What To Watch: 12/01/2021

In 2005, a dark comedy from a team of unknowns quietly premiered on a then small-ish cable channel which up til then had never aired an original comedy (although it had started to build a name for its prestige dramas). Who would have guessed the series about a collection of Philly dirtbags would become the longest running live-action comedy history? Probably not even FX, as the show they debuted the same day, Starved–which mined eating disorders for humor–was a clear bet to only last the one season it did, but, hey, it evened out for them.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia [FXX, 10p]
Tonight’s premiere makes the FXX comedy’s 15th season the longest-running live-action comedy in history. Suck it, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. The Gang heads to Galway this season. I wonder how Paddy’s Pub will reflect their travels in the future.

BRAD’S PICK:
Adrienne [HBO, 8p]
Adrienne Shelly’s life was cut tragically short when she was murdered in 2006. She had written Waitress which was just about to come out and become a huge hit and was Hal Hartley’s muse in his early films. Her star was definitely on the rise and now her life is honored in a new documentary on HBO Max. We may mourn her but we can also celebrate her.

JASON’S PICK:
The Power of the Dog [Netflix]
Coming right off a release where he played a 19th Anniversary painter known for his portrayal of cats, Benedict Cumberbatch stars in a movie whose title refs metaphorical canines as a 1920s Montana rancher. If it sounds like a sweeping drama, it’s by master of that genre Jane Campion, so you’re likely right. The rest of the cast is pretty stacked as well, with Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Frances Conroy, and Keith Carradine on board. 

FIONA’S PICK:
The Challenge [MTV, 8p]
As we inch closer to the final the teams continue to thin out the herd. Suddenly, the Emerald cell isn’t an obvious front runner. Can they pull out another win to save their guys? Or will they finally face elimination? Ruby and Sapphire are looking stronger by the minute. 

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • What’s more natural for a cult show whose central gimmick revolves around mixtapes than a Christmas special? Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist may have run its course after two seasons, but it returns for a day on the Roku Channel with Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas.
  • In the real-life, but no less magical, Christmasland universe, it’s the week after Thanksgiving, so it’s time for a certain chosen tree to make its way into mid-Manhattan to bless one of the world’s most famous ice rinks and to be feted by New Yorkers and tourists alike. Since the event takes place right outside the network’s HQ, it’s not surprising that Christmas in Rockefeller Center is aired on NBC.
  • One of the newest animated Christmas specials is somehow a spin-off of the live-action time travel superhero series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Brad?! Little help?). Beebo Saves Christmas debuts on The CW tonight.
  • The pioneering power pop/indie rock band of the 1970s & ’80s The Pretenders were certainly influenced by Bob Dylan, so it’s not surprising that lead singer Chrissy Hynde would have a whole special devoted to her covers of the folk/rock legend is unsurprising. Tomorrow Is a Long Time: Chrissy Hynde Sings Bob Dylan debuts on AXS tonight.
  • There’s so many iterations of the Real Housewives franchise, it’s easy to forget that The Real Housewives of Orange County was the one that began it all in 2006. The sixteenth season of melodrama, betrayal, and wine throwing drops on Bravo today.
  • We’ll close off the day in the LHV (Lifetime-Hallmark Vortex) with, shock of shocks, a new Christmas movie. It’s on Lifetime and possesses the wonderfully alliterative title Match Made in Mistletoe. She’s an interior decorator, he’s an ambassador, and they fall in love while one shows the other (or both each other) the true meaning of Christmas. 42!

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