Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for December 13, 2012. All times are Eastern.
Glee (Fox, 9 p.m.): Brandon Nowalk stands outside your door with a boom box and an armful of cue cards. He hits “Play” on the jukebox, and a distractingly Auto-Tuned rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” begins playing. The cue cards read as follows: “Say it’s carol singers (’cuz, you know, Glee) / With any luck, by next year / Glee will attempt something as outwardly bonkers as that Judy Garland tribute it did last year / but for now, let me say / without hope or agenda, / just because it’s Christmas / (and at Christmas you tell the truth) / to me, Love Actually, It’s A Wonderful Life, and the “Mayan apocalypse” are perfect framing devices for this year’s holiday episode.”
Last Resort (ABC, 8 p.m.): Three episodes of Last Resort remain on the other end of television’s little winter break. Scott Von Doviak suggests you start hoarding DVR’ed episodes like a squirrel preparing for a long, Shawn Ryan-less winter.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Dungeon Master Chuck Lorre introduces a Dungeons & Dragons-themed Christmas into Oliver Sava’s personal BBT quest. He’ll need to roll an “8” or higher to defend from all the 12-sided-die jokes to come—and only a “12” will beat nagging thoughts of “Community did it!”
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): Considering the seasonal theme of nearly everything on tonight’s schedule (Vampire Diaries included), it’s an absolute joy to see Klaus’ name in the summary of this episode. Now throw on this red fur-trimmed suit and cap for Carrie Raisler and fulfill your destiny, Vampire Santa!
Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): Looks like the show brought a cliffhanger to the White Elephant gift exchange. It’s been passed off a couple of times now, and Phil Dyess-Nugent has to either accept it or hope one of the still-wrapped gifts is 40 minutes of Jim Caviezel fight scenes.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): The case of the week involves a supposedly impenetrable bank vault—which is perfect for Myles McNutt, who already has all sorts of theories about how Elementary will explain that Holmes’ mind is just like that bank vault.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX, 10 p.m.): Fine-dining establishments of Philadelphia: Prepare yourself for a visit from Charlie, Mac, Frank, and the Reynolds twins. Emily Guendelsberger will stand by with a mop, because you’re gonna need it.
Burn Notice (USA, 10 p.m.): What’s On Tonight? is really getting a kick out of Burn Notice’s series of “Where’s Michael hiding out this week?” episodes. Tonight: He’s holed up in a warehouse. Next week’s season finale? Probably crashing on Scott Von Doviak’s couch.
The League (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Tonight in League double coverage: Brooklyn Decker and Deion Sanders make appearances, while Seth Rogen returns as Dirty Randy, supplying the show with its de rigueur “doomsday prep” episode. Margaret Eby’s all like “What bunker do I have to hide in to avoid The Guilt Trip, amirite?”
Unsupervised (FX, 11:30 p.m.): The show’s sad shuffling off this mortal coil leads to an episode where Joel helps his ex-con brother find employment—the very type of episode that proves this little show never had a chance. Brandon Nowalk is so disappointed in all of us for not giving it a chance.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): WORF! Hey, look everybody! Worf’s back! It’s almost as if Zack Handlen only wrapped coverage of Star Trek: The Next Generation a year ago. Wait, he did? Well… still cool to have Worf back, right?
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Top 10 Weddings Of 2012 (TLC, 9 p.m.): Does it make you angry when your favorite show/album/movie/podcast is left off a year-end list? Imagine how angry you’re going to be when TLC snubs your wedding for some overrated, over-produced, major-label nuptials.
Dragon Ball GT (Nicktoons, 9:30 p.m.): The English dub of this Dragon Ball Z sequel first aired its finale stateside in 2004, so there are no hard feelings about pulling this joke out of mothballs for the final episode’s rebroadcast: Oh, so all the episode-long standoffs and inner monologues about rising power levels are finally wrapping up, then?
Armageddon Arsenals (Discover America, 10 p.m.): Don’t know about you, but we’re-mageddon pretty tired of all these apocalypse shows. It’s only going to get worse as December 21 approaches—“it” meaning the apocalypse, because that’s definitely happening, so stock up on assault weapons like the people profiled in this special.
Nightmare Christmas (ID, 10 p.m.): True crime doesn’t take a holiday, so here’s ID’s lovingly reenacted (What? They couldn’t splurge for stop-motion animation?) reminder that, if you’re not careful, you can be stabbed on any day of the year. It’s ho-ho-horrifying!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): Take your pick: Does Christmas Vacation deserve to be remembered because it’s the last of the good Vacation movies or because it’s the first act in John Hughes’ crusade to enforce holiday spirit through slapstick (followed by Home Alone, of course)? [All in unison] “I don’t know, Margot!”
Les Misérables (TCM, 8 p.m.): Do you hear the people sing / singing the songs of angry men? / It is the music of a people who will have to explain “No, it’s the 1935 version. Black-and-white. No music. Frederic March plays Jean Valjean” again and again.
NBA Basketball: Lakers at Nicks (TNT, 8 p.m.): Lakers fans probably urging on apocalypse in light of losing season and major insult to Phil Jackson—not to mention the fact that their team is primed to lose to the first-place (first-place!) Knicks. EVERYTHING’S TOPSY TURVY!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Hour: Dominic West has all sorts of roles that you can riff off of when talking about a “spiraling” Hector—no need to reach for the McNulty joke so quickly. Todd VanDerWerff points out that no one’s comparing the scenario to the way a photo shoot totally gets away from West’s Spice World character…