Welcome to The GBU, a weekly column coming every Monday where I look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly on TV.
With winter comes a brief hiatus for most TV shows, but if you look hard
enough, there's plenty of new programming to get you through those long
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Here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of December television.The Good: Scripted Cable Shows
The major networks might take a break from scripted shows, but cable doesn't. Many of my personal favorite cable shows are back for December, and here's a quick guide of where and when to find them. I'll be watching and loving all of them.Psych
: Wednesdays at 10pm on USA (with the special Twin Peaks episode on December 1) Burn Notice
: Thursdays at 10pm on USA with a special two-hour episode December 16 at 9pmThe Closer
: Mondays at 9pm on TNT starting December 6Leverage
: A Christmas special on Sunday, December 12 at 9pm and the two-hour season finale on Sunday, December 19 at 9pm on TNTEureka
: A Christmas special on Tuesday, December 7 at 9pm on SyfyWarehouse 13
: A Christmas special on Tuesday, December 7 at 10pm on SyfyDoctor Who
: A Christmas special on Saturday December 25 at 9pm on BBC AmericaThe Bad: The Sing-Off Season 2
If you look up the word "irrelevant" in the dictionary, you'll find a photo of The Sing-Off
's second season. Why NBC decided to bring back the group a cappella singing competition is anyone's guess. Even more questionable is the decision to bring back host Nick Lachey, who is the opposite of sexual napalm.
There are also no rules of eligibility from what I can tell. The groups of season 2 include Jerry Lawson, who's released more than 25 albums since 1970 with his old group The Persuasions, two girls who competed on the first season of The Sing-Off
, and the Whiffenpoofs, Yale University's internationally renowned all-male a cappella group.
While NBC's painful attempt to ride Glee
's coattails is often awful, there are glimmers of genuine greatness. As bad as most of the premiere is, I encourage everyone to watch the Whiffenpoofs' performance of Mika's "Grace Kelly." It's what you'll find if you look up the word "fantabulous" in the dictionary. The Ugly: Skating with the Stars
When I heard that ABC was doing an ice skating version of Dancing with the Stars
, my first thought was of Jesus on the cross asking "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Ballroom dancing is hard enough, but training pseudo-celebrities to figure skate is like asking a bear to ride a tricycle.
It would all be worth it if the level of talent were at least interesting. Instead, we get an aging rock star, certifiable '80s actress and a bunch of people you've never heard of. When the most recognizable current celebrity is one of the Real Housewives of NYC
, there's a big problem.
Add in the family unfriendly judging of Johnny Weir and you have a recipe for disaster. Of course I'm still watching, but only out of hope for a tremendous fall or, possibly, a Tonya Harding-style clubbing.(Images courtesy of TNT, NBC and ABC)