Archive for Sunday, November 28, 2010

‘November Christmas’ proves critic-proof

November 28, 2010


The Hallmark formula moves to CBS with the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentation “November Christmas” (8 p.m., CBS). Movies don’t get much more emotionally loaded or critic-proof than tales of sickly children obsessed with a Christmas snow globe.

Told entirely in flashbacks, “November” stars Sam Elliott as Jess, a folksy farmer, handyman and all-around mustachioed good guy, the kind of role that risks turning the capable cowboy actor into the second coming of Wilford Brimley.

Jess and his wife Claire (Karen Allen, “Indiana Jones”) take a special interest in their private neighbors Tom and Beth (John Corbett and Sarah Paulson), who have been keeping their child Vanessa’s (Emily Alyn Lind) serious illness to themselves. Moved by their plight and reminded by the tragic death of their own young son, Jess and Claire rally the picturesque town around Vanessa and attempt to make what might be her few remaining days as precious as possible. And if that means Halloween pumpkins in August or Christmas trees a month early, so be it. Does Vanessa survive to treasure these accelerated memories? I’ll never tell. Like I’ve said, this is critic-proof.

l Not to be outdone, ABC Family presents “The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation” (7 p.m.), a sequel of sorts to 2009’s “The Dog Who Saved Christmas.”

l Like a rude guest, “Bridalplasty” (8 p.m., E!) arrives to ruin the holiday good feelings. Already subject to Internet scuttlebutt and labeled by some as the most hateful reality show ever conceived, look for “Bridalplasty” to make many critics’ worst shows of 2010 lists come year’s end.

As the title implies, the show pits 12 brides-to-be with zero self-esteem and even less intelligence in a contest to win an all-expenses-paid dream wedding. Along the way, the young romantics will take part in wedding-themed competitions and submit to plastic surgeries of every conceivable stripe, addressing breast sizes small and large, crooked teeth and imperfect noses, excess stomach mass and the dreaded “muffin top.” While all contestants will go under the knife, only the “winner” will get all of the procedures she desires before being transformed and revealed to her Prince Charming in the final episode. It’s clearly a case of be careful what you wish for. It’s not certain how many viewers have this on their holiday wish list.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Long dreamed of outings go terribly wrong on “When Vacations Attack” (7 p.m., Travel).

• The Colts host the Chargers on “Sunday Night Football” (7:15 p.m., NBC).

• Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson host the “2010 Soul Train Awards” (8 p.m., BET).

• Facing an Election Day nightmare, Nucky makes some changes on “Boardwalk Empire” (8 p.m., HBO).

• Evidence linked to Dexter emerges on “Dexter” (8 p.m., Showtime).

• Luc exposes a tad too much on “Brothers and Sisters” (9 p.m., ABC).

• Skiers race sports cars on “Top Gear” (9 p.m., History).

• Julian Jarrold (“Brideshead Revisited”) directs “Red Riding: 1974” (9 p.m., Sundance), the first of three thrillers based on the true crime story of the Yorkshire ripper, airing over three consecutive Sundays.


Debbie Guy Spreer 7 years, 3 months ago

"November Christmas" was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Hallmark sure puts out some good ones!

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