Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Monday, December 24. All times are Eastern.
A Christmas Story (TBS, 8 p.m.): Does anybody really need to watch any movie 12 times in a row? We sort of doubt it, but if you’re going to watch a movie 12 times in a row, this one’s as good a bet as any. Or, if you don’t want to sit down and watch it over and over again, it makes as good of aural wallpaper for your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as anything else. Anyway, this is just the first of 12 airings TBS will subject the old perennial to this year, so if you miss the leg lamp or the mean Santa or “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” the first time through, you’ll have 11 other opportunities to catch it.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Disney Prep & Landing (ABC, 8 p.m.): There are far, far worse Christmas entertainments to spend your time on tonight, and, indeed, this cheeky little half-hour about the elves who prepare your living room for the arrival of the big guy in red has some fun moments and the sterling vocal talents of Dave Foley.
Fox And Friends Christmas Special (Fox News, 8 p.m.): We thought we’d seen the last of their kind, but here’s an honest to God weird-ass Christmas special—and on Christmas Eve, no less! We didn’t really ask Fox News for this, but they knew we wanted it anyway. And that’s the best kind of gift there is!
Oliver Stone’s Untold History Of The United States (Showtime, 8 p.m.): The director’s “secret history” project reaches Vietnam and Watergate, which you know are pretty much a yawn to this dude. We recommend flipping rapidly between this and that Fox And Friends Christmas Special listed above.
General Hospital (SoapNet, 9 p.m.): Never mind what day it is. Those crazy kids on General Hospital are celebrating Thanksgiving, still. We’d say that makes them Canadian, but Canadians celebrate all their holidays one month early. So we don’t know what nation they’re from, actually. Maybe Denmark?
American Dad (Cartoon Network, 10 p.m.): The 2012 Christmas episode got bumped because of the terrible news out of Newtown, but you can relieve two previous Christmas episodes tonight. As you know from our 13 Days Of Christmas article, this show is always at its best around the holidays.
Diners, Drive-Ins, And Dives (Food Network, 10 p.m.): Most networks don’t program tonight, since people go to bed early. Don’t tell that to Guy Fieri, though! He cruises the American night, looking for new ways to force himself on the populace. Reader, make no mistake. Guy Fieri is Santa Claus.
It’s A Wonderful Life (NBC, 8 p.m.): Ever since our very own Todd VanDerWerff wrote that article about this movie that has since become required reading for the human race, we’d almost say you can just skip this and read that. But… nah. We’d never say that. Watch this one again. You know you want to.
The Shop Around The Corner (TCM, 8 p.m.): Of course, if you want Jimmy Stewart in a holiday mood, but you don’t want to watch the Frank Capra movie again, why not try this terrific Ernst Lubitsch film instead? It was the inspiration for You’ve Got Mail, but don’t hold that against it. It’s great!
Starship Troopers (Syfy, 9 p.m.): Or if you just can’t be bothered to think about the holiday—or don’t celebrate it!—Syfy is running a marathon of ‘90s sci-fi flicks, of which the best is this Paul Verhoeven film, which is either an incredibly bland action film or an incredibly subversive undermining of same.
Hawaii Bowl: SMU vs. Fresno State (ESPN, 8 p.m.): Sorry, sports fans. Since Monday Night Football didn’t dare compete with the magical, mystical Santa Claus, you’re pretty much out of luck. There’s this tepid bowl game, an all-star high school football game, and some golf thing. Better luck tomorrow!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Gravity Falls (August): To the bafflement of seemingly all of you—despite our frequent mentions of “Best of TV Club” on Twitter and in the teasers for the articles themselves—we’ve been bumping some of our favorite articles of the year for you to read, like this Alasdair Wilkins take on the clever cartoon.