A heaping helping of TV thanks (and marathons)

Amy Robinson
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In keeping with the theme of the day, I'll take this Thursday's column to give thanks for my TV. Not my actual TV set, per se, although I am thankful for that, but more for some of the things about TV for which I am grateful.For instance, I am thankful for sitcoms that make me laugh, like "Parks and Recreation," "Up All Night" and "Modern Family." (That's not a complete list, by the way - just my top three.)I am thankful that "Chuck" was granted a stay of execution so it could be wrapped up appropriately instead of being forced to end on a season-turned-series finale cliffhanger.I am thankful for "Breaking Bad," the best show on TV, and for "The Walking Dead," another great show that's worthy of sharing the "Breaking Bad" timeslot. (It will disappear temporarily from there, though, with a midseason finale at 9 p.m. Sunday, preceded by a season marathon at 2:30 p.m.).As a subset of this, I am thankful to "Breaking Bad" for creating and growing the roles of Jesse, played to perfection by Aaron Paul, and Gus, played by a sublimely evil Giancarlo Esposito. Ditto "The Walking Dead," for unleashing Norman Reedus as Daryl, a role he was born to play.I am thankful for the USA Network. Although some of its older shows don't rank as high on my list of favorites as they used to, and I'm not crazy about some of the new additions, it is still the most consistently enjoyable network around.Above all of these, I'm thankful for my DVR because, without it, I would miss most of the shows I just mentioned.I put off getting DVR for a really long time. "I have a VCR that works just fine," I said. "Why should I pay even more for my cable than I already do?" I said.Now that I have it, though, I will never give it up. It is worth every penny that it adds to my monthly bill.I love that I can elect to record whole seasons on it. This way, I don't have to worry if I'm late or gone when my shows are on or if their timeslots or airdates get shifted around.I also love that I can watch my recorded shows in whatever order I want, as opposed to the order they're recorded like on a VCR. I'm a big fan of having mini-marathons whenever I get a few episodes of shows stored up.Most of all, I love that I can fast forward through commercials on it. That has completely spoiled me.When I do watch shows as scheduled or on Suddenlink's On Demand and fast forwarding isn't an option, I've got one last thing I am very thankful for -- my remote's mute button.Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

nnnThanksgiving weekend marathons

Starred (*) networks are Amy's recommendations.A&E: "The First 48," 8 a.m. Thursday; "Storage Wars," 7 a.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday; "Criminal Minds," 5 p.m. Sunday. Animal Planet: "Hillbilly Handfishin,'" 9 a.m., and "Tanked," 5 p.m. Thursday; "I Shouldn't Be Alive," 9 a.m., and "Fatal Attractions," 5 p.m. Friday.*BBC: "Star Trek: The Next Generation," 8 a.m. Thursday; "Top Gear," 8 a.m. Friday; "Battlestar Galactica," 6 a.m. Saturday; "Kitchen Nightmares," 6 a.m. Sunday.*BET: "My Wife and Kids," 8 a.m., and "Reed Between the Lines," 5 p.m. Thursday; "The Parkers," 8 a.m. Friday; "Everybody Hates Chris," 9 a.m. Saturday; "The Bernie Mac Show," 10 a.m. Sunday.Bravo: "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," noon Thursday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday; "The Millionaire Matchmaker," 11 a.m. Friday; "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," 10 a.m. Sunday.
*Cartoon Network: "Tom and Jerry," 9 a.m. today.Comedy Central: "Tosh.0," 6:30 p.m. Saturday.Discovery: "American Guns"/"Sons of Guns," 9 a.m. Thursday; "Gold Rush: Alaska"/"Gold Rush," 9 a.m. Friday; "Deadliest Catch," 11 a.m. Saturday.Disney XD: "Kickin' It," 11 a.m. and "My Babysitter's a Vampire," 7 p.m. today; "Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil," 5 p.m. Friday.Hallmark: Christmas movies, 3 p.m. Friday until 10 a.m. Monday.
History Channel: All start at 8 a.m. "Swamp People," Thursday; "American Restoration," Friday; "Pawn Stars," Saturday; "American Pickers," Sunday.*Hub: Muppet movies, 1 p.m. today.*Ion: "Criminal Minds," 4 p.m. Friday; Christmas movies, 1 p.m. Sunday.Lifetime: Christmas movies, 9 a.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. Friday, noon Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.*MTV: "Awkward," 11 a.m. Friday. (Amy's top pick.)Nickelodeon: "Friends," 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday; "SpongeBob SquarePants," 7 a.m. Friday.Oxygen: "Roseanne," 7 a.m. Thursday; "The Glee Project," 10 a.m. Friday; "Snapped," 4 p.m. Sunday.*Syfy: James Bond movies, 8 a.m. today and 8:30 a.m. Friday; weather disaster movies, 9 a.m. Saturday.TBS: Tyler Perry shows and movies, 9:30 a.m. Friday.Teen Nick: All start at midnight. "All That," Thursday and Sunday; "Hey Arnold!," Friday; "Kenan & Kel," Saturday.TLC: "Cake Boss"/"Cake Boss: Next Great Baker," 6 a.m. Thursday; "Say Yes to the Dress" and wedding specials, 6 a.m. Friday; "48 Hours Mystery," 1 p.m. Saturday; "Sister Wives," 2 p.m. Sunday.*TNT: "Bones," 10 a.m. Thursday.Travel Channel: "Man vs. Food"/"Man vs. Food Nation," 9 a.m. Thursday; "Ghost Adventures," 8 p.m. Saturday.TruTV: "Full Throttle Saloon," 9 a.m. Friday; "Most Daring"/"Most Shocking," noon Saturday.*TV Land: "The Andy Griffith Show," 8 a.m. Thursday; "Hot in Cleveland," 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.*USA: "NCIS," 10 a.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Sunday.WE: "Braxton Family Values," 10 a.m. Thursday; "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," noon Friday; "Ghost Whisperer," 10 a.m. Saturday; wedding shows, 10 a.m. Sunday.

