‘Kids’ and ‘black-ish’ Christmas Episodes, Darci Lynne’s ‘Hometown Christmas,’ HBO’s ‘Momentum Generation’ Surfing Doc
A critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
The Kids Are Alright (8:30/7:30c, ABC): My favorite new family sitcom of the fall season celebrates Christmas, with the rambunctious Cleary house getting even more crowded when Peggy’s (Mary McCormack) successful brother, Tom (Nax Faxon), pays a visit. Mike (Michael Cudlitz) is already jealous, and it gets worse when he rejects the extravagant gift Tom gives the family, to everyone else’s dismay. In a somewhat similar bind, Timmy (Jack Gore) sweats over whether to return the $100 he mistakenly got sent from a great-aunt. (He’d better not go to his avaricious brother, Joey, for advice.)
black-ish (9/8c, ABC): The night’s other Christmas-themed sitcom episode finds the Johnsons clashing over what to see on their traditional Christmas night movie outing. Dre (Anthony Anderson) aims for the high road and a Rosa Parks biopic, but everyone else would rather go to the latest superhero blockbuster. (As if Rosa Parks weren’t a superhero in her own right.) And while the show deserves props for not being yet another Disney informercial, I know what Christmas movie I’m most excited for: Mary Poppins Returns.
Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas (9/8c, NBC): It doesn’t get more wholesome than this. Child ventriloquist/singer Darci Lynne Farmer, winner of America’s Got Talent’s 12th season, gets her own Oklahoma-based holiday special, joined in music and sketches by Kristin Chenoweth, Hunter Hayes, Pentatonix, electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling — and Toby Keith, with whom Darci Lynne visits a local home for children fighting cancer.
Momentum Generation (10/9c, HBO): Riding the perfect wave becomes an emotional roller-coaster for the brotherhood of dudes who compose the “Momentum Generation” — a fabled group of young American surfers, many of them lost boys from broken home, who ruled the sport in the 1990s and helped bring surf culture into the mainstream. This picturesque documentary captures some thrilling surf photography, but it’s the camaraderie of the surfers, recalling their time sharing a group home on Hawaii’s North Shore, that lingers.
Tree of Life: A Concert for Peace and Unity (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Violin great Itzhak Perlman joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a meaningful concert taped on November 27, a month after the tragic shootings at the city’s Tree of Life Synagogue. The free concert of remembrance and reverence also features the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.
Inside Tuesday TV: The CW’s superhero crossover event concludes on Supergirl (8/7c) with Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) joining her cousin, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) in a mighty battle… It’s quite the heartwarming holiday dilemma on CBS’s NCIS (8/7c), when the team finds a newborn baby with no ID while investigating a Navy veteran’s murder. So much for their holiday plans… Billy Burke guests on CBS’s FBI (9/8c) as the former FBI instructor of OA (Zeeko Zaki), who helps his protégé go undercover to stop illegal arms sales.… The winter finale of ABC’s The Rookie (10/9c) presents Officer Nolan (Nathan Fillion) with a career crisis, when a foot chase after a convenience-store robbery turns deadly, and the 40-year-old rookie must come to terms with using lethal force on the job… A special holiday edition of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night (10/9c) brings together TV favorites including Yvette Nicole Brown, Ana Gasteyer, Veep’s Tony Hale, Superstore’s Lauren Ash, The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil and Ron Funches.