Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Happy new year! Your television is now a just a countdown clock!

Pitbull (Photo: Fox)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, December 30, and Saturday, December 31.

Top picks

Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2017 (ABC, 8 p.m., Saturday): As we kick the door shut on the benighted shitshow that has been the year of our Lord, 2016, what better way to express our dog-weary contempt for the year that’s taken Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Anton Yelchin, Garry Shandling, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Gwen Ifill, and Bernie Worrell—and left us with Donald Trump—than watching five-and-a-half hours of Ryan Seacrest? (To be fair, it takes half an hour just for all the times he’ll repeat this annual special’s ridiculously unwieldy title.) Sure, there’ll be some musical performances from the likes of Mariah Carey, Shawn Mendes, Ty Dolla $ign, John Legend, and others, but, still, you’re in for a whole lot of Seacrest, people. Strap in.


A Toast To 2016! (NBC, 8 p.m., Saturday): Fuck you, NBC.

Live From Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve (PBS, 8 p.m., Saturday): If you’re feelin’ fancy.

Late Night With Seth Meyers New Year’s Eve Special (NBC, 10 p.m., Saturday): For those looking for a little more political comedy and silliness in their stay-at-home New Year’s Eve, Meyers—who’s been killing it this election season—invites new Celebrity Apprentice host and Trump employee Arnold Schwarzenegger for a sit-down. Corporate synergy vs. mocking corporate synergy plus unprecedented conflicts of interest: discuss. Also, Jennifer Lawrence and Leslie Jones drop by for some uninhibited laughter, and Kelly Clarkson makes you cry singing her cover of “It’s Quiet Uptown” from The Hamilton Mixtape.

Her Majesty (Photo: Fox)

Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution (Fox, 10 p.m., Saturday): Hosted by Pitbull (or The Anti-Seacrest), the annual year-end Miami blowout is also co-hosted by Queen Latifah and Snoop Dog this time out. Which makes watching this and dancing drunkenly around alone in your jammies just like a New Year’s Eve at the club, but cheaper, and with fewer people vomiting on your shoes. Some people, just not as many.

Austin City Limits: Hall Of Fame New Year’s Eve (PBS, 11 p.m., Saturday): Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, and Kris Kristofferson get inducted into the long-running music institution’s Hall Of Fame. Hosted by comedy super-couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman.


New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): “But Ryan’s getting five-and-a-half hours!” “Listen Daly, you’ll get a half-hour and like it. You’ve got Alicia Keys, Pentatonix, and Blake Shelton, so dry your eyes.” “Okay…”

Premieres and finales

Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (NBC, 8 p.m., Friday): The third-season finale of ”Nick Cannon Shows Internet Clips” is genuinely the only non-New Year’s new episode of anything on this weekend. Enjoy!

Regular coverage

We’re all off getting very, very drunk. See you in 2017.

Streaming pick

Mad Men, “The Good News” (Netflix): If the prospect of watching famous people cheerily extolling the new year isn’t your speed, then how about some old fashioned “stare out the window in rueful resignation at the inexorable passage of time and the inevitability of loss” entertainment? In this fourth-season episode, Don Draper finds out his best friend is dying, sending him on a drunken night of consoling debauchery with the similarly bereft and lonely Lane Pryce. Yes, they wind up sleeping with prostitutes and undoubtedly hung over the next day, but at least they get to spend the waning hours of 1964 watching Gamera on the big screen. Sometimes a year is just so soul-skeweringly awful, only a rampaging turtle monster, some fleeting human contact, and a lot of booze can truly send it on its way.


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