What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – It’s a Wonderful Life

We've had holiday programming on for a couple of weeks now, and now, on the 1st of December, it's the classic It's a Wonderful Life. It's airing against a showing of a much newer classic, Elf. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.


1. Undercover Boss. The CEO of Diamond Resorts International goes undercover in his own company for his second time. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. Last Man Standing. Eve and her classmates believe Vanessa is destroying the plan when she gives a presentation about her job at an oil company during a school career day. 7:00 PM CT ABC

3. Nikita. An undercover division agent from the past is elected president of Uzbekistan, and Nikita ad the rest of the team try to capture him while he is on a trip to the U.S. 7:00 PM CT CW

4. College Football. Pac-12 Championship, UCLA at Stanford. 7:00 PM CT Fox

5. Monsters Inside Mel. A 7-year-old's brain is overtaken by a mysterious infection, causing violent and uncontrollable seizures. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

6. College Football. MAC Championship, Kent State vs. Northern Illinois. 7:00 PM CT ESPN 2

7. Malibu Country. Reba's daughter's relationship with Kim makes Reba feel threatened, and Lillie Mae teaches Cash about being the man of the house. 7:30 PM CT ABC

8. CSI: NY. Det. Lovato's cover gets accidentally blown, leaving the team to investigate the Latin gang she was infiltrating. 8:00 PM CT CBS

9. Killer Karaoke. Series premiere. Steve-O hosts this game of contestants singing while going through enduring dance partners who smell and ornery attack dogs. 8:00 PM CT truTV

10. Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. In the first half hour, the sister of a groom bullies the bride as she fights for dresses for her bridesmaids, and other bridesmaids are frustrated with their fashion-challenged bride. In the second half hour, short dresses leave a bride battling her bossy future mom-in-law, a bossy older sister wants to stand out at the wedding, and an opinionated wedding planner . 8:00 PM CT TLC

11. Ghost Adventures. In this special episode, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff & Aaron Goodwin present a collection of their most astonishing experiences while investigating the Wild West. Featured locations include Chollar Mine in Virginia City, NV; Vulture Mine in Vulture City, AZ; Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, AZ; Silver Queen Hotel and Miner’s Lodge in Virginia City, NV; Jerome Grand Hotel in Jerome, AZ; and the National Hotel in Nevada City, CA. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

12. Blue Bloods. At a college campus, Danny finds a murdered student, Jamie has a big crisis after reconnecting with a former classmate from law school, and Erin tries to allow Nicky some freedom. 9:00 PM CT CBS

13. Dateline NBC. A man and his family fight the charges of him committing a murder on Halloween night. 9:00 PM CT NBC

14. 20/20. Insiders share secrets of their respective trades, and an interview with Toni Braxton. 9:00 PM CT ABC

15. Haven. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

16. Brides of Beverly Hills. In the first half hour, Diana DeGarmo hunts for the perfect wedding gown to marry fellow American Idol finalist Ace Young, and Amanda has a difficult time finding a dress that will please both her mom and mom-in-law. In the second half hour, A pinup model and her punk rocker fiancé shop for a traditional gown, a Beverly Hills bride and her mom from the south don't see eye to eye on their search, and familiar brides returns with an unusual request. 9:00 PM CT TLC

17. The Dead Files. Steve DiSchiavi and Amy Allan investigate frightening paranormal activity at a family home in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where a terrified mother worries about the safety of her eight children. While DiSchiavi uncovers the property’s tragic history of disaster, Allan encounters an evil entity that seeks to hurt the living. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

18. Hunted. Sam realizes something startling about her past, and Aidan tells Natalie to uncover the leak in M16. 9:00 PM CT Cinemax

19. NBA Basketball. Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers. 9:30 PM CT ESPN

20. Late Show with David Letterman. Homer Simpson presents the Top 10 List, and the guests are Robin Williams, and Lianne La Havas. 10:35 PM CT CBS


1. College Football. Oklahoma State at Baylor. 11:00 AM CT FX

2. College Football. Oklahoma at Texas Christian. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

3. College Football. Conference USA, Final. Central Florida at Tulsa. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

4. College Basketball. Baylor at Kentucky 11:30 AM CT CBS

5. Golf. Third Round of World Challenge from Thousand Oaks, CA. 2:00 PM CT NBC

6. College Basketball. Alabama at Cincinnati. 2:00 PM CT EPN2

7. College Football. Cincinnati at Connecticut. 2:30 PM CT ABC

8. College Football. SEC Championship fro the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Alabama vs. Georgia. 3:00 PM CT CBS

9. College Basketball. Villanova at Vanderbilt. 4:00 PM CT ESPN 2

10. College Football. Pittsburgh at South Florida. 6:00 PM CT ESPN 2

11. Made in Jersey. Nolan and Donovan want Martina's help to get a former high school QB as a client, and Martina's first paycheck is delayed because of a problem in the accounting department . 7:00 PM CT CBS

12. It's a Wonderful Life. This is probably the one Christmas movie that has been spoofed and redone so many times it's second only to A Christmas Carol. 7:00 PM CT NBC

13. College Football. Texas at Kansas State. 7:00 PM CT ABC

14. College Football. Big 10 Championship from Indianapolis, Nebraska vs. Wisconsin. 7:00 PM CT Fox

15. A Bride for Christmas. After Jessie Patterson calls off her third engagement – at the altar! – she swears off serious relationships until she finds “the one.” That is, until charming but chronically single Aiden MacTiernan comes along. Unbeknownst to Jessie, Aiden has bet his friends that he can convince a woman to marry him by Christmas – which is only four weeks away – and Jessie is the target of his bet. 7:00 PM CT Hallmark

16. Elf. I caught this for the first time just a few years ago, surprisingly enough. I was surprised to find a really cute family holiday flick with Will Farrell. 7:00 PM CT CBS

17. College Football. ACC Championship from Charlotte, NC, Florida State vs. Georgia Tech. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

18. Welcome to Sweetie Pie's. Jenae surprises Robbie with a striptease class, Tim gets a strict manager, and Robbie gets counseling for Andre. 8:00 PM CT OWN

19. My Fair Wedding with David Tutera: Unveiled. A bride wants to wear an Indiana sari, and the groom has a loudmouthed buddy. 8:00 PM CT WE

20. Sinners and Saints. A detective digs up a shocking military conspiracy while investigating torture murders, and the case triggers a war between mercenaries and local gangs . 8:00 PM CT Starz

21. 48 Hours. The search for a convicted killer who has been on the run for forty years. 9:00 PM CT CBS

22. Wedding Band. Rutherford is hired to arrange an adult prom, Tommy dates eery guy's fantasy girl, and Stevie dates Rutherford's florist. 9:00 PM CT TBS

23. Iyanla, Fix My Life. A friendship between popular bloggers ends thanks to jealousy and backstabbing. 9:00 PM CT OWN

24. Holiday ER. The ER sees a man near death dressed as Santa, and his wife asks for a special favor, a man comes in wish a life fish lodged in his throat, an elf is in distress, and a boy is dealing with a blue leg. 9:00 PM CT OWN

25. Pit Bulls and Parolees. After Tia and the twins find out about Chong's cancer diagnosis, they try to make the best of a bad situation. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet


