Whether snow’s already piling up on your campus or Santa decorations are hanging from sunbaked palm trees over the quad, there’s no mistaking the time of year—that week or so before you have to start seriously cramming for finals.
Fortunately, there’s plenty to distract you from that pressure this week until then. Crucial NFL games, cool basketball and hockey action, and top-tier Blu-ray and video game releases highlight the next few days, while holiday specials light up TV schedules at night. There’s also a hot hip hop album dropping, and a glorious delivery system in place Tuesday night for the ogling of lingerie-clad supermodels. Here are the 14 coolest things to do this week…
Falcons at Packers
Atlanta’s first-place NFC South Falcons travel to Wisconsin to take on the first-place NFC North Packers. Green Bay leads the two teams’ total match-ups, 14-12, but with numbers that close, and Monday Night Football contests for this season dwindling, anything can tonight at Lambeau Field. Don’t miss it.
The Great Christmas Light Fight
ABC’s six-episode showdown between real-life Clark Griswolds who duke it out via monstrous electrical mega-wattage returns for season two. The time, creativity, effort, expense, and exquisite execution displayed by Christmas Light Fight competitors is dwarfed by what can only be deemed holiday-induced insanity. Dim your interior illumination and tune in.
KITT visits Fast ‘n’ Loud
Discovery comes begging your forgiveness for Eaten Alive tonight by airing a Fast ‘n’ Loud special showcasing one of television’s all-time most beloved, badass, and goofily classy motor vehicle superstars: KITT, the talking 1982 Pontiac Trans Am from the classic sci-fi action series, Knight Rider.
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
TV’s hottest holiday tradition sees the Victoria’s Secret angels flapping their wings (among other moving parts) across the pond for a posh lingerie catwalk bash shot in London for the first time. Aside from a Taylor Swift performance, the heavenly bodies worth tuning in (and turning on) for include Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Behati Prinsloo, Karlie Kloss, Elsa Hosk, and Lindsay Ellingson.
Guardians of the Galaxy on Blu-ray
The year’s biggest movie makes for a fittingly massive Blu-ray package. Rocket Racoon, Groot, ’70s AM radio pop hits, and an unprecedented arsenal of CGI effects are just some of the ingredients that elevate Guardians to the highest realm of big-screen superhero adventures, and the mix is so potent that it all plays just as well on whatever you’ll use to watch it home.
Sons of Anarchy Series Finale
Seven seasons of marauding men of mayhem atop motorcycles explodes to a close tonight as Jax Teller and his leather-clad compatriots gear up for their final ride. No spoilers, but… a lot of characters have died in recent weeks, almost all of them spectacular fashion. Sons of Anarchy has never disappointed in delivering monumentally entertaining mortalities, so just imagine who and what creator Kurt Sutter has lined up for the undertaker tonight.
J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Hip hop’s pride of Fayetteville, North Carolina lets loose his third studio album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Named for the address of Cole’s childhood home, the thirteen-track long player is being hailed for its unflinching honesty, inward-looking vulnerability and, of course, expert sounds and wildly inventive rhymes.
Blackhawks at Devils
New Jersey’s 10-13 Devils host the first-place, 18-8 Blackhawks. Heating up the competition will be the return to the ice of Chicago’s left wing and alternate captain Patrick Sharp after being sidelined for more than a month by a leg injury. The home team aims to welcome Sharp back by giving him a Devil(s) of a time.
Game of Thrones, Episode 1: Iron From Ice
New today on PS3 and PSN, Iron From Ice is the first chapter in a multi-tiered gaming franchise set in the universe of Game of Thrones. The action focuses on House Forrester, a Westeros dynasty much like the ones we know so well in that they’re awash in scheming, fighting, backstabbing, massive battles both physical and psychological, and dragon-scaled onslaughts of dark, scary fun.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph. Clarice. Herbie the dentist elf. Yukon Cornelius. Burl Ives in snowman form. The Island of Misfit Toys. “Bumbles bounce!” These and other elements of the annual CBS holiday special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—which celebrates its 50th anniversary tonight—are as ingrained in our collective Christmastime experience to the point that you’ll feel your own nose light up as you watch and sing along. That will be especially true if you get drunk first.
Clippers at Pacers
The Clippers are enjoying a 14-5 season as they travel to Indiana to provide formidable opposition to the 7-13 Pacers. Despite the glaring numbers differences, the teams are poised tonight for a solid showdown and Indiana fans sure do love when their boys beat L.A.
Lara Craft and the Temple of Osiris
The Tomb Raider video game franchise nears its twentieth anniversary with the release of Lara Craft and the Temple of Osiris, a four-player direct sequel to 2010’s Lara Croft and the Warriors of Light. This time, our stacked-and-packed heroine takes on the gods and monsters of ancient Egypt, equipped with a light-beam-shooting magic staff. The joystick is in your hands now, and you know what to do.
American Choppers with Shaquile O’Neal
Shaquile O’Neal, who (in)famously once played Superman’s pal Steel on the big screen, visits American Choppers to have Paul Sr. and the boys assemble a monster-sized motorcycle for him designed in honor of Krypton’s most famous red-caped son. The show’s pranks, laughs, and shenanigans get even more super-sized in keeping with the seven-foot-one guest star, and when Shaq’s bike is finished, it’s the biggest motorcycle ever built by the show’s Orange County Choppers.
Cardinals at Rams
St. Louis’s former NFL franchise, the Cardinals, return to the Edward Jones Dome to face down the Gateway to the West’s present home team, the Rams. With the 10-3 Cards holding first place in the NFC West and the Rams stuck in the same league’s basement at 6-7, expect even more Anheuser Busch product than usual to flow in the Midwest this evening.