TV Wasteland: ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas -

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TV Wasteland: ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

Is more than a mouse stirring in the Wasteland?

By Rob Vaux     December 11, 2011


Two season finales mark this week before Christmas, along with the expected array of holiday films and specials.  What else is out there? Let’s have a look.
Terra Nova (Fox, 8:00 PM EST)
The 11th Pilgrimage is due to arrive from fucked-up future Earth, as Taylor and Jim face down the Sixer mole.
Bag of Bones (A&E, 9:00 PM EST)
The Stephen King adaptation finishes its run in presumably crappy fashion. King always struggled with his finales, and these miniseries seem to compound the folly at every turn.
Splash (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EST)
 Ron Howard scored big-time with this fanciful romance about a man who falls in love with a land-bound mermaid. In the dubious category of mermaid movies, it’s easily the best one that doesn’t involve a singing crab.
The Towering Inferno (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
Irwin Allen’s star-studded disaster flick was actually nominated for the Best Picture Oscar – placing it alongside the likes of Chinatown and The Godfather Part II – which proves that the Academy doesn’t know any more about good movies than anyone else.
Red Planet (Syfy, 6:30 PM EST)
Carrie-Anne Moss pays the rent, Val Kilmer phones it in, and the evil robot steals the show right out from under everyone’s noses.
Underworld : Evolution (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Thank God Kate Beckinsale looks good in vinyl, or else this film would be a total waste of time.
A Christmas Carol (TCM, 8:00 PM EST)
Alastair Sim headlines as Scrooge in a version of the vaunted holiday classic that many people consider the greatest. Take a look for yourself and see.
The Rage: Carrie 2 (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EST)
If you accept the fact that it’s more or less the same scenario as the original, it actually doesn’t do too badly for itself.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Disney, 8:30 PM EST)
Meh. Stick with Gene Wilder.
American Psycho (IFC, 8:00 PM EST)
IFC’s use of commercials is truly unforgiveable, but Christian Bale’s gleefully sadistic performance almost makes up for it.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
This is preceded by an encore of Evolution at 7:00 PM EST. It’s a big improvement… even without the potent Beckinsale/catsuit combo.
American Horror Story (FX, 10:00 PM EST)
Vivian gives birth while Tate and Violet commence a serious throwdown against the ghosts in the house. Bring popcorn.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 7:30 PM EST)
Why do they keep telling us what the cookie is? (It’s Deadpool, BTW.) Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a cookie?
The Losers (HBO, 7:15 PM EST)
Mercenaries go rogue in an agreeable mess of a Vertigo comic book adaptation. Everyone here has been better, but none of them are unwelcome.
Burn Notice (USA, 10:00 PM EST)
Season Five comes to an end as the CIA tasks Michael with a mission of critical importance.
Resident Evil (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
Of all the video game adaptations out there, this is one of them.
Jeepers Creepers 2 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Trust me, it’s better than it sounds.
Miracle on 34th Street (AMC, 8:00 PM EST)
The 1947 original arrives to help us all believe that those wine-laden transients in the manky red suits might actually be Santa Claus.
The Big Bang Theory is a rerun tonight, as are The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle.
Chuck (NBC, 8:00 PM EST)
Rebecca Romijn wins the guest-star lottery this week, playing an evil spy who butts heads with Chuck and Sarah during an important mission.
Grimm (NBC, 9:00 PM EST)
Monroe has to get in contact with a wild creature, while a missing-persons case is reopened after a murder occurs in the deep woods.
Sanctuary (Syfy, 10:00 PM EST)
Will and Magnus become trapped while chasing down an Abnormal in South America. Sparks fly… though not the type you may expect.
Dune (BBC America, 8:00 PM EST)
David Lynch delivers an expanded edition of his crazed Frank Herbert adaptation that actually manages to increase the loopiness of the theatrical version. I won’t call it great, but it’s definitely one of a kind.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Cinemax, 7:50 PM EST)
The sequel to the 1993 blockbuster proves amusing enough, though it runs more like a series of interesting scenes than a movie in and of itself.
The Adjustment Bureau (HBO, 9:30 PM EST)
HBO continues to push this fair-to-middling sci-fi romance… worth a look, though only if you don’t have anything more interesting to watch.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Young Justice, Nikita and Supernatural are reruns tonight.
Primeval (BBC America, 9:00 PM EST)
Matt has to pursue Connor through an anomaly.
Young Frankenstein (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
It hasn’t aged a day and it keeps getting funnier each and every year.
Red Riding Hood (HBO, 8:00 PM EST)
If you pick this turgid Twilight-esque fairy tale rehash over Mel Brooks’s comedy classic, you need to have your head examined.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (IFC, 8:05 PM EST)
This is a much better option, though it’s broken up with ads and I imagine most of us can recite it verbatim regardless.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian (IFC, 10:05 PM EST)
Slightly less overexposed than The Holy Grail and possibly a little sharper as well, this outing earned the ire of a number of religious figures… which means it was doing something right.
Alice in Wonderland (Starz, 7:10 PM EST)
Looks great. The story… um… less great.
Snowmageddon (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
Apparently, this was so awesome that Syfy just had to show it two consecutive weeks. Either that, or they don’t have anything else to plug into this slot.
Earth’s Final Hours (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
Don’t beat around the bush, Syfy; what’s this one about?
The Wizard of Oz (TNT, 7:00 PM EST and 9:15 PM EST)
You cannot deny it. You can only hope to contain it.
Dexter (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)
The sixth season ends as Dexter closes in on the Doomsday Killers at last.
Predator 2 (FMC, 8:00 PM EST)
LA hosts a lot of different aliens… some more dangerous than others.
Battle: Los Angeles (Starz, 8:03 PM EST)
See above.
Friday the 13th (Syfy, 7:00 PM EST)
A new version of the horror staple gathers all of the Jason Voorhees elements into a single easily digestible package.
House of Wax (Syfy, 9:00 PM EST)
They kept pushing Paris Hilton’s onscreen death in this 2005 remake as some kind of selling point instead of the desperate cry for attention that it was.
Once Upon a Time is a rerun this week.