What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Two and a Half Men

Two and a Half Men is on tonight, and all I keep wondering is if its youngest star, Angus T. Jones, will make an appearance on that show he considers “filth.” I have to say it makes it not so fun to watch the show now, but hopefully it will survive this, just as it did with everything that happened with Charlie Sheen. Catch up on your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon and Wolowitz argue about a parking place at the university, and it has an impact on everyone. 7:00 PM CT CBS

2. 30 Rock. Liz and Criss are encouraged to step up their efforts to begin a family after an encounter with Dennis, Jack and Jenna look at their self-worth, and Tracy gets a medical diagnosis that is upsetting. 7:00 PM CT NBC

3. Last Resort. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Marcus brings the islanders and members of the Colorado together, and Grace looks for the truth after a crew member is accused of a crime. 7:00 PM CT ABC

4. The Vampire Diaries. During a particularly difficult time, Caroline tries to support Elena and Stefan, Haley and Tyler take on a secret project, and Jeremy is alarmed by nightmares that seem real. 7:00 PM CT CW

5. The X-Factor. Two performers will leave, and Alicia Keys and Josh Krajcik perform. 7:00 PM CT Fox

6. NBA Basketball. San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat. 7:00 PM CT TNT

7. NFL Football. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons. 7:00 PM CT NFL

8. Two and a Half Men. Alan's famous ex wants to get back together, and Walden tries to make Berta's birthday special when she's not interested in celebrating. 7:30 PM CT CBS

9. Up All Night. Gene and Terry extend and invite to Reagan, Chris, and Scott to go to their mountain cabin, and Reagan is surprised to find Ava has made new friends. 7:30 PM CT CBS

10. Person of Interest. Both a man and his wife come up in the machine, presenting a challenge to the team. 8:00 PM CT CBS

11. The Office. Angela looks for help from Dwight when Angela discovers her husband's affair, Stanley and Phyllis take advantage of the situation when Jim needs a favor, and Pete distracts Pam as she starts painting her mural. 8:00 PM CT NBC

12. Grey's Anatomy. Owen and Cristina try to figure out their relationship amid the pending lawsuit, Bailey and Ben disagree about wedding plans, and when Jackson gets distracted by a shocking situation with April, Callie wants his help to fix Derek's hand. 8:00 PM CT ABC

13. Beauty and the Beast. J.T believes Vincent could be involved in the brutal death of a college student, and Cat asks vince to help him find Evan who has been kidnapped. 8:00 PM CT CW

14. Glee. During Thanksgiving break, recent McKinley graduates volunteer to mentor the glee club, and Kurt and Rachel have an untraditional holiday dinner in New York. 8:00 PM CT Fox

15. The First 48. A man is gunned down on a city sidewalk, and the police look for help from the community when a mom of five is shot in her apartment. 8:00 PM CT A&E

16. The Real Housewives of Miami. Lisa's in-laws want a grandkid, Adriana hosts a party for Fredric's parents, and Marysol and Elaine's tensions reach a breaking point. 8:00 PM CT A&E

17. Four Weddings. A circus theme wedding with peanut girls and a BBQ, a garden reception catered by a food truck, a space observatory wedding, and another on a cruise ship. 8:00 PM CT TLC

18. Mysteries at the Museum. Don Wildman travels to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park, the Chicago History Museum, and the Omaha Public Library.! 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

19. Project Runway The designers are asked to create androgynous, avant garde looks. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

20. Tamar and Vince. Tamar prepares to have her new single released. 8:00 PM CT WE

21. Parks and Recreation. Looking for park design suggestions from the public, Leslie is suspicious when an Eagleton architect contributes the best design, Tom asks the office for help with his new business, and Andy tries to makes his security guard job exciting. 8:30 PM CT NBC

22. Elementary. Sherlock investigates an explosion that killed two people and a cold case turns up, and Watson wants Sherlock to pick a sponsor. 9:00 PM CT CBS

23. Rock Center with Brian Williams. Stories include homeless educated and employed families, brothers Husain and Hamza Abdullah's decision to put their football careers hold to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, and Cyber Monday shopping. 9:00 PM CT NBC

24. Scandal. A billionaire who seems to have lost his sanity is managed by the team, Olivia and the White House staff get ready for the president's 50th birthday, and James finds out something that could change the country's face while he's investigating Cytron. 9:00 PM CT ABC

25. Burn Notice. 8:00 PM CT USA

26. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Frank tries to help out his old company with one last big merger, but cleans up first, while the rest of the gang gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity because of an unwritten rule of the bar. 9:00 PM CT FX

27. Panic 9-1-1.Series Premiere. A single mom thinks about using a gun against a possible rapist, a lone gunman in a sporting goods store creates chaos, and an Oklahoma grandmother gets an intruder. 9:00 PM CT A&E

28. Jersey Shore. The Meatballs get back together, everyone talks about Jionni's poor fathering, and Vinny almost has a threesome and is nervous about Jionni's reaction. 9:00 PM CT MTV

29. NBA Basketball. Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors. 9:30 PM CT TNT

30. The League. Pete fights a man in a wheelchair for a pair of shoes, Taco teaches a dog to recognize the smell of sex, and Jenny and Kevin get a piano for Ellie. 9:30 PM CT FX

31. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight include New Gingrich, Ron Shirley, and Grouplove. 10:35 PM CT NBC

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Christmas in Rockefeller Center

There are too many good things on tonight. We start with Christmas in Rockefeller Center on NBC, with Survivor on CBS, Charlie Brown Christmas on ABC, and The X Factor on Fox. That's too much for my DVR. I'll have to make some decisions. Check out your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The guests today are Khloé Kardashian, Damian Lewis, and Jane Lynch. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. Survivor: Philippines. At this season's food auction, one survivor bids on items for the others in the tribe. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. Christmas in Rockefeller Center. Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker host the 80th annual lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center in New York City. Trace Adkins, Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green, Victoria Justice, Chris Mann, Rod Stewart, and Il Volo are scheduled to appear. 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. Charlie Brown Christmas. I have many favorite Christmas specials, but when forced to choose just one, I think it has to be this one. We have Linus to thank for explaining the reason for the season. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. Arrow. Oliver meets a woman holding dangerous secrets, and after an unfortunate turn of events, Tommy goes looking for Laurel's support. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. The X Factor. The finalists perform, and will.i.am's newest video will premiere. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Baggage Battles. The three teams of “Baggage Battles” auction specialists (Billy Leroy, Mark Meyer and married couple Laurence and Sally Martin) head to Greensboro, NC, to attend a prominent southern motor-freight auction. 7:00 PM CT Travel Channel

8. Criminal Minds. A motivational speaker falls under suspicion for the murder of a conference attendee, and Garcia gets confused when Morgan chooses to not attend a dinner that will honor a family friend. 8:00 PM CT CBS

9. Saturday Night Live. The popular holiday sketches of Saturday Night Live are compiled and aired. 8:00 PM CT NBC

10. Modern Family. Mitch and Cam work on saving an old tree, Jay takes Manny to an Olympics-themed birthday party, and Gloria and Claire go shopping together. 8:00 PM CT ABC

