DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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SUNDAY
DECEMBER 17
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Fox, 7:00 p.m. ET

For 20 years now, TNT and TBS have televised 24-hour marathons of A Christmas Story, the 1983 film version of Jean Shepherd’s funny account of his childhood and holiday memories from the 1940s. And five years ago, Broadway staged a musical adaptation, A Christmas Story: The Musical. And tonight, the Fox network presents a live TV musical version, called A Christmas Story Live!, starring newcomer Andy Walken as young Ralphie. Ralphie’s parents are played by Maya Rudolph and Chris Diamantopoulos, and co-stars include Jane Krakowski, Ana Gasteyer, David Alan Grier, and Ken Jeong.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

An Albert Brooks doubleheader is presented tonight on TNT, and the network is featuring two of his less frequently televised comic experiments. First up is this 1979 movie, his directorial and starring debut, which was way, way ahead of its time. In 1973, PBS presented An American Family, one of TV’s first “reality shows,” a documentary recounting the everyday private life of a middle-class suburban family called the Louds. Six years later, Brooks presented this satire, playing a filmmaker embarking on a similar documentary – but becoming increasingly heavy-handed about manipulating his chosen family’s behavior to make a “better” movie. Brilliant.

 
  
 
 

TCM, 10:00 p.m. ET

This second Albert Brooks movie, this one from 1981, has him playing another filmmaker – this time a film editor with a volatile on-again-off-again relationship with his girlfriend, played by Kathryn Harrold. Supporting actors include Bob Einstein, now of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and writer-director James L. Brooks, who also had a small on-screen role in Brooks’ Real Life.

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

TV WE'RE WATCHING

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



Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
CW
Fridays
8 PM ET

The Crown
Netflix
Streaming

Damnation
USA
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Dark
Netflix
Streaming

The Graham Norton Show
BBC America
Saturdays
10 PM ET

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
TBS
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

Godless
Netflix
Streaming

Mr. Robot
USA
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

This Is Us
NBC
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

The Walking Dead
AMC
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Punching In at 'Late Night' Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Amber Ruffin shows Seth how a real man apologizes, in the style of recent sexual harassers, after committing her own style of blatant assault – a left-cross to the jaw. Ruffin peels off the standard non-apology apologies rolled out in avoidance of a simple "sorry," including the "anyone who knows me would say that’s very out of character" and run-of-the-mill victim shaming… "I’m sorry your face feels punched." –Eric Gould

 
 

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...
 
 
 
Holiday Greetings TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $13, and is a great gift idea for TV fans. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post 
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$$
Fargo: Season Three

Consider this maybe a folksy but dark Christmas gift for the true TV fan on your list.  Maybe the best of the TV Fargo adaptations yet (and there may not be any more coming in the immediate future) director Noah Hawley has amped up the Fargo Minnesota-nice crime mise en scène with his unique brand of magic realism and blundering mayhem. Starring Ewan McGregor in dual roles as the Stussy brothers, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the scheming girlfriend Nikki and Carrie Coon as the local cop who cannot be fooled, Season Three has an amazing cast embedded in a high-stakes storyline that will be sure to demand binge-watching all the way to the bitter end. At Amazon for under $20. –Eric Gould