Televisualist: Muppets, Graham, and Christmas Ham
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Televisualist: Muppets, Graham, and Christmas Ham

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.


Most modern-era studio Christmas films are somewhere between crap and worse than crap, but Scrooged is a wonderful, glowing exception. Richard Donner’s retelling of A Christmas Carol with Bill Murray in the Ebenezer role is the best Christmas movie of the past twenty years, and more importantly, the best Christmas movie of the past twenty years featuring an appearance by Bobcat Goldthwait. (YTV, 8 p.m.)
Tonight on The Hour: Don Cherry. We love him because he’s a crusty old asshole! (Newsworld, 8 p.m.)
20/20 becomes a documentary-type show for a week, with a special two-hour episode about the making of a high school production of The Wiz. Desperate attempt at relevance via mimicry of a popular movie franchise? Entirely possible! (ABC, 9 p.m.)


Final episode of The Biggest Loser: Families. Watch it before The Biggest Loser goes away! For, uh, about three weeks. NBC is apparently determined to never, ever stop airing this show. Fun fact from the Wikipedia page for the show: “The term “the biggest loser” is normally intended to be an insult; in this case, however, the term actually refers to the person who loses the most weight.” I bet you didn’t know that! (8 p.m.)
Classic Hitchcock! Shadow of a Doubt is seriously old-school Hitch from the 1940s, where a teenaged girl worries that her uncle, freshly arrived in town, might be a serial killer. See it now, before they remake it with Miley Cyrus in the starring role. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)


A brand-new Muppets Christmas special? Televisualist withdraws its usual objection to new Christmas specials. Because: Muppets. Motherfucking Muppets, yo! And, for some reason, Nathan Lane. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
And since that objection to Christmas specials is temporarily lifted, we will also mention that Merry Christmas Mr. Bean re-airs tonight, and come on, there’s not much that’s better than classic Rowan Atkinson, is there? (CBC, 8 p.m.)


The other great Christmas-movie triumph of the last twenty years is unquestionably Bad Santa, wherein Billy Bob Thornton’s horrible thief character manages to illustrate what is good and right about the holidays in the least smarmy and insincere way possible. Also, it has Lauren Graham in it being sexier than all get out, and we deeply endorse any film with Lauren Graham in it being sexy. Because Lauren Graham is hot. (Global, 9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “New Kids On The Blecch,” which despite its Mad-magazine-like nomenclature is one of the more clever mid-teenth season episodes, as Bart, Nelson, Milhouse, and Ralph form a boy band. “You know, we had fun at the expense of the US Navy, who are out there every day protecting us from Godzilla.” “And stingrays.” “And jellyfish. Those stinkin’ invertebrae will sting you old school.” (CFMT, 10 p.m.)


Allan Gregg In Conversation With… Paul Martin? Well, that should be extremely interesting, especially if he goes all shoot-style and starts talking smack about how “John Manley couldn’t hold my jock.” Actually, now we really hope he actually does that. (TVO, 10 p.m.)
The Little Mosque on the Prairie Eid special re-airs on CBC, and it was cute enough in its silly, lighthearted, Muslim-wearing-a-Santa-beard way. (CBC, 9:30 p.m.)
Gremlins! Absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, but fuck it, it’s Gremlins! (Teletoon, 7 p.m.)