Feed Your DVR: 12/14/14 to 12/20/14

Sunday, December 14th – Once Upon a Time wraps up its Frozen storyline as the residents of Storybrooke struggle to recover in the aftermath of the Snow Queen’s destruction. The big question is if Hook will survive to continue his romance with Emma, or if Gold’s grip on his heart will send him the way of Sheriff Graham. (ABC, 8pm)

Monday, December 15th – Syfy continues its return to its space roots with Ascension. Starring Battlestar Galactica alum and science fiction queen Tricia Helfer, this three-night miniseries imagines an alternate present where, back in 1963, a group of people set off into space to find lands to colonize in order to ensure the survival of the human race. Fifty years later, the first murder takes place on board, threatening the future of the project and all involved. If the miniseries is well-received, Ascension could go to series. Read more about the world of the Ascension in this interview with Helfer, and watch tonight. (Syfy, 9pm; Part Two airs Tuesday, 12/16 at 9pm & Part Three airs Wednesday, 12/17 at 9pm)

Tuesday, December 16th – MasterChef Junior comes to a close tonight with a culinary battle between Samuel, a 12-year-old from California who carries himself with the poise of a 19th century British aristocrat, and Logan, an 11-year-old from Tennessee with an aw-shucks attitude and an impish grin. If you believe “reality” television is real, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, but the positive and uplifting edit on this show makes it an inspiration for foodie kids and excellent family viewing. If tonight leaves you hungry for more, you’re in luck – season 3 starts January 6th. (FOX, 8pm)

Wednesday, December 17th – After a couple of dynamite seasons, the 29th installment of Survivor turned out to be a relative non-starter, due to tepid gameplay and a bland cast. However, competitor Natalie managed to inject some unexpected excitement in the past two episodes by stepping up her strategy (seeking sweet revenge) and making some big moves. Will the San Juan del Sur finale be a nail-biter or a bust? (CBS, 8pm; reunion show at 10pm)

Thursday, December 18th On October 17, 2005, former Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert launched his own show, introducing us to “truthiness” and the frequent absurdity of the American way. The Colbert Report, his brilliant and incisive award-winning satire, comes to a close tonight as Colbert begins his preparations to take over The Late Show in 2015. On a personal level, I’m bummed the show didn’t last long enough to complete the map on “Better Know a District”. The final guest is slated to be “Grimmy”, aka the Grim Reaper, but there’s sure to be a few final surprises up Colbert’s impeccably tailored sleeves. (Comedy Central, 11:31pm)

Friday, December 19th – Another day, another reality television season finale. The Amazing Race finale begins with four teams still in the running for the $1 million prize as they head to Los Angeles for their final leg. The Wrestlers, Soul Surfers, Dentists, and Sweet Scientists will duke it out with no mandatory rest period, ensuring some raw nerves and bared emotions as they speed toward the final flag. (CBS, 8pm)

Saturday, December 20th – Saturday Night Live finishes up 2014 with Amy Adam’s second time hosting, coinciding with the release of her new film Big Eyes, in which she gives a Golden Globe-nominated performance. She hosts opposite musical guest One Direction, guaranteed to keep more tiny tots’ eyes aglow than Santa’s impending visit. (NBC, 11:30pm)

Streaming Pick of the Week – One of the most timely and well-crafted miniseries in recent years comes to Netflix on December 18th. The Honorable Woman, a BBC/SundanceTV co-production featuring a spellbinding Golden Globe-nominated turn from star Maggie Gyllenhaal, tackles the difficult task of delving into the human and geopolitical costs of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. While the ten-episode run hits some snags in pacing in its middle episodes, the emotional and heartbreaking conclusion means that we stick by our initial assessment of the show as “tense, riveting television“. As you watch, check out our episode recaps from its original US airing.

Selected Holiday Specials: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (12/14 & 12/15, AMC, 8pm); It’s a Wonderful Life (12/14, USA, 8pm); Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014 (12/14, ABC, 9pm); Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) (12/14, ABC Family, 9pm); The Great Christmas Light Fight (12/15, ABC, 8pm); The Year Without a Santa Claus (12/15, ABC Family, 8pm); The Polar Express (12/15, ABC Family, 9pm); Charlie Brown Christmas (12/16, ABC, 8pm); Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas (12/16, NBC, 8pm); Home Alone (12/16, ABC Family, 8:30pm); Michael Bublé’s Christmas in New York (12/17, NBC, 8pm); White Christmas (12/17, AMC, 8pm); A Christmas Carol (1999) (12/17, TNT, 8pm); The Sing-Off Holiday Special (12/17, NBC, 9pm); The Santa Clause (12/17, ABC Family, 9pm); The iHeart Radio Jingle Ball (12/18, CW, 8pm); Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (12/18, AMC, 8pm); Fred Claus (12/18, ABC Family, 8:30pm); The People Magazine Awards (12/18, NBC, 9pm); Scrooge (12/18, TCM, 9:15pm); Elf (12/19, ABC Family, 8pm); Christmas in Washington (12/19, TNT, 8pm); Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (12/19, PBS, 9pm); A Home for the Holidays (12/19, CBS, 9pm); National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (12/19, ABC Family, 10pm); I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (12/20, ABC, 8pm); The Nativity Story (12/20, AMC, 8pm); CMA Country Christmas (12/20, ABC, 9pm); Christmas Icetastrophe (12/20, Syfy, 9pm)

Also Premiering This Week: Undercover Boss (12/14, CBS, 8pm); Hart of Dixie (12/15, CW, 8pm)

Upcoming Finales: Jane the Virgin midseason (12/15, CW, 9pm); NCIS midseason (12/16, CBS, 8pm); NCIS: LA midseason (12/16, CBS, 9pm); The Voice season finale (12/16, NBC, 9pm); White Collar series finale (12/18, USA, 9pm); Covert Affairs season finale (12/18, USA, 10pm)