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A select viewing guide for Thursday, December 6
COMEDY Are You Being Served? Vision, 8:30 p.m. Not a big fan of slick network laughers like The Big Bang Theory or 30 Rock? For viewers of a certain age, Thursday-night comedy begins and ends with this classic British sitcom originally broadcast from 1972 to 1985. For the uninitiated, the premise follows the daily routine in the men’s and ladies apparel section of Grace Brothers, a fictional department store in downtown London. The cast of terribly English characters ranges from the man-hungry Mrs. Slocombe (Mollie Sugden) to the dense manager Mr. Rumbold (Nicholas Smith). In tonight’s holiday-themed episode, the staff attempt to curry favour with management by staging the store’s annual Christmas party for children. The big mistake: Subjecting the kiddies to a Punch and Judy show.
COMEDY Parks & Recreation (Citytv, 8:30 p.m.; NBC, 9:30 p.m.) You never know what’s beneath the surface with good old Jerry. As portrayed by the genial Jim O’Heir, the career bureaucrat quietly performs his duties in the Pawnee Parks and Recreation department, but every so often he throws his co-workers a curve. Remember last season when he shocked everyone with his nude oil painting of office manager Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). Well, in tonight’s new episode, Jim has them talking again when he throws a holiday party at his home. Half the staff are miffed at not being invited; the other half are stunned to discover that Jim’s wife (Christie Brinkley) is a knockout.
COMEDY The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.) Speaking of holiday parties, tonight finds the working stiffs at Dunder-Mifflin gearing up for the annual Christmas soiree. Unfortunately the party-planning is at loggerheads, which paves the way for the slightly unhinged Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to swoop in with his plans for a traditional “Schrute German Christmas.” In other news, Jim plans for his big trip to Philadelphia while Pete (Jake Lacy) schools gullible Ellie (Ellie Kemper) on the feelgood holiday message of Die Hard.
DRAMA Elementary (CBS, Global, 10 p.m.) Knockout U.S. ratings have made this rookie crime drama the favourite child at CBS this festive season. The Sherlock Holmes reboot recently received a full-season order and, more importantly, was named as the show to fill the coveted high-profile timeslot following CBS’s coverage of the Super Bowl next February. In tonight’s new episode, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) deploys his usual deductive reason to find out who killed a New York college professor. At the same time, his sidekick Watson (Lucy Liu–yes, Watson is now a lady) receives a panicky call from a former lover who requires her help.
MOVIE Days of Heaven (TCM, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT) Auteur director Terrence Malick established his now trademark sumptuous cinematic style in this acclaimed 1978 drama. Set in 1917, the story casts Richard Gere as Bill, a Chicago steel worker who kills his bully boss in a fit of anger. With girlfriend Abby (Brooke Adams) and her sister in tow, the trio flee to the Texas panhandle where they find employ as seasonal workers on the farm of a wealthy rancher (Sam Shepard) on death’s door. When the rancher falls hard for Abby, Bill pushes her to marry him so they can inherit his money. As with the best-laid plans of mice and steelworkers, their scheme unravels in the worst manner imaginable.