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Dec. 17 Dec. 23: The Dull Side of Christmas

Looking for quality TV programming in the holiday season

By Sonia Mansfield     December 17, 2001


Bruce Willis savors the Christmas season in DIE HARD.
© 1988 Twentieth Century Fox
Yeah, so Christmas is coming. Big deal.

I know my friends and family are shopping for gifts for me but, as always, I won't get what I really want. I want David Boreanaz to love me. I want ER to be good again. I want Vincent D'Onofrio to love me. I want a written guarantee from Fox that it won't cancel THE TICK. I want George Clooney to love me. I want to be as smart as the characters on THE WEST WING. I want Beck to love me. I want Giles to come back to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I want Matt Damon to love me. I want HBO to air THE SOPRANOS, SIX FEET UNDER, SEX AND THE CITY, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIAM and AUTOPSY every night. I want Ben Affleck to love me. I want to have hair like Sarah Michelle Gellar. I want ALLY MCBEAL to be good again. I want Dave Matthews to love me. I want reality shows to just go away.


Unfortunately, none of these are available for purchase at your local department store. Well, maybe Matt Damon's love, but all those other things are not for sale.


Anyway, enough about me. Let's talk TV. There are a lot of reruns this week. Sorry about that, but there's nothing I can do. I'll put "less reruns" on my Christmas list, but I don't think it will matter. So let me break down the week for you. And, as always, check your local listings.


Monday, December 17


Angel kills the soul mate of a vampire, who then seeks revenge in tonight's rerun of ANGEL (WB, 9 p.m.).


NBC is airing the second half of James Cameron's TITANIC tonight at 9 p.m. (the first half aired Sunday night). Lucky for you, this is the best part - the ship sinks and Leonardo DiCaprio dies.


Tuesday, December 18


Tonight we get a special rebroadcast of "The Body," the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (UPN, 8 p.m.) episode where Buffy's mother dies of non-supernatural causes, leaving the Slayer with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. The fact that the Emmys overlooked the writing and the amazing performances of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan is a crime. You notice that reruns of BUFFY are special rebroadcasts, and reruns of everything else are just reruns?


Hey, speaking

Russell Crowe in GLADIATOR.

of reruns, tonight's SMALLVILLE (WB, 9 p.m.) is the one where Clark discovers his X-ray vision.


Humans and aliens alike get reintroduced to the meaning of Christmas in tonight's ROSWELL (UPN, 9 p.m.).


It's 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. on 24 on Fox and Jack tells his wife what the deal is with their daughter's kidnapping, and the ensuing emotional breakdown will probably take up the full hour.


It's a shame when people throw away a perfectly good white boy like that. Check out BETTER OFF DEAD on ENCORE at 8 p.m.


Funniest Movie Ever Alert! TNN has got THE NAKED GUN at 9 p.m.


Wednesday, December 19


Hee hee

A CHRISTMAS STORY

- when Trip goes on an away mission to an alien ship, he gets knocked up in tonight's rerun of ENTERPRISE (UPN, 8 p.m.). Can the ship's chief engineer handle being a single... mother? Is there a diaper-changing station onboard? Who will be the godparents?


A link called "The Scarecrow" terrorizes Chicago in tonight's SPECIAL UNIT 2 (UPN, 9 p.m.). Next week, it's going to be a link called "The Tin Man." You heard it here first.


What a great lamp! Watch out for frozen lamp posts - and whatever you do, don't shoot your eye out! Check out the classic A CHRISTMAS STORY on TBS at 9 p.m.


Thursday, December 20


Peter convinces his disabled neighbor Joe to compete in the Special People's Games in tonight's FAMILY GUY (Fox, 8 p.m.) and I'm sure Peter says the word "retarded" or "cripple" a lot to hilarious consequences.


Are they a dynamic duo or a hero and sidekick? The Tick and Arthur face some issues after meeting the Fiery Blaze and his sidekick Friendly Fire in this rerun of the sidesplitting THE TICK (Fox, 8:30 p.m.).


In an episode that is sure to upset Ted Nudget, a deer hunter gets shot in the woods in tonight's CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS, 10 p.m.). I bet the deer did it.


See how Rose McGowan came to join the power of three in tonight's rerun of the season premiere of CHARMED (WB, 9 p.m.).


Prepare yourself for THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS by checking out the previous Wes Anderson/Owen Wilson collaboration RUSHMORE on Comedy Central at 8 p.m.


Jack Black Alert! ENCORE has got HIGH FIDELITY at 8 p.m.


Friday, December 21


No DARK ANGEL tonight folks. Sorry.


But Fox does have THE FAMILY GUY at 8 p.m. Peter just isn't in the holiday spirit after missing his favorite Christmas special: KISS Saves Santa. Whatever. That's just a poor man's The Nudge Kills Rudolph.


The all-male League of Superheroes invites the Tick and Arthur to be members, resulting in a discrimination lawsuit brought on by Captain Liberty in tonight's THE TICK (Fox, 8:30 p.m.).


Fox is repeating the 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. hour of 24 just in case you missed it on Tuesday.


An underrated classic in my opinion, check out SCROOGED at 7 p.m. on TBS.


Just so you know, I would've taken both the red and the blue pills at the same time. Check out THE MATRIX on TNT at 6 p.m.


Saturday, December 22


In the second season opener, Buffy distances herself from Angel and her friends after defeating the master in tonight's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (syndicated, check local listings).


Dylan tries

Bruce Willis savors the Christmas season in DIE HARD.

to keep the peace after someone on his crew snags a precious stone in tonight's GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA (syndicated, check local listings).


TBS unleashes hell with GLADIATOR at 8 p.m. By the way, I don't care what the Academy says; GLADIATOR was not the best picture last year. Obviously, they didn't see DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?.


Barbara Hershey is terrorized by an unseen force in 1982's THE ENTITY on Sci-Fi at 8 p.m.


Question: Why is Howie Long stuck doing annoying Radio Shack commercials with Teri Hatcher? Answer: FIRESTORM on FX at 8 p.m.


Sunday, December 23


We get a double dose of Bill being depressed by the holidays with two reruns of KING OF THE HILL on Fox at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


Burns hired Homer as his "prank monkey" in tonight's rerun of THE SIMPSONS (Fox, 8 p.m.).


Find out why Lois and Hal are the way they are and how they used to be with this rerun of MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (Fox, 8:30 p.m.) that details the birth of their sons.


The gang takes on the evil Santa Claus robot in tonight's FUTURAMA on Fox at 9:30 p.m.


Sydney learns about her father's role in Danny's murder in this rerun of ALIAS (ABC, 9 p.m.).


Here's another one of those Arnold Schwarzenegger movies that sucks - JINGLE ALL THE WAY airs on ABC at 7 p.m.


Now here's one of those Bruce Willis movies that's pretty damn good DIE HARD airs on FX at 8 p.m.


Remote Patrol is our weekly Television column.

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