What To Watch: 12/09/2020

Today is dedicated to all my Whos out there in Whoville. As you can see both above and below, there’s a lot of Grinchiness going on in and around your television tonight, and all of our hearts have grown two and a half sizes, although, in fairness, Jason did just eat a triple-stacked roast beast sandwich. Also, as per the ushe on TV these days there’s all this talk about crime, crime, crime. So, before we Screen Scholars hop on our sleigh to collect up all the presents, here’s our suggestions of what to watch.

BRAD’S PICK:
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical [NBC, 8p]
The Green Man’s Musical (Seussical?) is here! …if you’re into that sort of thing. In all seriousness though, this is a fun diversion from living in a world where we haven’t been able to go to live theater in almost 9 months. And hey, the kids may love it too.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Alabama Snake [HBO, 9p]
This documentary examines the 1991 attempted murder of the wife of Scottsboro Pentecostal minister Glenn Summerford.

JASON’S PICK:
The Trial of Christine Keeler [HBO Max]
The late Christine Keeler was just 19 when she started an affair with Conservative UK politician John Profumo which would find her a few years later toppling a government and on trial both in the public eye and eventually in court, charged with perjury. This six-part docu-series earned mostly positive reviews when it aired on the BBC last year. In the 1989 scripted film Scandal based on this story, Keeler’s boyfriend was portrayed by one of the finest of young cannibals, Roland Gift. That’s neither here nor there, but a younger me thought it was totally awesome.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • The holiday spirit brings out the inner-Clark Griswold in average Americans as they heap excess atop excess, decorating their houses with illuminated landscapes visible from the International Space Station. See some of these displays as the latest season of The Great Christmas Light Fight debuts on ABC tonight.
  • For more of what this season is all about The CW has its annual celebration of the best uses of ad space for yuletide purposes with its Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2020.
  • No man is an island, but Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa decides to build his own for some reason (well, the car in the trailer might give you a hint) in Netflix’s newest import, Rose Island.
  • Also on Netflix is The Surgeon’s Cut, which chronicles the lives of four surgeons through their own eyes. It’s a profession famous for humongous egos and the first few seconds of this docu-series’ trailer suggests that this is not likely to dispel that idea. That said, they’re certainly heroes and multiple Screen Scholars have had moments where they have helped save our lives.
  • Back in 1992, MTV brought seven strangers into an NYC loft in TriBeca as part of a controlled experiment to determine what would happen–would people stop being polite? start being real? And while that first season sparked slightly less drama than intended, the producers tweaked the formula and they were off-and-running (and famously off playing music videos) as the vanguards of reality television. Nearly 30 years later, the spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff of that original show, The Challenge: Double Agents is barely recognizable as off the same tree, but the adrenaline-fueled show debuts a new season tonight.

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