11. Supernatural. Castiel tells Sam and Dean he wants to be a hunter like them, and the guys look into a series of murders that replicate cartoon deaths. 8:00 PM CT CW

12. Ghost Hunters. TAPS reveals the Rochester Public Library’s shocking 15-year secret on this episode airing tomorrow night. 8:00 PM CT Syfy

13. Life After Top Chef. Fabio tells his life coach a shocking secret, Spike and his family have a difficult time with the opening of Good Stuff Crystal City, and four former competing chefs now battle for First Lady Michelle Obama. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

14. Toy Hunter. A Masters of the Universe Spydor vehicle, some Chips figures, a Johnny Lightning Fire Leap set, a Green Hornet Black Beauty car, a Space 1999 Chest Pack Radio, a pair of Nerf Fencing Swords, a Fireball Island board game, a Magnadoodle, and a Star Wars Lunch Box. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

15. The Houstons Remember Whitney. In the first half hour, Krissy tries to get through the grieving process by moving into a new apartment, and Gary deals with the neglect of his health. In the second half hour, the family heads to L.A. for the Sparkle premiere. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

16. Suburgatory. Dallas gives George a makeover, and he starts to feel more comfortable in the suburbs, and Lisa decides to spend all her time with Tessa while Malik is away. 8:30 PM CT ABC

17. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The team lends a hand to local law enforcement making several arrests on the strip, an unknown man is found in a car, and Captain Brass digs up info about his daughter. 9:00 PM CT CBS

18. Nashville. Marshall Evans pushes to collaborate with Juliette and Rayna at a Ryman theater event, Teddy is forced to tell Rayna the truth after Peggy's desperation gets more intense, and Scarlett and Gunnar get closer. 9:00 PM CT ABC

19. American Horror Story: Asylum. Sister Mary Eunice discovers a dark angel at Briarcliff, and in order to reunite with Grace, Kit makes a big move. 9:00 PM CT FX

20. Hot in Cleveland. Season premiere. A baby lands on the women's doorstep, Melanie is offered a job by a super-vixen, and Elka takes the upper hand with her boyfriend. 9:00 PM CT TVLand

21. Deals from the Darkside. Steve and his team look for another great, creepy buy and try to authenticate another. 9:00 PM CT Syfy

22. Top Chef: Seattle. The Quickfire challenge features butchery, and the chefs makes 1950s menus in the Elimination Challenge. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

23. Food Paradise. In this new episode entitled “Sandwich Paradise 2,” we focus on the hunger-bustingest handheld feasts from coast to coast, from a latke and corned beef masterpiece in Colorado, to a 2-foot Italian monster on the Jersey shore, to a big hunk of BBQ baloney in Tennessee. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

24. My Life Is a Lifetime Movie. A district attorney threatens to charge a pregnant 14-year-old as a pornographer, and her mom fights back, and an aspiring opera singer gets an offer 9:00 PM CT Lifetime

25. Happily Divorced. Fran has to make a choice between men, and Peter's boss has her questioning the decision. Joan Collins guest stars. 9:30 PM CT TVLand

26. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight include Wanda Sykes and Blake Shelton. 10:35 PM CT NBC


What’s Hot on TV Tonight – DWTS Finale and the Grinch

The beloved Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas makes its first appearance of the season tonight, followed by Shrek the Halls. Immediately after is the Dancing with the Stars finale that will determine the first All-Stars winner. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The guests today are Ellen Pompeo, Jason Sudeikis, and Miguel. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. NCIS. with the team looking for an abducted teenager, Abby and Ziva work with the teenager's friend who witnessed the kidnapping. Gibbs looks for help from a former contact, and Tony becomes jealous when Ziva and another man make plans. 7:00 PM CT CBS

3. The Voice. Another elimination, and 50 Cent and Kermit the Frog performs 7:00 PM CT NBC

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Nothing fails to put me in the Christmas mood like the carton version of this story. There's just something about all those little Whos standing in a circle holding hands around the Christmas tree singing Welcome Christmas that gets to me every time. 7:00 PM CT ABC

5. Hart of Dixie. Zoe and Lemon have a difficult time with Ruby and Lavon's new relationship and decide to find Ruby's true intentions, and Wade tries to avoid having an awkward conversation with George. 7:00 PM CT CW

6. Raising Hope. The family takes part in a 1K walk, Virginia and Burt feel their ages, and Jimmy has a hard time supporting Sabrina when she fights with her ex. 7:00 PM CT Fox

7. Giuliana & Bill. Giuliana and Bill celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary and adjust to parenting, and little Duke gets his photos taken. 7:00 PM CT Style

8. Shrek the Halls. Shrek, Fiona, and the kids celebrate the holidays as a family, but it turns chaotic with visits from Donkey, Gingerbread Man, Puss n Boots and the others. 7:30 PM CT ABC

9. Ben and Kate. Kate gets turned off and can't take Will seriously after seeing his expression as he plays the guitar, and Tommy finds Ben a job at the country club. 7:30 PM CT Fox

10. NCIS: Los Angeles. The team investigates a retire CIA agent's murder, and Hetty is questioned for her knowledge of the case. 8:00 PM CT CBS

11. Go On. Misty May-Treanor invites Ryan to play beach volleyball with her friends to help him get back into the dating scene, and Danny begins having feelings for Sonia. 8:00 PM CT NBC

12. Dancing with the Stars. Season finale. The winner of the first All-Stars season will be announced. 8:00 PM CT ABC

13. Dr. Emily Owens, M.D./span> Emily and Tyra finds out an infant has a condition, leading the parents to make a difficult decision, the faith of a patient is shaken, and Will breaks protocol, upsetting Micah. 8:00 PM CT CW

14. New Girl./span> Jess learns a friend is pregnant, leaving Jess and Cece to worry that they are running out of time to have kids, and Schmidt looks for advice on pleasing Emma. 8:00 PM CT Fox

15. Rizzoli & Isles./span> A man dies from poisoning, as Jane and the team try to find the source of contamination, Stanley's true feelings come out, Tommy and Lydia don't agree about their baby's custody, and Det. Korsak gets back together with his ex. 8:00 PM CT TNT

16. Flipping Out. On the season finale of Flipping Out, Jeff and Jenni can’t move past “Cabogate” and head to a therapy session to work things out. After Jeff continues to insult Jenni, his therapist suggests maybe the two should break up for good! Jeff and Gage finally move into their dream home, but their arrival is bittersweet when they lose a member of the family. 8:00 PM CT Bravo

17. Little People Big World: Wedding Farm./span> Amy delivers her little girl to college, leaving Matt to take care of a wedding event. The horse wranglers don't arrive on time, and the farm manager drops the cake. 8:00 PM CT TLC

18. Dangerous Grounds. Todd Carmichael ventures deep into the jungles of Borneo in search of one of the world's rarest coffee beans. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

19. Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. The remaining dancers try to master worldly dance styles, a dancer has a hard time connecting with the history of the people that were the inspiration for her routine, and two dancers have a flexibility test. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

20. Tia & Tamera. Tia plans a baby shower for Tamera, who is looking for advice from her doula as she makes delivery plans. 8:00 PM CT Style

