Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Colbert says goodbye to the real Joe Biden, but hopefully not the fake one

Photo: CBS

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, December 6. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS, 11:35 p.m.): As the Obama administration continues its long goodbye over the next 45 days, one of the teariest farewells will likely be reserved for Vice President Joe Biden. And no, we’re not just saying that because of the hard-livin’, hard-lovin’, Scorpions-listenin’, Trans Am-drivin’ mythology put forth by The A.V. Club’s comrades at The Onion. (Okay, maybe we are.) Stephen Colbert will also miss him—so much that he’s invited him back for a second interview. Although this is the latest in a series of proper sendoffs for the beloved VP, hopefully it doesn’t mean the end of Diamond Joe.


This Is Us (NBC, 9 p.m.): Astute What’s On Tonight readers may have noticed the sly inclusion of This Is Us in our regular coverage last week. This week, it gets the top-pick treatment just in time for its first-season finale. Titled “Last Christmas,” the holiday episode finds the Pearsons at the hospital when Kate comes down with appendicitis. While there, they realize a doctor who once helped them needs their help in return. Molly Eichel is on call to handle this one and report whether the show uses Wham!’s “Last Christmas” over the credits or the superior cover version by Jimmy Eat World. Hot take!

Reggie Watts: Spatial (Netflix): Word on the street is that Reggie Watts’ latest standup special is especially wild, experimental, and exhilarating, even by Reggie Watts standards. And by “word on the street,” we mean Dennis Perkins, who will lower his fedora, stamp out his cigarette, and pop the collar on his trench coat as he heads into the night to pen his review.

Premieres and finales

The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): As The Flash prepares to go into hibernation for the winter (do speedsters hibernate?), Barry Allen tries to celebrate the holidays with Iris. Unfortunately, he gets distracted by having to stop Alchemy and Savitar. Will he win the fight and be free to sit around the Christmas tree, unwrapping presents and chucking chestnuts into the fireplace at an alarming rate? Scott Von Doviak will keep us posted in his review of the midseason winter finale.


Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 10 p.m.): It’s unclear if Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s own winter finale will involve Christmas. Probably not, as it takes place in Los Angeles, and L.A. Christmas stories (especially ones with action sequences) are only allowed to be written by Shane Black, or so Alex McCown-Levy tells us.

Drunk History (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): Call us revisionist historians, because we’re about to rewrite What’s On Tonight: A Compendium. Last week, we incorrectly reported that last week’s Hamilton episode was the season finale of Drunk History. We were wrong. The finale’s actually tonight. It’s called “Shit Shows” and features Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, and others. To make up for our blunder, here’s a picture from the episode of Oswalt posing on a Harley. Nice hog, Patton!

Photo: Comedy Central

Regular coverage

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8 p.m.)

WWE Smackdown! Live (USA, 8 p.m.)

New Girl (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)

No Tomorrow (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Streaming pick

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (Netflix): With an Altman-sized cast confined to one location, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party could have easily buckled under its own weight. But Chicago filmmaker Stephen Cone fully develops his characters through subtle body language and pared-down dialogue—no small feat considering the film examines the challenges of being gay in an evangelical household, among many other other things. No wonder it made our “Best movies of 2016 that we didn’t review” list just last week.


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