That's why it's my solemn duty as a television columnist to not only steer you toward terrific shows, but also steer you away from anything that might eventually leave you dangling from a rafter. FOR EXAMPLE!
* A Christmas Carol (NBC, Sun Nov 28, 9 pm). "Hold on there, Wm.™ Steven Hump-me!" I hear you cry. "I simply adore this time-honored classic from the gifted pen of Charles Dickens." OH, YEAH? Even a MUSICAL version? Starring Frasier's Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge? And Jason "George Costanza" Alexander? And Jennifer Love Fawking Hewitt? This is not a Charles Dickens classic, my friend! This is a back-alley abortion set to music!
* Nick and Jessica's Family Christmas (ABC, Wed Dec 1, 9 pm). That's right, the stars of MTV's Newlyweds, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson finally have their own Christmas special. And if you saw their last special in April, the Nick & Jessica Variety Hour, then you'll have a taste of the unmitigated horror that awaits. Nick and Jessica will perform severely unfunny skits, welcome guests like lip-synching sis Ashlee Simpson, and warble an assload of holiday standards that will sound like someone threw a chimp into a wood chipper. I'm not kidding! Whenever Jessica sings, it looks and sounds like a giant rat is trying to climb out of her throat!
* A Clay Aiken Christmas (NBC, Wed Dec 8, 8 pm). Naturally, you remember Clay Aiken as the American Idol loser who looks like Carrot Top after electroshock therapy. Now, as you know, I have no problem with "gay"-themed material (especially if it stars a nude Jeff Stryker). HOWEVER! This Clay Aiken Christmas special is soooooooo GAY, it would make Gaylord McGayerson, the gay mayor of Gay Town, USA vomit up his crème brùlée!
Set against a traditional snowy Christmas backdrop, Clay will sing songs like "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and probably, "Faggy, the Gayest Elf in Lollipop Town." And get this! THEN, Clay will perform several gayish duets with Megan Mullally (Karen from Will & Grace) as well as pop icon BARRY MANILOW--all of which is EXTREMELY troubling. (Mainly because I love Barry Manilow.)
But even though this show is a blatant attempt to make me kill myself, I fully intend on watching it anyway. Then, after Barry Manilow's appearance, I'll simply take five roofies and fall asleep on a railroad track. (The way I figure it, if you're gonna die, you might as well do it in the gayest way possible.)