DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

Social Media Manager

Contributors

MONIQUE NAZARETH

JONATHAN STORM

GERALD JORDAN

DONNA J. PLESH

NOEL HOLSTON

DAVID SICILIA

 
 
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FRIDAY
NOVEMBER 28
2014

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

This is the last Friday in November, and thus the final installment of TCM’s “Road Movies” Friday TV tour. And tonight, the network shows three of the very best road movies, all in a row. Start at 8 p.m. ET with 1945’s Road to Utopia, which sends Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour north to Alaska, and presents all the music, comedy, and fourth-wall-shattering nonsense that made these films so popular, and so quietly subversive. This showing also serves as a primer of sorts, with the release of a new Hope biography in bookstores, and a new Crosby biography on PBS next week.

 
  
 
 

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

This musical special is the final edition of this year’s PBS Arts Fall Festival, and features series host Kristen Chenoweth in the spotlight, in her home town of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, featuring local singers and musicians who back her as she runs through the songs on her latest album.
 
  
 
 

TCM, 9:45 p.m. ET

Another superb road movie presented tonight by TCM. This one, from 1942, is Preston Sturges’ marvelous examination of Hollywood, from the point of view of a director of light comedy films who yearns to do something darker – and embarks on a mission to travel with the “common people,” riding the rails and hitting the road to learn, and then reflect, the anxieties of the everyday man. Joel McCrae stars as the director, Veronica Lake co-stars as his eventual traveling companion, and the whole thing adds up to a wonderful Tinseltown satire, but with a lovely, heartfelt message about the value of simple laughter.

 
  
 
 

HBO, 11:00 p.m. ET

This edition of Dave Grohl’s transcontinental trip down musical memory lane takes him to home turf: Seattle, where he looks back on the birth and tragic end of Nirvana, and the emotional formation of the Foo Fighters, who, with Grohl, write a song about their return visit to the city, and the recording studio where the Foo Fighters were formed. But older parts of music history are covered as well, including visits with Nancy Wilson of Heart and Larry Parypa of the Sonics.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 11:30 p.m. ET

The first movie to sweep all the major Oscars, this 1934 Frank Capra stars Claudette Colbert as a runaway heiress, Clark Cable as the reporter on her trail (and in her bed, though with a divider in between them). All three won Oscars, along with screenwriter Robert Riskin and the film itself.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR TV SHOW'S BEEN? - Here in the U.S., our last monarch was King George III and, as you may recall, that was a couple of centuries ago. Yet we still seem to admire many things British: comedy, young royals, music, and their television shows. In fact, we like their TV shows so much, we’ve borrowed a few of their ideas over the years. As the show Episodes proves, an American effort is often not created with loyalty or reverence to the original. But it’s not always the case. From BBC America, here is an “instructional” video to remind us of some of our television roots. – Linda Donovan

 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit TV We're Watching for these and other shows on
our DVRs right now...


The Affair
Showtime
Sundays
10 PM ET

Dr. Who
BBC America
Saturdays
9 PM ET

The Good Wife
CBS
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Graham Norton Show
BBC America
Saturdays
11 PM ET

Homeland
Showtime
Sundays
9 PM ET

Jane the Virgin
CW
Mondays
9 PM ET

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO
Sundays
11 PM ET

Parenthood
NBC
Thursdays
10 PM ET

Parts Unknown
CNN
Sundays
9 PM ET

The Walking Dead
AMC
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...

TV JUKEBOX

A new edition of Bianculli's favorite TV themes, coming soon!
 
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 TV WWorth Buying
 TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$
Sherlock: Season One

More British TV deals this week at Amazon this week, including the 2010 BBC Holmes-Watson reboot, Sherlock – which lands the two together in modern London with the Internet and cell phones as the sleuthing tools of the day. Sherlock has been one of the most popular of recent US imports and it’s easy to understand why: from the bold reworking of the original stories to brash performances by Martin Freeman (who recently starred in the FX adaptation of Fargo) as Dr. Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, the new Sherlock is a must-see. Season One is on sale at Amazon at 30% off, Seasons Two and Three at 25%. –Eric Gould