How the Grinch Stole Christmas A Charlie Brown Christmas may be the ultimate holiday special, but I love everything about this Chuck Jones rendering of the Dr. Seuss classic: the ever-devoted Max and his ridiculous antler; the Who hash and the roast beast; all the Whos who were asnooze; how the Grinch's hair curls in evil delight as he hatches his plan and how his eyes turn blue when he realizes the true meaning of Christmas; Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than 2; that 39-1/2-ft. pole. Far superior in every way to the Jim Carrey remake, I watch this cartoon every time I know it's on, but I don't think I have ever enjoyed it more than I did senior year in high school, when my psychology teacher devoted the last class before winter break to watching the video, with a grinning Grinch doll sitting in a front-row desk.
Survivor: Pearl Islands I don't know which appalled me more: Jon's assessment of wicker furniture and overweight women (which I can't force myself to type because it so disgusts me) or his self-proclaimed "extensive knowledge of fine food." But then again, swine might consider chicken fingers and bruschetta haute cuisine. Oink, oink, Fairplay.
Will & Grace Candice Bergen's guest turn as Karen's nemesis/best friend was an inspired bit of casting, but what was the deal with the tragic underuse of the adorable Tom Everett Scott? I've been a fan since That Thing You Do! and he was the main reason I watched The Street and Philly. I know Grace is supposed to be mourning the demise of her marriage to Leo, but don't tease me by dangling a cute and talented actor before my eyes only to have him lamely scamper off at the end of the episode. And why do the men who catch Grace's eye have to have such bad hair?
Scrubs This show, while somewhat unevenly plotted and paced at times, always has something fun. Tonight there were three things: Elliot dressed up in Debbie Gibson garb; Turk's Shaft parody; and a cameo by the Love Boat's Bernie Koppel.
E!'s Julia Roberts special She's had highs and lows, professionally (My Best Friend's Wedding; I Love Trouble) and romantically (Danny Moder; Kiefer Sutherland), and she's still America's Sweetheart. But, honestly, I love her for her hair. Long, short, curly, straight, red, blonde, somehow she can pull off any look (except that pixie cut for Hook). I even tried to replicate the hue of her glossy updo the night she won the Golden Globe for Erin Brockovich. (Unfortunately, Garnier doesn't make "Golden Globes Goddess," and I ended up an unsettling shade of maroon for a few months.) And I watched tonight, cheering her on, until she said that "adultness suits" her and that she leads a "beautifully simple existence." Are we honestly supposed to believe that multimillion dollar paychecks, numerous homes and an Oscar are simple? Yeah, and I'm sure hers is bound to be the host home for the next season of The Simple Life. Starring the Olsen twins.
Good Eats Alton Brown bakes cookies with Santa Claus. My affection for the quirky Brown aside (he resembles a hybrid of two Steves I once knew), this episode is a prime example of why I dig this decidedly offbeat cooking show. Not only did I learn that plastic cookie cutters are better than metal (metal bends and rusts) and that dry food coloring works better than liquid or paste in frosting, I'm also pretty sure I can wow people at my next cocktail party by knowing that the first cookie was likely baked in seventh-century Persia.
Quote of the Night Jay Leno, referring to guest Gwyneth Paltrow: "She's with child but so is Demi Moore."