You've finished eating your Thanksgiving turkey, you're rocking a massive tryptophan high, and now you've planted yourself on the couch to begin your long digestion. You could take this time to contemplate your gluttony, or you could flip on the TV and partake in any number of the Thanksgiving Day marathons cable TV offers up to aid and abet your slothfulness. After all, to paraphrase Bobby Moynihan’s Guy Fieri when talking about reading, watching TV is like eating for your eyes. But what to watch? Basically, there's enough to satisfy fans of The Godfather, Star Trek, Friends, Bond, and, yes, even Fieri himself, who can take you to Flavortown in a marathon of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives starting Friday.
Here's a handy guide to all the viewing possibilities that await you. But, you know, do consider physical activity sometime.
MARATHONS BEGINNING THANKSGIVING DAY
Bond Movie Marathon (SYFY) – Nov. 22 at 12am-Nov. 24 at 5:30am—Most of the films in the franchise will be broadcast, starting with the 007 caper that started them all, 1962’s Dr. No and ending with Daniel Craig’s first two turns in the tux, 2006’s Casino Royale and 2008’s Quantum of Solace.
Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 7 Marathon (BBC AMERICA) – Nov. 22 at 12pm-Nov. 23 at 6am, While maybe not representative of the show at its height, Season 7 has its share of classic episodes including “Genesis,” “Parallels,” “The Pegasus,” and a the series finale that’s one of the best eps of any Trek ever, “All Good Things…”
Friends Marathon (TBS) – Nov. 22 from 11am-6pm. Hope your family gathering is as fun as spending time with Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and company. If not, here ya go!
“Thanksgiving With Your Godfather” Marathon (AMC) – Nov. 22 at 11:30am-Nov. 23 at 4:30am. AMC’s offering up two consecutive broadcasts of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. Wise choice to leave out Part III on Thanksgiving Day, considering how that movie has been known to ruin appetites.
Swamp People Marathon (HISTORY) – Nov. 22 from 8am-2pm.
Hatfields & McCoys (HISTORY) – Nov. 22 at 6pm-Nov. 23 at 4am. The unexpected miniseries smash starring Kevin Costner and Bill Pullman will be replayed in full.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Marathon (OXYGEN) – Nov. 22 at 2pm-Nov. 23 at 2am.
Duck Dynasty Marathon (A&E) – Nov. 21 at 6pm-Nov. 22 at 4am. If you haven’t already gorged enough on turkey.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Marathon (TLC) – Nov. 21 at 6pm-Nov. 22 at 6am.
Cake Boss Marathon (TLC) – Nov. 22 from 6am-11am
Breaking Amish Marathon (TLC) – Nov. 22 from 11am-9pm.
Castle Marathon (TNT) – Nov. 22 from 10am-11pm.
Friday Night Lights Marathon (ESPN CLASSIC) – Nov. 22 from 1pm-8pm.
NCIS “Gibbs That Keeps On Giving” Marathon (USA NETWORK) – Nov. 22 at 6am-Nov. 23 at 6am. Tomorrow’s celebration of the venerable CBS procedural follows a marathon today highlighting the best episodes from season three.
Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles Marathon (BRAVO) – Nov. 22 from 12pm-6pm.
Finding Bigfoot Marathon (ANIMAL PLANET) – Nov. 22 from 9am-7pm.
Wicked Tuna Marathon (NATGEO) – Nov. 22 from 9am-6pm.
Tattoo Nightmares and Ink Master Marathons (SPIKE) – Nov. 22 from 9am-8pm. Six episodes of Tattoo Nightmares, then eight episodes of Ink Master.
Restaurant Impossible Marathon (FOOD NETWORK) – Nov. 22 from 10am-4pm.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 23 MARATHONS
Band of Brothers Marathon (SPIKE) – Nov. 23 from 9am-4:45pm. Oddly enough, Spike has decided only to air the second half of the acclaimed 2001 miniseres about U.S. soldiers fighting their way across Nazi-occupied Europe in World War II. Why? They need to save as much time as they can for…
Star Wars Marathon (SPIKE) – Nov. 23 from 7pm-1:55am; Nov. 24 from 9am-12:56am; Nov. 25 from 12:45pm-10:50pm; Nov. 26 from 2pm-11:30pm. Spike trots out a Star Wars marathon every time there’s a holiday. You might want to wait until Saturday, to switch over, though. They’re not going to get to A New Hope until then, with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi not airing until Sunday.
The Millionaire Matchmaker Marathon (BRAVO) – Nov. 23 at 12pm-Nov. 24 at 2:30am.
Doomsday Preppers Bugged Out Marathon (NATGEO) – Nov. 23 at 9am-Nov. 24 at 3am. Hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving, if you really think it’s going to be your last!
Fringe Marathon (SCIENCE) – Nov. 23 at 10am-Nov. 24 at 3am; and Nov. 24 at 10am-Nov. 25 at 3am.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Marathon (FOOD NETWORK) – Nov. 23 from 12pm-10pm.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 24 MARATHONS
Law & Order: SVU Marathon (USA NETWORK) – Nov. 24 at 1pm-Nov. 25 at 2am.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Marathon (BRAVO) – Nov. 24 from 1pm-7pm.
What will you be watching?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Paramount]
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In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.