Televisualist: A Salute to Hallmark Channel Christmas
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Televisualist: A Salute to Hallmark Channel Christmas

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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Carson Kressley and Carrie Fisher were TOTALLY standing together for this promotional image and Photoshop was in no way involved!


Minority Report ends forever tonight, because it was not very good. Unless you can convince an online network to turn it into a web-only series! We’re sure the vastly reduced budget won’t make a difference for this hi-tech, sci-fi future cop series. They’ll just fight pre-crime in a lot of places that look like Saskatoon instead of Vancouver. The crimes will largely involve murderous deer. Or regular deer. (Global, 9 p.m.)

The Great Holiday Baking Show is the second American attempt to adapt The Great British Bake Off for American audiences (the first time around was The American Baking Competition, which had both a terrible title and was edited to make the judges seem mean in a Simon Cowell sort of a way, which is exactly the opposite of the point of Bake Off, which is a nice show where people are nice). This time around, they have Nia Vardalos hosting and Mary Berry herself as one of the judges, so maybe they can recreate magic. Or maybe it will be a big fat Greek failure. (ABC, 10 p.m.)

W airs, once again, It’s Christmas, Carol!—one of the worst (and possibly the outright worst) adaptations of A Christmas Carol ever produced. This one has Canadian actress Emmanuelle Vaugier in the Scrooge role (if Scrooge were in his mid-thirties and beautiful, rather than being a nasty miser), Carrie Fisher as both the Jacob Marley and the three ghosts, and Carson Kressley more or less playing himself, which is what Carson Kressley does for a living. It is terrible, a sin against cinema and Christmas and probably other holidays in December by virtue of association. (7 p.m.)


Airing tonight: Snowglobe Christmas, a 2011 film starring Michael Hogan and David Cubitt about a snow globe that can affect weather in the real world and thus causes horrible disasters. This is not to be confused with A Snow Globe Christmas, a 2013 film starring Alicia Witt and Christina Milian where a woman is magically transported inside a perfect town inside a snow globe, or 2007’s Snowglobe, a film also starring Christina Milian about a woman who is magically transported inside a perfect town inside a snow globe. (She has a niche!) In fact, Snowglobe Christmas was originally titled Snowmageddon, because it is not really a Christmas movie at all, but we can’t help but wonder if when W was putting together their near-infinite list of terrible Christmas TV movies, just picked this one because it had “snow” and “Christmas” in the title. (7 p.m.)

Married at First Sight returns for a third season of ugggggggggggggggggh. (A&E, 9 p.m.)

The Jim Gaffigan Show is, sort of, Jim Gaffigan’s version of Louie, except where Louis CK is a depressive single father, Gaffigan is an affable happy family man. That doesn’t mean that Gaffigan’s show is lazy or slight compared to CK’s; it’s just more upbeat. But it’s still very funny. (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.)


The Wiz Live!—well, we wrote about it last week, and now it’s here! Come on, Queen Latifah plays the Wizard of Oz. You know you want to see that. (NBC, 8 p.m.)


Impastor stars Michael Rosenbaum (whose performance of Lex Luthor was for many years the only reliably good thing about Smallville) as a low-level bum who steals the identity of a gay pastor moving to a small town. Rosenbaum is terrific. The rest of the show is good enough to get by. (Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.)


YTV airs The Adventures of Tintin, the quite-good 2011 Spielberg-directed CGI animated adaptation, and due to Hollywood being Hollywood, there may never be a sequel despite the film having been both critically and financially successful. So enjoy it for what it is. (9 p.m.)

The Weekend

If you want to experience the terrible endlessly-re-aired Christmas movies of tomorrow, W has two new ones for you! First off is 12 Gifts of Christmas, which is about a personal shopper who apparently only operates around Christmastime, and who falls in love with her studly client when he asks her to do the impossible: buy 12 Christmas presents for his family in 12 days! (7 p.m. Sunday) Then there is Charming Christmas, where the heir to a department store (department store heiresses are a thing, see) agrees to play Mrs. Claus for the store and then falls in love with the hunky young guy playing Santa! These movies both fall in line with the Hallmark Channel’s annual Christmas production list—they make about eight to 12 Christmas-themed TV movies per year, and every single one of them—every single goddamn one—is about two attractive upper-middle class white people falling in love at Christmas as a result of engaging in Christmasy rituals together. They are all remarkable advertisements for Festivus and W buys all of them. (9 p.m. Sunday)


Netflix now has all three seasons of Hannibal, so you can watch all the aesthetically pleasing murders you like and explain to people how it is art.