Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, December 2. All times are Eastern.
Toy Story That Time Forgot (ABC, 8 p.m.): Whatever you might think of the prospect of Toy Story 4—I’d say that I can’t imagine how they’re ever going to improve on the perfection of the previous installment, but I’ve been proven wrong twice already—tonight’s holiday special is welcome evidence of just how well these characters work in 30-minute installments. That’s the big takeaway from Erik Adams’ pre-air review—he also takes a look at the week’s other animated special, How Murray Saved Christmas, which airs Friday—along with some serious praise for Kristin Schaal as the heroic dinosaur Trixie. It’s almost like Schaal might be good at this whole voiceover thing.
The people’s top pick, now and forever
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.): …is a repeat this week! The show will be back for its last new episode of 2014 on Dec. 16. In the meantime, I’d like to think that even the show’s most ardent fans wouldn’t mind it being left out of top pick consideration, but … yeah, I know better than to think that.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): Sure, the Felicity Smoak guest spot here and the Oliver Queen cameo there is nothing to sneeze at, but this is the week that The C.W. gets serious about its shared superhero universe, as the Flash and the Arrow team up in an episode that is not at all ominously titled “Flash Vs. Arrow”; the second half of the crossover airs on tomorrow’s Arrow. Regular The Flash reviewer Scott Von Doviak tried to invite Arrow reviewer Alasdair Wilkins over for a crossover review, but they fell out over an easily avoidable misunderstanding and started fighting each other, so that’s not happening.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Fox gets in touch with its inner Fox-ness by airing an episode that’s just called “Girl Fight” in which, yep, Jess and Cece have a big ol’ fight. Also, Nick dates Tran’s granddaughter, setting the stage for the inevitable spin-off, Nick Loves Tran’s Granddaughter (But Mostly Tran). Erik Adams reminds us that Joanie Loves Chachi did feature the pair moving to Chicago, which sure feels like the kind of thing Nick Miller and his lady love (and his lady love’s silent grandfather) would do.
Hey, how long is Sons Of Anarchy overrunning this week?
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): Look, I realize I’ve been overly credulous in the past in passing along TV Guide’s listed running times for these episodes, so I know tonight’s entry isn’t really 2 hours and 41 minutes long. But! The repeat apparently runs an hour and 53 minutes, so we’re still overrunning by 53 damn minutes. On the one hand, this is the penultimate episode of the show, so if there were ever a time for bloat, this might actually be it. On the other hand, next week’s series finale is going to be 1,000 hours long (well, 999 hours, excluding the live after-show).
Elsewhere in TV Club
Latoya Ferguson takes a look at Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce, Bravo’s first scripted drama, and she says it’s … good!? Yes, she’s aware of how unlikely that sounds, considering its network:
The show is actually good—and not just good for Bravo’s first scripted television show. It’s a very solid drama (which it is, first and foremost) on a cable network not known for its solid drama. In fact, watching Girlfriends’ Guide, once getting past the initial shock of it being a good show, raises a lingering question of why this show is on Bravo and not HBO or Showtime.
What else is on?
McConkey (Showtime, 7 p.m.): This two-hour documentary profiles the life of Shane McConkey, a pioneer of daredevil skiing and BASE jumping who died in a 2009 accident. Considering the pathos of his death is going to be contrasted with footage of his amazing stunts and his well-known sense of humor, I’m guessing there’s going to be some serious juggling of tones in this one.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): ABC is following up its Toy Story special with a repeat of this much-beloved 1965 special. I’ll admit that this, like Sesame Street, is another one of those hallowed pieces of American children’s entertainment hat I just sort of missed out on—Am I so insane to think the Thunderbirds episode “Give Or Take A Million” is 1965’s finest Christmas episode? Yes, yes I am, but only because it actually aired in 1966—but I’m sure everyone is right when they say it’s brilliant. Anyway, it did inspire what may be the greatest A.V. Club comment of all time, so that’s certainly a thing that happened.
The Candy Bomber (PBS, 10 p.m.): This is the kind of title that you’d read and, if it were any other channel but PBS, expect something lurid and horrific, possibly involving a deranged dude building bombs out of candy. But you realize it is airing on PBS, you read the description that it’s about “a Utah pilot’s gesture of goodwill during the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift,” and you slowly nod, knowing that all is right with the world.
Murder Book (ID, 9 p.m.): This, on the other hand, you can feel pretty certain is exactly what you think it’s going to be. Unless you think it’s about a sentient book that murders people. It might not be that.
The Santa Clause/The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (ABC Family, 8 p.m./10 p.m.): In one of the more inexplicable programming decisions in recent memory, ABC Family is skipping straight from the first Tim Allen Santa movie to the third Tim Allen Santa movie, as though it’s possible to just ignore the complex mythology and intricate arc-building that connects the trilogy. Unless…
The Santa Clause 2 (AMC, 10:30 p.m.): …yep, there it is, albeit starting 30 minutes after the third entry over on ABC Family. Limber up your DVRs now, people, because this is what we’ve been training for!
College Basketball: Syracuse at Michigan/Ohio State at Louisville (ESPN, 7:30 p.m./9:30 p.m.): Whatever else you might want to say about realignment in college sports’ major conferences and the resultant bloating of the membership ranks, at least it’s beefed up the roster for the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge, as recent ACC additions Syracuse and Louisville bring some serious star power to matches against Big Ten contenders Michigan and Ohio State.
In case you missed it
Sleepy Hollow: On the one hand, Zack Handlen had some issues with the show’s midseason finale. On the other hand, the subtitle of the review is simply the uncapitalized promise “have sword, will stab,” and that’s just damn hard to argue with.