Yorktown Sentry

What to Watch for the Holiday Season

This+holiday+season+is+sure+to+keep+you+occupied+with+many+movie+options+for+viewers.
This holiday season is sure to keep you occupied with many movie options for viewers.

This holiday season is sure to keep you occupied with many movie options for viewers.

Emogen Kelly

Emogen Kelly

This holiday season is sure to keep you occupied with many movie options for viewers.

Joseph Ramos, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Holiday time is upon us and while the weather outside drops to shivering temperatures, television (TV) viewers will have plenty to watch while they stay warm indoors. Whether you are one for watching Christmas movies on repeat or binging on holiday episodes of your favorite Netflix shows, this season provides a plethora of viewing options.

Every holiday season, the major television networks look for new ways to gain ratings from holiday-themed shows and specials. This year, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC)  leads the charge with shows such as “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” which features households from across the nation with intricate and festive Christmas light displays, and “The Great Holiday Baking Show,” where amateur chefs concoct Christmas confections in competition with one another. ABC also airs the ever classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which follows Charlie Brown in his various follies as he attempts to direct a Christmas play, gets the perfect Christmas tree and finds the true meaning of Christmas in a world consumed by commercialism. On other networks, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) will have “A Very Pentatonix Christmas,” where the acapella group Pentatonix will host and perform songs off of their Christmas album. Fox also will air “A Christmas Story: Live,” which will be a live musical performance of the famed movie “A Christmas Story” and will add onto the growing popularity of live musicals made for TV that has also included NBC’s “Sound Of Music: Live” and Fox’s “Grease: Live”.

For those who cannot seem to get enough of holiday shows and movies, networks like Hallmark and Freeform have got you covered. In its “Countdown to Christmas” marathon, Hallmark will be airing many of their own Christmas movies that are known for being cheesy and Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, is providing its “25 Days of Christmas” movie marathon that includes classics such as “Elf” and “Polar Express”.

If you are not necessarily one for holiday movies or specials, streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu provide an excellent refuge for experiencing the holidays with the characters of your favorite regularly airing shows. Many popular TV shows have holiday episodes, but, in my opinion, the best of them is Seinfeld’s “The Strike” (Season 9, Episode 10) in which the holiday of Festivus* is introduced to the world. Festivus is the secular holiday invented by Seinfeld character George Costanza’s father, Frank, that is celebrated on Dec 23 and essentially exalts anti-Christmas traditions. Other very popular holiday episodes of favorite TV shows include The Office’s “Christmas Party” (Season 2, Episode 10) where Steve Carell’s character Michael Scott turns an annual Secret Santa event into a Yankee Swap and angers many of his coworkers. More episodes that are perfect to watch for the holidays include Gossip Girl’s “Roman Holiday” (Season 1, Episode 11), Friends’ “The One with the Holiday Armadillo” (Season 7, Episode 10) and How I Met Your Mother’s “How Lily Stole Christmas” (Season 2, Episode 11).

While these various TV shows and specials are all enjoyable for the time being, you must think ahead to what will be next. Fortunately, you do not have to look very far, as the extravagance that is New Year’s shows is just around the corner. On New Year’s Eve, millions around the nation will be tuning in to watch the Times Square Ball Drop at midnight to welcome the new year. This event is seen as the epicenter of New Year’s celebration, but with so much hype and coverage around it, how is a viewer to know which  station is the best to watch? Traditionally, the go-to show is Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve that is now being hosted by Ryan Seacrest on ABC. This show provides the most central experience of Times Square and the Ball Drop, and it is driven by Ryan Seacrest’s signature hosting added with interludes of Jenny Mccarthy amongst the crowd. After last year’s botched performance at midnight by Mariah Carey, the show looks to bounce back with performances from major stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Khalid and Nick Jonas.

In competition with Rockin New Year’s Eve, other networks have produced their own star-studded specials, with Fox airing a show out of Times Square hosted by Steve Harvey and NBC having Carson Daly countdown to the Ball Drop. Aside from these more mainstream New Year’s Eve shows, I would also like to extend appreciation to the much underrated New Year’s Live on the Cable News Network (CNN). Since New Year’s of 2001, Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin have anchored this no-holds-barred broadcast that is highlighted by completely unpredictable antics from Griffin while Cooper attempts to keep a straight face. For this New Year’s show, Griffin, who was fired by CNN in May after a photoshoot in which she posed with a fake severed head President Donald Trump, will be replaced by TV personality Andy Cohen. The show also includes CNN correspondents partaking in midnight revealing around the country. Last year, while welcoming 2017 in a New Orleans bar, Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award winner Don Lemon drunkenly got his ear pierced live on the air.

In whole, this holiday season is sure to keep you occupied with many options for all viewers. However, it is important to remember that while all of these choices of what to watch can aid in the celebration of the season, the true meaning of the holidays will always be found off-screen. But for those of us who choose not to believe in Hallmark-card-esque sentiments like that, be sure to grab some hot chocolate and a blanket and get to watching! Happy Holidays!    

*For more information on the holiday of Festivus, visit http://festivusweb.com/

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What to Watch for the Holiday Season