TV CRITIC’S CORNER
Brian Bowen Smith/Fox
There’s no one way to New Year. Everyone does it a little differently.
You’ve got your boozy crews of nacho-destroying boomers kicking it old school around the miniature Times Square of a single screen in some unlucky family room; you’ve got your way tipsier millennial mobs packing noisy bars and blurring the whole concept by watching a million balls drop over a million poorly synchronized livestreams; and, of course, you’ve got your people who just want to pop some Veuve, throw on an adult onesie and the video fireplace from Netflix, and let the New Year wash over them until Netflix chimes in to ask if I’m still watching video fireplace. Yes Netflix, I’m trying to relax.
But what kind of New Yearer are you? And what New Year’s Eve broadcast aligns with your needs as a stay-at-home reveler? Wasn’t this going to be the year about your needs? Jim? Wasn’t it?
Here are your best options.
ABC’s got the traditional semi-hardened regifted fruitcake of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2018” (whew), and the aforementioned Seacrest will be joined by the invisible spirits that haunt him ever since he sipped from the grail, as well as Jenny McCarthy and (yay!) Ciara! The centerpiece will certainly be Mariah Carey’s redemption performance, but there will also be appearances from Nick Jonas, Camila Cabello, Kelly Clarkson, Imagine Dragons, Britney Spears, and more. That starts at 8.
If that doesn’t sound rockin’ enough, PBS has the “Austin City Limits Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve,” which will feature the induction of Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash, and the Neville Brothers, as well as music from Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Brandi Carlile, Raul Malo, Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, and others. Plus, Chris Isaak hosts. So, you know. There is that. Starts at 11.
Meanwhile, Fox will throw “New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey,” a welcome stretch of family time with America’s premier purveyor of chagrin. Harvey and cohost Maria Menounos will be live from Times Square with musical interruptions from Maroon 5, Zac Brown Band, Backstreet Boys, Macklemore, Flo Rida, Celine Dion, and Neil Diamond. And yes, I just stuck Celine’s name in there like that wasn’t a big deal. To be clear: It’s always a big deal.
If you prefer your New Year’s festivities locally sourced, you can find First Night Boston coverage on NECN (6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.) and NBC, as well as on Telemundo Boston from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Or, you know, there’s going outside.
And if the weather outside is frightful but you still require some major shade, I’m not sure what could be more appropriate than CNN’s attempt to salvage its beloved “New Year’s Live” with Anderson Cooper and comedian Kathy Griffin, after the two permanently defriended each other over the latter’s objectively tacky presidential beheading photo. (’Memba?!)
For this year’s iteration, (starting at 8 p.m. on Sunday) Cooper will be joined by Bravo head and Merv-in-the-making Andy Cohen, who greeted word of his hire with the grace you’ve come to expect. Then again, if you’re really dying to watch a couple of uptight gay men ring in the new year with minimal surprises, just Skype me. (No commercials.)
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