We are officially 10 days out from Christmas. That can mean a great many things. Time to get crackin’ on your cookie baking, gift wrapping, picking family up at the airport or what have you. For our purposes, this is the area of the holiday schedule where we hope to see more of a concentration of higher quality programming and less of the cheeky, mindless stuff. For example. More Scrooged and 34th Street and less Grumpy Cat and Jingle All The Way. However, if memory serves, that transition doesn’t happen until we get closer to 3-5 days out.
For those just joining us, this is a service to our viewers to make finding your holiday television content easier to find. We here at NJATVS avidly live in the DVR era and we strongly suggest everyone else (television networks included) get with that idea. This allows us to give you the ability to set your DVR in advance. Less time guide surfing. This way, you set your DVR as you find movies you might be interested in. Then when you want to watch “Its A Wonderful Life” or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, it will be waiting for you on your DVR to be viewed at your convenience, not theirs.
Tuesday, December 16th
Santa Baby. George Wendt (of Cheers fame) plays Jolly Old St. Nick, whose daughter Mary Claus is a high-powered ad executive. She’s changed her name to Mary Class and essentially wants nothing to do with the family business. When Santa falls ill, she travels home with her assistant and attempts to streamline and modernize the Christmas process.
Mrs. Miracle and Call Me Mrs. Miracle. We covered this one yesterday. Long story short, Doris Roberts (Everybody Love Raymond) is great in both and Call Me Mrs. Miracle is better than Mrs. Miracle. However, if you have the time, both are worth watching.
Santa Jr. I am totally not joking. Santa’s son, Chris Kringle Jr, gets arrested after attempting a trial run as part of a training regimen. The judge sentences him to house arrest. The home in question belongs to the public defender (played by Lauren Holly). The arresting officers are played by Judd Nelson and the extremely funny George Wallace. With the help of his elf (he’d say, he’s his own elf) Stan and their missing reindeer Farley, they must prove that Chris is not the ‘Christmas Bandit’ before Christmas is ruined and Chris loses faith in the day altogether.
The Christmas Blessing, Annie Claus is Coming to Town, and the Mrs. Miracles are replays from Monday. The Christmas Blessing is worth the time once or twice. It’s extremely serious and deals with a subject that is not easy for all people to sit through. Also, you get to see a twenty something Neil Patrick Harris play a Doctor years after Doogie Howser had been old news. Annie Claus is cute, but very predictable. Annie Claus, while fun and light-hearted is a typical Hallmark/Lifetime type of made for TV movie. No plot twists, but cute.
The Polar Express. For anyone with children under say 10 years old, this is a must. Robert Zemekis directing with Tom Hanks’ likeness making up 80% of the bigger characters. This is an animation meets CG type of movie. Similar to Disney’s A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey’s likeness. This is a fun twist on providing answers to the questions that kids ask. The Polar Express is a magic train (and a BIG train) that takes skeptical kids to the North Pole to meet Santa and see for themselves that it is real.
Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas. Full disclosure, this is new for 2014 and I have not as of yet, seen it. I normally don’t like to recommend anything I haven’t seen. However, I think this one isn’t too much of a stretch. Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory steps into Buddy’s shoes replacing Will Ferrell. His father is voiced by Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker. Ed Asner returns to voice Santa. It doesn’t end there. Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates, Fred Armisen from SNL and Portlandia, Gilbert Gottfried, Jay Leno, Steve Higgins, and even Matt Lauer lend their voices to this animated musical that I’m sure is worth your time. Or at least, your kids’ time.
A Charlie Brown Christmas. To my knowledge this is the first time A Charlie Brown Christmas has been broadcast this season. With The Great Pumpkin and Thanksgiving Charlie Brown, they can afford to spread the Peanuts love around.
Home Alone. No matter how old you are or where you were when McCauley Culkin burst on the scene as Kevin McCallister, Home Alone should have a place on your holiday movie rundown. I will not be so bold to say it belongs at the top, that falls on your discretion. I personally, don’t have it in the top 15 (without checking). But top 15 on a list that goes 100 deep is respectable. Nice wholesome story for the entire family. How he would not be traumatized into habitual good behavior going forward as to never repeat such a travesty is behind me. Lost in New York would never happen in real life. But that’s a debate on realism. You have to throw realism away to enjoy Home Alone.
Check back tomorrow as we will continue to post daily schedules and breakdowns through December 24th.