Tuesday, 29 November 2022

The holiday spirit lives in most seasonal TV programs

The British monarchy fascinates many and that is perhaps explained by two things. First, there is a subscription video on demand service dedicated to all things Royal, and it is called True Royalty TV.

Second, the royal-centric service is ringing in the holiday season with “A Very Royal Christmas: Sandringham Secrets,” which will give viewers a look at how the Royal Family celebrates Christmas Day at the Queen’s country estate.

Will Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, be a part of the holiday celebration? If one bothers to read tabloid stories about the couple’s rift with the Royal Family, the invitation could be lost in the mail.

Meanwhile, Mariah Carey, who has not to anyone’s knowledge married a prince, has an eponymous holiday spectacular on Apple TV+ entitled “Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues.”

The holiday special will reveal the first and only performance of the multi-Grammy Award-winning global icon’s new single, “Fall in Love at Christmas.”

The singer-songwriter will be joined by Grammy-nominated worldwide artist Khalid and Grammy-winning legend Kirk Franklin, as they bring the spirit of Christmas to fans around the world.

One thing not previously known is that, according to the news release, Mariah is the “Queen of Christmas” who will also ring in the holidays with a dazzling new rendition of fan favorite, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

NBC finds the Christmas spirit with Grammy and Emmy Award-winning global superstar Kelly Clarkson in her holiday special, “Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around,” which has a repeat airing on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Clarkson’s love for the holiday season is no secret, as she celebrates it all year long with “Ambush Christmas” segments on her award-winning daytime talk show with studio viewers and guests treated to offseason snow, music and epic giveaways.

Timed to the release of her new holiday album, Clarkson’s special will be filled with original new songs as well as a curated list of iconic classics, dancing, performances featuring My Band Y’all with a streamlined modern orchestra and remarkable duets.

According to Clarkson, “People celebrate the holidays in different ways and that is the inspiration behind the original songs and the curated classics that are featured in this special. No matter what your heart is feeling, I hope this hour brings you joy and happiness.”

The Lifetime channel presents “My Favorite Christmas Melody,” in which once promising singer-songwriter Abby (Mya) now finds herself writing uninspired jingles for commercials.

As she heads home for the holidays, Abby is enlisted by the local high school music teacher to help save the school arts program. In the process, Abby rediscovers her voice and regains the confidence to go after her dreams.

Not all holiday programming, unless you go to the Hallmark Channel’s inexhaustible supply of Christmas movies, can be as uplifting or in tune with the seasonal spirit of good cheer.

While it pops into select theaters first, Amazon Prime Video’s “Being the Ricardos,” about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will drop on the streaming service close to Christmas.

Though the hit “I Love Lucy” television series was a groundbreaking sitcom, Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) battled television sponsor Philip Morris, muckraking gossip columnist Walter Winchell and each other.

“Being the Ricardos” offers an intimate glimpse into the pair’s often turbulent partnership, their whirlwind courtship, their passionate love affair and the burning ambition that made them the leading innovators in the Golden Age of television.

On screen, Ball’s signature screwball comic genius, supported by longtime co-stars William Frawley (J.K. Simmons) and Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda) and the show’s legendary writing staff, make “I Love Lucy” an unprecedented popular success.

In the boardroom, Arnaz’s visionary business acumen creates a brand-new paradigm for television production as they transform themselves from B-movie contract players into the founders of the world’s top independent TV production company, Desilu Productions.

But even as their on-screen marriage and soaring success make the pair one of America’s most admired couples, conflicting desires at home begin to eat away at everything Ball and Arnaz have accomplished.

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the story told in “Being the Ricardos” benefits from two stellar actors tasked with revealing the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship.

It’s likely a good bet that the action-adventure series “MacGyver” (the original one with Richard Dean Anderson) is better known than the cult-film “MacGruber” based on a “Saturday Night Live” parody of the aforementioned TV series.

Peacock’s upcoming action-comedy series “MacGruber” serves as a sequel to the 2010 cult-favorite feature film of the same title, starring once again Will Forte as the titular character.

After rotting in prison for over a decade, America’s ultimate hero and uber patriot MacGruber is finally released. His mission: to take down the mysterious villain from his past, Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth (Billy Zane).

With the entire world in his crosshairs, MacGruber must reassemble his old team, Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe), in order to defeat the forces of evil.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

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29Nov
11.29.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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