Worth Watching: A ‘Rudolph’ Sighting, OWN Owns Christmas, Big Rick on ‘Big Sky,’ a ‘Young and Restless’ Milestone
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (8/7c, CBS): “You’ll go down in history.” That lyric, the final line of the catchy title song, has certainly come true. First shown in 1964, making Rudolph the longest continuously running Christmas special to air annually, and a CBS staple since 1972, the beloved Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated treasure continues to delight with the story of the underdog reindeer and his elf pal Hermie, who’d rather be a dentist. (Which comes in handy when dealing with a toothsome Abominable Snow Monster.)
Our OWN Christmas (9/8c, OWN): Oprah‘s network gets its gospel on in a musical special, hosted by Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin, that puts R&B, hip-hop and gospel twists on favorite Christmas songs from “O Holy Night” to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (always my favorite). Performers include gospel headliners Kierra Sheard, Erica Campbell, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, Lalah Hathaway and Le’Andria Johnson, plus collaborations with Ne-Yo and BJ The Chicago Kid, gospel group The Clark Sisters, Boyz II Men and a capella groups Shelby 5 and The Walls Group.
Holiday Movies That Made Us (streaming on Netflix): Christmas movies are as important a tradition as our annual TV specials and Hallmark/Lifetime cheese-fests. Acknowledging that, this new series goes behind the scenes of the making of two longtime favorites: 1993’s Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas and Will Ferrell‘s rollicking 2003 hit Elf, with production footage and interviews with casts and crew members revealing untold stories.
Big Sky (10/9c, ABC): “Big Rick” Legarski (John Carroll Lynch) emerges as the big bad of Big Sky in this anything-but-holiday episode, wrangling with and patronizing P.I. Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury), who does not like to be called “Missy.” His Montana State Trooper uniform isn’t fooling anyone: not his suspicious wife (Brooke Smith), not Cassie, and not the kidnapped sisters who will do anything to escape from psycho Ronald (Brian Geraghty), who would be more menacing if he weren’t such a klutz of a henpecked mama’s boy.
A Teacher (streaming on FX on Hulu): The fallout is immediate, and devastating, once Claire (Kate Mara) foolishly lets slip that she’s been sleeping with Eric (Nick Robinson), her student. Her 10-year marriage appears to be over even before police come knocking after a report is filed. As for Eric, he’s terrified, though still smitten, when gossip blows up both of their lives.
Inside Tuesday TV: Not so young, but always restless, CBS’s top-rated daytime drama The Young and the Restless (12:30 pm/11:30c and PT) marks its 12,000th episode during a week devoted to the wedding of Abby Newman (Melissa Ordway) and Phillip “Chance” Chancellor IV (Justin Gaston), which brings many of the fan-favorite characters together… Rescheduled from Thanksgiving because of COVID complications, the Baltimore Ravens are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers on NBC (8 pm/7c). Scheduled episodes of The Voice and Transplant have moved to Thursday… He didn’t win Dancing with the Stars, but Nev Schulman is back to business with new episodes of MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show (9/8c), following a daylong The 10 Years of Catfish-athon (starting at 11 am/10c) and a podcast launching Wednesday.