DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

GERALD JORDAN

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

CANDACE KELLEY

TOM BRINKMOELLER

MONIQUE NAZARETH

DAVID SICILIA

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
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MONDAY
DECEMBER 11
2017

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s competition has the remaining eight finalists singing for survival. And since, this year, there are at least six impressively talented performers vying to win The Voice, there’s very little slack, and every live performance, and song selection, matters.

 
  
 
 

Cinemax, 8:00 p.m. ET

This amazing 1978 war movie, directed by Michael Cimino, begins on the home front, with Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, and George Dzundza playing friends in a factory town in Pennsylvania. After a wedding – with a bridesmaid played by a young and radiant Meryl Streep – some of the equally young men go off to war in Vietnam, where things get horrible. And, from that point, never get much less intense. It’s an astounding film, with riveting performances from all involved, and with an immediacy and vividness that hasn’t dulled at all with the passage of time.
 
  
 
 

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Here’s another great movie from the same period. This 1979 dark comedy, starring Peter Sellers as a mercurial man who ascends, somewhat mysteriously, to power in Washington, D.C., was on TV recently. And, once again, I recommended it, and watched it all over again, and “lost” another few hours being charmed by the performances, the direction, the music (yay, Deodato!), and Jerzy Kosinski’s amazingly poignant yet moralistic fable. Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, and Jack Warden, in support, are terrific. And Sellers? It may well be the finest, most nuanced performance of his entire amazing career, and I haven’t forgotten about Lolita or Dr. Strangelove.

 
  
 
 

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

In what’s called the fall finale, the parents, Reed and Caitlin, take the lead after their own kids are captured by the government.

 
  
 
 

AMC, 10:00 p.m. ET

MINISERIES FINALE: This six-part documentary series on the history of comics, told from the perspective of Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, ends with an episode devoted to Image Comics, the firm that released The Walking Dead as a graphic novel before it was adapted by AMC. It’s called “Image Comics: Declaration of Independents,” and, aside from a couple of other titles like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, may not otherwise be worth the devotion of an entire hour, unless you’re a big supporter of, say, The Mice Templar or Flaming Carrot Comics. But let’s let Kirkman make his case.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 

TV WE'RE WATCHING

  
   Visit our TV We're Watching page for these and other shows on our DVRs right now...



Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
CW
Fridays
8 PM ET

The Crown
Netflix
Streaming

Damnation
USA
Tuesdays
10 PM ET

Dark
Netflix
Streaming

The Graham Norton Show
BBC America
Saturdays
10 PM ET

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
TBS
Wednesdays
10:30 PM ET

Godless
Netflix
Streaming

Mr. Robot
USA
Wednesdays
10 PM ET

This Is Us
NBC
Tuesdays
9 PM ET

The Walking Dead
AMC
Sundays
9 PM ET
 
 

VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

Punching In at 'Late Night' Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Amber Ruffin shows Seth how a real man apologizes, in the style of recent sexual harassers, after committing her own style of blatant assault – a left-cross to the jaw. Ruffin peels off the standard non-apology apologies rolled out in avoidance of a simple "sorry," including the "anyone who knows me would say that’s very out of character" and run-of-the-mill victim shaming… "I’m sorry your face feels punched." –Eric Gould

 
 

BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!


FRESH AIR FAVES

Audio of Bianculli's favorite 'Fresh Air' reports, and the stories behind them...


FAVES FROM
"THE MORGUE"

Bianculli's favorite newspaper articles, and the stories behind them...


EXTRAS & FEEDBACK

Share your favorite TV in-jokes and first TV loves...
 
 
 
Holiday Greetings TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $13, and is a great gift idea for TV fans. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post 
 
 
 

This Day in TV History

 
 
 
 
TV WWorth Buying
TOP TVWW SPECIAL DEAL$$
Fargo: Season Three

Consider this maybe a folksy but dark Christmas gift for the true TV fan on your list.  Maybe the best of the TV Fargo adaptations yet (and there may not be any more coming in the immediate future) director Noah Hawley has amped up the Fargo Minnesota-nice crime mise en scène with his unique brand of magic realism and blundering mayhem. Starring Ewan McGregor in dual roles as the Stussy brothers, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the scheming girlfriend Nikki and Carrie Coon as the local cop who cannot be fooled, Season Three has an amazing cast embedded in a high-stakes storyline that will be sure to demand binge-watching all the way to the bitter end. At Amazon for under $20. –Eric Gould