Category Archives: Holidays

Wednesday TV: New ‘Doctor Who’ Calling

Christmas is a day of reruns, marathons and, for some reason, NBA games on American TV. But in Britain, it’s the day that is set aside for special episodes of favorite series. Such is the case with this year’s Christmas special for “Doctor Who” (BBC America, 9 p.m.). It’s an especially noteworthy episode from a [...]

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Tuesday TV: Merry Christmas, You Wonderful Old Building and Loan!

The most beloved Christmas movie used to be shown at least twice during the season. But NBC had a hit with its live remake of “The Sound of Music” and showed that in place of one of the usual slots for Frank Capra’s classic on Saturday. So tonight is just about the only time to [...]

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‘The Judy Garland Christmas Show’

The notion that the standard old musical variety Christmas specials were old fashioned, forced and fake does not stand with “The Judy Garland Christmas Show.” The first half of 1963 broadcast, after all, is sponsored by pills and cigarettes. Which is all you need to know about your host’s state of mind half a century [...]

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The Saddest Christmas Songs

Oh yes, we know Christmas is meant to be a time of good cheer, of peace and harmony and the nonstop ringing jingle bells. But when all-Christmas stations pop up the first week of November and there’s no ducking the ceaselessly upbeat department store mixes, the relentless cheeriness can be wearing. It’s well known that [...]

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Turkey Shoot on ‘The X Factor’

Family gatherings, stuffed turkey, cranberry sauce. For “The X Factor,” Thanksgiving is also a time to crush dreams. On an episode when no family connection failed to be exploited, the oldest contestant on ”The X Factor” was eliminated, while the youngest two battled to see which one would stay. First to go was Lillie McCloud, 54, who [...]

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Report from Halloween, 2013

Through some stroke of fate, I was a judge of a neighborhood kids costume contest and though I hardly ever had to weigh tough decisions of winners and losers, I did have the opportunity to see a lot of costumes, one after another. A lot of ninjas, more witches than princesses, one self-described vampire/devil, one [...]

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Cherry Blossom Report 2013

There’s actually a single point on a clock when you can say the cherry blossoms have peaked in Washington D.C. They build a whole festival around it and thousands of people come, but nobody knows exactly when the peak will be. Last year, for example, on the opening day of the festival, the blossoms were [...]

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Starting 2013 With a Whimper

Does New Year’s Eve just get inherently less interesting as one gets older? It was never much more exciting to see a calendar turn than to see the odometer turn 100,000 miles. It just happens. Numbers are like that. But this year on TV, there were more countdown shows than ever, and one of the [...]

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That Weird Thanksgiving Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a weird parade, unlike any you’re likely to see in real life. It’s not just the balloons either, it’s the weird performances they pause to do at the end before the reviewing stands, with pop stars lip synching tunes (do they do this all along the parade route?), odd [...]

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Labor Day Without Jerry

Something was wrong with Labor Day and not just the melancholy about the end of summer or the wearing white shoes thing. It was the disappearance of the Jerry Lewis Telethon. He was removed from the annual Labor Day MDA Telethon last year, and the whole telethon shrunk in hours. Once it went on all [...]

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