The Week in DVR: It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas! Plus, The Deer Hunter, The New World, and Brad Pitt Too

Monday: The Sing-Off We can’t be the only ones who’ve noticed that all of our favorite shows are in repeats

Monday: The Sing-Off

We can’t be the only ones who’ve noticed that all of our favorite shows are in repeats till 2010. Which, clearly, isn’t that far away and all, but we still can’t help but feel like there is some sort of network conspiracy against those of us with zero holiday plans. Which brings us to a brand new show that debuts tonight, The Sing-Off.  Apparently, the Peacock network looked around at Fox’s American Idol and Glee successes, and came up with this one, billed as “The Ultimate A Cappella Competition.” Which is…well…wow. This will be happening over the next three nights with a finale on Dec. 21. Contestants include the MA-based Beelzebubs (you know you’re cool if you’re named after a John Milton poem) who will be performing “Right Round.”  Have we mentioned that Ben Folds and Boys II Men’s Shawn Stockman are judges and Nick Lachey is the host? Are we having a stroke? Oh, and in case there was any doubt, we’re totally watching this. [NBC, 8 p.m.]

Tuesday: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Oh, it just wouldn’t be Christmastime without a little Charlie Brown Christmas! This special has aired on television every year since it premiered in 1965. Don’t you love how Charlie Brown gets depressed over the holidays? Since we’re assuming everyone has seen this at least a dozen times, here are some fun facts: this was the first primetime special made from Peanuts; the guy who produced and directed it, Bill Meléndez, also is the voice of Snoopy; Peter Robbins, who is the voice of Charlie Brown, was 9 years old when he recorded this film, and now works in real estate. So while it’s no It’s The Great Pumpkin or anything, we dare you to find anything better to watch tonight. [ABC, 8 p.m.]

Wednesday: The New World

Terrence Malick does not make a lot of movies. But you know what? When he does, you should really watch them.  The New World, from 2005, is crazy long (150 minutes) but also sort of insanely beautiful. And if you get can past the whole what-the-hell-is-happening-and-is-this-how-history-goes moments, and Colin Farrell totally looking like Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, then you will most likely find yourself incredibly moved. Oh, and Christian Bale (so angry!) is the other man vying for Pocahontas’ affection! [IFC, 5:35 p.m.]

Thursday: The Deer Hunter

Speaking of long, beautiful, and ultimately emotionally harrowing movies, settle in with all 182 minutes of 1978’s The Deer Hunter. What is there really to say about this classic, except that it quite rightly won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Oh, and everyone is awesome in it including Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale and Meryl Streep (the real life fiancée of John Cazale who was dying from bone cancer at the time of shooting, and passed away before the film was finished). Here are more facts: director Michael Cimino has said that Robert De Niro requested a real bullet for the famed Russian Roulette scene (oh, you wacky method actors!); Christopher Walken lived on only bananas, water, and rice before filming the third act; and John Cazale only was able to make five movies in his short life, but all of them were nominated for Best Pictures (Godfather 1 and II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, and, of course, The Deer Hunter). [IFC, 9 a.m.]

Friday: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

When cinema history takes a look back at 2007, and they should –- this is the year where just about every movie that came out between September and December was amazing —  we think our peeps from the future will wonder why more of a fuss wasn’t made over the fantastic Assassination of Jesse James. Sure, the title is long and so is the running time (160 minutes), but you’ll have a hard time finding a finer, more beautiful film to watch tonight. Plus, the cast includes Sam Rockwell, Casey Affleck, The Hurt Locker’s Jeremy Renner, The Road’s Garrett Dillahunt, Bright Star’s Paul Schneider,  and some up-and-comer name Brad Pitt. Watch this movie! [HBO, 3 p.m.]


The Week in DVR: It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas! Plus,  The Deer Hunter, The New World, and Brad Pitt Too