“A Very Murray Christmas”
Friday, Dec. 4 (Netflix)
Special: Not a “holiday variety show” in the traditional sense, because it’s directed by Sofia Coppola, so you know it’s going to get weird: When Bill Murray’s grand plans for a Christmas cabaret show at the Carlyle Hotel are dashed as Manhattan is hit by an even grander blizzard, he puts on the show anyway for the hotel guests and staff, because he’s Bill freakin’ Murray. Braving the storm and pitching in are George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Rudolph, Chris Rock, Jenny Lewis, David Johansen and, for no apparent reason, French awk-pop band Phoenix (told you it would get weird). Finally, a reason to look forward to Christmas!
Monday, Dec. 7 (NBC)
Series Debut: Former “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria can do funny (check out her brief stint last year on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), and telenovelas (Spanish soap operas) are already inherently ridiculous, so how could “Telenovela” possibly go wrong? First of all, it’s on NBC, a network that hasn’t instilled an ounce of comedy confidence in a looong time; the recent “Superstore” is at least a (weak) step in the right direction. Second, “Voice”-loving Middle America may not be ready for a bilingual sitcom that will involve “reading” and “paying attention.” Still, the behind-the-drama setup of a famous telenovela starlet who can’t speak Spanish herself is a great hook, on which Longoria and her equally funny castmates deliver like this show has already been on for years. If “Telenovela” fails at night, maybe just slip it into the daytime lineup, NBC.
“Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter”
Monday, Dec. 7 (Adult Swim)
Miniseries Debut: When small Vermont town Garrity (“B&B Town, USA!”) is terrorized by a killer werewolf, they call in the one man with the skills to put down the hairy menace: Neon Joe (Jon Glaser, “Parks & Recreation”), an eye-patched mercenary with attitude to match his overkill weaponry, a near-indecipherable Cajun accent and a florescent jumpsuit that would make it seemingly impossible to sneak up on anything — but he’s just that good. Neon Joe began as a random joke Glaser once tossed out on “The Tonight Show,” and has now come to fruition as worthy entry into Adult Swim’s legacy of wacko live-action series — fans of “The Heart, She Holler” and “Eagleheart,” this is for you; all others, best go to bed early.
“The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”
Tuesday, Dec. 8 (CBS)
Special: Remember the days when this commercialized jigglefest was denounced and protested as a threat to children, morality and America’s soul itself? Now, it’s just another holiday tradition. Filmed in New York City weeks ago, this year’s edition features the traditional $2 million Fantasy Bra as well as musical guests Selena Gomez (the obvious commercial pick), Ellie Goulding (the kinda-indie oddity) and The Weeknd (because nothing says “half-naked party” like limp Canadian R&B). Sure, it’s ridiculous, but if you don’t tune in … the terrorists have already won. CV
Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on the TV Tan Podcast, and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.