What's Worth Watching: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Gilmore Girls, Poldark, Insecure and more for Friday, Nov. 25 thru Sunday, Nov. 27
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Friday, 8/7c, NBC): 50 years young, Chuck Jones’ classic animated version of the Dr. Seuss story remains one of the very best Christmas specials of all time. (It’s No. 1 on my own personal list, though A Charlie Brown Christmas is close.) In recent years, the greedy network grinches have stolen precious minutes from the show to make room for more commercials. This year, in commemoration of the milestone, NBC presents the entire 26-minute story without cuts. Almost makes your heart grow several sizes.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Friday, Netflix): Forget Black Friday. This is a time of pure joy, as we return to Stars Hollow for four seasonal chapters that reunite Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel) and newly widowed Emily (Kelly Bishop) with the lovably quirky denizens of Stars Hollow. It’s a homecoming fans will relish, though the level of whimsy is so high you might want to pace yourself. (Good luck getting any fan to do that.)
Poldark (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Capping a tumultuous second season of this wildly romantic period drama, the finale finds Ross (Aidan Turner) on a financial upswing for a change yet emotionally bankrupt, wondering if the fiery Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) will ever forgive him for his transgression. As grand passions play out against the crashing waves of Cornwall, there’s a sense that going to war might be more peaceful than toughing things out at home. Will Ross put on his regiment’s uniform again?
Insecure (Sunday, 10:30/9:30c, HBO): The first season of this endearingly bawdy comedy wraps with Issa (Issa Rae) desperately trying to win back the affections of her BFF Molly (Yvonne Orji) during an all-girls’ getaway to Malibu, where everyone’s having more fun than Issa. Doesn’t help that she’s also waiting by the (cell) phone for her estranged boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis) to reconnect, if he can ever get over her betrayal with Daniel (Y’lan Noel). Issa may not be perfect, but I’m going to miss her.
Inside Weekend TV: Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance narrates Nat Geo Wild’s Savage Kingdom (Friday, 9/8c), which depicts deadly power struggles in a drought-stricken region of Africa. In the two-hour opener, lion queen Matsumi and king Sekekama take on all rivals: leopards, wild dogs and hyenas. The second hour focuses on Saba, a quietly lethal leopard predator. … Pianist Lang Lang’s performance of the original 1924 jazz band arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is a highlight of Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody (Friday, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org), a musical love letter to New York featuring guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor, Suzanne Vega, violin show-stopper Lindsey Sterling, and more. … CBS News’s 48 Hours goes inspirational this holiday weekend with “Live to Tell: The Long Road Home” (Saturday, 10/9c), the first-person account of European basketball star Sebastien Bellin’s eight-month ordeal of recovery after being injured during March’s terrorist attacks in Brussels. … Erykah Badu hosts BET/Centric’s Soul Train Awards (Sunday, 8/7c), with Brandy receiving the second annual Lady of Soul award, and Teddy Riley anointed with the Legend Award. Performers include Bobby Brown, Candice Boyd, MA$E and many more. … It’s election day on CBS’s Madam Secretary (Sunday, 9:30/8:30c, 9 PT), which really just sounds like something that’s too soon to fictionalize.