BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS
THE SOUND OF MUSIC: SING-A-LONG
ABC, 7:00 p.m. ET
Last night, NBC repeated its 2013 Sound of Music Live!
television adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical, starring Carrie Underwood. Tonight, ABC trumps that, and wins the holiday pot, by rebroadcasting the 1965 movie version of that same Broadway musical. This one, of course, stars Julie Andrews, and doesn’t require a spoonful of sugar to swallow it. It arrives plenty sweet enough as is.
HBO, 7:55 p.m. ET
In this fact-based 2013 war drama, four Navy SEALS are stuck in the mountains of Afghanistan, isolated from reinforcements, when their routine-sounding mission devolves into an unexpected battle against a veritable army of Taliban fighters. Peter Berg directed and is co-writer, and the stars include Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch. The latter, of course, worked with Berg before, on the TV version of Friday Night Lights.
But don’t get too attached to both of these leading roles, because the title doesn’t bode well.
TREASURES FROM THE DISNEY VAULT
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET
Here’s an exciting new occasional offering from TCM: dipping into the Disney vault for vintage treasures, just like they used to do on The Mickey Mouse Show.
Tonight’s dip into the Disney archives begins at 8 p.m. ET with a trio of vintage shorts, starting with 1932’s Santa’s Workshop.
At 8:30 p.m. ET comes 1954’s The Disneyland Story,
the preview for the still-under-construction California theme park, which opened Disney’s cannily cross-promotional ABC series Disneyland.
And at 11 p.m. ET – pay attention, Baby Boomers – TCM presents Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier,
a movie compilation of episodes, starring Fess Parker, made for the Disneyland
series as one of television’s first miniseries. And stay up late, or set your recorders, for 12:45 a.m. ET, when the evening continues with 1954’s The Vanishing Prairie,
one of those early Disney nature films that, while unabashedly manipulative in its storytelling and editing, probably had as much to do with the birth of the environmental movement as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.
Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE: You’ve got to give credit to this season’s villain, Haqqani, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but with the right human shield to protect him. First it was Saul, whose presence prevented Haqqani from being obliterated by a bomb strike. Then, last week, it was Carrie, whose presence at the scene of Quinn’s planned bombing of Haqqani’s vehicle allowed him to drive away unscathed from that potential assassination as well. But the person Carrie saw in the back of Haqqani’s car – that means trouble, and leads to the climactic confrontation back home in the States. It’s been a very strong, rebounding season, so this is one to make an effort to watch.
Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE: Whether you watch this season finale depends upon how drawn you’ve been by the interlocking, often contradictory love story that, by tonight’s episode, takes back seat to a detective story. Whether the questions are answered to your satisfaction will depend – on both what you’re expecting, and how the show delivers.