We Like to Watch: Dec. 27th – Jan. 2nd, 2011

Ring in the New Year with Rudolph, Cheap Trick and MANswers.

There’s a lot of TV options to choose from. Too much for any one person to completely monitor, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to do our best to sift through all the listings and figure out what you should be watching every week…with all the highlights, lowlights and guilty pleasures you can stand.

Monday, Dec. 27th

10:00 p.m. Black Ops Brothers: Howe & Howe Tech (Discovery)

Don’t let the midseason name change fool you; this is still Howe & Howe Tech, the show about two brothers building crazy armored vehicles for the military. As much as Discovery wants to fool you, the Howes have nothing to do with the wildly popular Call of Duty: Black Ops. We still wouldn’t mind riding around on some of the terrain-destroying vehicles they dream up, but the name switcheroo is a bit on the dubious side.

Tuesday, Dec. 28th

8:00 p.m. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (ABC)

What was up with those Rankin and Bass guys? As we get older, it becomes wildly apparent that they were working through some issues with their stop-motion holiday films. Take this one, for instance: A bunch of people make fun of a baby’s large ears so much that he runs (crawls) away from home. At that point, it’s up to a mutant reindeer to find the baby before time gets literally stuck on December 31st in what we can only assume is an annoying version of Groundhog Day. That’s a lot for a kid—and some grownups—to process, but we still watch the damn thing every year.

Wednesday, Dec. 29th

8:00 p.m. Undercovers (NBC)

Yep, the J.J. Abrams-created spy drama is still on (for a little while, at least). Though it’s officially been cancelled, NBC seems to be throwing different episodes on the air here and there as filler. Fans of the show will be happy to know this is one of the remaining unseen eps, while newbies starved for fresh televised entertainment in this mostly dry week will also have something to kill time with.

Also on Wednesday

10:30 p.m. MANswers (Spike)

MANswers finally tackles two important questions that we’ve long troubled ourselves over: Can Vodka save lives, and what effects do laptops have on sperm counts? There’s a few others packed into the half-hour show, but those are the ones we’re most concerned about as we sip our martinis while sitting in our boxers looking at Katy Perry pics online.

Saturday, Jan. 1st

9:30 p.m. Austin City Limits (PBS)

What better way to celebrate the new year than by watching Cheap Trick show off their still-potent rock chops on ACL? (Aside from keeping the party going, of course.) If you’re taking it easy that night or just waiting to head out, give the “Surrender” songsmiths a shot and they’ll show you a thing or two about being awesome. They want you to watch them.


Saturday, Jan. 1st

11:00 p.m. Tournament of Roses Parade (NBC)

The beauty of the Tournament of Roses is that it’s a parade full of flowers which gives your ladyfriend something to look at before the marathon of college football-watching that takes place the rest of New Year’s Day (and with the current bowl system, well into the next week). Technically this is a Silver Lining for her, but it’s cool; you’ll probably still be hung over from the night before. It’s a win-win! Especially for the Ibuprofen.


Friday, Dec. 31st 

Every damn channel after 10 p.m. or so

Back in the day, you had one choice when it came to televised ringing in of the New Year, and that was Dick Clark. Thanks to whatever deal he’s made with the devil, good ol’ Dick is still around, helping to rock in the New Year on ABC. But he’s not alone. Carson Daly does the same on NBC (both start at 10:00 p.m., break for the 11:00 news, and come back at 11:30). Bravo’s Andy Cohen-hosted Watch What Happens Live starts at 10:30 (might want to avoid that one). Then at 11:00 p.m., Fox, BET, MTV and even the Gameshow Network all have their own countdowns. If you like the festivities but prefer things with more of a political bent, head over to either CNN, with returning hosts Anderson Cooper and pottymouthed Kathy Griffin (above), or Fox News’ All American New Year, depending on how crazy you are. Whatever you wind up watching—or if you happen to pass out well before the Snooki-filled ball drops—have a safe, non-sober one!