What’s Hot on TV Tonight – Parenthood Miracle

Parenthood airs their Christmas episode tonight, and from the previews last week, it looks like it'll be a tearjerker with Kristina ending up in the hospital. A miracle was suggested in the previews, leaving me hoping that they'll borrow some of the formula from the old ER episodes. There's just nothing better than watching miracles on your favorite show to get your in the Christmas mood. Catch up with all the TV you may have missed at TV-Links.

1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The guests today are Naomi Watts and J.R. Martinez. Syndicated, check local listings.

2. NBA Basketball. New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets. 7:00 PM CT ESPN

3. NCIS. After and FBI agent because the target, and and the NCIS team work together, and Gibbs' and Fornell's fiancé spends the night at McGee's, causing rumors to circulate. 7:00 PM CT CBS

4. The Voice. Another elimination, and Chris Mann, Juliet Simms, and RaeLynn perform. 7:00 PM CT NBC

5. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town. It's the one with Mickey Rooney voicing a young Santa and Burgermeister Meisterburger. 7:00 PM CT ABC

6. Hart of Dixie. To avoid visiting her mom, Zoe keeps herself busy with a patient and almost ruins Christmas Eve for the rest of town. 7:00 PM CT CW

7. Raising Hope. Virginia stocks on supplies and makes the others tran for the apocalypse, worried the world will end on 12/21/12, and Jimmy tries to make it a special Christmas for Hope. 7:00 PM CT Fox

8. Giuliana & Bill. Duke's baptism is held in Chicago, Giuliana promotes breast cancer awareness with local charity groups, and the L.A. housewarming is threatened by furniture delays. 7:00 PM CT Style

9. NCIS: Los Angeles. The U.S economy could be impacted by costumed gunmen committing a strange and brazen heist, and Grangers wants a partnership with Kensi, who is hesitant. 8:00 PM CT CBS

10. Take It All. Night two of Howie Mandel's new game show. 8:00 PM CT NBC

11. Happy Endings Two decades in the mattress business is time for a celebration for Jane and Alex's parents, and Max searches for a new best friend. 8:00 PM CT ABC

12. Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. The Muppets accidentally stop three letters from reaching Santa Claus, prompting Kermit and the others to attempt to deliver the letters themselves. Guest appearances include Whoopi Goldberg, Uma Thurman, and Nathan Lane. 8:00 PM CT CW

13. New Girl./span> The group tries to go to multiple holiday parties, all in one night, as Jess hopes to avoid Sam, Nick has a hard time keeping up with his sexually adventurous girlfriend, and Winston goes into a panic when he gets a cranberry stuck in his ear. 8:00 PM CT Fox

14. Rizzoli & Isles./span> A microbrewer is killed as the virtual world and real world collide, Angela begins seeing someone new, and Jane and the rest of the crew mentor underprivileged teens. 8:00 PM CT TNT

15. Little People Big World: Wedding Farm./span> The farm is transformed into a Hawaiian paradise for the seasons last wedding, Matt obsesses over creating a flaming volcano, and Zach and Amy make a huge announcement. 8:00 PM CT TLC

16. Dangerous Grounds./span> The birthplace of coffee. 8:00 PM CT Travel

17. Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. Season finale. Three dancers compete for a Joffrey School of Ballet scholarship. 8:00 PM CT Lifetime

18. Tia & Tamera. Tia and Tamera discuss moments from their personal and professional lives. 8:00 PM CT Style

19. Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. Chloe uses James penthouse for a scam while he's in L.A., June tries teaching her about honesty, and James causes a commotion. 8:30 PM CT ABC

20. The Mindy Project. Mindy holds the office Christmas party at her apartment and is excited her colleagues get to finally meet her boyfriend, and Jeremy takes cares of the distribution of holiday bonuses. 8:30 PM CT Fox

21. NBA Basketball. Los Angeles Clippers at Chicago Bulls. 8:30 PM CT ESPN

22. Vegas. Lamb realizes there is something wrong about a murdered-showgirl case and it resonates with Katherine, and Savino lures other gamblers to the Savoy with a high roller. 9:00 PM CT CBS

23. Parenthood. Kristina and Adam face a health scare, Jasmine and Crosby celebrate their first family Christmas, Sarah is torn between Mark and Hank, and Ryan and Amber have their first problems. 9:00 PM CT NBC

24. Private Practice. Sheldon finds happiness with a new woman and also more suspicious of a the possible involvement of a patient in Sarah's disappearance. 9:00 PM CT ABC

