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.
Monday, December 24
Hate the holidays? Then you'll empathize with Vince Vaughan as Fred Claus (1:30 pm on Spark), Santa's bitter older brother who's recruited into the family business. Those of a sappier nature will wallow in Michael Curtiz's 1954 musical White Christmas (1:45 pm on AMC) with Der Bingle, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. Or hit mute and watch the Holiday Fireplace (4 pm on Rogers) for the next 32 hours to a non-stop loop of Phil Spector's Christmas LP.
For those of you with a sweet tooth for over-acting, Johnny Depp channels Michael Jackson in Tim Burton's 2005 remodel of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (7 pm on City). For many, Alastair Sim in 1951's A Christmas Carol (8 pm on CBC/11:30 pm on CTV) is the definitive Scrooge, though Michael Caine in the Muppet Christmas Carol (11 pm on Spark) gives him a run for his money.
Tuesday, December 25
Bah humbug! Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb start the day off with a proper punk-rock kicking in Alex Cox's Sid And Nancy (9 am, 6 pm on AUX). To celebrate her diamond jubilee, Betty Windsor delivers her annual message to the realm in stereophonic 3D (noon, 3 pm on CBC).
They don't call it the boob tube for nothing. A couple of hours of the Dumbest Stuff On Wheels marathon (noon on Speed) will put you in the perfect frame of mind to appreciate Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles in 2009's Trailor Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day (3, 5 and 11:15 pm on IFC). Watch for Rush's Alex Lifeson as an undercover prostitute. And they don't get any more Canadian than A Beachcombers' Christmas (7 pm on ATN) with Dave Thomas and Graham Greene. Relic!
In a Seussical mood? Elastic comic Jim Carrey pulls double duty in the animated Horton Hears A Who (8 pm on NBC) and Ron Howard's live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas (8:30 pm on ABC). And just in case you missed it running round the clock for the last three days on AMC, our public broadcaster hauls out the 1947 version of Miracle On 34th Street (8 pm on CBC) with a young Natalie Wood one last time.
If you started on the eggnog around noon, you probably won't notice that Jacques Demy's phantasmagorical Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (9 pm on TFO) from 1964 with the shag-tastic Catherine Deneuve is a musical sung entirely in French.
Country crooner Blake Shelton's Not So Family Christmas (10 pm on NBC) welcomes guests Kelly Clarkson, Reba MacEntire and Larry the Cable Guy while Denholm Elliott stars in the 1987 adaption of Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales (11 pm on Vision). And what better way to end the day than with the Dame Edna Christmas Experience (1 am on Vision), especially with the superstar Australian housewive's guests are Sir Roger Moore and swingin' 60s popstar Lulu?