My Christmas Programming Rant 2012

11 12 2012

Preface: I love Christmas. It’s my absolute FAVOURITE time of the year. I love the music so much that I listen to it non-stop starting Dec.1 and I sing along when I’m wandering through malls and shopping the aisles of grocery stores. I spend way too much money, but I don’t care. I deal with credit cards in the off-season. I go nuts decorating my house, and berate the people in my neighbourhood without adequate light displays. I send Elf Yourself ecards. I have special ‘once-a-year’ Christmas socks. I will buy any food product that is ‘Candy Cane flavoured’. I still have trouble falling to sleep on Christmas Eve, and I still wake up before dawn just to lay awake watching the ceiling until it is an acceptable hour to get the family up.

So to be perfectly clear… I love Christmas.


That being said. (Feel free to re-read the Preface before continuing…)

I am NOT a fan of how TV networks deal with Christmas. Let me explain. Somehow I envision the TV execs getting together to pitch Holiday programming, and that it might go a little something like this:

Exec 1 “Here is a list of all the (XYZ) network celebrities that signed their big TV contracts without reading the fine print.”

Exec. 2 “Here is a list of every potential scenario we’ve come up with for 6-episode Game Shows”

Exec 3 “Here are the celebrities with Christmas Albums dropping this year”

Exec 1 “Attach as many (XYZ) network celebrities to either host, or judge these shows. Add performances by any celebrity with a Christmas album.”

Exec 3 : What should we do about the rest of the list?

Exec 1: Give them their own Christmas special.


No, I did NOT watch ‘Take it All‘ last night. I also steered clear of Extreme Home Makeover: The Holiday edition… and I found myself finding reasons to leave the room when The Voice became a Holiday Sing-along and Promo for Blake Shelton Christmas album and Michael Buble’s Christmas Special.

There’s cheeseball Christmas, like faberge ornaments and Rudolf the Red Nosed reindeer in stop motion. Then there’s insulting Christmas, like weepy specials that exploit the poor, the sick or the families of military just to get a reaction. These shows are ratings gold mines because they pull everything else OFF the air to make room for them.

…and when was the last time you watched a Christmas Special without feeling a little uncomfortable about the level of cheeseball you were enduring? It’s not natural, and there is a reason why they can only get away with airing this stuff once a year.

The reason? People like me, and perhaps, people like you. We become the Christmas versions of ourselves this time of the year. The more patient, the more accepting, the more easily entertained by an off-key children’s choir on a paper mache float.


As much as I can get on my soapbox and demand reform, I can’t promise that I won’t get sucked in by a caroling competition featuring inner-city at-risk youth. I’m not a martyr. I simply wish that networks could find a way to ‘keep Christmas’ without assaulting us with overt Holiday filler… sponsored by your favourite soft drink.


The Joys of Christmas Programming

10 12 2012

Falalalalala -lala-lala

Tis the Season.

I watched a Home Alone Marathon last night… as a result, I set a marble trap at my door before I went to bed. Just in case. They’ll never outsmart the well-prepared.

The signs of Christmas are all around us – I’m not really referring to Christmas trees, lights or the occasional flurry, I’m much more interested with what the networks have come up with to keep us tuned in this Christmas. They bank on us forgetting how MUCH we hate Christmas specials hosted by marginal celebrities and their even more marginal friends (I’m talking about you Blake Shelton…). They KNOW that we’ll forget how excruciating it is to sit through a Holiday parade… unless it’s muted. Otherwise, you have to listen to the cheese-ball announcers pretend their degree in Journalism was worth it.  And they consider us to be naively entertained by any ‘new’ special, game show or filler episode on TV between Thanksgiving and New Years that has anything to do with Christmas, giving, or singing. They wouldn’t spend a dime on this rot if we didn’t fall for it… every year.

This year?

Extreme Home Makeover takes over the TV for 2 hours every Monday for a  SPECIAL Holiday edition. 2 hours. Remember when Extreme Home Makeover was an HGTV show, and the most compelling part of the show was the big reveal? Now its a show that spends 1:45 minutes forcing waterworks from even the coldest of hearts. Just when you thought a story couldn’t get anymore tragic… they throw in a terminal illness, or a war veteran. And just so we are clear on the semantics… a makeover is working with what you’ve got to make it better. Ty and crew do NOT ‘Makeover’ – they tear down and build mortgage busting mansions that would make King Louis XIV jealous. Just sayin’.

Today, I look at the TV line up for this evening (yes, i start planning my attack at 8am, don’t you dare judge.) and see a new show that I don’t recognize airing after the Voice on NBC. The show is called ‘Take it All‘ – it’s a limited -run gameshow, and it’s hosted by… wait for it, in fact, I could give you 3 guesses and you’d nail it in one… Howie Mandell.

Howie Mandell – who says the show is, and I quote, “The Price is Right meets Jerry Springer“. That sounds like afternoon programming at the retirement estates in Crocketbluff, Arkansas. Or what’s on a loop in the 7th ring of hell. Either or…

That’s not all ladies and gents… after an hour of this insult to intelligence, stay on NBC for the sophomore season of Michael Buble Christmas – featuring his famous pals, Carly Rae Jepson (Grammy nominated… don’t shoot the messenger), Rod Stewart (yep, still living) and Blake Shelton (who did he sell his soul to?).

Oh it’s on. It’s officially the Christmas season – when TV gets really really bad, and we don’t care.

What are YOU watching tonight?

Tuesday Night TV

30 11 2010

Bit of a Christmas overload on TV tuesday night.

Someone please tell the networks that even by shoving Christmas specials down our throats, it will not make the 25th come any quicker…really. It’s a month away, and already we have been forced to see Christmas at Rockefeller, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the holiday themed Victorias Secret Fashion Show.

Not to mention the all-Christmas, all -the-time radio stations I can’t flip through quick enough.

I’m no miser…I just don’t enjoy TV shutting down ‘for the holidays’ a month before the big day!

I found the VS fashion show particularly annoying tonight – I have a problem knowing who the target audience is… Men? Women? Teenagers? Socialite fashion snobs?

I don’t get it.

It also doesn’t help the self-esteem to schedule Biggest Loser to be on a different channel…vying for your weight-consciousness. I was forced to put down my Pringles more than once based solely on guilt. Shameful.

I’m sure my mood will turn half-way through December…when all of a sudden I’m carolling incessantly and PVR-ing a Muppet Christmas. Until then…can I see my regular programming please?

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