TV Musts for Christmas Updated 2012

Let's face it, we hate spending any time with our families at Christmas but we love spending time with OTHER families for Christmas; that is to say TV families.   There are just some programs I have to watch for Christmas.  Since the Red Room Podcast is all about lists this time of year, I thought I would unwrap a present for all of you and tell you what you need to watch between now and Christmas. 1. David Letterman's Christmas Show.  The last show before Christmas (this year that should be December 21st at 11:35 CBS) Dave does his Christmas show.  Before we get started, let me be totally up front with you.  I love Dave; he has been my TV friend since the 80's.  I have watched him every night since then and I love him and I hate Leno.  This is my only hard and fast rule in life.  I am a Dave man and there is no room for Leno.  Anyway back to the Christmas cheer.  Dave has turned his Christmas show into the best hour of the year.  He always has Paul do his impression of Cher.  He has Darlene Love sing Christmas (please come home) and most importantly, he has Jay Thomas come on to knock the meatball off the top of the tree.

If that last sentence doesn't make sense to you, then you really need to DVR Dave.  But my favorite part of the show is to hear Jay Thomas tell, what Dave calls, the best show business story ever.  I am sure his story about the Lone Ranger is on Youtube. If you have not heard it, just wait till the show and listen.  Jay has told this story for 10 years in a row and I have laughed every year.  It truly is the best story in show business history.  If Dave ever retires (and he never will, he is going to live forever and do the show forever), I truly don't know how I will get ready for Christmas without Darlene, Paul, the Lone Ranger and my TV friend Dave.

2. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  I freaking love Dr. Seuss.  I love the rhyming and the morals and the made up words.  He is the first successful rap artist.  Except he uses Dah who dor-aze every other word.  I know there is A Charlie Brown Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Frosty but this show gets me.  Cindy Lou Who smiling up at that Grinch.  And then they all sing instead of spraying each other with pepper spray when there aren't any X-Box games under the tree.  It is just a really nice fairy tale.  Seriously though, I am totally on the Grinch's side.  Those Who's would annoy the crap out of me.  He isn't bothering anyone up there and they are bombarding him with all that cheer.  Its like that person at work who says "happy Monday" to you before your coffee.  I wish I could steal all their toys and throw them off a cliff.

3. A Christmas Story.  I have no idea how this movie was ever made.  It is simple, sweet and dead on true.  Most of you probably identify with the main character, Ralphie, but I always related to Randy.  I was the younger brother bundled up like a snowman.   I love the fact that it shows the holiday from both the parent's and kid's point of view.  I would guess that kids today wouldn't be able to relate to being afraid of 'The Old Man'  because today every parent is a kid's best friend.  But I remember my brother being petrified every time he broke his glasses.  A Christmas Story was stolen from my childhood and I guess its popularity means it was stolen from everyone else's childhood too.

4. "Mary, Joseph and Larry"  from Curb Your Enthusiasm. From Season 3, the strongest season of Curb, comes a Christmas classic.  Its the only Christmas episode ever that has the line, "Larry, did you eat the baby Jesus?"  To which Larry responds, "I thought it was a monkey."    Watching Larry give Christmas tips to everyone at the club truly brings out the best of holiday giving.  How much do we give?  Who gets what?  To me its exactly what we want from a Christmas Curb.  And I admit that most holiday themed ideas don't have a subplot with a certain something stuck in someone's throat but it does have a live Nativity scene and of course, a Christmas cookie that looks like a monkey.

5. The Ref.  I think Ted Demme's early death is a real tragedy.  He directed two of my favorite movies with such a gift for character and story telling.  One is Beautiful Girls and the other is the Denis Leary comedy, The Ref.  Both are movies you can watch over and over because of the characters.   My guess is not many of you have seen The Ref but it has two great lines.  One was in the trailer where Denis Leary tells a mean old woman that her husband isn't dead, he's hiding.  The other is when Kevin Spacey tells his mother what he is going to get her for Christmas next year.  I won't tell it here because you really need Kevin's delivery. If your mom ever tried to make you feel even a little guilty, I think you will enjoy it.

6. Downton Abbey Christmas Special.  Season 2 of Downton Abbey was just as good as Season 1.  That is a hard thing to accomplish.  At the end of Season 2, I was getting a little sick of the back and forth with Mary and Matthew.  In the Christmas Episode, they solved this issue with a snow filled marriage proposal.  This episode also has the wonderful dance scene where the servants get to dance with the family.  Watching all of our favorite characters interact can get you ready for a nice family Christmas eve with your family.  how I wish the Dowager would come to just one of my family functions. (You can listen to our podcast about this episode here.  Also starting in January, I will be blogging about each episode of season 3.)

7. It's A Wonderful Life. I have never been able to decide if this movie is supposed to make us feel better because all of his friends come to help him or because it shows us that our life isn't as awful as his life.  Were they making ironic movies back in 1946?  I mean his life sucks.  All he ever wanted to do was get out of that crap town.  That is it.  He didn't want to take on Potter.  He didn't want all those kids and banks and uncles to watch over.  He picked up that rock and threw it at the house and wished to go see the world.  And what happens next?  Mary picks up a rock and wishes that all his wishes don't come true.  A major lesson boys, women just wish our wishes away and they win.  I love this movie.   Nothing spells Christmas more than watching 2 hours of George Bailey suffering. (Check out the song It's a Wonderful Life by The Tories.)

HONORABLE MENTION:

ELF with my sweet Zooey. "This is Buddy Elf what's your favorite color?"

Home for the Holiday's (I know its a Thanksgiving movie but you still have to see your crazy in-laws)

A Year Without A Santa (because I love the Heat Miser)

Christmas On TV (a Christmas song that Chris Isaak wrote) Follow us on Facebook or twitter Subscribe to our Weekly Podcast on Television at iTunes

Scott also has a side podcast called Scott Luck Stories. Here Scott tells 5-8 minute long stories from his life. Check out the facebook page and subscribe on iTunes or follow on Twitter @ScottLuckStory