TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Suburgatory,”
8:30 p.m., ABC.
Sure, TV can conjure a warm
Thanksgiving in small towns or suburbia. That's not for Tessa, who
longs for a big-holiday; now we see two suburban dinners collapse in
One, at the home of Dallas (Cheryl
Hines), has a hilarious scene. The other is at the home of Lisa,
whose parents (“Saturday Night Live” alumni Ana Gasteyer and
Chris Parnell) soon lose control.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “In
Performance at the White House,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local
Even for someone who's not a country
fan – including, perhaps, Barack Obama – this should be fun.
There's lots of crossover appeal, with
James Taylor and country stars who have also been big in rock (Darius
Rucker, of Hootie and the Blowfish fame), bluegrass (Alison Krauss),
movies (Kris Krisofferson) and “American Idol” (Laura Alaina).
Also scheduled are Dierks Bentley, Lyle Lovett and – fresh from
three Country Music Association awards – the Band Perry.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Gone With the
Wind” (1939, AMC), “Inception” (2010, HBO), 7 p.m. As a holiday
weekend begins, we can try a mega-movie. There's “Wind,” a
classic, and “Inception,” Christopher Nolan's special-effects
giant that has Leonardo DiCaprio entering people's dreams.
“Wind” piled up eight Oscars –
including best picture, actress (Vivien Leigh) and supporting actress
(Hattie McDaniel) – and was nominated for five more. “Inception”
won four for its technical touches and was nominated for four more,
including best picture.
Other choices include:
– “Curious George” marathon, 8
a.m. to noon, PBS (check local listings). It's a whole morning with
the bumbling monkey. That starts with his movies at 8 a.m. (2006) and
9:30 (2009); then “A Very Monkey Christmas,” the 2009 TV special,
is at 11.
– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC. It's
the third annual Thanksgiving episode for this show, which
specializes in family chaos. This time, that includes Frankie's
parents (Jerry Van Dyke and Marsha Mason), her sister (Molly Shannon)
– “The X Factor,” 8 p.m., Fox. A
night earlier than usual (to avoid Thanksgiving), here's the results
show, with the field trimmed to eight.
– “November Christmas” (2010)
Hallmark, or “The 12 Men of Christmas” (2009), Lifetime, 8 p.m.
Here's proof that all Christmas films aren't created equal. The
Lifetime one – with Kristin Chenoweth planning a calendar of hunky
firemen – is empty and inept; the Hallmark one – originally a
“Hall of Fame” film on CBS – is beautifully crafted, reaching
depths of emotion in a quiet, small-town drama.
– “Mobbed,” 9 p.m., Fox. A “flash
mob” is usually quick and spontaneous. This special alters that
with music, plus choreography by Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo of “So
You Think You Can Dance.”
– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Phil's classmate, an Internet billionaire, arrives. Soon, Phil
ponders his shortcomings; a Thanksgiving dinner splits the family
between “dreamers” and “Pritchetts.”
– “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,”
10 p.m., CBS. Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”) plays a
tough cop in this rerun that has two men killed before they can
accuse a company.