Holiday TV: Singing with Dolly and more of the classics
Yes, anxious viewers, there will be a network-television airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas this year. Also, the 56-year-old
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And for all you wild and crazy youngsters out there,
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer will be barrelling your way, its unfathomable charms still a mystery after 20 years.
While it is true that all of us desperately need to get out of the house, most of us still want (need?) to take refuge in the holiday-TV bubble. And bless their pointy little heads if the TV elves aren’t doing everything they can to keep us swaddled in tinsel, twinkle lights and nostalgia until the calendar flips mercifully to 2021.
Here is a look at a some of the TV shows coming your way this holiday season:
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
Given the delightful news that the promising COVID-19 experimental vaccine from Moderna was funded in part by a $1 million donation from Dolly Parton, I would love to say that Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square is the TV cure for your shutdown ills. Sadly, it is not.
Instead, this new musical is more of a placebo-effect proposition. Given its impressive list of active ingredients (co-stars Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski, director/choreographer Debbie Allen) and bright Netflix stamp of approval,
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square seems like something that should make you feel better, so you might convince yourself that it has. But that doesn’t mean it actually works.
Baranski stars as Regina Fuller, a cold-hearted businesswoman who returns to her small hometown for the Scrooge-like purpose of selling the whole adorable place to a mall developer.
Do all of the nice townspeople have to vacate Main Street by Christmas? They do. Will they sing a bunch of wordy, not-atall-memorable songs first? They will. Are there It’s a Wonderful Life references? Dogs in sweaters? Philosophical musings from a little girl who is wise beyond her years?
Yes, yes and — heavy sigh — yes.
(Streaming now on Netflix.)
CLASSICS: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Dec. 25 at 8 p.m., NBC. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Dec. 1 at 8 p.m, CBS. Radio City Christmas Spectacular: Dec. 2 at 10 p.m., NBC. A Charlie Brown Christmas: Streaming for Apple TV+ subscribers beginning Dec. 4 and free for nonsubscribers Dec. 11-13. It’s a Wonderful Life: Dec. 24 at 8 p.m., NBC.
FOOD: Holiday Baking Championship: Mondays at 9 p.m., the Food Network. Christmas Cookie Challenge: Mondays at 10 p.m., the Food Network. Sugar Rush Christmas: Streaming on Netflix beginning now. The Great British Baking Show: Holidays: Streaming on Netflix beginning Dec. 4.
ORIGINAL MOVIES: There are more than 60 new holiday movies in circulation on the Hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, OWN and Lifetime cable channels, as well as on Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming outlets. Check your holly-jolly on-screen guide for information.