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TV Wasteland: It's The End of the World As We Know It

Here's hoping the Mayans were wrong.

By Rob Vaux     December 17, 2012

The world ends on Friday! But just in case it doesn’t, we have some pre-holiday viewing for you to enjoy, including a pair of season finales and a whole fistful of Christmas specials.
 

Monday

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC Family, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
It wouldn’t be holidays without Chuck Jones’s delightful animated… oh wait, it’s the shitty Jim Carrey movie. Never mind.
 
A Christmas Carol (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
George C. Scott stars in what may be the best adaptation of the famous story ever. It repeats on Tuesday at the same time.
 
X-Men: First Class (Cinemax, 6:00 PM EDT)
Will Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellan share screen time in the new film? Oh the possibilities…
 
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Oscar bait? You’re soaking in it!
 
Van Helsing (Starz, 6:45 PM EDT)
If you sing “Who Am I” to us again, Hugh, we’ll overlook this.
 
John Carter (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Taylor Kitsch had a rough road in 2012, starring in a pair of high-end box office flops. This one, at least, proves to be a lot better than its reputation suggests.
 
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
So long… so confusing… so glad Geoffrey Rush is here…
 
Revolution is off for the holidays.
 

Tuesday

A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The great granddaddy of Peanuts specials helps put us all in the holiday mood.
 
It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (The CW, 8:00 PM EDT)
David Arquette stands in for Clarence the angel, with Kermit as Jimmy Stewart in this Muppet version of It’s a Wonderful Life
 
The Polar Express (ABC Family, 10:00 PM EDT)
I want to know who made the decision to turn Steven Tyler into a Christmas Elf.
 
The Grudge (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
We need to celebrate the holidays with creepy Japanese kids more often.
 
Star Trek: Nemesis (IFC, 10:15 PM EDT)
He’s been Bane, he’s been a Romulan… Tom Hardy just needs a Bond villain to have the hat trick!
 
Real Steel (Showtime, 7:50 PM EDT)
For all the high-tech bells and whistles, it’s Dakota Goyo and Hugh Jackman who make this movie work.
 
Steve Niles’ Remains (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
That other zombie comic book story gets a movie treatment from Syfy.
 
Dawn of the Dead (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s the Zack Snyder version.
 

Wednesday

Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The team focuses on a Christmas haunting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Because even the unquiet dead can’t escape the holidays.
 
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (ABC Family, 9:00 PM EDT)
It’s actually Robert Zemeckis’s Mo-Cap Squad’s A Christmas Carol, but we’ll let Disney take the credit.
 
Green Lantern (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
Start with Sinestro next time, rather than the cosmic poo monster.
 
The Ring Two (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
It’s pretty bad, but I’m glad Sissy Spacek can still milk her Carrie routine for the occasional paycheck.
 
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Can you believe they actually started this with Will and Elizabeth as the selling points?
 
Kick-Ass (Spike, 8:00 PM EDT)
Mathew Vaughn prepped for First Class with this brilliant upending of superhero clichés.
 
The Punisher (Spike, 10:41 PM EDT)
Thomas Jane does his best, but he’s just too amiable to make a good Frank Castle.
 
Escape from LA (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Even with John Carpenter at the helm, this sequel loses a lot of the energy that made the first film a modern classic.
 
Arrow and Supernatural are off for the holiday
 

Thursday

Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
The sixth season comes to an end with Sam taking a bullet and Jesse ending up in enemy hands. It’s a two-hour episode, which is good since the rest of the regular shows are MIA for the holidays.
 
Miracle on 34th Street (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:15 PM EDT)
It’s a justified holiday classic, so expect to see it pop up a lot in the next few days. 
 
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney, 8:00 PM EDT)
Christmas movie or Halloween movie? The battle rages on.
 
End of Days (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Not even Gabriel Byrne can save this turkey.
 
Wanted (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
It’s not every day you see a hero this deliberately loathsome. It actually helps the movie work.
 
Scary Movie 2 (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Tim Curry, how could you?!
 
Angel Heart (Sundance, 8:00 PM EDT)
Mickey Rourke was never scuzzier than in this brilliant piece of supernatural noir. 
 
Christine (Sundance, 10:00 PM EDT)
John Carpenter’s version of the vaunted Stephen King story stumbles at points, but still finds the essence of what King was getting at.
 
Drive Angry
I don’t say this often, but it really loses something without the 3D.
 
The 12 Disasters of Christmas (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
Not even this sacred holiday can escape the clammy grasp of Syfy original movies. 
 
Ice Quake (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
When the ice in Alaska melts on Christmas Eve, it creates earthquakes that could destroy the world. I don’t look for logic, I just tell you what it’s about.
 
