By Sharon Kennedy Wynne
Tampa Bay Times
If ever a day was made for lying around in your jammies binge-watching your favorite shows, it's Christmas. The pressure is over, the stores are closed and it's time to catch up with or revisit some TV gems.
"A Christmas Story," TBS (Tuesday-Wednesday). Did you realize that Bob Clark, the director of this lovable Christmas film, is also the director of the raunchy Porky's? The cult classic comedy set in the 1940s about the family life of young Ralphie as Christmas approaches. This year marks the marathon's 17th run.
"Breaking Bad," AMC (Friday-Sunday). What? You didn't get the $300 collector's edition package for Christmas? Invest some time instead as AMC airs all five seasons of the masterful Emmy-winning drama, the last time you can see the whole series for free. Starting at noon each day, the episodes will run Dec. 27-30.
"The Walking Dead," AMC (Dec. 31-Jan. 2). And you thought you had nothing to do New Year's Eve. Spend it with zombies. The two-day Walking Dead marathon starts at 9 a.m. Dec. 31. Episodes will air back-to-back until 5 a.m. Jan. 2. New episodes of The Walking Dead return on Feb. 9 .
"Happy Endings," VH1 (Dec. 31-Jan. 1). The lovable comedy (canceled by ABC this year) will be back on the air, first with a marathon of all 57 episodes starting on New Year's Eve at 8 p.m. and running all the way through New Year's Day. Reruns of the show will then settle into their new time slot on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. starting Jan. 8 on VH1.
"Elf," Starz (Tuesday-Wednesday). You cotton-headed ninny muggins can't get enough of Buddy the elf, so the Starz channel will show 24 hours of the movie starting at noon Tuesday.
"Bad Santa," Starz Comedy (noon to 6 a.m. Tuesday-Wednesday). For those who landed on the naughty list this year, Starz Comedy is showing 24 hours of "Bad Santa," starring Billy Bob Thornton. It starts at noon Tuesday.
"Doctor Who," BBC America ( Tuesday-Wednesday). "The Doctor Who Christmas" special will premiere in the United States with the final regular appearance of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and the first regular appearance of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor following his brief cameo in "The Day of the Doctor." It premieres at 9 p.m. Christmas Day, but not before an all-day marathon of Season 6 episodes beginning at 4 a.m. Christmas Eve, followed by "Doctor Who" Christmas specials, including a Doctor version of "A Christmas Carol" and "The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe," a Narnia-themed special that is a fan favorite. Then it's Season 7 episodes, "Day of the Doctor" at 6 p.m. on Christmas Day followed by a fond farewell to Smith in an hourlong retrospective documentary featuring highlights with the man himself, his castmates, writers, producers and celebrity Whovians. Finally, the Christmas special airs at 9 p.m., called "The Time of the Doctor," in which the Doctor must sacrifice everything to save a town called Christmas from the Time Lord's greatest enemies.
IFC "Vacation" ( Tuesday-Wednesday) It's an "X-mas Vacation" marathon starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday through 8 p.m. Christmas Day, with "Johnson Family Vacation," "National Lampoon's Vacation," "National Lampoon's European Vacation," "Vegas Vacation" and a "Malcolm on the Middle" marathon.
"Brain Games," Nat Geo (Wednesday). The brain is one of our most complex organs, and this highly rated show on National Geographic Channel aims to make synapses and dendrites more accessible through a series of fun interactive experiments. Catch up with an all-day marathon starting at 9 a.m. Christmas Day through 2 a.m. the next day.
"Roots," BET (Tuesday-Wednesday). The original miniseries gets a full run from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday on BET. Then on Christmas Day, it's Alex Haley's "Queen," the 1993 miniseries series staring Halle Berry, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
"Man v. Food," Travel Channel (Wednesday). After you've stuffed yourself, you can relive horrific dining experiences of Adam Richman from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Christmas Day.
"Glee," Oxygen (Wednesday). A treat starting at 7 a.m. of Glee specials, including "A Very Glee Christmas" and "Glee, Actually" followed by a series of beloved chick flicks starting with "When Harry Met Sally" and "Splash."