21. The New Normal. Bryan and David find out the sex of their baby accidentally, Goldie is reminded of her unfulfilled dreams seeing Shania's school assembly performance, and Shania gets suspended. 8:30 PM CT NBC

22. The Mindy Project. Mindy gets put in a difficult position when a neighbor teen asks for birth control, and Danny hears a complaint about Morgan. 8:30 PM CT Fox

23. Vegas. Rizzo hires a singer, who is also Savino's ex-mistress, and Ralph, Dixon, and Jack work with the military on a murder investigation, with clues leading them to an Air Force base. 9:00 PM CT CBS

24. Parenthood. Julia has a difficult time being a stay-at-home mom, a neighbor threatens the Luncheonette's future, and Mark and Sarah don't agree on issues of parenting or their relationship. 9:00 PM CT NBC

25. Leverage. The group sabotages a huge store to prevent it from destroying a small town. 9:00 PM CT TNT

26. Sons of Anarchy. Jax makes arrangements to change things around at the club. 9:00 PM CT FX

27. Million Dollar Decorators. Kathryn travels to Dallas to help an old friend with her new home, but finds her friend has gone behind her back and changed the designs, causing the two into a power struggle that could sink the job and their friendship. Martyn and Mary journey to India to design a tabletop collection for One Kings Lane but major creative differences threaten to derail the collaboration. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

p>28. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guests tonight are Julie Bowen, the cast of the Rocket City Rednecks, and Melo Greene. 10:35 PM CT NBC


Amazing Race 21 – Episode 9 – Do We Really Have To Talk About The U-Turn Again?

Ah, crap.

We have to talk about the U-Turn again. Seriously. I expect to hear “I Got You Babe” playing on the clock radio. And having to address this one more time is taking me away from being pissed about Team Apprentice’s removal from the Race – and connected to that elimination – the inexplicable dislike shown to this team by some of the other teams. The dynamic of this season continues to be incredibly strange.

But first, the U-Turn. For those who continue to think poorly of teams that use it – and how it “speaks volumes about” the other team (looking right at you Abbie and Ryan – you know I love you guys, but come on) – let me ask you a question. Do you hold the “Draw Four” card in Uno? Do you boo when your team blocks a field goal? Do you cry foul when someone kings a checker? No. Because these are rules of the games you have agreed to play. The minute you start running when Phil’s eyebrow tells you to, you have agreed to Race according to the rules provided. Parts of those rules include the existence of the U-Turn.

Just as you are entitled to build hotels in Monopoly, you are entitled to use a U-Turn. And just like with Monopoly, if you care to win, you should make sure you use it.

I have zero problem with Magic Mike using the U-Turn this week. None. It was actually the correct play. They were not in danger of elimination, so no need to U-Turn someone close to them in time. Why not U-Turn a team definitely behind you if it could guarantee their elimination? And given the opportunity, why not take out a serious threat to your chance of winning the Race? They debated it, and I think they were clearly disturbed about the motivations of the other teams who hatched a rather good plan to eliminate Team Apprentice. However, they reached their decision with the correct motivation – Team Apprentice has a better shot at threatening their win than the Goats. Take them out. Smart play by Magic Mike, and I respect it. And I think, out of the moment, Team Apprentice respects it too.

Now, as for the Twins and Texas. Shame, shame, know your name. I give the Twins full and mad props for devising a rather ingenious strategy to the Double U-Turn. The first team to arrive at the station would U-Turn Apprentice. The second team would U-Turn the first team, thus taking away Apprentice’s only play – U-Turning the Goats. Brilliant. What I do not like is their motivation for doing so – directly from the mouth of the Twins – Apprentice is “annoying” and due to win $2 million if the won. The hell. I would applaud them if they said to the camera – “We want to take out Abbie and Ryan because they are a serious threat to win the Race if we don’t take them out. We are using the U-Turn to better our chances to win.” Instead, they used it like 15-year-olds pissed off about what their besties said about them in homeroom.

First, the “annoying” crack. I have watched every second of every episode of the Amazing Race dating back to the first run (or with Kevin/Drew, walk) from the very first starting line in New York City. I have seen annoying teams. Oh, my. Annoying teams galore. In fact, I am watching one team right now who won’t stop screaming everything they say, and won’t stop repeating the exact same thing over and over and over again. And it ain’t Abbie and Ryan. I’m looking at you, Twinnies. Pot. Kettle.

If anything, again, Abbie and Ryan have come across as a rather genial team. Sure, they started the Race off with a lot of cockiness and with a laughable goal of beating the record of leg wins. Sure, Ryan has a tendency to say too much and be a bit full of himself. I get that. However, one thing we have watched with these two is absolutely no intrateam squabbles. Remember Jonathan and Victoria? Remember Brendon and Rachel? Remember Mika and Canaan? Remember Terence and Sarah? Remember Nathan and Jennifer? Oh, the list of annoying couples just goes on and on. None of that from Apprentice.

In fact, we have seen them and the Goats develop the strangest alliance in Show history. Granted, it is an alliance forged two episodes ago out of a horrible airport obstacle. They were forced to race many hours behind the other teams. Even an airport bunching this week couldn’t make up that difference. However, they didn’t have to Race together. They could have shook hands at the airport and got balls to the wall against each other – something which has been the norm in past seasons in identical situations. I recall Steve/Dave and David/Jeff in Season 4 stuck at an airport in France doing the same thing. Instead, the Goats and Apprentice (Apprengoat?) said to hell with the Race and did it together. The same situation presented itself this week and they did the same thing.

And Apprentice released the Goats from their word to Race together once the U-turning happened. At the second Detour, we also got one of the more endearing moments in Race history. In the rain, Abbie had to beg for Euros as Ryan cranked the organ in the streets of Amsterdam. And one woman elected to dance with Abbie. A lot. A whole lot. She then gave them several Euros to enable them to finish the task, and Abbie gave her a hug. And then Ryan did. And then Abbie again. And boy, what a hug, coupled with tears. It was one of those reality moments in reality programming which is far too rare. I call that kind of hug a “mom hug” – one that is reminiscent of when you were a kid and crying over whatever life threw out at you and your mom just enveloped you with an embrace. And all was good. I recall getting a mom hug from my aunt when my mom died which I can still recall, and do so at times of despair. Mom hugs. Good for what ails you.

Now, about the $2 million thing. Twinnies. Nat and Nad. And Texas. Lexi and dude who rarely talks. I really need to ask you this – why do you give a shit how much money Abbie and Ryan would win? It’s not your money. It’s CBS’ money. Just shut up and try to win your own million. And in the alternate universe where Apprentice did win the $2 mil, just suck it up and try harder to win the first leg when you come back for Unfinished Business 2. Seriously teams on the Race – stop U-Turning teams for revenge, jealousy or other stupid reasons.

So, it is official now – with Team Apprentice out, my allegiances fall squarely on the Goats and Magic Mike. I love the way Y is running this Race – he is clearly having fun, like in moments where he talks to ducks swimming on Amsterdam canals. His cause is a good one – I wish I could have given my parents hundreds of thousands of dollars to help them beat cancer. And the Goats just seem like good guys and have the Abbie and Ryan stamp of approval. I don’t think the Goats can win the whole thing – they have barely hung on for just about the entire Race – but stranger things have happened. Danielle won a share of the title against a roster of All-Stars – ANYTHING can happen.

