Merry Christmas! There aren’t many TV presents this week (understandable, since most folks are occupied with holiday travel and activities), but don’t worry—no one’s leaving here empty-handed.
Monday, December 23
Monday Night Football (8:25 pm-12 am(ish), ESPN
The Atlanta Falcons visit the San Francisco 49ers for the last MNF of 2013. Atlanta has won only four games this season, so this matchup is notable mainly because it will be the last regular-season game played at Candlestick Park; next season the team is moving to a new stadium down the peninsula in Santa Clara. The 49ers are still in the playoff hunt, so this may not be the last game played here.
Tuesday, December 24
A Christmas Story marathon (8 pm-8 pm Wednesday, TBS)
It’s interesting how some holiday traditions develop. This movie was released 30 years ago, received mediocre reviews, and did only modestly in theaters. The 24-hour TV marathon dates back to 1997 and has probably been far more significant to securing the film’s reputation and place in the holiday canon. Starting times are every two hours, but I recommend watching it all the way through only once, lest you get sick of it (like having too much egg nog).
Wednesday, December 25
The Soup (10-10:30 pm, E!)
After you’ve finished your Christmas dinner and dessert, The Soup offers part one of its year-end “clipdown” countdown of the most memorable (that doesn’t necessarily mean best) TV moments of the year. (Part two airs next week.)
Also today: NBA games all day long between ESPN and ABC, starting at noon.
Thursday, December 26
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (8-10 pm, Turner Classic Movies)
Before you head out to see the new one, maybe take a look at this 1947 version of James Thurber’s short story with Danny Kaye in the title role, and also starring Boris Karloff.
Friday, December 27
Reno 911: Miami (8-9:40 pm, FXMovies)
The Reno Sheriff’s Department crew heads to Miami for a police convention, and naturally rampant silliness breaks out.
Saturday, December 28
Sex Sent Me to the ER (10-11 pm, TLC)
I feel kind of wrong putting this in here, but I suspect many of us have a certain voyeuristic curiosity about other people getting themselves into awkward situations (who are also shameless enough to allow their stories to be reenacted for a TV show).
Sunday, December 29
Kennedy Center Honors (9-11 pm, CBS)
This annual event honors five individuals each year who have dedicated their lives to enriching our culture through the performing arts. This year’s recipients are: opera singer Martina Arroyo; musician Herbie Hancock; musician Billy Joel; actress Shirley MacLaine; and musician Carlos Santana.
White Christmas (1954)
Hey, it’s a Danny Kaye double-header: he and Bing Crosby play World War II vets who come home and form a song-and-dance act; also starring Rosemary Clooney.