Spend all week stuck on the roof because the ladder fell down while you were hanging the Christmas lights? Here's what you missed on TV.
Amazing People, Barely Adequate Racers
On The Amazing Race, goat farmers Josh and Brent have spent nearly the entire race being the next-to-last team to cross the finish line, meaning they've repeatedly only barely escaped elimination. Still, they remain one of my favorite teams, if only for scenes like Brent demonstrating Lamaze breathing to Josh, who has severely injured his ankle. "Thank you," says a bewildered but patient Josh after his boyfriend huffed and puffed like he's hyperventilating. "But it still hurts." These guys are an adorable couple, but I still want self-deprecating Chippendales dancers James and Jaymes to win.
Once a season or so, Bones decides to experiment with its standard form: some of those off-pace episodes are among my favorites. But the series' 150th episode, seen from the eyes of a 14-year-old victim -- literally, as nearly the entire episode was shot from a camera inside the dead adolescent's skull -- was quite likely the show's worst episode ever. This resolutely science-based show is rarely so nakedly sentimental; it just didn't work.
The Celebrity Christmas Special Returns
The Voice coach Blake Shelton is among the celebrities reviving the old tradition of the celebrity Christmas special, but his Not-So-Family Christmas Special was a surprisingly nervy take on the normally squeaky-clean holiday turf. The highlight came during an extended Claymation sequence in which Blake and guest star Larry the Cable Guy accidentally kill Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer on a hunting trip. The situation quickly devolves into something akin to one of the old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials as reimagined by Quentin Tarantino.
Speaking Of Christmas Stars
Earlier this year, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon struck viral comedy gold when Fallon, house band The Roots and guest Carly Rae Jepsen recreated the Canadian pop star's ubiquitous hit "Call Me Maybe" with the sort of instruments you'd find in an elementary classroom. Lightning struck twice when guest Mariah Carey dropped by, dressed in a skintight red evening gown, to perform her seasonal smash "All I Want For Christmas Is You" with Fallon, The Roots and their toy noisemakers. It was the most effortlessly charming the diva has been in years.
Lashing Out For Attention
On The X Factor, Demi Lovato appeared to be in a mood where Simon Cowell's act Emblem3 was concerned, calling them "a downgraded version of The Jonas Brothers five years ago," among other cutting remarks directed at both the group and Cowell himself. Unfortunately, like every other "controversial" thing about this far too tame season, Lovato's disses sounded planted and rehearsed, as if the show's producers were desperate to start some sort of buzz about this blah competition.