TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Good Wife” and “The Mentalist,”
about 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., CBS.
For “Good Wife,” it’s time to celebrate (briefly). This is
its 100th episode, there’s a Christmas party … and Alicia could
inherit. There are problems, of course, and Lockhart/Gardner firm is fighting
And for “Mentalist,” it’s a fresh start. Patrick Jane has
finally beaten Red John; we flash ahead two years. Jane has found peace and
pleasure, then gets a surprising job offer.
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Christmas in Conway,” 9-11 p.m., ABC.
Bad concepts can sometimes -- not often – become good
movies. Here, a guy make a grand gesture for his dying wife; we can find him
simultaneously advirable and foolish
Still, this is a classy
“Hallmark Hall of Fame” production. John Kent Harrison (“What the Deaf Man
Heard”) directed beautifully, as usual. He has a strong cast (led by Andy
Garcia, Mary-Louise Parker and Mandy Moore), a great-looking film and an
emotional finish that semi-compensates for a bad idea.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Treme” season-opener, 9 p.m., HBO.
The “Treme” parts are always greater than the whole. Indeed,
we’re not sure there is a whole; are these stories going anywhere, or will they
– like John Goodman’s character – inexplicably plunge overboard?.
We mayor may not find
out over these final five weeks. Tonight starts in 2008, with New Orleans
celebrating the election while still staggering three-plus years after
Hurricane Katrina. There’s great music – including a dandy piano solo from
Ellis Marsalis, the patriarch of New Orleans – and lots of interesting
characters and situations, which may or may not be resolved.
Other choices include:
Movie series, all night. The first three “Star Wars” films
(1977, ’80 and ’83) are at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. on Spike; they overlap with thne
“Ghostbusters” films (1984 and ’89), at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on VHI.
“Silver Bells,” 7, 9 and 11 p.m., UP. The former Gospel
Music Channel now dubs itself “America’s Christmas Channel,” with music, movies
and more. Here, Bruce Boxleitner plays an overwrought guy, sentenced to bell-ringing.
It’s mostly so-so, but has some good moments near the end.
“Once Upon a Time,” 8 p.m., ABC. Flashbacks tell us how
Henry ended up with mean Regina.
“Soul Train Awards,” 8-10:30 p.m., BET and Centric. The
classic stars – Chaka Khan, Smoky Robinson, Gladys Knight – perform along with
newer generations. There’s music from Jennifer Hudson, Ruben Studdard, Tamar
Braxton, Faith Evans, T.I., Candice Glover, Eric Benet and more.
“The Walking Dead,” 9 p.m., AMC. The mid-season finale finds
the Governor eyeing revenge.
“Getting On,” 10 p.m., HBO. Last week’s terrific opener
introduced perverse characters – beautifully played by Alex Borstein, Laurie
Metcalf and Niecy Nash -- at an extended-care unit. Now the show adds Mel
Rodriguez as Patsy De La Serda, the new supervising nurse. Large and fragile,
he’s bubbles slogans about treating the patients as cruise-line customers; he
clashes neatly with the cynicism around him.
“Brody Stevens: Enjoy It,” midnight and 12:30 a.m., Comedy
Central. Stevens was already working on a comedy series produced by his friend
Zach Galifianakis, we’re told here, when he had a breakdown. He ranted,
berated, drove away his friends; they had him institutionalized … then helped
his comeback. That story is told in a documentary series that is (like Brody)
alternately fascinating and disturbing.