DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2013
Dec
20
 
 
I’m of two minds about this one-hour special, which pairs and colorizes two old episodes of I Love Lucy for modern prime-time consumption. One mind, the TV historian and teacher, is happy for anything that keeps old television alive, for younger audiences especially. Besides, in addition to the “Lucy stomps grapes” episode, there’s also a Lucy Christmas episode which was never part of TV’s syndication package. So that’s all good. But the other mind – the
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
20
 
 
Anchorman 2 opened this week in theaters, bringing back Will Ferrell’s local-TV newsman and inserting him into the nascent 24-hour cable news scene in 1980. All his cronies are back as well, which makes it even more fun to return to this original comedy, made nine years ago, to appreciate what started the slow but steady groundswell for another visit with Ron Burgundy and his pals.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
20
 
 
John Hughes wrote this 1989 comedy, which once again puts Chevy Chase at the center of a slapstick-heavy story about the Griswold family. Randy Quaid all but steals the show as cousin Eddie, but watch the Griswold kids, who received a major upgrade for this holiday sequel. In 1983’s original National Lampoon’s Vacation, Rusty and Audrey were played, respectively, by Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron. Six years later, for Christmas Vacation, the young actors playing those roles are
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
20
 
 
One of the better casting jobs for the role of Ebenezer Scrooge: Patrick Stewart, in this 1999 movie, takes on the classic curmudgeon, with support from Joel Grey, Richard E. Grant and Dominic West.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
20
 
 
Zach Galifianakis makes a return appearance on this loopy IFC comedy talk show – but this time he’s showing up in costume. As Santa.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
20
 
 
Those of us who were impressed with how John Oliver held the reins of The Daily Show over the summer knew the Emmy-award winning comedian will be hosting his own show on HBO next year... Jon Stewart found a way to bid Oliver a fitting adieu...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
19
 
 
Every December in my TV History and Appreciation class at Rowan University, my fellow professors and I assign the students a paper in which they have to interview some friend or family member at least 25 years their senior, and describe their most memorable TV viewing experience growing up. Many students write with amazement of the food and family rituals surrounding a favorite TV show, or viewing night, and more than a few wistfully remark that they wish they could experience a similar TV tradi
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
19
 
 
Today in 1843, exactly 170 years ago, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was published – and tonight, TCM is gathering together a very timely compilation of film adaptations of the British author’s most famous story. The evening begins with a musical version, a film released in 1970, starring Albert Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
19
 
 
Two words: Schweddy balls. And while you’re revisiting that classic Alec Baldwin sketch, a perfect parody of public radio (if I do say so myself), think about this: Two years ago, Ben & Jerry’s unveiled a limited-edition “Schweddy Balls” ice cream flavor. Its primary ingredients? Vanilla ice cream, rum, and fudge-covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2013
Dec
19
 
 
SEASON FINALE: I’ve held the secret long enough, surely. For tonight’s gripping conclusion of this spooky imported miniseries, there’s an escalation in the number of dead who have found their way back – and an apparently imminent confrontation between the dead and the living. For a full review, see Eric Gould’s Cold Light Reader.