What To Watch: 12/15/2021

In tonight’s slate of “employee picks,” we’ve got superheroes who are conflicted, monsters who are sad, and whatever it is the MTV reality TV crew feel inside. In the rest of new TV, NBC rolls out Christmas episodes for a bunch of 2021 freshman sitcoms who will be back in 2022, and there are two different streaming movies who tell us all their thoughts on God, and there’s some deliciously controversial takes. And one of Jason’s favorite authors is referenced!

BRAD’S PICK:
Hawkeye [Disney+]
Rumor was that the 5th episode of this Marvel show would break the internet. Having watched the episode, I can’t say it’s not possible. While trying to be spoiler-free I will say that what was revealed wasn’t exactly unexpected. there are other things about the episode just as interesting as the reveal. Why aren’t you watching?

JASON’S PICK:
Rumble [Paramount+]
That this mash-up of Monsters Inc. and the WWE has been rushed out a couple months early may not be a great sign, or given it’s being moved from movie companies’ lemon dumping time to the holiday season may mean that it’s testing better than expected. Whatever the case is, this standard animated story of a young soul championing a misfit in whom they believe (in this case a wrestling monster voiced by Will Arnett) looks very cute in its trailer. 

FIONA’S PICK:
The Challenge [MTV, 8p]
Last week the challengers faced a “night of eliminations” and we watched as Amanda and Emanuel were sent home just before the final. The remaining challengers embarked on day one of the final where they completed a series of puzzles, raced up a steep cliff and jumped out of helicopters. At the end, the challengers self-selected into two new teams, orange and purple. TJ warned them that they don’t want to be on the losing team at the end of the day. Looks like that top eight needs to be whittled down to a top six. Did CT make a mistake pairing himself with Devin? Can the orange team pull in from behind? It all comes to an end tonight with part two of the final. 

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • We’re not sure if everybody’s gettin’ sump’n on the special Christmas episode of the NBC comedy Kenan, but it’s a good chance to catch up on the affable show with the appealing cast. Speaking of which, Mr. Mayor also has a one-off xmas show tonight. While its first season’s reviews were tepid (and that’s being generous), it’s got a shot at pulling a Parks & Rec and hitting a stride in its second season, especially with a cast led by Ted Danson and including Vella Lovell, Bobby Moynihan, and Academy Award winner Holly Hunter. And its an NBC standalone Christmas trifecta as Young Rock joins the fun.
  • In between all the mini-pushes for NBC’s soon-to-be-second-year comedies is a holiday special for starring the Tom Wambsgans of TV family patriarchs, but also a chance to be alliterate–A Very Chrisley Christmas.
  • Shatner in Space sounds like the premise of a fun Adult Swim show and you think maybe you’ll watch it, then you remember it’s a thing that really happened in reality. Then you remember Elon Musk was involved. Then you remember he was Time’s Man of the Year today. Then you crawl back in bed until 2021 ends and hopefully 2022 is the year that breaks this streak. Anyway, it’s on Amazon Prime. Sigh…
  • Is the world ready for a mash-up of Tina Fey’s cult classic movie Mean Girls and the Jose Saramago novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. We may just find out–especially if certain conservative corners are clued in that it’s happening. In the Brazilian animated series Mean Boys, new on Paramount+, Jesus is nervous at his new school, until his pal Lazarus suggests he explore his darker side in order to become popular.
  • There’s yet more streaming provocative religious takes as in the Netflix original cinematic event (sorry, George Carlin) The Hand of God explores the tale of a young man who has an epiphany after a famous Diego Maradona moment. It’s the latest movie by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, whose 2013 flick La Grande Bellezza won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
  • Finally, Lifetime comes correct with the bewitchingly titled Christmas flick The Enchanted Christmas Cake. We’ll let you hunt down what it all means because we just really enjoy the title too much to know any more about it.

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