Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, December 25. All times are Eastern.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9 p.m.): In the United Kingdom, watching TV is a time-honored Christmas tradition. In the United States, we try to pretend that we’re going to spend Christmas with our families, until we inevitably just sit around the living room together in stony silence, staring at some movie or basketball game no one cares about and/or listening to the timeless holiday classic “Christmas At Panda Express” on our music sound devices. Here at TV Club, we much prefer the former method, and that’s why we’re so happy that BBC America is once again importing the Doctor Who Christmas special on the same night it airs in the U.K. We hear there’s a pretty big thing happening in this one, but Alasdair Wilkins wouldn’t tell us what, so we’re just going to guess: Sasquatch returns!
WHAT ELSE IS ON (ALL SHITTY MADE-FOR-TV CHRISTMAS MOVIE EDITION)
A Golden Christmas (Ion, 5 p.m.): We’d wager this is the first time Ion has ever been featured in What’s On Tonight, and it’s for a good reason: The network is airing all three chapters of the groundbreaking, highly influential Golden Christmas trilogy in a row. Thrill as dogs bring everyone love for the holidays!
Ice Quake (Syfy, 7 p.m.): There’s only one thing that can ruin Christmas Eve this year, and that’s an ICE QUAKE!!!!!! Find out how Christmas is saved (from ice quakes) in this movie, which hopefully ends with the protagonist emerging from the middle of an ice quake with a chainsaw.
A Very Merry Mix-up (Hallmark, 7:30 p.m.): This sounds like a Christmas movie as titled by Dr. Tobias Funke, but it’s actually about a woman who goes to visit her fiancé’s family for Christmas and somehow ends up at the wrong house, falling in love with some dude she meets there. Sounds like she has some severe psychological problems!
A Country Christmas Story (Lifetime Movie Network, 8 p.m.): What’s a Christmas movie marathon without a barely concealed rip off of Coal Miner’s Daughter with Dolly Parton popping up for a cameo appearance (set at Dollywood, no less)? Nothing. That’s what.
Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas (Disney, 8 p.m.): Don’t hog all the shitty Christmas movies for yourself, parents! Kids can delight in them, too, with this Disney production where the company’s beloved characters are animated in CGI for no particular reason whatsoever!
Comfort And Joy (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): Close out your evening with a movie where a driven career woman falls into a coma at Christmas and somehow emerges into a universe where she’s a docile housewife, then prefers that version of reality. Hey! That happened to us just last Christmas!
White Magic (Travel, 9 p.m.): It takes special guts to air new programming on Christmas night, so we’re giving Travel Channel props for pulling this one out of its ass, even though we’re pretty sure it’s just a show about snow and is, thus, going to be pretty boring.
Big (IFC, 8 p.m.): Try to watch this film version of the beloved mid-90s stage musical and not wish, just a little bit, that the songs from that show had been included here. Imagine if Tom Hanks had added singing and dancing to his general likability in his performance as a young boy suddenly grown up!
Top Hat (TCM, 8 p.m.): See, here are Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to show Tom how it’s done in one of the greatest movie musicals ever made. What’s important is that everybody’s dancing, Tom Hanks. Just make sure to keep everybody dancing.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): If you’ve had it with jollity and forced family togetherness, then the Griswolds’ journey through the festivities of all this end-of-year bullshit may prove the perfect antidote. At least watch the opening credits cartoon. That thing is awesome.
NBA Basketball: Rockets at Spurs (ESPN, 8 p.m.): As always, there’s basketball on most of the day today, but here’s the primetime game, which matches up… two teams from Texas. In actuality, both teams have been pretty good this season, though San Antonio has been better, with the third-best record in the Western Conference.
College Basketball: Diamond Head Classic (ESPN2, 8:30 p.m.): The championship game of whatever this is airs right now. You know, we could Google this, but we’re stuck in an airport and have been for almost 24 hours now, so we can’t really be bothered. Here’s the thing: We can accept mechanical failure not being an airline’s fault, and we can accept that a lot of people are traveling this time of year, and that’s not an airline’s fault, but we can’t accept that when an airline books us on a replacement flight, it doesn’t double, triple, quadruple check to make sure we’re actually booked on that flight. Because Jesus fucking Christ, it’s Christmas Eve (well, it’s Christmas Day for all of you reading this, but follow our rhetorical device here), and we were supposed to be home last night, so we could make our mother happy by going to church with her just this once, and instead, here we are, in an airport, listening to endless versions of Christmas carols, recorded smooooooth jazz style, and we got here at 3 p.m. yesterday, thinking, “Oh, we’re here in plenty of time!” only to realize that, no, customer service is dead, and maybe we are getting a cold, and can we blame that on the airline, too? So Google your own Diamond Head Classic. We just don’t fucking care anymore. Now leave us alone so we can cry in a corner in peace.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Freaks And Geeks (October): Todd VanDerWerff’s review of the season (and unintentional series) finale of this show drew a Tweet from Judd Apatow himself, so you know that, at the very least, it is something that Judd Apatow liked. Now isn’t that the sort of thing you’d like to read? No? Okay, fine. Have an overcooked croissant breakfast sandwich. It is all they serve at Los Angeles International Airport, and you will like it.