3 for Tuesday: ‘Chopped’ Thanksgiving (Plus a Nun) and a Double Shot of ‘LEGO’

Audio version:

What’s better than one LEGO movie? Two LEGO movies!

Happy Tuesday and welcome to another edition of 3 for Tuesday, our family-suitable programming guide to (mostly) primetime TV, airing from Tuesday through Thursday.

(All times Eastern; check local listings for time and channel in your area.)

Without further ado …

Chopped — Tuesday, 8, 9 and 10 p.m., Food Network

The cooking-competition show starts Thanksgiving early, with two repeat episodes and a new one (which airs a bit late for little ones; might need to go on the DVR).

Here’s the lineup:

“A Chopped Thanksgiving” (2013): The chefs compete to create a holiday feast from mystery baskets, and reinvent the green-bean casserole.

“Turkey Day Heroes” (2016): Chefs who work in soup kitchens, feeding the needy, must create an appetizer, and then work on an entree with bread, orange sauce, turkey and a cake.

“An Iron Chef Thanksgiving” (NEW): Three Iron Chefs judge a Thanksgiving feast.

Should families watch “Chopped”? Here’s what CommonSense Media — which recommends it for age 10 and up — has to say:

Parents need to know that unlike other competitive cooking shows that seem to value rivalries and behind-the-scenes drama, Chopped sticks to what’s on the plate. Both contenders and judges treat each other with respect and the focus is firmly on food, flavors, and cooking techniques, making this show a natural for young culinary enthusiasts. On rare occasions, chefs exhibit brief poor sportsmanship, but that is definitely the exception.

Click here for an earlier “Chopped” Thanksgiving episode.

BTW, did you know who won the “Chopped” Thanksgiving in 2015? A 30-year-old Franciscan religious named Sister Alicia Torres.

Secular Website Slate.com was a surprising fan:


So here’s to more nuns on screen! I have no idea if it’s good for the Catholic Church, but it’s great for TV. In the end, the latest star sister won for her dishes including sweet potato hash and a turkey quesadilla with green bean salsa. “One of my gifts is creativity,” Torres told the camera, adding that competition is a good thing because it helps us move “from where we are to where we could be.” Clad in the simple habit of her Franciscan order, she never stopped smiling.

Learn more about her:

The LEGO Batman Movie (2014) — Wednesday, 8 p.m., HBO

According to reviewer Steven Greydanus, a Catholic deacon, this one isn’t quite the equal of “The LEGO Movie” (airing tomorrow night), but it’s got good points.

He said:

The movie’s best idea, almost its only idea, is that Batman’s super-cool aura of awesomeness, toughness and invincibility masks an underlying social isolation and fear of emotional connection and vulnerability. In spite of his reputation as the greatest superhero of all, he’s actually so cluelessly self-absorbed and lacking in empathy that he’s not a full-fledged good guy at all.

There’s the same sort of group-hug ending as The Lego Movie, with Batman learning a valuable lesson, like Mr. Incredible over a dozen years ago, about how people need each other and you can’t just work alone because you’re afraid of losing people.

The LEGO Movie (2014) — Thursday, 8 p.m., Nickelodeon

Deacon Greydanus just loved it

Here is something I didn’t see coming: The freshest, most unique animated family film from any Hollywood studio in well over a year is … based on a line of brightly colored plastic construction blocks and assorted accessories. I’m not kidding!

Perhaps I can put it this way: The Lego Movie does everything you expect a movie like this to do, but it also does a great deal you don’t expect, subverting clichés, taking roads less traveled and even tiptoeing into theological wonder. Still not kidding!

There might even bit a hint of faith, said Greydanus:

Toward the end, there’s an intriguing twist that pays off scattered references to “the Man Upstairs.” One of the characters has a transcendent experience of a larger world of powers and principalities he can hardly fathom.

Happy viewing, and we’ll see you again with 5 for Friday, to get you through the weekend with sanctity and sanity intact (at least in terms of TV viewing).

Image: Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment

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