Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A sad State Of Affairs for television


Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, December 22. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

State Of Affairs (NBC, 10 p.m.):


Madam President, it would appear that the holiday season is in full swing, which means that we’re in the midst of a sad state of affairs for scripted television. In other words, the only viable option for Top Pick this evening is the often incoherent, always derivative State Of Affairs. Katherine Heigl is not a person of interest at the moment. In fact, with her surface-level performance as Charleston Tucker, she’s pretty much the opposite. We’re not all that interested, even though tonight marks the quasi-midseason finale (the show will return, after a short holiday break, on January 5). We hear Charlie tries some form of electroshock therapy this week. She also, presumably, will make decisions that are deemed morally gray. Probably while literally wearing the color gray.

is that gray?

Elsewhere in TV Club

The year-end lists continue today with pop-culture favorites chosen by people a lot more famous than us, including David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and Joe Mande.

What else is on? Spoiler: A lot of Christmas stuff

The Great Christmas Light Fight (ABC, 8 p.m.): At last, the second season of this celebration of both the holidays and extravagant (read: over-indulgent) spectacle comes to an end. Sights include a flame-shooting sleigh in Midland, Texas and a front-lawn movie theater in Davie, Florida. It’s what Christmas is all about, right?


The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014 (The CW, 8 p.m.): Catch performances from Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams, Charli XCX, and more at this New York City concert hosted by iHeartRadio.

A Saturday Night Live Christmas (NBC, 8 p.m.): Spend time with some Schweddy balls tonight as NBC takes you down the memory lane of SNL’s best holiday-theme sketches through the years.


Mike & Molly (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Mike & Molly is a show starring Melissa McCarthy, and… that’s about the nicest thing we can say about Mike & Molly. But tonight’s episode takes place on Christmas Eve, and things do not go according to plan! Because this is a sitcom! And… oh god, can Jane The Virgin just come back soon please? Monday TV is depressing right now.

Miracle On 34th Street (AMC, 6:30 p.m.): But there are movies, at least. Christmas movies! So many of them. Like this classic Best Picture nominee that never gets old.


The Santa Clause (ABC Family, 8:30 p.m.): Or you can choose a slightly goofier Christmas flick and catch Tim Allen as an ill-equipped Santa Claus.

Heathers (FLIXe, 8 p.m.): Or… you can rebel against the whole holiday spirit thing altogether and watch 1988’s Heathers, starring Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, and Kim Walker. Pour yourself some hot cocoa and get weird.


Monday Night Football: Broncos at Bengals (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.): The Denver Broncos face the Cincinnati Bengals, and the game is probably a perfect excuse to sneak away from mandatory family time for a bit.

In case you missed it

The Affair: If you’re not quite sure how you felt about the season finale of The Affair, neither is Carrie Raisler, who both loved and hated it but was definitely entertained by it.


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