What's Worth Watching: Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell and more on TCM classic musicals for Monday, December 28

Matt Roush
Everett Collection

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Georges Guetary, 1951.

Now here's a binge I can really get behind: a 12-hour wallow in some of Hollywood's greatest dance movies and musicals on (where else) Turner Classic Movies. It starts early, at 6 am/5c, with Busby Berkeley's iconic 42nd Street, which made Ruby Keeler a high-stepping Depression-era movie star in 1933. Next comes one of the elegant showcases for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: 1934's The Gay Divorcee, with the Oscar-winning Continental show-stopper. Then Eleanor Powell is Born to Dance (1936) with James Stewart. The marathon's piece de resistance may be 1951's Oscar-winning An American in Paris, starring Gene Kelly as the ex-pat who falls for Leslie Caron against a backdrop of ravishing Gershwin tunes. (It's now a hot ticket on Broadway.) Followed by 1954's robust Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Debbie Reynolds as The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), and wrapping at 6 pm/5c, with the 1985 compilation film That's Dancing!, in which Kelly, Liza Minnelli and Mikhail Baryshnikov introduce the movies' best dance numbers.

INSIDE MONDAY TV: Which of the seven teams of children in TLC's two-hour Bible Bowl special (8/7c) will be most divinely inspired and walk away with millions of dollars in scholarships? … A more sobering experience awaits viewers of the HBO documentary Heroin: Cape Cod, USA (9/8c), an unsparing cinema-verité study of the heroin epidemic affecting picturesque Cape Cod, Mass., as told from the perspective of eight addicts in their 20s. … Now this is how you burn off a failed TV show, with three episodes of TNT's convoluted spy thriller Legends airing consecutively, starting at 9/8c, on the Monday between Christmas and New Year's. We're promised that the "last pieces of the puzzle to understanding Martin Odum's (Sean Bean) identity" will be revealed in a flashback to 1972. But if no one's watching, did it really happen?