What To Watch: 12/14/2021

Another day, another new comedy from the minds of the deep pool of NBC writing talent. We’ve also got real life stories of love, betrayal, murder, and forgiveness. And in addition to The Bachelorette, there’s also a true crime documentary. And in what’s becoming a rarity, all our staff recommendations have scheduled time on the actual television feed. Tonight we’re going to party like it’s 2006! Then get home before 8pm to watch some shows!

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Grand Crew [NBC, 8p]
NBC does it again, airing two “sneak previews” of one of its new comedies in hope of enticement. (We, of course, are already in.) Tonight’s sitcom stars Echo Kellum, Justin Cunningham, and our favorite, Nicole Byer, as a group of friends who like to “wine down” at the wine bar.

JASON’S PICK:
The Murders at Starved Rock [HBO, 8p]
While documentary makers being a part of the story has become a cliche, this HBO True Crime docu-series is a unique take as the filmmaker is questioning if the man his father put away 60 years ago, who he feared would kill him in the night as a child, is innocent of the gruesome 1960 murders of three women. Interstingly, as of the time of the taping, both his father and the convict were still alive. 

FIONA’S PICK:
The Bachelorette [ABC, 8p]
It’s fantasy suite time! Michelle and her three men are headed to Mexico for some sunset views and romantic beach dates. 

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • The Japanese series The Future Diary is actually a revival of one of the country’s greatest reality TV experiments ever which ran from 1998-2002. Or so its press claims, as I cannot find much evidence that the earlier show existed except in reviews for this one. The clever premise follows two strangers who are given a diary that follows a romantic (or at least pre-romantic) storyline, and the pair have to see if hewing to the predetermined plot of a rom-com entices them to fall in love. Netflix has imported the first season of the reboot.
  • The Swedish series Bonus Family is also a Netflix import, and like a certain recently-ended, long-running American sitcom, finds both small comedy and broad farce in the complications extended families can face. Season 4 is available today.
  • Gordon Ramsay etches another chapter of his intrepid specials today on Fox with Gordon Ramsay’s Road Trip: Christmas Vacation. If our knowledge of Chevy Chase movies is correct, his next stop will be Viva-ing in Vegas.
  • In the uplifting, heartwarming land of seasonal schmaltz, Lifetime provides Ghosts of Christmas Past, which would seem pretty self-explanatory, Carol. Except, it’s not, as the ghosts are the more modern meaning of the world–as in friends, family, and most often lovers, you have disappeared on without a trace (or text). A busy businesswoman scrolls through her phone to track down all the men she’s given an Irish goodbye, which we can say because Jason and Brad are both almost half Irish. Meanwhile, A Christmas Stray is a film of Oprah’s own, and its main twist on the usual tropes is the titular unclaimed pooch.

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