Charlie Brown Tree. Of course, you’ll see tonight that the now-adorned tree is lush and thriving. It’s a pity; it would have been fun to have Al Roker play Linus as he extols the virtue of a bent but unbowed tree, a tree that once lit, would guide our way through the last month of the year. That tree was us. However, it can still be comforting to pour out an egg nog and watch the NBC gang do their thing as the skaters skate and the carolers carol. There’s also plenty of stuff if you’re not feeling Christmas-y (or even if you’re feeling a bit too Christmas-y).
Christmas in Rockefeller Center [NBC, 8p]
NBC’s pet personalities, local TV anchors (at least in New York–is David Ushery really hosting this nationwide?), and Mario Lopez (sigh) host New York City’s tree-lighting with festive cheer and the Rockettes.
Alien Worlds [Netflix]
What would life be like on other planets? As scientists discover more earth-like planets this question becomes more and more prescient. The new Netflix documentary series examines what this life may be like.
Baby God [HBO, 9p]
HBO knows documentaries, so it’s hard not to be intrigued by this latest offering. The haunting expose looks into the life and [quite literal] legacy of Dr. Quincy Fortier, the notorious Nevada doctor who conducted secret fertility experiments while impregnating countless women with his own sperm.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- Based on his debut Netflix standup special, Ari Eldjarn: Pardon My Icelandic, here’s little doubt where the comedian is from or whether he’ll use his homeland as part of his act. His “per capita” bit is actually quite funny. Hazel Brugger: Tropical is a less forthcoming title, but we have it on high that she is Swiss and her comedy incorporates slam poetry. And while she was born in California, her Netflix special is in her current home’s language: German.
- Peabody Award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller digs deep into the belly of the dangerous drug underworld, interviewing both the law enforcement leaders and the criminal masterminds, for her new investigative special Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller.
- Christmas is coming to the above-average ABC Wednesday night lineup, led by black-ish, on which Dre’s authenticity is challenged while Bow feeds the needy in Compton. On The Conners, the holidays are less the issue than the timely question of the right to protest.
- We’d watch a show of David Boreanaz leading a bunch of actual seals on missions of peace and delicious fish hunts. However, since SEAL Team is actually about Boreanaz’ Jason Hayes leading a platoon of the elite fighting force, we’ll merely let you know that it returns on CBS for a fourth season.
- A&E brings the human misery voyeurism for Cam night as its returning Court Cam is joined by Rescue Cam.
- Finally, Netflix’s latest Polish import, Fierce tells tale of a teenage singer whose quest for fame on a popular Idol-ish show is driven by her desire to re-connect with her father, a Simon Cowell-esque judge.