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Hobbs 12/12/2011 5:29:13 AM

Did anyone watch season final of Sons of Anarchy?  Wow, was I disappointed with that.  Talk about anti-climatic, all this build up for that?  CIA agents, really???  So much wrong with that season final I don't know where to begin.  I feel cheated.  It seems like they held off on finishing it like it should have been because they got renewed for another season. 

jedibanner 12/12/2011 5:32:21 AM

Heyyy, Towering Inferno is a classic and the last movie from Legend Steve mcQueen so, be carefull what you say Rob. the movie was goof (not godfather good but still good).

jedibanner 12/12/2011 5:33:02 AM

Hobbs....Spoiler alert would've been nice.

karas1 12/12/2011 5:59:03 AM

So, did everybody see the Syfy holiday episodes last Tuesday?  I really enjoyed them.  Animated Eureka was priceless.  Ninja snowmen.  *snerk*

I've been enjoying Grimm.  I like the leads and the stories are interesting.

Hobbs 12/12/2011 6:04:55 AM

jedi, I didn't give anything away other than saying the episode sucks but come on man, the show is a week old.  Spoiler alert for week old episodes? 

fenngibbon 12/12/2011 8:31:04 AM

 I enjoyed the Syfy holiday fare, though just once I'd like to see a story where someone is transported to an alternate reality where things are actually better.  

And I agree: Animated Eureka was priceless.  But I didn't catch one thing:  did they ever explain how the kid's holobook was controlling everything?  Or, for that matter, Henry having a pullstring.

Wiseguy 12/12/2011 8:43:16 AM

People here complain about everything. Spoiler alert for week old tv? come on man how about  just skipping all tv and movie forums if you don't want any spoilers at all

Hobbs I agree partially. Yeah the undercover shite was just too much and CIA to boot? I did like the ending with Jax taking the lead finally and dug that Ope didn't show. Jax always asked too much of him to the point where his dad and wife were killed yet Jax was ready to jet the scene with his wife when shit got hard. I do hope they wrap it up next season because it is starting to seem redundant IMO

And Rob judging by all your cynic comments I guess that the Christmas spirit has not touched you one bit

millean 12/12/2011 9:18:27 AM

fenngibbon, I caught the Eureka Christmas special (still have the others on the DVR to watch).  They explained Henry's pullstring as a metaphor for him needing to stop and think a bit before he speaks (or something silly like that).  As far as the holobook, it had something to do with the special battery Kevin snatched combining with Alison's tech.

But who cares what the reasons for anything are as long as we get freakin' SNOW NINJAS!!!

I caved in and deleted all episodes of Grimm from my DVR.  Just not enough time to watch everything, and I made an executive decision to drop it before I got into it.  While I have seen several episodes of Persons of Interest and American Horror Story, those may be my next DVR casualties...

millean 12/12/2011 9:27:22 AM

Oh, and a big "bah, humbug" shoutout to Rob!  :)

Also I have a secret.  Don't tell anybody, but I never cared for The Wizard of Oz.  That's right.  I said it.

isgrimner 12/12/2011 9:54:39 AM

SoA spoiler alert  (just in case)  Hobbs, I totally agree about the last episode of SoA.  What a let down and complete cop out and recycling of plot devices.  The good ol' your working for us now and you can't tell anybody or you and your club will go down.   My guess is they only have one more season planned, and if this season is an example, that is fine by me.

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