Holiday fare we don't want to see, but probably will
Here in this season of peace, goodwill and bitter partisan political fighting, it's nice to know that we can escape into the fantasy worlds that Christmas television programming brings us ad infinitum and ad nauseum at this time of the year.
From now until Christmas we will be deluged with the old favorites, the not-so-old and not-so-favorites, and the new stuff the networks and cable have to come up with each year to ensure that, even at 3 a.m., you can turn on the tube and find something heart-warming and uplifting, even if it is the Playboy Channel's, "Christmas Support Bra Special."
Each Christmas, of course, it gets harder and harder to come up with new, original seasonal programming and this year was no different, not to mention the fact that every make-up artist in Hollywood was working on either the "Grinch" movie or Katherine Harris and Tammy Faye Bakker in "A Florida Secretary of State's Christmas," complete with the Singing Chads' rendition of "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Gridlock."
Still, some Christmas specials just don't make it. Here are a few I have it on very good authority will not be on television this season. However, next season is another story.
CHARLIE BROWN GOES POSTAL: Now that the creator of the beloved comic strip has passed away, there are many who would like to make a fast buck out of the popularity of the characters. In this special, Charlie Brown snaps and takes hostages while visiting Linus in the hospital where he has been held for evaluation since Halloween for insisting the Great Pumpkin made him rob a liquor store. In the end the gang finally comes together in the Christmas spirit after being darted with tranquilizer guns and led away to padded confinement by a doctor who looks suspiciously like a beagle. Charlie Brown keeps insisting that, if his parents had ever been present, none of this would have happened.
A PALM BEACH CHRISTMAS: Is that snow or just chads being tossed out of a back window? Your breast will swell as Democrats and Republicans come together to sing, "Hell, no! We won't go!" Whether it swells with patriotism or nausea, we'll never know.
THE WALTONS DO DALLAS: Oil is discovered on Walton Mountain just as the family is gathering for the annual Christmas reunion. But the property belongs to the Baldwin sisters. So John Boy and J.R. Ewing conspire to scare the old ladies into selling by telling them the story of the Christmas Bigfoot, who comes down from the top of the mountain each year to kill and maim the weak and defenseless. Christmas is saved, however the men's greed gets the best of them. While bending over to pick up a coin he spies on the ground, the static in J.R.'s fake fur Bigfoot costume creates a spark that ignites the Baldwin sisters' still and blows him and John Boy across the county line.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFELINE: In a Christmas special, Regis employs a spiritual medium to allow stumped contestants to consult angelic help for answers. This follows the TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, where Monica is sued for improper touching.
A CHRISTMAS CAROLINE: In this weak version of the classic, Caroline, an embittered, miserly old woman, is visited by the Ghost of Christmas That Might Have Been But Wasn't So Get Over It.
RUDOLPH THE REDNECK REINDEER: Rudolph takes a wrong turn, landing Santa and the rest of the reindeer right smack in the middle of a Confederate flag rally. Rudolph, however, convinces the rednecks that he's from Alabama and loves beer, too, hence the red nose, and, when the rednecks threaten to shoot one of the other reindeer, Rudolph suggests Blitzen, because he used to laugh and call him names. Christmas is eventually saved when Santa cleans Rudolph's clock using the butt of a Red Ryder BB gun he pulls from his sleigh.
Marty Russell is senior reporter for the Daily Journal
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