By Amy Ryan
Updated December 30, 2005 at 09:17 PM EST
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You may think the entire New Year’s weekend can be planned around football and returning sweaters that don’t fit, but no! There’s a world of entertainment out there, just waiting to divert you as the days finally get longer again. So try some of these:

– Pierce Brosnan has been getting all the attention for The Matador, probably because he spoofs his license-to-kill image as a grizzled hitman who bonds with a suburban couple. But this could also be a breakthrough film for Hope Davis (pictured), who tops EW.com’s current list of actors we think should be bigger stars. Show her some love, moviegoers.

-You may be looking forward to Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto in 2006, but if you want to remember a time before he had his ZZ Top beard, a time when he was young and beautiful, check out the new DVD of 1981’s Gallipoli, Peter Weir’s fine, tragic World War I drama.

-Ricky Nelson, who died 20 years ago this week, is finally getting his critical due as a rockabilly and country-rock pioneer. (He was also a star of the first celebreality sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, in which he and his parents and brother played themselves for an astonishing 14 seasons.) Hear such impeccable Nelson tunes as ”Hello Mary Lou” on his new Greatest Hits CD. Meanwhile, if you want a hangover cure on New Year’s Day, listen to Miles Davis, at the height of his jazz-funk-rock Bitches Brew era, channeling Jimi Hendrix over six discs in the new boxed set The Cellar Door Sessions 1970. That’ll wake ya up.

-Is Andy Greenwald’s Miss Misery the first novel about blogging? Its protagonist comes to feel that everyone else (including an anonymous hipster who’s impersonating him) is having more fun than he is, which makes this the ideal book for New Year’s Eve.

-I admit it: I’ll be watching Dick Clark and heir apparent Ryan Seacrest ring in the new year just so I can assure myself that Clark is recovering from last year’s stroke — this will be his first public appearance since then. Of course, the Clark/Seacrest vs.Regis showdown between ABC and Fox isn’t the only TV action on Saturday night. There are also specials on NBC (with Carson Daly), MTV (with Shakira and Kanye West), CNN (with Anderson Cooper), and even ESPN (with Steve Van Zandt). If you’ve promised to give up compulsive remote control clicking in 2006, this could be your first big challenge.

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