The Week in DVR: Ron Howard’s Best, a Heavenly Father Goes Bad and Chefs Head to Napa!

2008 mamma mia 006 0 The Week in DVR: Ron Howards Best, a Heavenly Father Goes Bad and Chefs Head to Napa!Monday: Home for the Holidays

Is anyone out there suffering from a little post traumatic thanksgiving stress disorder? We understand! And, we suggest you check out 1995’s Home for the Holidays. Holly Hunter stars as a single parent (her daughter is played by Claire Danes, who mainly just chatters about wanting to lose her virginity!) who was recently fired after having an affair with her boss and slinks home for Thanksgiving. Her gay brother is (a truly excellent) Robert Downey Jr.; her stuck-up sister is played by Cynthia Stevenson; her mother is the great Anne Bancroft  and Dylan McDermott shows up to add a little sexual intrigue. Along with Little Man Tate, this is the second and most recent movie directed by Jodie Foster. Do more, Jodie! Oh, and if you happen to enjoy random trivia as much as we do: the filming of the Thanksgiving dinner itself took more than ten days, with 64 turkeys, 20 pounds of mashed potatoes, 35 pounds of stuffing, 44 pies, 30 pounds of sweet potatoes, and 18 bags of mini-marshmallows. Thanks, Wikipedia! [8 p.m., WGNAME]

Tuesday: Parenthood

We defy anyone to come up with a better putting-the-fun-in-family-dysfunction movie like 1989’s Parenthood–for us, Ron Howard’s very best. Steve Martin, Diane Wiest, Harley Kozak and Amadeus’s Tom Hulce star as four very different siblings, each with slightly messed up kids. Jason Robards is the patriarch! Martha Plimpton dates a dummy by the name of Keanu Reeves! Joaquin Phoenix was still credited as Leaf! Oh, it was a better time indeed. In addition to some serious sentimental sniffling, there are some good sight gags (that’s not a flashlight, it’s a vibrator!), excellent dialogue, balloon animals, and a kid named Cool.  What more could you people possibly want? [2:15 p.m., ENC]

Wednesday: Top Chef

It’s part one of the finale of this season of Top Chef, which sends our little white coats out of Las Vegas to Napa, which can only be seen as an improvement. Here’s who we still got left in this race: the very cute ginger-beard Kevin, who must really cook some delicious meals as he keeps winning on seemingly simple dishes. Which brings us to the Voltaggio brothers, who we still can’t totally tell apart except that one of them brings an extra serving of hate to every dish he touches. Seriously, these dudes are mad! And, the lone lady cheft-testant is Jennifer, who seems to be losing her mind but we’re hoping she pulls it together in California. Can’t wait to see Tom’s Northern California clothes! [10 p.m., Bravo]

Thursday: Private Practice

It’s embarrassing enough to still be watching Grey’s Anatomy (no judgments, us too!), now how about copping to that Private Practice habit? While the show has never retained the tension of last season’s cliffhanger (which revolved around a baby getting ripped out of Amy Brenneman), it still has pretty people to look at, like Tim Daly and Taye Diggs, and we’re interested in who else is left for Kate Walsh to hook up with. But first! Tonight is a very special episode, two hours long, and staring Stephen Collins as Addison’s slimy rich bastard father. Which is some awesome casting as Mr. Collins is the uber-Christian good dad from 7th Heaven. Also? We think Violet sleeps with him, which should really make work unpleasant, especially when JoBeth Williams shows up to play Addison’s mom. Oh whatever,  there isn’t a new episode of Grey’s on till 2010. [9 p.m., ABC]

Friday: Mamma Mia!

Where to begin with this one? We’re guessing with Meryl Streep, who truly is the greatest actress of all time, and proves it by really  going for it on this movie. She sings and dances, and is totally believable as a woman who slept with three men, all in one short time frame, making it impossible to know who the father of her grown-up daughter is, played by Big Love’s Amanda Seyfried (who we love and think should be a very very big star). The three daddy contenders are played by Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgård (real life father of super hot Eric from True Blood) and Christine Baranski shows up just to be awesome. We just can’t stress enough how truly bananas this movie is. Like, it is maybe the craziest thing in the entire world? If you don’t take drugs, trust us, you won’t need ‘em to feel loopy while watching. Also, how was Meryl Streep not cast in Nine? [7 p.m., HBO]