National Catholic Register

Arts & Entertainment

Weekly TV Picks

BY Daniel J. Engler

December 10-16, 2006 Issue | Posted 12/7/06 at 10:00 AM

 

SUNDAY, DEC. 10

The Great Rupert

Familyland TV, 1 p.m.

The beloved Catholic entertainer Jimmy Durante (1893-1980), “the Schnozzola,” sings favorite Christmas carols in this endearing Yuletide story of a hard-luck family of acrobats whose lives Rupert, a stop-motion-animated pet squirrel, changes forever. Also known by its title in re-release, “A Christmas Wish.” Re-airs 8 p.m. Friday.

SUNDAY, DEC. 10

In the Womb: Animals

National Geographic

Channel, 8 p.m.

In this two-hour special, veterinarians use new techniques to film animal babies — a dog, a dolphin and an elephant — in the womb and see how they act as they journey to birth. The vets marvel as the puppy displays some grown-up doggie actions in utero. No one questions that these are a dog, a dolphin and an elephant, not some “blobs of tissue.” Advisory: Facts-of-life content.

SUNDAY, DEC. 10

What’s with that

Christmas House?

Home & Garden TV, 9 p.m.

Families festoon their homes and yards with decorations for Christmas. Re-airs 9 p.m. Thursday.

TUESDAY, DEC. 12

My Parents’ House:

Home for the Holidays

Home & Garden TV, 11 p.m.

A mom raising 11 children by herself receives a much-needed home remodeling.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 13

Christmas in Washington

TNT, 10 p.m.

Robin McGraw and Dr. Phil McGraw host popular singers at the National Building Museum in a Christmas concert to benefit the National Children’s Medical Center.

THURSDAY, DEC. 14

John of the Cross

EWTN, 11 p.m.

In this hour-long film, Catholic actor Leonardo Defilippis of St. Luke Productions plays St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), the Spanish priest, mystic, theologian and poet who, with St. Teresa of Avila, founded the Discalced Carmelites. Defilippis portrays the saint, he says, as “a man in love with God, whose exquisite poetry touches a chord in every soul that cries out for a deeper relationship with our beloved Lord.”

FRIDAY, DEC. 15

Paula’s Southern Christmas

Food Network, 10 p.m.

Expert cook Paula Deen and her family celebrate Christmas with Southern dishes and other Southern traditions.

SATURDAY, DEC. 16

It’s a Wonderful Life

NBC, 8 p.m.

Christmastime is the backdrop for this 1946 classic by Catholic director Frank Capra in which Clarence (Henry Travers), an angel, saves George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) from the temptation to suicide by showing him the terrible effects that that act would have on his family and his whole town of Bedford Falls. Advisory: TV-G, but intense at times.

Dan Engler writes from

Santa Barbara, California.