Another view of Christmas

Had enough of Christmas with Kathie Lee? Ready to lose your lunch if forced to watch another reworking of "A Christmas Carol"? Find yourself wishing that, just once, Clarence decided the water was just too cold for him to jump in and save whiny George Bailey?

May I suggest you check out Comedy Central tonight?


Significant portions of the American viewing public -- for instance, those who offend easily -- should go nowhere near the Christmas episode of the animated, determinedly tasteless "South Park" (10 p.m.-10: 30 p.m.). Tonight, the town struggles to come up with the "most inoffensive Christmas ever," one devoid of religious symbolism, lacking anything that would offend tree huggers, even one that won't offend the tone-deaf.

Suffice to say, it's over-the-top tasteless, complete with musical numbers that would probably make the estimable Ms. Gifford pass out. You'll hate yourself for laughing. But you will. "Spin City" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- In an episode called "Miracle Near 34th Street," Mike (Michael J. Fox) is given the task of restoring the faith after the mayor (Barry Bostwick) inadvertently leads the children of New York to stop believing in Santa Claus. ABC.


"Beverly Hills, 90210" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Steve and Carly restore Zach's belief in Santa, while David sets out to reunite Ben with his family. Meanwhile, Dr. Monohan makes another inappropriate gesture to Kelly at a Christmas party. Fox.

"The Drew Carey Show" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Jealous Oswald turns stowaway to follow Drew and Kate, who win a trip to the Bahamas at the office Christmas party. ABC.

"Ellen" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- From the all-good-things-come-to-an-end file: Ellen and Laurie hit a crossroads in their relationship. ABC.

"Live From Lincoln Center" (8 p.m.-10: 30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- The Juilliard Opera Center performs Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hansel und Gretel," with sets and costumes by Maurice Sendak. The leads in the work based on the Grimm fairy tale will be sung by Jennifer Marquette and Sari Gruber. Sung in German with English subtitles. PBS.

"The Greatest Christmas Moments of All Time" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- With about 2,000 years to choose from, it must have been hard fitting them all into one hour. Fox.


"Biography" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., repeats midnight-1 a.m., A&E;) -- "Truman Capote: The Tiny Terror." Probably the most famous writer of his time, Capote lost his place among the jet-setters with the publication of excerpts from an unfinished work that skewered many of them. Followed by an episode of "American Justice" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., repeats 1 a.m.-2 a.m.) about the "In Cold Blood" murder case that Capote wrote about to great acclaim.

"Anne Murray's Classic Christmas" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., TNN) -- Murray offers a holiday special with fellow Canadians as guests, including the group Barenaked Ladies, Roch Voisine ("Christmas Is Calling") and Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko, who skates to "O Holy Night" and "Santa Claus Is Back in Town."


Women's ice hockey (8 p.m.-when it's over, Lifetime) -- Billed as the first women's ice hockey game shown on national TV, this one features the USA Hockey Women's National Team vs. the Canadian National Women's Team, live from Burlington, Vt.

Pub Date: 12/17/97