I usually do the alternate viewing guide on Wednesday, I think, but we’ve got the mailbag now–so, things must be moved up a day. And, it’s going to be quite a mailbag tomorrow. If you will allow me to tease my own post. It’s going to get heated. So, before you head out for amateur night and try to slalom through a DUI checkpoint, make sure you read the mailbag tomorrow. But, that’s getting ahead of ourselves. This is the post where I tell you what to watch on TV, because I am better at watching TV than you. Obviously, people watch football on Thanksgiving. It’s the best lineup of games I ever remember, but if you don’t watch football (for shame), here’s what you should be checking out. We’ll go 1 to 10 pm, because by 10 everyone should be asleep and it doesn’t matter what the TV is playing in the background.
1:00-2:00 PM: Arrested Development, IFC
On the heels of the announcement that Netflix will be streaming an upcoming 4th season of Arrested Development, I think this is only appropriate. People loved Arrested Development so much, and yet it was hard to find people who watched it regularly. Hence, the cancellation. Kind of like Always Sunny? I don’t know, I don’t watch that one (braces self for insults). Anyway, Jason Bateman is always money.
2:00-3:00 PM: Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, TLC
I was unawares that Buddy, our favorite pastry chef, had a new reality show. I admit that I have become lax on my cooking shows of late. Did you know there’s a new season of Top Chef and I’ve only seen one of the episodes? Padma, forgive me. Anyway, I don’t think anything will kick-start the old appetite like watching people make cakes and talk about fondant for an hour. Just don’t judge the Sara Lee when it comes out of the freezer later in the day.
3:00-4:00 PM: The Great Outdoors, Encore
This movie is hilarious. Or, at least that is what an 11-year old version of myself is telling me right now. Seriously, though, you can watch this movie with someone and almost convince them that Dan Aykroyd was funny. And, as always, John Candy is delightful. Keeping with the theme of overeating, you have his storied battle with the “Old 96er.” That’s six pounds of beef. Can you put away that much turkey?
4:00-5:00 PM: The Coffee Addiction, CNBC
According to the blurb, coffee is a 70 billion dollar business. That’s like 35 Mark Cubans. I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but in a nutshell, coffee is bigger than Facebook. The way people drink coffee with reckless abandon is pretty fascinating to me, and the most interesting part is how coffee has penetrated the youth market. You see middle school kids now cupping a Starbucks 20 oz like it’s their lifeblood. When I was in school (even college) coffee wasn’t a common sight and frankly it’s a little disturbing. Middle School kids smell bad enough, now they all have coffee breath?
5:00-6:00 PM: Serendipity, E!
I guess this is where I check in and say, why the hell is TNT showing a Bones marathon and not Days of Thunder or something along those lines. I also haven’t seen Shawshank yet, disturbing. Here’s a real schmaltzy chick-flick for you. I imagine most women heart this movie–a bunch. If you happen to be a guy though, you’ve got Ari from Entourage being mildly amusing, you’ve got Eugene Levy (always a plus), and of course, Kate Beckinsale is kind of good-looking. Ok fine, I actually like this movie. Let’s move on.
6:00-7:00 PM: Roseanne, Oxygen.
It’s a 3-Putt Territory tradition. You’ve got to plow through an episode of Roseanne or two on Thanksgiving. Epic show. I saw Roseanne in a Snickers commercial the other day. She’s still got the chops. Early Roseanne is great programming. Do you ever wonder what would happen to TV characters in real life? I mean, they show child stars grown up all the time on the Yahoo ticker, but I’m talking about if D.J. from Roseanne was an actual person, what we he be doing right now? That kid was a hot, hot mess.
7:00-8:00 PM: Punkin Chunkin 2011, Discovery
Punkin Chunkin is an event where people build machines to launch pumpkins into the upper levels of the atmosphere. At least, that’s what I think it is. It’s a big event in areas of the country that…ok, I’m not going to stereotype. It’s big where people have the time and creativity to put together such a device. I’ve always been a little fascinated by this spectacle, and here’s the perfect chance to get a closer look. I imagine the pumpkins will be secondary to the characters involved. That’s where the magic is.
8:00 PM-9:00 PM: Elf, USA.
There’s certain movies that get played every Thanksgiving. I’m trying to be a little selective here. The point being, if you want to watch the Godfather you can. Or, you’ll certainly be able to find Home Alone. All good choices, but you certainly want to catch the beginning of Elf. Is Will Ferrell ever going to make another funny movie? I don’t know. This isn’t his best work, but when you’re high on turkey, wine and pumpkin pie, I imagine you’ll find plenty of laughs here. Also, the big person/tiny furniture gag will be funny forever for me. I just can’t stop laughing.
9:00-10:00 PM: Friday Night Lights, ESPN Classic
Ok, you’ve made it through the whole day without watching football. Did Miami win? I certainly hope so. But, if you ignore football completely, you’re kind of turning your back on America. This isn’t Canadian Thanksgiving where the settlers played lacrosse with the “Native Canadians (?)” No, football is part of the fiber of the culture as they say, so to cap the day off you should at least watch a television show about football. Don’t worry, they make it more exciting than the actual game.
Ok, that’s it. Remember the most important thing is that you stay in front of the TV. Don’t go outside, don’t catch up with family, just park the can in front of the old tube and lock it in until Monday. Enjoy.