Matthew Lickona 8 p.m., Dec. 17
Wish I Was Here
In a vain attempt at keeping the spirit, if not artistry, of John Ritter alive, Zach Braff stars in and directs this wacky-turned-sappy sitcom about parental mortality. It’s hard to muster much sympathy for a cancer-ridden grandfather who basically calls his innocent teenage granddaughter a whore from his deathbed. Mandy Patinkin’s hospital room rants take their toll on family members and viewers alike. The key audience demographics target the unlikely union of older Jews (the family dog is named Kugel) and Comic-Con devotees (portions were filmed at last year’s celebration of everything that’s wrong with contemporary cinema). And poor Ashley Greene. The Twilight star picks up a check for two brief flashes: one to catch nerd king Josh Gad’s eye, another for some post-Con coitus. It’s easily the most negligible, underdeveloped role a name actor has assumed this year. With Kate Hudson and Zooey King. 2014.