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culture

Televisualist: ‘Tis The Season (for Thirty-Year-Old Christmas Specials)

Each week, Torontoist examines the upcoming TV listings and makes note of programs that are entertaining, informative, and of quality. Or, alternately, none of those. The result: Televisualist.

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Clockwise from Yogi Bear: Boo Boo, Adorable Orphan Girl, Adorable Orphan Dad, Hat Cat, Blueberry Slush Dog, The Spy Animals, Sweater Dog, No-Sweater Dog, Quick Draw McGraw, Schmink Schmanther. (THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT GOOGLE!)

Monday

Underrated Christmas special rerun: Prep and Landing and its sequel, Prep and Landing: Naughty v. Nice. The Disney CGI animated specials are clever, Dave Foley is a great vocal lead, they look great, and unlike many Christmas specials, they don’t turn out to have terribly skewed morals when you think about them for more than a second. (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Underrated Christmas special rerun: A Very Pink Christmas. This recent Pink Panther special (and who was expecting anybody to make another Pink Panther cartoon after 1985?) has plenty of good, violent slapstick, which more than makes up for the slightly corny ending. (CTV2, 9:30 p.m.)


Tuesday

Season finale of The Voice: this year’s finalists are Tessanne Chin, Will Champlin, and Jacquie Lee. This is the first time, incidentally, that Blake Shelton’s team has been completely shut out of the finals. Blake is expected to declare war in the next few days.


Wednesday

“You’re old” Christmas special reruns: Yogi’s First Christmas and Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas. They’re not exactly great television per se, but they’re not bad—just very much of their time (e.g. 1980 and 1982, respectively). A bit sappy, but they’re Animation Old Hollywood, if you will, and interesting in that respect. (YTV, 6:15 p.m.)

Hey, it’s the annual Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People special! This year’s most fascinating people include Prince George, who is a baby, the cast of Duck Dynasty, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and Miley Cyrus. So basically, this year’s list is more “people Barbara Walters remembers seeing on television” than ever before, as was the case last year and every year before, because Barbara Walters is getting older every year, and, well, this happens. (ABC, 9:30 p.m.)


Thursday

The X-Factor season finale, and we’re not even going to pretend that we care any more. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Holidays of Future Passed,” a Simpsons-in-the-future episode and also a Christmas episode that is actually really good—not just for a later-season episode, but overall. “I’ve been acting like a 10-year-old the last 30 years, but I swear I’m going to grow up and act 20 like a divorced 40-year-old should.” (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)


Friday

This is weird: an I Love Lucy Christmas Special. It’s two episodes of I Love Lucy (the famous “grape stomping” episode and a Christmas special that was lost for decades), but colorized. Apparently colorization technology has come a long way since the 1980s, when it made everything look gaudy and dreadful; stills from the new versions look more like classic Technicolor films of the era. It’s just so weird that we can’t help but suggest you watch it. Either it’s a novelty or a lovely refinishing of one of the truly classic television comedies. (CBS, 8 p.m.)

It’s the annual holiday viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life, which NBC now has the exclusive American holiday rights to air, and as we have said before: we kind of miss the days when every UHF station would air this movie five times over the holidays because it was cheap. Of course, we also kind of miss the days of UHF stations. Also, we’re old and get off our lawn. (NBC, 8 p.m.)


The Weekend

ABC airs The Sound of Music, presumably to snipe at the horrible live version NBC aired last week. Good work, ABC! (8 p.m. Sunday)

Underrated Christmas special rerun: Powerpuff Girls: ‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas. Because it is the Powerpuff Girls, and they beat baddies up. At Christmas. (Teletoon, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Comments

  • m5r3b7

    Boy, do I hate It’s A Wonderful Life. Am I the only one? It’s so shrill and ugly. I feel like there’s a weight on my chest whenever I catch even a few seconds of it.