view from the couch

on the tube
Winter means some changes to our TV routine. Some shows end, some begin and there are plenty of holiday specials to keep us toasty warm at night (but more on those a bit later). We’ll start with the bad news first: finales. Over on MTV, The Hills and The City wrap up their season on December 1st. Also at the finish line are Sons of Anarchy (FX, December 1), Sherri (Lifetime, December 1), The Amazing Race (CBS, December 6), Rita Rocks (Lifetime, December 7), The Real World/Road Rules Challenge (MTV, December 9), Top Chef (Bravo, December 9), Lobstermen (Discovery, December 11), So You Think You Can Dance? (Fox, December 16), Crash (Starz, December 18), Brothers (Fox, December 27) and Dinner with the Band (IFC, December 29). We’ll see you guys next fall! . Stargate Universe (Syfy, December 4), White Collar (USA, December 4) and Glee (Fox, December 9) are having their fall/winter finales this month, which means we’ll most likely see them again soon (think late spring, early summer). . Last but certainly not least, we bid a fond farewell to our favorite neurotic detective, Monk, who solves his last case on December 4th. The USA staple has made for great TV for eight seasons. . In happier news, several shows will be having their season premieres this month. We’re most looking forward to the return of ABC’s comedies Scrubs (December 1) and Better off Ted (December 7). Also returning are The Closer (TNT, December 7), Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… (Sundance, December 9), Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!, December 13) and The Real World (MTV, December 30). . Three new shows hit the airwaves this month. Over on Bravo, Launch My Line (December 2) pairs established designers with industry professionals to create fashion lines. Each week the teams will be put to the test and then judged before a live studio audience. Also premiering are Men of a Certain Age (TNT, December 7), series about three men navigating middle-age, and The Sing-Off, an a capella singing competition. . Non-holiday related specials this month include The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (CBS, December 1), The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! (CBS, December 2), Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction (HBO, December 6) and Alice, a 2-part mini-series airing on Syfy December 6th and 7th.

holiday tv happenings
The major networks are cramming their December schedules with as many holiday specials as they can. Three will air over on ABC with Lanny and Wayne the Christmas Elves in Prep & Landing (December 1), Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special (December 13) and Jennifer Hudson: I’ll Be Home for Christmas (December 14). CBS will get into the act on December 11th with Yes, Virginia, an animated version of the classic Christmas story. Over on Fox Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special promises to bring Brad Paisley, Kristin Chenoweth and David Cook to the same stage to spread some Christmas cheer. Finally NBC presents two great specials: Christmas in Rockefeller Center 2009 (December 2) and Saturday Night Live: SNL Xmas 2009 (December 17). Both promise to be must-see TV.

Terminator Salvation (Rated R)
Night at the Museum: Battle of the
Smithsonian (Rated PG)
Into the Storm (Not Rated)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Rated PG)
Julie & Julia (Rated PG-13)
Public Enemies (Rated R)
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season (Not Rated)

The Hangover (Rated R)
Inglourious Basterds (Rated R)
G Force (Rated PG)
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Rated G)
Taking Woodstock (Rated R)

District 9 (Rated R)
It Might Get Loud (Not Rated)
(500) Days of Summer (Rated PG-13)
All About Steve (Rated PG-13)

A Perfect Getaway (Rated R)
Jennifer’s Body (Rated R)
9 (Rated PG-13)