Worth Watching: Kacey Musgraves Celebrates Christmas on Amazon, 'Kinky Boots' on PBS, Nick's 'Top Elf'
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): What could be more traditional than an all-star music-variety holiday special? The new twist: It's a streaming exclusive, with Musgraves welcoming an eclectic lineup of guests including Lana Del Rey ("I'll Be Home for Christmas"), James Corden ("Let It Snow"), Camila Cabello ("Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"), Fred Armisen ("Silent Night") and the Radio City Rockettes for a night of classic and new holiday songs. It's beginning to sound a lot like you-know-what.
Kinky Boots (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The Tony-winning musical brings Great Performances' "Broadway’s Best" series to a show-stopping close, presenting the London production. Cyndi Lauper's infectious score and Harvey Fierstein's book adapt the 2005 movie about a struggling shoe factory revived with the help of the fabulous Lola (Matt Henry, who received an Olivier Award for the West End production in the role that won Pose's Billy Porter a Tony).
Top Elf (Friday, 8/7c, Nickelodeon): You're never too young to get in the reality-competition game. In a new five-episode contest, seven kid "Elf-testants" show off their building and design skills in holiday-themed challenges, with the goal of becoming "Top Elf" and having their wishes come true — not for themselves, but for causes benefiting their neighborhoods. Santa (Tommy Snider) and Ms. Jingles (Samatha Turret) will judge whose projects — ranging from life-sized gingerbread houses to creating new toys — are naughty and nice, with the help of celebrity judges including Frankie Grande, Peyton List and Pete Wentz.
Inside Friday TV: The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco provides the voice of Harley Quinn in an animated action/comedy series for DC Universe, in which Harley breaks ties with the Joker (Alan Tudyk) and sets her sights on becoming Gotham City's queen of crime… New holiday movies include Hallmark's Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy (8/7c), starring Maggie Lawson (Psych) as a novelist assigned to write an article about the Christmas-loving town, where a 50-year-old time capsule is unearthed and a possibly timeless love ensues with a local named Ben (Paul Greene)… OWN offers Baking Christmas (9/8c), which sets up a fictional bake-off to determine which of three children will take over the bakery established by Patty (Aloma Wright) and husband Phillip (Tim Reid)… The inspirational Disney+ series Marvel's Hero Project introduces Hailey, who created puzzles as a way to connect with her grandmother when she began exhibiting signs of Alzheimer's, and now helps other kids deal with loved ones' dementia. Give this girl a comic book of her own!