What To Watch: 12/14/2020

Ever since Bunheads became a cult favorite, the world has known that as genteel as ballet looks, it’s a cutthroat soft-toed-shoe-eat-soft-toed-show world, and that set the stage for tonight’s biggest new show which centers around a top-level ballet house. Also, ABC takes a deep-ish dive into the evolution of the hopeful COVID vaccine, MTV launches a food-themed panel clip show, and lots and lots of Christmas cheer.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Tiny Pretty Things [Netflix]
Netflix’s teen dance drama, adapted from a novel, examines a world of lies, betrayal, and tough competition at an elite ballet academy.

BRAD’S PICK:
The Shot: Race For The Vaccine [ABC, 10p]
The newest 20/20 documentary on ABC focuses on the race for a vaccine. This pandemic has hit all of us hard and this species will focus on the scientific light at the end of the tunnel

JASON’S PICK:
Reunions [Acorn TV]
After a certain Canadian show, I’m always game for a gentle dramedy about a family who unexpectedly fall into running a small-town hotel. This new French Acorn addition tells of a pair of brothers who reunite at their father’s funeral to find they have inhereted a hotel and what surprisingly little there is on the web about it sounds sweetly tempting.  

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • It’s like Ridiculousness, but with food. And we’re pretty sure that was the exact pitch for MTV’s Deliciousness, the newest program from the people who brought you that weird mix of prank show and video clip extravaganza.
  • While FYI’s Haul This House is exactly what it sounds like, you would not be wrong to still be a little lost at wrapping your head around this concept–nor would you be wrong to rip any religious symbols from your body and ask “what kind of God would allow this to exist?” The show centers on a Vancouver company that specializes in buying dilapidated houses for people who want a waterfront house but… not one that already exists by the water… we guess? Anyway, they have a barge and they tow said houses into a port and renovate it. Sigh.
  • The Jingle Ball has come a long way since its mid-1990s origin as a local pop music festival by NYC Top 40 station Z-100 — the first had more of a “softer side of Alt rock” vibe with Blues Traveler, Alanis, and an up-and-coming Buffalo band named the Goo Goo Dolls (Jason has to sneak in Buffalo references anyway he can–Go Bills!). Now the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, airing on The CW, the event still has a bit of an alt-tilt with genre tightrope walkers like Billie Eilish and Harry Styles, but ultimately skews a bit more straightforward mainstream pop. Because 2020, it will be held in studios with proper social distancing, but all things considered it’s not a bad line-up of musical comfort food.
  • And as we get ready here at Screen Scholars to celebrate the holidays with our 12 Days of Christmas(channukwanzaapalooza): Great Episodes, here’s what TV is offering tonight in the yuletide vein: Lifetime’s heartwarming movie of the day is Lonestar Christmas which takes place in we’re gonna say… Delaware? Erin visits her ex- with their kids and falls in love with a restauranteur who is, and we’re going out on a limb here without looking, ruggedly handsome. In another clearly Delaware-based Christmas flick, Netflix presents A California Christmas in which a wealthy dude poses as a farmhand to trick a farmer into selling her family’s land. We know they’re going to wind up together and that just kind of makes us sad for humanity in general. Finally, over on PBS, they tap into a holiday mainstay with Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, featuring the 173-year-old band about whom John Oliver once said, “was silence booked?”

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