The Amazing Race, Nov. 25 – Friendship vs. Playing the Game

This season of The Amazing Race is starting to shape up. Only the strongest of racers are left, and they're all on an equal playing ground after twins Natalie and Nadiya used their Express Pass. Some might say goat farmers Josh and Brent aren't strong racers, but they find a way to keep moving through no matter what. And making it an even more tense leg of the Race, there will be a Double U-Turn. Who will get stuck?

The first team to leave Moscow are Chippendale dancers Jaymes and James at 7:32 PM. Their clue is a flag. They need to figure this is the flag for Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and once there, must travel by rail to the Central Train Station to search for their next clue. James2 say people are relying on them that they need to take care of with their possible winning. Jaymes father is dealing with cancer while working fifty to sixty hours a week, so he wants to tell him he doesn't have to worry about paying bills anymore and just needs to get better. James2 determine they are going to Holland.

Trey and Lexie (does her name have an E on the end or no? I swear the show displays it differently each week) are the next team to leave at 7:49 PM. They discuss working alongside James2, and that it's great to have another team you're friends with and enjoy competing with, and the same can be said for the sisters. They ask their cabdriver what country the flag represents, and he tells them it's France. Lexie is excited to go to Paris while Trey says the only French he knows is “oui.” The two teams meet up at the airport, and James2 tell them they are going to Holland and not France.

The sisters leave next almost an hour-and-a-half later. They, too, think they're going to France. They are hoping for a U-Turn to be able to turn Abbie and Ryan around. For one, they're racing for two million dollars and not just one, and for another because they're just annoying. The sisters find they are going to the Netherlands and not France.

The other two teams are looking for flights to Amsterdam and are told it's too late and that there will be no flights out tonight. There is one leaving the next day at 10:45 AM and arriving at 12:15, but there are only three seats left. There's also a Cypress Airlines flight connecting in Larnaca and arriving at 1 PM. James2 stays with that earlier flight, while Trey and Lexi head to Cypress.

The sisters arrive at the airport and find a flight connecting in Rome and arriving in Amsterdam at 11:30. They are told the one-hour layover is not enough time to connect and reply that it's on them if they don't make the flight on time. The airline personnel disagrees. James2 are getting that first flight and happy that it's direct with no connecting flight. Trey and Lexi get the Cypress Airlines flight. The sisters call themselves the best and badass and refuse to give up. They convince the personnel to give them the 11:30 flight.

Abbie and Ryan leave the next morning at 5:28 AM. He says they want to win, and if someone's going down, it's not going to be them. They have a few more legs to catch up and hope the U-Turn isn't on the other side of the flight. They know the sisters and Trey and Lexi will U-turn them, but don't think James2 will. They think they still have a four-hour lead on “The Beekmans,” Josh and Brent, and despite racing with them the last leg, Abbie and Ryan plan to keep sending the sheep to slaughter. At least they know their flags, and know that the flag right-side up is Amsterdam, and upside down France.

The other three teams are waiting at the airport and discussing the U-Turn. They know Abbie and Ryan will use it. Jaymes is worried it will be used on them, but the sisters tell them they are sure it will be them because Abbie and Ryan hate them. The plan is whoever gets to the U-Turn first will use it on Abbie and Ryan, and whoever gets there second will U-Turn the first team that has already passed since they are already safe. That's actually pretty smart. One of the sisters determines “Brown James” is in charge of this, because “Blonde Jaymes” is too nice. He doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and doesn't want to lose a friend if he doesn't need to.

Abbie and Ryan are searching for flights and find one that passes through Frankfurt which is what killed them before when they lost a day and ended up in the back of the pack with the Beekmans. But if they don't take it, they won't get in until 6 PM. They decide just to book it as they will get to Frankfurt at 10:30. They are being smarter and booking multiple connecting flights, which i didn't know was allowed.

The Beekmans are the last to leave at 8:11 AM. They think everyone is going to want to keep them in the race because they think they are the weakest, and they're okay with that. If they get carried into the final three by another team, they'll take it.

The sisters are connecting in Rome and due to arrive at 11:30 AM, James2 are flying direct and arriving at 12:15 PM, Trey and Lexi are connecting in Larnaca and due to arrive at 1:05 PM, and Abbie and Ryan have booked two connecting flights in Frankfurt which will get them there at either 12:45 or 2:05 PM. The Beekmans take a flight that is connecting in Oslo.

The first team to arrive in Amsterdam is indeed the sisters, who obviously made their connecting flight. They board the train to the next clue. The Beekmans are boarding their plane and due to arrive at 4:35. The sisters find the cluebox, a Fast Forward. For this, they will need to find a marked bus at the Van Gogh Cafe. They look for locals to help them and get on a rickshaw. James2 arrive and board the train. The sisters reach the cafe and find the bus. They sit right in the front and take off.

What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Early Christmas Programming

We're getting an early start to the holiday season. Thanksgiving was a little early this year with a full week of November still to follow after the holiday. That means extra days for the holiday programming. Not that TV programmers are slowing up at all. ABC Family has a TV version of Home Alone on tonight, Hallmark is continuing its holiday programming, and even the Travel Channel checks in with three specials. Some series seem to be running a little behind as they're still featuring Thanksgiving episodes. Catch up on your other favorite shows at TV-Links.

1. NFL Football. Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears. 12:00 PM CT Fox

2. NFL Football. Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers. 3:00 PM CT CBS

3. Pandora's Unforgettable Holiday Moments on Ice. Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Weiss host, with appearances by Brian Boitano, Elvis Stojko, Joannie Rochette, and Mannheim Steamroller. 3:00 PM CT CBS

4. 60 Minutes. The covered stories include Free the Children, the New York City Ballet, and Dereck and Beverly Joubert. 6:00 PM CT CBS

5. America's Funniest Home Videos. Videos include cranky dogs, practical jokes that don't go right, and dancing animals. Carrie Ann Inaba is a special guest star. 6:00 PM CT ABC

6. The Amazing Race. The teams travel to Amsterdam for a Double U-Turn and an infamous challenge. 7:00 PM CT CBS

7. Once Upon a Time. Cora tries to steal the compass away from Emma and Mary Margaret, Regina and Mr. Gold put David's life in danger, hoping he will contact Mary Margaret. 7:00 PM CT ABC

8. The Simpsons. Lisa tries to win Home a MyPad to cheer him up, Ned finds a tree in the Simpsons' backyard with the letters of “HOPE” in the bark. 7:00 PM CT Fox

9. Hitched for the Holidays. Joey Lawrence stars as a commitment-phobe Joey, who breaks up with his girlfriend just before Thanksgiving, and now his opinionated Italian family is giving him endless grief about his inability to stay in a relationship. Then his grandmother shares her dying wish: that he find love and happiness, and fast! Inspired, he goes online and locates Julie, another single New Yorker with a meddling Jewish mama who has pressured her to find a guy – any guy. 7:00 PM CT Hallmark Channel

