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My Top 8 Must-Sees for December TV

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Since the new TV season started in September I have been spotlighting the programming options for which I have been most anxious to see each month. The December options are top-heavy, of course, with holiday themed movies but there are some other interesting programs to check out too.

Here are my top 8 choices for December:

countdown-to-christmas

HOLIDAY MOVIES

Throughout December there will be quite a number of holiday-themed movies airing on the Hallmark Channel, the UP Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Among all those movies the following are my top must-watch (all airing on the Hallmark Channel):

On December 3, A Dream of Christmas will air at 8 PM. The movie focuses on Penny (Nikki DeLoach from Awkward), an ambitious but discontented young married woman, gets more than she bargained for when she is granted a wish to be single again.

The cast also includes Andrew Walker (When Calls the Heart and the Hallmark Channel movies A Bride for Christmas and Bridal Wave) and Christopher Russell (the Hallmark Channel movies Midnight Masquerade and Merry Matrimony).

On December 10, A Nutcracker Christmas will debut at 8 PM. The telepic tells the story of Lilly James whose lifelong devotion landed her the lead role of Clara in the New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. But, she suffers an injury and is removed from the show by Mark, her boyfriend and dance partner, after learning about her mother’s death; after that she vows never to dance again. Years later, her daughter lands the role of Clara in the prestigious Philadelphia Nutcracker Ballet and finds that the Ballet Director is Mark, who betrayed her years ago.

The cast includes Amy Acker (Person of Interest), Sascha Radetsky (Flesh and Bone and the cult classic film Center Stage), Katherine Barrell (Wynonna Earp) and newcomer Sophia Lucia.

On December 11, Love You Like Christmas will debut at 8 PM. The film is about Maddie (Bonnie Sommerville from Code Black), a high-powered marketing executive, is on her way to a client’s wedding but her plans are derailed by car trouble. When a fork in the road leads her to Christmas Valley, a town in love with Christmas, an unexpected encounter and a group of strangers that start to feel like family will have her questioning what she’s really been missing in life.

The film also stars Brennan Elliot (Cedar Cove and UnReal).

On December 25, the Christmas special When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Christmas will debut at 9 PM. An intriguing peddler comes to Hope Valley selling the townspeople his wears and teaching them valuable lessons about joy and giving. And when the townspeople realize that the recently displaced settlers in the area will not have a proper Christmas, they come together to create a special holiday celebration – including a Nativity presentation from the schoolchildren — that will infuse everyone with the true spirit of Christmas.

LIVE ACTION

Hairspray Live! - Season 2016

Hairspray Live! is the latest NBC musical event that will debut on December 7 at 8 PM. Obviously, this event is based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, taking place in 1962 Baltimore. Plump teenager Tracy Turnblad (newcomer Maddie Baillio) dreams of dancing on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. When, against all odds, Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters.

The ensemble cast includes Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth, Garrett Clayton, Harvey Fierstein, Ariana Grande, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson and Martin Short [among others].

shut-eye

STREAMING 101

The new streaming drama Shut Eye will debut online on Hulu on December 7, starring Jeffrey Donovan (of Burn Notice fame) as Charlie Haverford, a scammer with a small chain of fortune-telling storefronts and contracts building tricks for a family that controls the business in the greater chunk of Los Angeles.

The cast includes Kadee Strickland (Private Practice), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Murder in the First) and veteran actress Isabella Rossellini [among others].

man-in-the-high-castle-season-2

On December 16, the second season of the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle will air. The new season picks up with Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) facing the consequences of her decision to betray the Resistance by allowing allow Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) to escape the Pacific States with a film originally bound for the Man in the High Castle.

Joe returns a hero to the Reich, finding himself thrust into the Nazi capital of Berlin, coming face to face with the father who abandoned him. Meanwhile, Frank Frink (Rupert Evans) becomes increasingly radicalized and drawn further into the Resistance after seeing images of his own execution in the mysterious films.

Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) begins to regret his success in smuggling nuclear technology from the Reich and seeks solace in the strange new world he discovered at the end of season one. Meanwhile, John Smith (Rufus Sewell) struggles to reconcile the values of the Reich with the deteriorating health of his son while being tasked with a mission from the Führer for which failure is not an option. And Chief Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente) begins to take greater interest in the Man in the High Castle, the films, and how Juliana Crain is connected to it all.

doctor-who

BECOMING TRADITION

In what has become tradition with the rebooted version of Doctor Who, the long-running time-traveling sci-fi series airs a special Christmas episode on Christmas Day to the delight of fans all over the world.

The latest Christmas episode, which will air on BBC America, is entitled The Return of Doctor Mysterio, but – as usual – details are vague at best as to the premise of the special, but what is known is that Justin Chatwin (Shameless, Orphan Black and American Gothic) will appear as Grant, who gets to don a superhero costume.

An official airtime hasn’t been announced either so fans will have to check their local listings.

The full calendar of programming options for December will be posted a few days after Thanksgiving. Please don’t miss it!

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Arrow, Grimm, The Blacklist, Teen Wolf, Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash and The Fosters (among others). Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.