Every holiday, television networks work very hard to attract viewers and retain them when their days off are over. The best way to do this is with marathons. Nothing says, "Please watch my channel" like a non-stop block of Cops. These marathons are also awesome for testing the waters on a new show or having a ham coma on the couch.
So in case you feel like tuning in, here are the best and worst marathons on TV the next few days:
- TNT is airing a mini-marathon of ER holiday episodes. ER recognized the importance of the fall finale long before that term existed. These episodes represent some of the best dramatic television of the mid to late nineties. The episodes start Christmas Eve Morning. If nothing else, make time for Hindsight, one of my favorite ERs ever at 1:35 pm CST.
- A&E is airing several episodes of Cold Case Files. This show is kind of intense, but well made. If you're into crime shows, might I suggest the Christmas marathons of Cold Case, Monk or CSI:Miami. Brighter colors, cheesier dialogue and less talk about dead children, at least real ones. The latter marathons are on TNT, USA and A&E respectively. Old school CSI is also in marathon form on Spike...but you'll have to sit through their commercials which leave a lot to be desired.
- The History Channel is running an all-day tribute to UFOs. Don't ask me how it relates to history. Last week they aired Forest Gump. I think they're running out of content. Anyway, it's a bunch of different shows which is a refreshing innovation to the marathon. You can see Deep Sea UFOS, UFO Hunters, and Beyond War of the Worlds. Just nerdy enough to be cool.
- And if you feel like hating yourself this Christmas, you can tune in to The Hills marathon on MTV or the Countdown one (100 Greatest Reality Moments, 100 Greatest songs of the '80s) on VH1. Please don't watch this. Just don't give in to the temptation and subject yourself to irrelevant people pretending to be relevant talking about ridiculous things...and that's just on VH1.
- The best marathon of all starts on the evening of the 24th with 24 Hours of A Christmas Story. For several years in a row, my favorite gift has been this marathon. It's hilarious, heart-felt and bundled up in tradition, just like Randy in a snowsuit. And unlike most movies, I really can watch it over and over again. It has some kind of magic power.