10. Home Alone: The Holiday Heist. An 8-year-old battles thieves while his parents are away. 7:00 PM CT ABC Family

11. Christmas Crazier. The ultimate guide to over-the-top Christmas attractions, including insane Christmas lights in a Brooklyn neighborhood, a massive ugly-Christmas-sweater party, and Yosemite's seven-course feast fit for a king. 7:00 PM CT Travel Channel

12. NFL Football. Green Bay Packers at New York Giants. 7:15 PM CT NBC

13. Bob's Burgers. Mr. Fiscoeder's purchased mechanical shark that was intended to be a pier attraction begins terrorizing the town, leaving the Belchers to try and save the day. 7:30 PM CT Fox

14. The Good Wife. Diane and Alicia's latest case is hijacked by a famous, liberal lawyer, and Alicia's mom comes for Thanksgiving and legal support. 8:00 PM CT CBS

15. Revenge. Victoria is visited by her estranged mother in 2006, Emily meets Aiden in her initial mission under Takeda's training, and Carl Porter messes with the wrong people. 8:00 PM CT CBS

16. Family Guy. Peter tries to hang with Louis going through a midlife crisis, and Stewie brings home a turtle he found at the park. 8:00 PM CT Fox

17. Oprah's Next Chapter. Justin Bieber is the guest. 8:00 PM CT OWN

18. The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Kim’s emotions get the best of her when she is forced to move out of her dream home, and curses out the entire moving staff for packing up her basement in a random order. Later on, Cynthia accuses Phaedra that she lied about her son’s over-the-top birthday party. When Phaedra nervously denies the claim, Cynthia tells her she has the whole convo recorded when she was butt dialed! 8:00 PM CT Bravo

19. Sister Wives. Kody and all the wives attend the parent/teacher conferences, Logan graduates from college, and Kody wants an answer from Meri about having another baby. 8:00 PM CT TLC

20. Finding Bigfoot: Further Evidence. The team goes to southwestern Virginia to check out “The Beast of Gum Hill.” 8:00 PM CT Animal Planet

21. Christmas Rush. Go behind the scenes as holiday businesses shift into high gear: FedEx moves over a quarter billion packages, a gigantic grocery store stocks up for 100,000 visitors a week, and a company brings White Christmases to southern California. 8:00 PM Travel Channel

22. Snapped. A biochemist creates an obsession with a coworker. 8:00 PM CT Oxygen

23. The Walking Dead. The governor looks for information, and a new prison guest forces Rick's hand. 8:00 PM CT AMC

24. Boardwalk Empire. Gyp makes a move in Atlantic City, Nucky and Eddie look for refuge with Chalky, Gillian thinks about a business future with an unwelcome partner, Luciano makes a deal, and Harrows loses privileges. 8:00 PM CT HBO

25. Dexter. Dexter gets an advantage thanks to an internal struggle within the Koshka brotherhood, and Miami Metro looks for an arsonist. 8:00 PM CT Showtime

26. The Cleveland Show. Cleveland and Junior intend to kill Thanksgiving dinner at a turkey farm, but instead try to free all the birds, and Rallo and Donna build a parade float. 8:30 PM CT CBS

27. The Mentalist. The team looks into the the death of real estate agent who had gang ties, and Jane looks for leads on a new connection to Red John. 9:00 PM CT CBS

28. 666 Park Avenue. Jane vanishes, and Henry worries about her sanity and safety, and Kandinsky tortures Shaw who has some shocking information. 9:00 PM CT ABC

29. Ice Loves Coco. Ice puts his trust in Marc Live with a music project, and Coco looks to get Spartacus neutered. 9:00 PM CT E!

30. Married to the Army: Alaska. Blair tries to get back together with her husband, Yolanda's son is back from West Point, and Traci and Sara prepare for the worst. 9:00 PM CT OWN

31. Extreme Cougar Wives. A 76-year-old who has been dating younger men for more than twenty years, a 65-year-old who has sworn to only date younger men after the death of her husband, and a 53-year-old who fell in love with her daughter's junior-high boyfriend. 9:00 PM CT TLC

32. Finding Bigfoot. The team checks out evidence of possible Bigfoot DNA, then goes searching the waterways of Oklahoma City. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

33. Instant Christmas. Hassle-free holiday getaways take the stress out of the season, from a Yuletide spa splurge in California, to down-home comfort at Dollywood, to the ultimate ski trip in Sun Valley, Idaho. 9:00 PM CT Travel Channel

34. Treme. Davis says goodbye to the musician lifestyle, Tim Feeny gives away his intentions, Delmond parts ways, and Toni sees hope. 9:00 PM CT HBO

35. Homeland. Season finale. Brody makes a needed phone call, Saul teams up with Virgil and Max to cull info on one of their own, and Carrie gets ready for the most important meeting of her career.



Top Chef: Seattle – Episode 3 – I’m Looking Forward to Having Your Kroppkaka

I complained about this during my Survivor column – why is Bravo putting a brand new episode on the day before Thanksgiving? I had to watch this episode after spending three bucks on Itunes – and view it on my laptop in the bathroom of my hotel room so as to not disturb my sleeping family. Thanks Bravo. Now I associate turkey dinner with hotel shampoo.

Because this was their Thanksgiving episode – thus the reason they chose not to skip it despite the holiday. I understand that, but still. Taking notes in the dark could lead to some very interesting translations in a moment.

That being said, I liked this episode. I dug the Tom vs. Emeril Thanksgiving dinner challenge – it was a cool idea and was probably a lot of fun for the chefs. I also very much liked the dumpling Quickfire challenge. And not just because I love dumplings and now have a goal to eat all of these new dumplings. It was cool to see how different regions of the world do a different take on stuff wrapped in noodle.
As for the show drama – well, it is hard to really get a sense of things with so many chefs left.

Seventeen chefs roaming the kitchen is a lot to keep track of for the viewer. So many of the personalities are either shunted to the background or remain overshadowed by the aggressiveness of Tesar, the insanity of the Real Housewife, and the familiarity of CJ and The Thumb. The big moment of drama came when CJ and the Thumb went to taste the Real Housewife’s soup and she went all crazy on them. The Thumb told her to calm down and called her “honey” and “sweetie” in the process. She went off on him – and correctly stated that if she were a man, he would call her chef.

Personally, I think The Thumb wouldn’t call a man “chef” either because that would put them on equal footing as him. And his ego just won’t accept that. His sexism may not be from his opinions on women – but his opinions on all non-Thumb people. Calling a female chef “honey” is just one way he exerts that dominance. The Real Housewife had every right to be offended there – we have learned through this show about how testosterone dominated the professional kitchens are in real life. Did she go overboard? Of course. That’s who she is. CJ merely wanted to taste the soup as he had assumed a leadership role and stuck his super long neck out for the team. However, his sheepish “I only wanted to taste it” moment was certainly worth dealing with the shouting.