25. Leverage. The team tries to get their hands on a priceless bottle of wine. 9:00 PM CT TNT

26. In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman. A man's partner is driven crazy by his sexual demands. 9:00 PM CT OWN

27. Million Dollar Decorators. Jeffrey's installation of a multi-million dollar beach house grinds to a halt when he discovers his custom designed rugs are nowhere to be found. With their client returning in 24 hours, Jeffrey and Ross must scramble to finish the job. To add insult to injury for the duo, Mary is up to no good and even tries to steal their client away! 9:00 PM CT Bravo

28. Four Houses: Deck the Halls. In a comparison of holiday decorations, it's designer Marie vs. retired firefighter Kevin and philanthropist Dhonna vs. retail coordinator Jason. 9:00 PM CT TLC

29. NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns. The Browns head to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. 9:00 PM CT Bravo

30. Late Show with David Letterman. The guests tonight are Amanda Seyfried, Natalia Makaroca, AWOLNATION, and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards present the Top 10 List. 10:35 PM CT CBS

 

Amazing Race 21 – Finale – You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

The Finale this season is basically two episodes – just as I suspected last week. And boy, I can also see why they chose to structure the season the way they did. It was compelling to see the Hairs deal with their passport problems in Russia and it deserved attention. Now we see why it was especially important to focus so deeply on the descent into travel hell experienced by the Goats and Apprentice. It was to set up this stunning finale. And, seriously Race fans, this was a stunning finale, and one of the best ones. And it ended with one of my favorite final tasks in Show history.

And how many sentences can I begin with “and”? Shrunk and White are going to come find me and conk me on the head with a flagpole, just like Lexi. I’m sorry, Lexi, that just doesn’t get old.

Before we talk about what happened and who won, let’s talk a bit about that final task, and in fact, the series of final tasks in the New York leg of the Race. Because I felt that it was old school racing – tough, but simple tasks that featured local customs and icons. Perfect.

Task 1 – Go to Coney Island. Except they only had a postcard of Coney Island to figure it out. This wouldn’t be too tough to do, especially on a plane full of New Yorkers returning from Paris. The teams piled into cabs and made their way to Coney Island. Just a moment, though, to talk about how the Show continues to figure out ways to send teams to places just before they are hit by massive natural disasters – New Orleans, Sri Lanka, etc. Hang in there, Coney Island.

The clue was cleverly hidden. A series of billboards are lined up outside the park. One has in huge letters across the top – “The Amazing” – with “Houdini” on the bottom. Below the top lettering is a small sign saying to “Race to the Brooklyn Navy Yards.” Nice touch. The Amazing + Race. The teams had many troubles trying to figure that one out.

At the Navy Yards, we had Roadblock #1 where one member had to recreate a Houdini move – dangle upside down and try to remove a straight jacket. I assume the jacket was not really tied tightly or else the method of containment seems rather flawed. It was fun watching them do this one and end with a sudden bungee drop. From here, they had to find the “first pizza place in America.” Any good New Yorker will tell you automatically “Lombardi’s” in Manhattan. These teams had to first get an IPhone to look it up before crossing the river.

Here the Race threw me off – I expected an eating challenge a la the pizza in Chicago during the final leg of Season 6. Instead, teams had to deliver 10 pizzas in three groups to three addresses in Little Italy. This sounds daunting to some, but in reality, Little Italy has been reduced to just a few blocks now as Chinatown has essentially grown exponentially it has replaced it. It couldn’t have been too hard to find those addresses. Now, mixing up the pizzas? That’s another story altogether. In fact, I thought that error was going to be the deciding moment of the Race, as what often happens in the final leg where one error leads to a lead which can never be surmounted.

However, that was not the case. Teams were given a swath of cloth with the UN logo and told nothing else. Instantly, I knew it was the UN logo. However, unlike most of the finalists I can actually name more than half of the countries in the world. No surprise the logo escaped them. Once at the iconic building, teams had the traditional memory challenge to wrap up the season. And they saw it coming too, except this time the show had a simple and diabolical twist.

You say goodbye, and I say hello. Slyly, all season long, the greeters at each Pit Stop has said hello to arriving Racers as they hit the mat, and goodbye as they left. Phil has pointed out to each of them that this is how you say hello and goodbye in the native languages. Well, that throwaway bit of info decided the big prize – teams had to raise flags with the hello and goodbyes from each country, in that order, underneath each flag. No one was prepared for this task. They battled until it became dark before one team was able to figure it out and make their way to the Finish Line at Gotham Hall on 36th Street in Manhattan.

Spoiler after the jump…