What's Worth Watching: ABC comedies for Wednesday, December 9

Matt Roush

The Middle, "Not So Silent Night," 8/7c
The Goldbergs
, "A Christmas Story," 8:30/7:30c
Modern Family
, "White Christmas," 9/8c
, "Stuff," 9:30/8:30c, ABC

Tis the season for very special holiday episodes, and ABC's first-rate family comedies have a reputation for rising to the occasion:

As usual, The Middle takes the hard-knock approach, with Frankie (Patricia Heaton) so fed up with showing up to Christmas Eve church late, she decides to keep the family home to watch a service on TV. You know what they say about best-laid plans.

On The Goldbergs, Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) decides to bring some holiday spirit into the house by creating "Super Hanukkah," but somehow it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And not just because the boys have decided to reenact a famous scene from a certain classic Christmas movie.

Modern Family leaves L.A. behind for a trip to the mountains, so Gloria (Sofia Vergara) can experience the white Christmas of her dreams in a rented cabin—that turns out already to be occupied (by guest star Andrea Martin, a proven scene-stealer).

And on black-ish, Dre (Anthony Anderson) goes all Linus—as in A Charlie Brown Christmas—railing against society's rampant commercialization and his spoiled kids' obsession with "stuff," determined to teach them the true meaning of Christmas. Inviting herself to the party: guest star Wanda Sykes as new boss lady Daphne, seeking family comfort on her first Christmas as a divorcee. And she thinks she'll find it at the Johnsons?