Meanwhile, coming off her win last week, Yagi Bear had a rough episode. She lost track of time during the Quickfire and failed to plate her dish. With this in mind, and with her almost burned sauce last week, she may have overcompensated during the Elimination Challenge. Plus, she spent a lot of time helping others, as Josie pointed out to the judges. However, she failed to properly cook her potatoes as a result – they were in fact, raw. These were contrasted with Lizzie’s mashed potatoes on the other team – a simple dish that she correctly stated would send her home if she didn’t do it perfectly. She did and earned a top spot – losing to the Real Housewife’s CJ-tasted soup – while Yagi Bear fell to the bottom. Josie’s Quickfire win saved her skin as her uncooked turkey may have sent Dana Cowin and The Hat (see Top Chef: Masters recaps for that reference) to the hospital. Looks like I will only have the Real Housewife’s accent to worry about this year as Yagi Bear fell by the way. Judging by the lack of a challenge on Bravo’s website between JJ and Yagi Bear, it seems Last Chance Kitchen went the way of Survivor’s Redemption Island.

Last bit – Tesar called out Yagi Bear’s failure to taste her uncooked potatoes, and felt the wrath of CJ and the others. The Most Hated Chef in Dallas seems ready to become the Most Hated Chef on Bravo very soon.

Quickfire – Make the international dumplings. The chefs have to rush to the giant board and remove a magnet for each region for dumpling creation. CJ’s long reach enables him to land the pierogi, while Micah waited too long and got stuck with Kazakhstan – which he apparently think is as made up of a place as Oz, Narnia and Utah. Sorry – any state that gives Mitt Romney 75% of the vote has to be made up.

I refuse to talk about the product placement – however I will talk about what should have been the product placement – the skintight black leather pants worn by Padma. Thank you, Bravo. You can have your Kindles. The challenge is a good one – make a wrapper, stuffing and sauce. I always like when they test the chefs on simple foods and see what happens. The big things – Yagi fails to finish, and Brooke can’t find flour so she has a half-finished dumpling. How can they run out of flour in the Top Chef kitchen?

Survivor: Philippines – Episode 10 – Is Abinormal The Worst Survivor?

Friends, I apologize for the late posting, but I say blame it on CBS. Why, oh why, would you air a new episode the day before Thanksgiving and expect well-intentioned bloggers to be able to watch, take notes, write and post an entry while traveling to see family. I mean, it is almost inhuman!

Speaking of inhuman…let’s talk about Abinormal. I’m sorry – that’s pretty mean. But it is ok – she probably can’t notice it. This week’s episode was interesting in the way therapist’s notes and analysis are interesting – it was all a glimpse into the troubled mind of Abinormal. A world where everything you do and say is perfect and where your actions and words have no consequences. A world, which solely revolves around you and where all of the other people living within that world, should expect to cater to your needs and have no feelings of their own. Is it a cultural divide, as Probst suspects? I don’t think so. I think she is just a clueless narcissist. Is it only show behavior? Possible. Survivor can often bring out the worst qualities hidden in people and bring them to the forefront – hunger, pain, discomfort, loneliness and paranoia all make for a dangerous cocktail.

Abinormal imploded at Tribal. It was like watching the real life embodiment of the end of The Sixth Sense, or The Usual Suspects, where all of the events from the past two hours whoosh by and you realize what had been staring you in the face the whole time but you were too blind to see. As she was mocked by group after claiming that she just failed to be able to be gentile, and how her friends back home love her passion, the whole remaining seven all smiled and sighed. She AGAIN called out Blair for not being trustworthy and said she was fighting back tears about being misunderstood. Then it happened.

Probst asked Denise about taking someone like Abinormal to the end. Denise said in past seasons players would bring the dead weight and unlikable to the end. She was beginning to explain how this applies here when Abinormal incredulously fought back against being called unlikable. Probst was amazed and wondered how she didn’t see how the group really felt about her. It all seemed to rush into her – the realization.

What followed was a microcosm of Abinormal’s time on the show – Denise tried to explain what she meant – and Abinormal interrupted and claimed to never have such hatred focused at her. Denise tried to explain there was no hate, just frustration. And she got interrupted. Denise began to talk about how Abinormal came back from this week’s Reward and seemed to be rubbing their noses in it. And Abinormal interrupted her. It kept happening. Abinormal needs to be the center of attention and have the other people fall in line. This time, it didn’t happen and she didn’t know what to do.

Is she the worst player on Show history? Not worst as in villainous – she’s not even close there. I mean worst player. It is not fair to lump in the early boots – many never really had a chance to play. I mean of those who made the jury – but who was so bad at this game that it was sad to watch. Or awesome to watch. You pick. Abinormal was in the perfect situation – a dominant tribe and numbers at the merge. All she had to do was trust in her alliance and not be rude to people. And she couldn’t do either one.

I was racking my brain to thing of other examples. Borneo’s Sean had that cockamamie alphabet voting system – a system that actually managed to affect the outcome when his vote for Jenna forced her out, and allowed Hatch to remain. Colby was horrible in HvV and made a terrible F3 decision in Australia – but he did make that finals and physically dominated that season. Africa’s Frank had no social skills and made the F7. Marquesas Sean had the same shortcomings. Amazon Christy continually made the wrong choices. Pearl Islands’ Lill made the Finals despite continually breaking down at every chance she had. Palau Janu actually quit the game. Guatemala Judd was the most annoying Survivor ever, and Lydia was the first who really just lingered very deep into the game. Candice made terrible choices in TWO seasons. China Denise failed time and again to make a move to avoid the inevitable F4 exit. FvF Jason found a stick and thought it was an idol. His cohort Erik gave up F5 immunity. Coach was bad in his first go around, but Coach 3.0 redeemed him. Shambo was used badly by Russell in Samoa, while Brett quietly almost won the whole season. JT’s win seems to be all Stephen after he got played by Russell in HvV. Let’s not forget the performance art that was RI Philip, crusader Brandon in SP, and Tarzan in One World.

I think of all of them – I put Candice, Sean, Shambo, Judd and Denise ahead of Abinormal on my list of worst successfully players. I actually felt badly for PBP who had his boot episode dominated by her. It was rather anticlimactic for him as the staggered immunity challenge (top 5 make the first cut, then top 3) left him and Abinormal out in the first round and no drama as to who was going home. PBP and Abi tried to scramble up with a pretty good plan – take out Malcolm and in the process a good player and two idols (Abi plays hers, and Malcolm eats his). It is essentially the Hantz/Tyson strategy – but no one was as dumb as Tyson here. They had no capital to use to get the plan to work. No one wanted to hear it. Plus – should someone like Scoopin’ go for it, he would be on the outs in the next TC as Penner/Denise/Carter would be linked up and he would have to talk Blair into re-joining Abinormal. A very tough sell.

A couple of other things that came to mind this week – Blair saying she has a hard time with breakups. No kidding. No wonder Facts of Life went on for so long! Remember those horrible boutique episodes at the end? Plus, she just ended her marriage before the season began – so that claim had real double meaning.

Also, Penner. I love you man, but when someone comes to you with a F4 plan for when you are a F6, you say yes. Even if you don’t mean it. All of a sudden with this inexplicable strategy choice, Penner went from an real chance at making the end, to the likely F5 boot (Carter going sixth). If that holds, imagine at the first episodes of the season if you were told Blair and Scoopin’ would be the last Tandang, that Matsing would have two in the end, and Kalabaw would be no more. By the way, this F4 is bad for Scoopin’ – there is no matchup for him with those three where he wins the vote at the end. None.

