A lot of folks will be understandably too busy to watch TV this week, but for those who are around there’s plenty to choose from. Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels, everyone.
Monday, November 25
Major Crimes (9-10 pm, TNT)
I still don’t understand the logic of splitting seasons of cable dramas (I was under the impression that the point of being on a cable channel was being able to air a season without interruption), but the LAPD procedural returns tonight to finish the back half of its second season. The Rusty story line has added a dimension to the show that was missing from its predecessor The Closer, but by this point he’s become more of an annoyance than anything else; I’d love it if the show would hurry up and finish the “he’s-in-danger-because-he’s-a-murder-witness” subplot.
Tuesday, November 26
Person of Interest (10-11 pm, CBS)
I don’t generally cite midseason episodes of network shows, but PoI delivered a gut-punch to its fans last week with the sudden death of a major character (and it was a bait-and-switch, not the one they had strongly suggested in the promos). Now the team wants justice and revenge, but Finch is worried that Reese’s grief and anger will compromise their goal.
Wednesday, November 27
Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving (9-11 pm, NBC)
With 38 seasons of material to choose from, there are plenty of Thanksgiving-themed leftovers to fill a two-hour clip show.
Thursday, November 28
Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular (9:30-11 pm, ABC)
I would like to think that Gaga is going to duet with Miss Piggy on “Born This Way” or something similarly bizarre. I don’t know if that will happen, but I do know that this special’s human guests include Elton John and RuPaul.
Also today: If you are inclined to watch football, here are the matchups: Packers vs. Lions, 12:30 pm, Fox; Raiders vs. Cowboys, 4:30 pm, CBS; Steelers vs. Ravens, 8:30 pm, NBC.
Friday, November 29
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (7:45-10 pm, Sundance)
Guy Ritchie’s feature directing debut is a crime caper on a scale far smaller than his recent Sherlock Holmes movies, but it’s just as witty and perhaps better paced overall.
Saturday, November 30
Unbreakable (9:35-11:30 pm, Encore)
Where did it go wrong for M. Night Shyamalan? Watch this movie, then try to explain to me… oh, I don’t know, The Last Airbender? After Earth?
Sunday, December 1
The Returned (3:45-10 pm, Sundance)
When it began on Halloween, I overlooked this French import about a town in France where deceased residents start returning from the dead, and Sundance has a tendency to air episodes of some of its shows only twice during a programming week. But today is a catch-up day, with back-to-back airings of all five episodes that have aired to this point. (New episodes air Thursday nights at 9 pm and again early Friday mornings; check the Sundance website for specifics.)
Battle Royale (2000)
Some people think Suzanne Collins stole the idea for The Hunger Games from this Japanese movie about ninth grade students forced to battle to the death. I imagine she was aware of it, but I think her books are able to stand on their own merits. You can decide for yourself.
(Note: this information is accurate as of publication time, but programming is subject to change at the discretion of channels and networks. All times listed are Eastern time.)