It’s that special time of the holiday season. It’s time for the alternate TV viewing guide. Thanksgiving is about football, but more than that it’s about having the television on AT ALL TIMES. You don’t necessarily have to be watching, but when you get a bunch of relatives around, and the conversation starts to get a bit awkward? It’s nice for your grandfather to be able to point at the old tube and say, “How ‘Bout That Romo Fella?” But, in case you are anti-football, or if your fantasy season is already over–here are some other viewing options. I’m trying not to be too repetitive, so if you’re looking for a dog show, or a Godfather marathon, trust that you can find one.
12:00-1:00 pm–Breaking Amish on TLC
Breaking Amish follows five Amish youngsters as they head to New York City. The cast ultimately has to decide if they want to remain Amish or forgo that lifestyle and become, “English.” This is what Amish people call everyone who isn’t Amish. That fact alone provides plenty of amusement along with lines like, “What’s a Bachelor Party?” And to set the record straight, the Amish live in Lancaster County, not the city of Lancaster, which is where F&M is located.
1:00-2:00 pm–Encino Man on Comedy Central.
The first time I saw Encino Man I couldn’t stop laughing. I haven’t seen it since. Deep down I think I know that I saw it at the perfect time in my life. I was perfectly into the nineties. I was perfectly immature. We’re talking about a movie that features Pauly Shore in a starring role. Could I go back, watch it, and deal with the fact that I once found it hysterical? Is it still funny? Maybe I find out Thursday.
2:00-3:00 pm–Friday Night Lights on ESPN Classic.
I know what you’re thinking, NO FOOTBALL! This is a compromise, though. You’ll get to see some great football from Dillon High (East or West depending on the season), but you’ll also get wrapped up in some real drama. Still waiting for the spin-off that stars Riggins and Buddy Garrity, but in the meantime maybe you can compare the coaching skills of Eric Taylor to Andy Reid.
3:00-4:00 pm–American Pickers on The History Channel.
You learn a lot about people watching American Pickers. Why do people spend thousands of dollars on old gas station signs? Why do some people never throw anything out? There are questions too. Should I be monitoring my relative’s attics for hidden gems and overcrowding? Is there a barn around here I can rummage through? American Pickers usually has a few good laughs and is like a baby step if you aren’t ready for a full-on episode of Hoarders.
4:00-5:00 pm–Bad Santa on Comedy Central.
Yes. A couple of years back I put Bad Santa at #2 on my all-time list of Christmas movies. A lot of the magic of this film could be lost in the Comedy Central edit, but it’s still worth a shot. Actually, maybe it’s a good test, is this movie funny or just profane? I’m going to lean toward the former. And, I’m contractually obligated to mention my favorite line every time I mention the movie. “Sh*t in one hand and wish in the other. See which fills up first.”
5:00-6:00 pm–Bacon Paradise 2 on Travel.
I really like bacon, but what I’ve found out in the last couple years as food and cooking shows explode is that there are people who like bacon more than I do. THEY LOVE IT. I like bacon at breakfast, on top of a burger, but a lot of people are going the extra mile. On this episode of Bacon Paradise, they explore bacon lasagna, bacon brownies and something called a 5-lb bacon bomb. Looks like we dodged the pork shortage!
6:00-7:00 pm–Hatfields and McCoys on History.
It’s Kevin Costner. And, that guy from Twister! But we’re talking about the most watched cable show of ALL-TIME. Is that an impressive stat? I don’t know. What better show to watch on Thanksgiving than one about a feud between two families? This will bring the whole room together. Then you can storm across the street and invade your neighbor’s living room. Whatever happens, happens.
7:00-8:00 pm–Punkin Chunkin 2012 on Science.
I did not know what Punkin Chunkin was a few years ago, but I now know that it’s a competition to see how far you can launch a pumpkin. The contraptions are homemade by everyone from rednecks to engineers to redneck engineers and it’s a real celebration of America’s obsession with spectacle. Or, our need to drink and get rid of excess pumpkins? I’m thinking maybe you have a 1/2 rotten jack-o-lantern still lying around? Launch that bitch.
8:00-9:00 pm–Meet the Parents on Bravo.
How much do sequels tarnish the originals? By the time “Little Fockers,” came out did we forget how good Meet the Parents was? It’s such a quotable movie. And I think there are still people who do that eyes on you thing, which is a bit embarrassing, but speaks to the lasting power of this film. Jinxy Cat, Jinxy Cat, Where Are You? I Love You.
9:00-10:100 pm–Glee on Fox.
I feel like for the non-football crowd, this is what we’ve been building toward all day. OMG, did you know there’s a Thanksgiving episode of Glee? Do people still watch Glee? I don’t even know. Does anyone graduate from this high school? Again, no clue. But, I think it’s important to end the day on a festive note. Maybe some people dancing around in pilgrim shoes singing Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving song? Maybe? Probably not.
All right, that’s it. Consider yourself guided. There is no reason to be up past 10 pm unless you are already at Wal-Mart, in which case, I’d suggest getting it together.