Anyway, I’ll add that if I am ever on Survivor and I win a reward I will come back with a) a very short summary of the trip that uses few adjectives, and b) table scraps for those who didn’t go. With that, I will go right into the Treemail as I write in the dark while sharing a bed in a hotel room with my kid who is continually kicking me in the shin under the covers.

What’s Hot on TV Friday and Saturday – Frosty the Snowman

We've only had one really light snow here so far, yet it's already time for the yearly showing of Frosty the Snowman. It just doesn't seem right. Catch up with your favorite shows you may have missed at TV-Links.


1. College Football. Syracuse at Temple. 6:00 PM CT ESPN 2

2. College Football. Nebraska at Iowa. 11:00 AM CT ABC

3. College Football. LSU at Arkansas. 1:30 PM CT CBS

4. College Football. Utah at Colorado. 2:00 PM CT FX

5. College Football. West Virginia at Iowa State. 2:30 PM CT ABC

6. College Football. Washington at Washington State. 2:30 PM CT Fox

7. College Football. South Florida at Cincinnati. 6:00 PM CT ESPN

8. Frosty the Snowman. The cartoon that tells the same story of the song, the original from 1969 with Jimmy Durante narrating. 7:00 PM CT CBS

9. Last Man Standing. Ed wants to reunite with his ex, even though they have been divorced twice, and Kristin isn't too sure about getting Mandy a job at the diner. 7:00 PM CT ABC

10. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. Sure, this song is a fun one to sing once or twice a year, but did we really need an animated version of the story in this song? 7:00 PM CT CW

11. Happiness Is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown. The gang tries to help Linus give up his security blanket. 7:00 PM CT Fox

12. Frosty Returns. It's a 1995 continuation from the earlier version, with Jonathan Winters hosting this time, and John Goodman providing the voice of Frosty. 7:30 PM CT CBS

13. Malibu Country. Reba gets upset when her ex gives Cash a new sports car for his birthday, and Lillie Mae tries get a worried and pregnant Kim to calm down. 7:30 PM CT ABC

14. Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas. After sneaking into Santa's sleigh on Christmas Even, Hoops, Yoyo and friend Piddles disrupt the time-space continuum. 8:00 PM CT CBS

15. The Happy Elf. An elf's enthusiasm is tested when he tries to bring Christmas joy to a town called Bluesville. 8:00 PM CT CW

16. Killer Karaoke. Series premiere. Steve-O hosts this game of contestants singing while going through body waxing, snakes in tanks, and more. 8:00 PM CT truTV

17. Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. In the first half hour, Lori comes back to the shop to help a bride whose sister wants to wear a tiara, and busty bridesmaids provide a challenge. In the second half hour, a bride's best friend could be her worst enemy, another bride's best friend hates every single dress, and another best friend refuses to wear a strapless gown. 8:00 PM CT TLC

18. Ghost Adventures. Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin travel to Kansas City, MO to investigate the historic Union Station – the site of a famous massacre with many unexplained apparitions since. The crew records visual evidence of an apparition without a reflection in the marble floors, along with audio evidence and other anomalies. 8:00 PM CT Travel Channel

19. It's a Spongebob Christmas. It's Plankton's Christmas wish to get the Krabby Patty formula by turning everyone bad with jerktonium-laced fruitcake. 8:30 PM CT CBS

20. Person to Person. The guests are Drew Brees, Alicia Keys, Sean Penn, and Gabby Douglas. 9:00 PM CT CBS

21. Dateline NBC. A hitman murder plot is created by a marriage spoiled by lust and greed. 9:00 PM CT NBC

22. 20/20. A woman and her kids adjust to life outside of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. 9:00 PM CT ABC

23. Brides of Beverly Hills. In the first half hour, an eccentric bride renewing her vows gets help from her fourth husband and an ex to choose a gown, and a bride's fighting family has to come together to help her pick a dress. In the second half hour, a limousine mogul, his fiancé, and bodyguard look for a blinged-out dress, and a former Baywatch star comes in looking for a sleek and dress for a vow renewal 9:00 PM CT TLC

24. College Football. Arizona State at Arizona. 9:00 PM CT ESPN


1. College Football. Michigan at Ohio State. 11:00 AM CT ABC

2. College Football. Tulsa at Southern Methodist. 11:00 AM CT FX

3. College Football. Georgia Tech at Georgia. 11:00 AM CT ESPN

4. College Football. Rutgers at Pittsburgh. 11:00 AM CT ESPN 2

5. College Football. Bayou Classic from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Grambling State vs. Southern. 1:30 PM CT Fox

6. College Football. Texas Tech vs. Baylor. 1:30 PM CT Fox

7. College Football. Auburn at Alabama. 2:30 PM CT CBS

8. College Football. Florida at Florida State. 2:30 PM CT ABC

9. College Football. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma. 2:30 PM CT ESPN

10. College Football. Wisconsin at Penn State. 2:30 PM CT EPN2

11. College Football. Stanford at UCLA. 6:00 PM CT Fox

12. College Football. South Carolina at Clemson. 6:00 PM CT ESPN

13. College Football. Missouri at Tedas. 6:00 PM CT ESPN 2

14. Made in Jersey. Nolan and Martina who is a surrogate for her comatose sister, and Martina's sister wrongfully accuses . 7:00 PM CT CBS

15. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. After a several year absence, Harrison Ford is back as archaeologist Indiana Jones. This time he's searching for the Crystal Skull of Akator. 7:00 PM CT NBC

16. College Football. Notre Dame at USC. 7:00 PM CT ABC

17. Naughty or Nice. Krissy Kringle is a beautiful young woman who nonetheless rejects everything positive about the holiday season. Things really start falling apart as Christmas approaches. Krissy gets mistakenly delivered a crusty old book titled Naughty or Nice that’s filled with blank pages. She doesn’t think anything of it, until she recites someone’s name to the book and it suddenly springs to life, exposing the naughty deeds of those around her. 7:00 PM CT Hallmark

18. Too Cute! Ragdoll kittens plate with a German Shepherd, and miniature Australian shepherds get cozy with ducklings. 7:00 PM CT Animal Planet

19. Welcome to Sweetie Pie's. The cast discusses their lives both in front and behind the camera. 8:00 PM CT OWN

20. 20/20 on TLC. In the first hour, Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped, and for the next eighteen years endured abuse as she was kept in a shed. 8:00 PM CT TLC

21. Finding Nemo. Whoever though fish could be this lovable? A father loses his son and searches the ocean for him with the help of a very wordy, forgetful fish. Voices of Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres. 8:00 PM CT Starz

22. 48 Hours. A convicted killer's son tries to prove his dad's innocence. 9:00 PM CT CBS

23. Wedding Band. Tommy gets asked to watch Eddie's kids and plans a bachelor party for Rachel's fiancé. 9:00 PM CT TBS

24. Iyanla, Fix My Life. A couple's marriage is hindered by trust and abandonment issues. 9:00 PM CT OWN

25. Pit Bulls and Parolees. Tia hurries to save a dog and her puppies, and a loyal parolee's major life event leaves Tia reeling. 9:00 PM CT Animal Planet

26. College Football. BYU at Washington State. 9:30 PM CT ESPN 2