Monday: The O.C.
With the decade drawing to a close this week, isn’t it about time we give the proper respect to Josh Schwartz and The O.C.? The best teen series of the aughts lasted only four seasons (and one of those seasons was unwatchable), but it made a huge mark on popular culture. Could Laguna Beach, The Hills, The Real Housewives franchise, Gossip Girl, Chuck or even the C-list fame of Mischa Barton even exist without The O.C.? We say no! The second season of the show was an up and down affair—and a clear step back from the perfect first season—but the gem airing on SOAPNet this afternoon more than makes up for any shortcomings. Entitled “The O.Sea,” the episode centers on prom night (the nerd gets the girl!), has room for a guest appearance from George Lucas (random!) and ends with a montage set to Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Chrismukkah may be over, but there’s no reason you can’t still celebrate with the Cohen’s. [SOAPNet, 1 p.m.]
While you were sleeping, The Blind Side became one of the biggest hits of the entire year. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet (or for those of you who want to relive the story from the comfort of your own couch), ABC’s 20/20 is offering “the real story” behind the film. So instead of Sandra Bullock’s brassy portrayal of Leigh Ann Tuohy, the Tennessean mother who took in a homeless boy and helped turn him into an NFL superstar, you’ll get the actual Leigh Ann Tuohy. But don’t worry fans, Ms. Bullock and her on-screen husband, Tim McGraw, make appearances as well. Might we suggest having some Kleenex ready? [ABC, 10 p.m.]
Wednesday: Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2
Since the DVD combining both volumes of Kill Bill that Quentin Tarantino has been teasing us with since the release of the first film back in 2003 has yet to materialize, we’ll have to settle for this impromptu back-to-back showing on IFC to get our kung-fu fighting fix. For the record, we prefer the crackling part one, which offers some of Mr. Tarantino’s most inspired filmmaking, to the more mature and talky part two. And obvious kudos to Uma Thurman, in a performance that was wrongly ignored by Oscar voters, for mixing the vengeful bride with equal parts sass, smarts, pathos, humor and total badassary. That’s not a word, but thanks to Ms. Thurman, it should be. [IFC, 8 p.m.]
Thursday: Jersey Shore
We had been reluctant to start watching the latest television lobotomy from MTV, but why fight against something so delectable? Whether or not Jersey Shore is actually real is beside the point. This show—which is quite possibly the beginning of the 2012 apocalypse—is hilarious, ridiculous and impossible to turn away from. Where else can see someone refer to himself as “The Situation” in a serious manner? No doubt as a gift to people like us (think: anti-social), MTV is airing a new episode of this living train wreck on New Year’s Eve, meaning we don’t have to head out to overpriced bars to encounter loads house music, fist pumping and hair gel. [MTV, 10 p.m.]
Friday: The Twilight Zone
Call us old fashioned, but New Year’s Day wouldn’t be New Year’s Day without a trip into The Twilight Zone. From the ball drop until January 2, SyFy is airing a marathon of the classic series, which means you can dip in and out as you please. However, for those of you looking for some guidance, make sure to check out “Time Enough At Last” (airing at 10:21 p.m.), the old chestnut starring Burgess Meredith, the apocalypse and a pair of fragile reading glasses. Cue the music! [SyFy, all day]
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