We all know Thanksgiving is about watching football, getting the turkey out of the oven before it goes drier than a Barack Obama press conference and tolerating relatives you see but once a year. Of course, there’s nothing better leading up to the holiday than watching turkey-themed episodes of some of your favorite Streampix TV shows. That way, you won’t have to actually talk to anybody. Here’s a list of 10 of our favorites.
“Parenthood”: “Happy Thanksgiving” (Season Two, Episode 10): The perfect way to celebrate a dysfunctional family Thanksgiving. Peter Krauss’ Adam gets some unexpectedly harsh news from William Baldwin’s Gordon Flint that leads him to have concerns about his future security, forcing him to choose between his job and his family. While preparing for Thanksgiving, Bonnie Bedelia’s matriarchal Camille and Mae Whitman’s Amber bond. Miles Heizer’s Drew Holt isn’t pleased that Gordon will be attending the family’s holiday dinner. Dax Shepard’s Crosby Braverman works to impress his future mother-in-law, while Erika Christensen’s Julia makes pies in the kitchen, then takes out her frustration on Savannah Paige Rae’s Sydney.
“Friday Night Lights” “Thanksgiving” (Season 4, Episode 13): In the season four finale of this critically acclaimed Peter Berg drama about high school football in a Texas small town, the West Dillon Panthers prepare to go up against their crosstown East Dillon rivals the Eric Taylor-coached Lions, with a playoff berth at stake. Kyle Chandler’s Coach Taylor and his wife, Connie Britton’s Tami host a Thanksgiving dinner, while the Coach advises his star running back, “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan’s Vince Howard, he has to act more selfishly to succeed. A surprise visitor descends on Aimee Teegarden’s Julie and Jesse Plemons’ Landry/ Finally, Taylor Kitsch’s Tim Riggins decides to go to jail and take the rap for his brother, Derek Phillips’ Billy Riggins, so he can raise his kids.
“Party of Five”: “Thanksgiving” (Season 1, Episode 10): This blend of sopar opera and family drama features five orphaned siblings struggling to stay together as they deal with any number of crises, including alcoholism, cancer, abusive parents, custody battles, unwanted pregnancy, marriage and adultery. This bittersweet holiday episode finds the Salingers coping with troubling memories as they learn the drunk driver (John Rubinstein) who killed their parents has been paroled. Among the cast of future stars are Neve Campbell and Matthew Fox, who went on to star in “Lost.”
“Ugly Betty”: “Four Thanksgivings and a Funeral” (Season 1. Episode 8): America Ferrara took home a Golden Globe award for Best Actress—Television Series Musical or Comedy for her role as a fish out of water at a high-end fashion magazine in a role that broke ground for Latina performers. In this holiday-themed episode, Martha Stewart guest stars as the Mode staff mark Thanksgiving in a variety of ways, including Eric Mabius’ Daniel, who has an ulterior motive for attending his parents’ brunch and Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina, making her first-ever attempt to cook a turkey.
“Felicity”: “The Last Thanksgiving” (Season 4, Episode 8): Producer J.J. Abrams’ prescient coming-of-age series about a young girl, played by Keri Russell, who follows her boyfriend to college in New York City, remains a touchstone in teen drama. In this episode, a gala Thanksgiving dinner at the gals’ apartment ends up being a little uncomfortable when Scott Speedman’s Ben brings Lisa Edelstein’s Lauren along as his date. The only one who doesn’t show is Scott Foley’s Noel, whose passive-aggressive behavior ruins plans for a holiday dinner with his brother and ends up sharing a hotel room with a woman he picked up at a bar.
“Grey’s Anatomy” “Thanks for the Memories” (Season 2, Episode 9): This Thanksgiving-themed episode finds Katherine Heigl’s Izzie cooking a turkey, but nobody’s showing much enthusiasm. Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith sneaks back to the hospital on her day off, where she and Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy treat a patient in a vegetative state, who suddenly wakes up. Meanwhile Sandra Oh’s Dr. Cristina Yang and significant other, Isiah Washington’s Dr. Preston Burke, arrive for the meal, with Burke promptly taking charge in the kitchen, while Cristina finds an excuse to go back to work. T.R. Knight’s George O’Malley is dragged along by his father and brothers on a turkey shoot.
“Scrubs”: “My Day Off” (Season 1, Episode 9): This long-running medical comedy/drama about the travails of a young intern made a breakout star out of Zach Braff as J.D. As Thanksgiving approaches, J.D. is afflicted with appendicitis, learning first-hand what it’s like to be a patient, starting with an uncomfortable physical administered by Sarah Chalke’s Elliot Reid.
“Heroes” “Thanksgiving” (Season 4, Episode 11): Superheroes with unusual powers from around the world team up to avoid a catastrophic future, and we don’t mean overcooking the turkey. The Thanksgiving holiday prompts Jack Coleman’s Noah Bennet an agent for The Company and father to Hayden Panettiere’s Claire Bennet, a high school cheerleader who can spontaneousl regenerate, to arrange an unusual gathering, while the Petrellis (Adrian Pasdar, Milo Ventimiglia), the former a congressional candidate with the ability to fly, the latter a hospice nurse who can mimic the abilities of other posthumans, are caught off guard by a surprise dinner guest. Meanwhile, Masi Oka’s Hiro is held captive by Robert Knepper’s Samuel, a terrakinesis expert, as Dawn Olivieri’s tattooed “Painted Lady,” Lydia seeks answers.
“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”: “The War At Home” (Season 6, Episode 8): The second spin-off of the original “Law
& Order” series focuses on New York detectives who are part of the Major Case Squad, which focuses on high-profile and unusually difficult investigations, featuring Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe. In this Thanksgiving episode, Eric Bogosian’s Captain Ross, D’Onofrio’s Detective Goren and Erbe’s Detective Eames have their holiday plans interrupted when the deputy commissioner’s daughter, a U.S. soldier home from Iraq, goes missing. At the same time, Goren has difficulty dealing with the failing health of his needy mother (Rita Moreno). Among the episode’s other guest stars are Fran Drescher and Michael Biehn.
“The Office “: “WUPHF.com” (Season 7, Episode 9): \The U.S. version of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s BBC workplace comedy turned into its own stateside success. In a holiday-themed episode from the show’s seventh season, Steve Carell’s Michael tries to attract investors to the fledgling Internet company started by B.J. Novak’s Ryan. Meanwhile, Rainn Wilson’s Dwight Schrute celebrates Thanksgiving and his Amish childhood by organizing a hay festival in the office parking lot; while a newly implemented policy prevents John Krasinski’s Jim from earning commission. Kathy Bates and Jack Coleman guest star.