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Starz, 9:0 PM EDT)
Nothing like kicking a dildo up a rapist’s ass for the holidays.
 
The Big Bang Theory, Elementary, Last Resort, The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast are off this week.
 

Friday

Fringe (Fox, 9:00 PM EDT)
Nina Sharp gets tapped to help stop the Observers, as the clock slowly ticks down to zero.
 
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The third season closes out as Audrey, Nathan and Duke face down the Bolt Gun Killer, and Audrey contemplates her imminent disappearance.
 
Miracle on 34th Street (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT 10:30 PM EDT)
AMC mixes it up by running the solid 1994 remake instead of the 1947 original tonight. It repeats again on Saturday and Sunday night.
 
Aliens in the Attic (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
I saw this movie, about a band of kids who fight off alien invaders, but I honestly couldn’t tell you the first thing about it.
 
2012 (FX, 8:00 PM EDT)
Kudos to FX for programming this on the day the world ends. (We’re going to report Saturday and Sunday, in case the Mayans were wrong.)
 
In Time (HBO, 7:00 PM EDT)
I’m not sure why this film – about a future society where time literally is money – got so much bad flak. It’s actually quite interesting.
 
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Starz, 7:20 PM EDT)
I hope paying those bills was worth it, Nic.
 
Grimm and Nikita are off for the holiday.
 

Saturday

The Revenant (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
An undead soldier becomes a crime fighter in order to get the blood he needs to survive. 
 
Cloverfield (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
If you can handle the shakycam, this modern monster movie isn’t half bad.
 
Rambo 4 (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Stallone mows down evil brown people by the hundreds in the fourth (and presumably final) entry in his durable franchise.
 
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Starz, 9:00 PM EDT)
Remember this stop-motion charmer from earlier this year? Check it out if you need a refresher.
 
Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
The TNG crew’s disappointing movie debut is easier to handle when paired with their epic battle with the Borg.
 
The Wizard of Oz (TNT, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:15 PM EDT)
If you have to ask…
 

Sunday

Casino Royale (BBC America, 8:00 PM EDT)
Because James Bond fans need a Merry Christmas too.
 
The Thing (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
There’s been a surprising number of horror movies aired this week, but this fair-to-middling prequel to the John Carpenter classic actually feels seasonal. 
 
Eagle Eye (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT and 10:30 PM EDT)
Boy Shia LeBeouf sure got irrelevant in a hurry.
 
Cowboys and Aliens (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Move along. Nothing to see here.
 
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (IFC, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Let’s just chalk this up to counter programming. Even so, it’s pretty weak.
 
The Return of the King (TNT, 7:00 PM EDT)
This is quite a special movie… as the underwhelming Hobbit proves.
 
Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Syfy, 6:30 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
Syfy closes the week with a decent pair of Trek films.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
1 
fenngibbon 12/17/2012 1:39:39 AM

 Which Casino Royale is it?  I ask because I don't think I've ever seen the Daniel Craig version on BBC America.

SarcasticCaveman 12/17/2012 2:17:03 AM

 That 1994 Miracle on 34th Street is a TRAVESTY.  Just awful.

doublec 12/17/2012 2:21:56 AM

 Actually Tom Hardy didn't play a Romulan, he played a human clone adopted by the Remans, but why quibble...
And I'm glad to see I'm not the only person to like the 1994 Miracle on 34th Street. In fact the remake is probably my all time favorite Christmas movie. The original is no question the better movie, but I like the almost fairytale version of Christmastime New York the remake creates. Sets a nice hioliday mood.

SarcasticCaveman 12/17/2012 2:37:48 AM

 I'm sorry, but the "In God we trust" ending of the 1994 travesty just sucks.  Doesn't hold a candle to the classic 1947 where the post office delivers all the letters addressed to Santa Claus to the court house for Kris.  A judge ruling that a usually invisible thing is real based on "In God we trust"?...they should do a movie where an Oregon judge rules that Bigfoot is real, or a New Jersey judge rule that the Jersey Devil is real.  Just stupid.

lazarus 12/17/2012 3:23:04 PM

Okay I am curious. Why the F*CK does Rob use a Futurama pic in this when there is NOT ONE note about the show in the listings? Is there a Futurama Christmas special or something? Otherwise it is a damn dirty tease Rob. Stop it.

SarcasticCaveman 12/17/2012 6:51:24 PM

 For my Trekkie peeps out there, (I'm ASSUMING it's the Patrick Stewart one because it's being shown on TNT - no cast info was provided on my cable provider guide) looks like Friday night/Saturday morning at Midnight, TNT is showing the Patrich Stewart "A Christmas Carol"...I actually prefer the George C. Scott version, but come on....PATRICK STEWART!

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