The Most Important Shows on TV: Week of December 22, 2014

Which TV series will your friends (and the entire internet) be talking about this week? Stay informed—or at least be able to fake it—with SideReel's (admittedly rather Scrooge-like) weekly guide to The Most Important Shows on TV.


One Direction: The TV Special

One Direction: The TV Special

Tuesday at 8:00pm on NBC

Why: Teens worldwide demand it! They can't get enough of Harry, Zayne, Giles(?), Cecil(?), and the other one(?). (I don't know, maybe one of them is Niall? Or Gareth? Wait, no, Gareth is in Los Campesinos! Whatever.) ANYWAY, NBC has nothing else to put on this week, so they've given the boy one-ders (ed. note to/from self: classic That Thing You Do! reference, Leah) a television special. 

Prepare to talk about: Which one is the "cute" one; which one dated Taylor Swift (they all did, maybe?); why One Direction gets a broadcast TV special when neither the Backstreet Boys nor 'NSYNC got one, and they were AMERICAN, and NBC went on to give Carson Daly a job, for god's sake. Carson Daly. Just noodle on those things, OK?


Doctor Who: S8E13

Doctor Who (Christmas Special)

Thursday at 6:15pm on BBC One and 9:00pm on BBC America

Why: Doctor Who has been making Christmas specials for roughly 10,000 years. Yes, they were making them before television was even a thing (before Britain was even a thing, really) and it's basically the only thing you can count on on Christmas because it's not like you can count on your family (or so I hear; I'll be off eating latkes).

Prepare to talk about: Whether you're feeling Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor; how the Brits really invest in Christmas television programming while Americans don't, and what that says about our respective cultures; why Nick Frost is playing Santa Claus when he has the perfect real-life name to play something seasonally appropriate. 



Call the Midwife: S3E9

Call the Midwife (Christmas Special)

Thursday at 7:50pm on BBC One and 8:00pm on PBS

Why: Because this is a lovely, warm show that also features a bunch of nuns as main characters. I mean, if ever a show was made for Christmas specials, it's Call the Midwife.

Prepare to talk about: Whether this year's heartwarming/heartwrending tale can match last year's polio yarn; whether it's the same without Jenny (hint: she was the worst, so it's actually way better); how Chummy and Sister Evangelina are the best, and how they should have their own spin-off buddy comedy show.



Leah E. Friedman is the editor of She wishes you all a happy merry. You can follow her musings on Twitter.


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