Televisualist: It's Not Christmas Yet, Carol
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Televisualist: It’s Not Christmas Yet, Carol

Each week, Torontoist examines the upcoming TV listings and makes note of programs that are entertaining, informative, and of quality. Or, alternately, none of those. The result: Televisualist.

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AMC airs Eagle Eye, the not-entirely-awful Shia LaBeouf movie that critics complained was “wildly implausible”—but the implausibility of the plot is kind of the point of the movie; the chases that the stars go through are supposed to be mice-on-treadmills pointless. It’s actually an actively subversive commentary on the entire action/conspiracy genre! And we’re not just saying that because it’s a slow TV night. (8 p.m.)


Your finalists on this season of Dancing With the Stars: Alfonso Ribeiro and three other people who were not Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air so who cares about them. (ABC, 8 p.m.)

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns for a fifth season, defying the laws of physics in the process—as it falls deeper and deeper, it is actually accelerating faster than other shows toward rock bottom. (Slice, 10 p.m.)


The Making of Peter Pan Live! is, well, a making-of special for the special NBC plans to air next week (a live show of the Peter Pan musical), featuring Alison Williams from Girls as Peter Pan. We would have preferred to see Jason Bateman as Peter Pan, but we will take what we can get. (NBC, 8 p.m.)

People believe A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is one of the earliest Peanuts specials, because they only remember the holiday ones (no love anymore for It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown), but it is in fact the 10th special, having first aired almost seven years after A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted. Anyway, it’s still funny to see Peppermint Patty get indignant over popcorn balls for Thanksgiving dinner, even if most of us as children were confused as to why a Thanksgiving special was airing in November. (CBS, 8 p.m.)

A Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving is two hours of Thanksgiving-themed sketches. That’s it. NBC calls these “specials” but it’s more accurate to call them “highly edited reruns.” (NBC, 9 p.m.)


American Thanksgiving TV is usually pretty meh because of all the football (which is great if you like football, sure), but Fox is airing Cause For Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular, which is a special honoring people who run rescue dog operations, and also there will be lots of dogs. In conclusion: dogs. (8 p.m.)


Showcase gets on the “airing Christmas movies too goddamn soon” bandwagon with Trading Christmas, a movie in which Tom Cavanagh and Faith Ford play people who swap houses for Christmas and then fall in love with people while they’re on their Christmas vacations, so it’s basically the TV cover version of The Holiday except without Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black, or good writing. (8 p.m.)

The Weekend

At two years old, It’s Christmas, Carol! is perhaps the most recent awful adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Carrie Fisher is hammy as hell in the not-Jacob-Marley role, and the lead (Emmanuelle Vaugier) is a cipher. The film condenses all of the ghosts into Fisher’s role and, like most terrible adaptations of the book, turns the moral from “greed and the capitalist urge are destroying society” into “be nice.” (W, 9 p.m. Sunday)

The Mentalist is back for its seventh season and, given that the show resolved its insanely long-running plot line last season when Mentalist finally caught and killed the serial killer who serial killed his family, we wonder what Mentalist will do next. Will Mentalist start going after the members of the secret society that was created by the serial killer? We think that is likely, because Mentalist is a man who will never give up. Also, his name is not “Mentalist” but it’s not as if we care that much. (CBS, 9:30 p.m. Sunday)