There are empty calories on the tube this weekend as well. Gorge on Michael Jackson, LiLo, "SVU," "90210" and more
To help you survive the long Thanksgiving weekend in close quarters with your relatives, here’s a guide to what’s worthwhile on TV this holiday.
“Michael Jackson: Bad25” (Thursday, 9:30 p.m. EST, ABC)
On the 25thanniversary of the release of Michael Jackson’s epic “Bad,” Spike Lee has assembled a documentary about the making of that album. It features interviews with everyone from Martin Scorsese (who directed the “Bad” video) to Sheryl Crow (who sang a duet with Jackson on the record) to the less directly involved Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber and Kanye West. There’s also behind-the-scenes footage of the King of Pop hard at work (how did he do that leaning dance thing?). Watching a man in his prime hard at work should help you digest your enormous dinner, right?
“Liz and Dick” (Sunday, 9 p.m. EST, Lifetime)
Lindsay Lohan plays Elizabeth Taylor in this made-for-TV movie about the scandalous, explosive romance between Taylor and Richard Burton. If just reading “Lindsay Lohan plays Elizabeth Taylor” makes you ill, skip it, but if you can stomach it, you’re in for a camp classic that’s totally terrible in a totally fun way.
“Trapped in the Closet” (Thursday, Friday, various times, IFC)
Concerned that your Thanksgiving will not have enough R. Kelly in it? IFC is here to to help. The channel will be airing “Trapped in the Closet,” R. Kelly’s 23-chapter music and music video melodrama, for days. On Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the network will air Parts 1 and 2 of “Trapped” over and over and over again, leading up to the Friday night premiere of Part 3 of Kelly’s magnum opus.
James Bond Marathon (Thursday, starting at 9:30 a.m EST, SYFY)
Starting at 9:30 Thursday morning, you can curl up with James Bond in his many iterations, from Connery through to Craig. The marathon picks up again on Friday, so you can stay cozy on the couch while someone else runs around trying to save the world.
“Friday Night Lights” Marathon (Thursday, starting at 1 p.m EST, ESPN Classic)
Clear eyes, full stomachs, can’t lose.
“How It’s Made” Marathon (Thursday, starting at 6 a.m. EST, Science)
There is nothing more soothing/interesting than this show, which, as titled, shows you how things are made. Things being made on Thursday include corn tortillas, crankshafts, fish decoys, bike wheels, swords, latex swords, pontoons, grandfather clocks, pork pies, frosted cereal, ski goggles, cranes, waffles, diesel engines, radar guns, felt, ballpoint pens, tubas, chocolate coins, beef jerky, bowling pins, tapioca pudding, handcuffs, fish replicas and pitted prunes.
“Awkward” Marathon (Friday, from 9 a.m., MTV)
If you have never made time for MTV’s very charming (really!) high-school series “Awkward,” about a not-that-awkward teenage girl, here’s your chance. It’s airing until 10 p.m.
“The Godfather” Marathon (Thursday, starting at 11:30 a.m. EST, AMC)
If you would like to spend Thursday with “The Godfather” and not your godfather, AMC is airing Part 1 and Part 2 and then Part 1 again of Coppola’s masterpiece.
“90210′s” Kelly and Dylan-centric Marathon (Friday, starting at 8 p.m. EST, SOAPnet)
There is probably no television love triangle I have stronger feelings about than “90210’s” ’90s-era Brenda-Dylan-Kelly pickle (Team Brenda, forever and always), so I would be remiss in not mentioning this marathon to you, even though it fixates on the wrong couple. You can catch Kelly and Dylan make up and break up for six hours starting on Friday night.
“Star Wars” Marathon (Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. EST, SPIKE)
If you spent the early part of the holiday arguing about what a terrible idea “Star Wars VII” is, you can spend Saturday bulwarking your argument by forcing family members to sit through the more recent “Star Wars” trilogy. The original “Star Wars” arrives at 7:30 p.m., so you should be able to get the Jar-Jar Binks taste out of your mouth.
Other relevant comfort-TV marathons:
“Friends” Marathon (Thursday, Starting at 11 a.m, TBS)
“Law & Order: SVU” Marathon (Saturday, starting at 1 p.m EST USA Network)
“Extreme Couponing” Marathon (Sunday, starting at 2 p.m EST, TLC)
“Storage Wars” Marathon (Sunday, starting at 4 p.m. EST, A&E.)
“Sex and the City” Marathon (Sunday, starting at 5 p.m. EST, Style Network)
Willa Paskin is Salon's staff TV writer. More Willa Paskin.
More Related Stories
- Ray Manzarek, founding member of The Doors, dies at 74
- Beware of book blurbs
- Did a Salon excerpt ruin Penn Jillette's chance to win "Celebrity Apprentice"?
- Zach Galifianakis to take formerly homeless woman to "Hangover 3" premiere
- Seth MacFarlane will not host Oscars again
- "SNL's" uncomfortable Garner/Affleck moment
- "Celebrity Apprentice" finale ratings hit a new low
- Worst National Anthem fails
- The truth in Kanye's anti-prison rap
- Stephen Colbert to UVA: "You must always make the path for yourself"
- "Game of Thrones," season 3, episode 8: A salon
- Bieber booed, Miguel falls on fan at Billboard Awards
- "Mad Men" recap: Love, acid and whores. Lots of whores
- Taylor Swift leads Billboard winners
- “Game of Thrones” recap: “We must do our duty”
- "The Unwinding": What's gone wrong with America
- Michael J. Fox wins: The best and worst of the new fall shows
- First look: The Coens' marvelous folk-music odyssey
- New York's most persecuted subway artist?
- James Franco: "I really felt I was in conversation with Faulkner"
- "Jodorowsky's Dune": The sci-fi classic that never was
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11