When he's not writing about food for NOW, Steven Davey has to take time to decompress (and digest). So who better to guide you through a full holiday season's worth of vegetative TV watching? That's right: nobody.
Saturday, December 22
If you still haven't decided what you're going to serve on the big day, Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas (9 am on Food) has two hours of seasonal suggestions, you lazy donkeys. And nothing says the holidays like one of the most depressing flicks of all time, Frank Capra's perennial It's A Wonderful Life from 1946 with Donna Reed and suicidal Jimmy St-St-Stewart (1 pm on Bravo).
Feeling all warm and fuzzy? Then don't miss the original 1938 version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol (4 pm on CHCH) with a blurry Reginald Owen as Scrooge. You'll swear they smeared Vaseline on the lens. Jim Backus shows up as the near-sighted lead in the 1962 cartoon version of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (8 pm on Global) as well as James Dean's father in director Nicholas Ray's iconic Rebel Without a Cause (8 pm on TCM). Or catch a silent Charlie Chaplin in 1925's Gold Rush (8 pm on TVO) in the old Elwy slot.
Top off the night-before-the-night-before-the-night-before with a Quentin Tarentino double-bill, 2009's Inglorious Basterds (9 pm and 2:30 am on IFC) with Brad Pitt and Oscar-winning Christoph Waltz followed by 2003's Kill Bill: Volume 1 (midnight on Toon) with David Carradine and Uma Therman.
Sunday, December 23
Heidi Klum and fashionable crew kick off back-to-back episodes of Project Runway (9 am on Slice) as does Jamie Oliver and his pukka Family Christmas (9:30 am on Food). Music fans won't want to miss Standing in the Shadows of Motown (11 am and 4, 6 and 11:30 pm on Aux), a 2002 doc that chronicles the anonymous Motor City musicians responsible for countless 60s hits.
Strip The City (11 am on Discovery) examines "the hidden infrastructure of Toronto" - Rob Ford's backyard? - while Billy Bob Thornton out-Scrooges Scrooge in 2003's Bad Santa (2 pm on MuchMoreMusic). Kate Winslett and Nicholas Cage add their voices to the 2001 animated version of A Christmas Carol (2 pm on TVO).
Feel like a good cry? Lasse Hallstrom's Haachi: A Dog's Tale (2 and 7 pm on Oprah) with Richard Gere and Joan Allen will have you sobbing uncontrollably within the first 10 minutes. And then somebody dies! Lighten up with a repeat of A Colbert Christmas (11 pm, 5 am on Comedy) with guests Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello and our own Leslie Feist.
Those of a more cultured bent will appreciate Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent Passion of Joan of Arc (midnight on TCM) from 1928 with Maria Falconetti as the notorious tomboy/canon saint. Might we suggest Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Maid of Orleans as a soundtrack? Or catch Marion Cotillard in her 2007 Oscar-winning role as tragic chanteuse Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose (12:30 am on CBLFT). Of course, it's in French but c'est la vie!