Televisualist: Grinch And Kane And Dance And Grinch
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Televisualist: Grinch And Kane And Dance And Grinch

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.


Since it is now officially December, the first of many replayings of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas kicks off the holiday-special season. It is The Grinch, so we will not complain until we hit the fourth rerun. (ABC, 8:30 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Behind the Laughter,” the parody of “Behind the Music” that was one of the most inspired and most meta-humorous episodes of the last five years. “The Simpsons’ TV show started out on a wing and a prayer. But now the wing was on fire, and the prayer had been answered by Satan.” (CFMT, 10 p.m.)


Double shot of Orson Welles: Citizen Kane followed by The Magnificent Ambersons on Turner Classic. Kane‘s artistry is now so commonplace that often people new to it don’t understand how revolutionary it was; Ambersons is unjustly overlooked by many a critic and is in fact very nearly as good as Kane is. Watching the two back to back can save you maybe two whole weeks of film school. (8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively)
Tonight on The Hour: not only both Cheech and Chong, but also Malcolm (The Tipping Point) Gladwell and his enormous, enormous hair. Should be ridiculously entertaining, especially if they let Chong near Gladwell’s do. (CBC Newsworld, 8 p.m.)


At long last, Televisualist readers sick of hearing comments about So You Think You Can Dance can relax, because tonight is the two-hour final competitive performance episode. Rest assured that unless some channel in Canada broadcasts So You Think You Can Dance UK or So You Think You Can Dance Australia or any of the other international variants of the franchise, the show will not be mentioned again in this column until early next summer when the American show kicks back into gear again. Hooray! (CTV, 8 p.m.)
NBC broadcasts the lighting of the giant Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Because this is a really, really cheap way for them to kill an hour of prime time. Hey, it’s a tree! With lights on! Woo. (8 p.m.)


Barbara Walters does her annual “Ten Most Interesting People” special for 2008. Some of this year’s most interesting people are Tom Cruise, Tina Fey, Will Smith, Rush Limbaugh, Miley Cyrus and Michael Phelps. What the hell is interesting about Michael Phelps? Oh boy, he swims really, really fast. Exciting, maybe. Admirable, quite possibly. But interesting? Donovan Bailey was fast too and you know what? Boring dude. (Global, 10 p.m.)
Santa Baby is one of the most horrific Christmas movies ever made. How horrific, you ask? Two words: Jenny McCarthy. Puts the “brrr” back in Christmas, doesn’t it? (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)


Because the week started so pleasantly with the animated Grinch, it obviously thus only makes sense that it should follow up with the live-action Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. That would be the utterly horrific one with Jim Carrey as the Grinch, where the Whos look kind of terrifying and where a sickeningly hypocritical anti-commercialism message is stapled onto a film that had more merchandising than The Transformers. In conclusion: fuck this movie. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Hey, this is a rarity – a Christmas special Televisualist has honestly never seen before. (We’ve seen a lot of Christmas specials.) Christopher the Christmas Tree is about a tree that wants to be a Christmas tree, and… no, I’m sorry, maybe it’s silly to be creeped out by sharing a name with a Christmas special, but I am. I just Googled it and that tree is scary looking, okay? (SunTV, 8 p.m.)