TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 8:30
One of Hollywood’s greatest half-hours is working its way
through the cable and TV world. “Grinch” will move to TBS at 8 p.m. Friday,
return to the Cartoon Network for two more turns (9 p.m. Wednesday, 6 p.m. Dec.
21), then do Christmas Eve on ABC.
Catch it often; this is that rare show that has it all – a
great story (from Dr. Seuss), brilliant animation (co-directed by Chuck Jones)
and three ideal voices. Boris Karloff
narrates, Thurl Ravenscroft sings and June Foray is Cindy Lou Who. The voices
of Frankenstein’s monster, Tony the Tiger and Rocky Squirrel combine for a
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “The Millers,” 8:31 p.m., CBS.
TV loves to have one generation try to deceive another; now
that expands a bit, with two generations ganging up to fool a third.
Carol’s parents (Jerry Van Dyke and June Squibb) don’t know
that she’s left her husband … or that her son Nate (Will Arnett) has divorced
his wife. Now everyone must pretend they’re back together; they work at it so
hard that Nate thinks about trying to reconcile.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: Christmas Movies, cable.
This month overflows with Christmas movies that were made
for TV. Still, there are also strong ones that were shown in theaters.
Tonight, ABC Family has dandy comedies, starring two of the
original “Saturday Night Live” guys. Chevy Chase’s “National Lampoon’s
Christmas Vacation” (1989) is at 7 p.m., Bill Murray’s “Scrooged” (1988) is at
The gem, however, is “Love Actually” (2003), from 8-11 p.m.
on AMC. Writer-director Richard Curtis deftly weaved together unrelated holiday
tales, ranging from a young, lovestruck prime minister (Hugh Grant) to an old,
naked rock star (Bill Nighy). They vary, but add up to great fun.
Other choices include:
“The X Factor,” 8 p.m., Fox. One act is expected to be sent
home tonight, with the other three propelled to next week’s finale. Before that
happens, however, we get guest performances from Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland
fame) and Enrique Iglesias.
“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. With Sheldon gone home
to Texas, the others start to ponder how much he’s changed their lives
“Grey’s Anatomy,” 9 p.m., ABC. This day is supposed to be
all about April’s wedding, but other problems prevail. Former friends Meredith
and Cristina continue to argue; Derek gets a life-changing call.
“The Returned,” 9 p.m., Sundance. A week before its finale,
this brilliant mini-series has two brothers racing to elude the police … while
one of the cops is trying to flee with her lover. Meanwhile, people realize
that Camille’s false claims led two parents to commit suicide.
“The Crazy Ones,” 9:01 p.m., CBS. Ashley Tisdale guests as
the firm’s new intern. She’s the bratty daughter of an important client … which
makes Sydney (also a boss’ daughter) ponder her own image.
“Two and a Half Men,” 9:31 p.m., CBS. This Christmas episode
– not the warm-and-huggy type – includes errant carol lyrics and the ex-wife of
Alan’s transgender girlfriend.
“Elementary,” 10:01 p.m., CBS. A man who bilked his clients
out of their money has been killed. That leaves Sherlock Holmes with an
overload of suspects.