nnnSitcom series premieres: "Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse," 10 p.m. Friday, TBS (based on Perry's film "Why Did I Get Married?"); "The Exes," 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, TV Land (divorced guys live in an apartment owned by their lawyer/landlord; stars several sitcom veterans); "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Fox (best friends raise their spoiled kids).Reality series premieres: "Real Deal," 9 p.m. Sunday, History Channel (selling collectibles); "Scouted," 10 p.m. Monday, E! (aspiring models); "America's Supernanny," 9 p.m. Tuesday, Lifetime (monstrous children); "Baseball Wives," 9 p.m. Wednesday, VH1 (players' current and former ladies); "Secretly Pregnant," 9 p.m. Wednesday, TLC (women hide pregnancy until birth).Season premieres: "Kourtney and Kim Take New York," 10 p.m. Sunday, E!; "Cake Boss: Next Great Baker," 9 p.m. Monday, TLC; "One Born Every Minute," 10 p.m. Tuesday, TLC; "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood," 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oxygen; "Hot in Cleveland," 10 p.m. Wednesday, TV Land; "Full Throttle Saloon," 9 p.m., and "Black Gold," 10 p.m. Wednesday, TruTV.Returning: "Leverage," 9 p.m. Sunday; "The Closer," 9 p.m., and "Rizzoli & Isles," 10 p.m. Monday, all on TNT.Season finales: "ThunderCats," 8:30 p.m. Friday, Cartoon Network; "The Walking Dead," 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC (midseason; season marathon starts at 2:30 p.m.); "Our America with Lisa Ling," 10 p.m. Sunday, OWN; "The Sing-Off," 8 p.m. Monday, "Ringer," 9 p.m. Tuesday, CW (midseason); NBC; "Sons of Anarchy," 10 p.m. Tuesday, FX (part one of two).Thanksgiving specials: "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," 9 a.m., NBC; "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," 8 p.m., ABC; "Ice Age Mammoth Christmas," 8 p.m., Fox; "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving," 9:30 p.m., ABC (Lady Gaga performances, interview and more); "The 85th Anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," 10 p.m., NBC (retrospective; repeats at 8 p.m. Saturday).Christmas specials: "Hoop&Yoyo Ruin Christmas," 8 p.m., and "The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf's Story," 8:30 p.m. Friday, CBS; "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," 8 p.m., and "Olive, the Other Reindeer," 9 p.m. Friday, CW; "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," 8 p.m., and "Shrek the Halls," 8:30 p.m. Monday, ABC; "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 8 p.m. Tuesday, CBS; "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," 8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC (music and lighting of the plaza's tree); "Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa," 8 p.m. Wednesday, CW.Specials: "National Dog Show," noon Thursday, NBC; "Punkin Chunkin 2011," 8 p.m. Thursday, Discovery (pumpkin launching contest); "Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown," 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Fox; "Snoopy, Come Home," 9 p.m. Friday, ABC Family; "America's Cutest Pet," 9 p.m. Saturday, Animal Planet; "Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith," 9 p.m. Sunday, ABC (TV movie adapted from his book); "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show," 10 p.m. Tuesday, CBS.Music specials: "Crossroads: Sting and Vince Gill," 8 p.m. Thursday, CMT; "Great Performances: Il Postino from LA Opera," 9 p.m. Friday, PBS; "2011 Soul Train Awards," 9 p.m. Sunday, BET (pre-show at 8 p.m.); "Grammy Nominations Concert Live," 10 p.m. Wednesday, CBS (with performances by Lady Gaga, Sugarland, Rhianna and more).Of note: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 6 a.m., and "Beauty and the Beast," 8 a.m. Friday, Disney; MTV tributes to Ryan Dunn, starting at 10 p.m. Monday; William Shatner is Juliet's con-man dad on "Psych," 10 p.m. Wednesday, USA.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com.

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