Screen gems

 

The week ahead at the movies and on TV

Big screen

Opening Friday

This Is 40 (R): Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their bickering couple from Knocked Up for director Judd Apatow’s comic exploration of middle age, parenthood and marriage.

Jack Reacher (PG-13): Christopher McQuarrie ( The Way of the Gun) directs Tom Cruise in this film based on Lee Child’s bestselling series about a military-trained loner who investigates the crimes of a homicidal sniper. There will be conspiracies. And car chases.

T The Guilt Trip (PG-13): Barbra Streisand plays an overbearing mother making life impossible for her son (Seth Rogen) during a cross-country trip.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (PG-13): A sliver of a plot — something involving alternate universes — is merely an excuse to see the jaw-dropping circus troupe on the big screen — in 3D, even.

Rene Rodriguez

Small screen

Dexter (9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime): Ordinarily, the only way to make TV publicists shut up is to shoot them. But nobody at Showtime will breathe a word about what happens on Dexter’s season finale, which is a pretty solid clue that it’s going to shock the daylights out of us. Is our serial-killing hero going to get caught by that ambitious Captain LaGuerta? Or snuffed by his scorned serial-killing girlfriend Hannah? Or race around the beach in a golf cart, running over sleeping tourists? Just kidding about that one — that would never happen.

Gossip Girl (8 p.m. Monday, The CW): After six seasons, every character has slept with and/or date-raped and/or killed every other character. So there’s nothing left to do but a two-hour series finale in which Serena and Blair move to Tibet and become Buddhist nuns. Hey, it could happen. Don’t you remember Fallon getting kidnapped by a UFO in the series finale of The Carringtons?

1600 Penn (9:30 p.m. Monday, NBC): A sneak preview of a raucous First Family sitcom that won’t join the NBC slate until January. For a full review, see page 1M.

Meet Me in St. Louis (10 p.m. Tuesday, Turner Classic Movies): This 1944 musical directed by Vincente Minnelli is often mischaracterized as a musical-comedy romance. But underneath its sometimes frothy and often witty trappings, it’s a wistful meditation on the inevitable losses that accompany growing up and moving on. The real mood is captured perfectly in Judy Garland’s bittersweet rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Jersey Shore (10 p.m. Thursday, MTV): A Christmas miracle! Jersey Shore has finally been canceled. In the series finale, the steaming entrails of Snooki and the gang are eaten by a rogue tyrannosaurus rex that emerges from a toxic waste dump in Linden-Rahway. Well, anyway, that’s my hope.

Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (8 p.m. Saturday, NBC ) The very first animated Christmas special — it originally aired in 1962 — remains one of the finest, with five terrific songs by Jule Styne and Robert Merrill, including Ebenezer Scrooge’s solitary childhood ballad Alone in The World: A hand for each hand was planned for the world/Why don’t my fingers reach?/Millions of grains of sand in the world/Why such a lonely beach? Don’t worry, buddy, there’s a happy ending. And razzleberry dressing, too.

Glenn Garvin

Let Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin program your TiVo! Just click on his best bets for the week at http://www3.tivo.com/tivo-tco/mix/index.do

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