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Top 10 Nontraditional Holiday TV Episodes

Happy Festivus, everyone! To celebrate today (in addition to the feats of strength and airing of grievances), I rounded up the top 10 nontraditional Holiday television episodes over at The Daily Beast , from Community and Seinfeld to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who . (And, yes, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia 's direct-to-DVD special--which just aired on FX for the first time this month--made the list, naturally.) An aside, I could have filled the entire list with just British television shows, from The Vicar of Dibley and Doctor Who (which both made the list) to Gavin & Stacey, Blackadder, Catherine Tate, Absolutely Fabulous , and about a zillion others. But I am curious to know: what is your favorite nontraditional holiday episode/special? Putting aside the traditional Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas , what are some of the more out there holiday episodes or specials that add that extra spike to the eggnog? Or make that Festivus aluminum pole shine

Scary Mother-Blankers: A Look at TV's Meanest Moms

Sure, there are more than a few television mothers who are forces for good: paragons of maternal instincts, positive role-models whose children are well-behaved and look up to them or misunderstood martyrs who are just plain unappreciated. But let's be honest: the TV mothers that are the most memorable tend to play their roles in a no-wire-hangers Joan Crawford kind of way. These moms, sometimes as eeevil as can be, are usually a hell of a lot more fun than their Pollyanna counterparts. So who made my list of TV's most memorable meanie moms? Let's take a look. Name: Julie Cooper ( The O.C. ) Actress: Melinda Clarke Likes: Power, money, powerful men with money, decorating large mansions, blackmail, her daughter's cast-off boyfriends, manipulating everyone around her, Newport Living . Dislikes: Ryan Atwood, downsizing, no-fault divorces, getting jilted, being blackmailed, Chino. Acts of Treachery and Wanton Evil: Sleeping with daughter Marisa's high school sweethea

UPDATED: FOX Squeezes "The OC" Off the Air, But CW Said to Be Circling

Welcome to cancellation, bitch. At least that's the rumor swirling around former FOX hot property The OC , which is scheduled to air its final episode February 22, before sailing into that long, hot sunset known as cancellation, according to E! Online's Watch with Kristin . After four seasons (including this truncated, Marissa-free year), The OC will utter its last self-referential and over-written bits of dialogue before being scratched off all of its actors' resumes. But hold the presses, as Kristin is also reporting that The CW's Dawn Ostroff is potentially interested, er, make that "extremely interested," in snagging The OC for a fifth year of Newport Beach hijinx for the 2007-08 season. Though something tells me that the former Frog network doesn't have the scratch to land such a big fish. And don't they have their own take on The OC , namely Hidden Palms , waiting in the wings? UPDATE: FOX has now confirmed the rumors about The OC 's c

FOX Backs Off "The OC" While Circling Dead Pilots

Variety is reporting that FOX has quietly cut its episodic commitment to struggling teen soap The OC from the standard 22 episodes per season to a shorter 16-episode run. According to Variety, a FOX network spokesperson "attributed the cutback to the net's scheduling needs. The OC won't have its season premiere until Nov. 2--about a month after most FOX shows--and therefore, the reasoning goes, net won't need as many episodes in the can." One need not have the mathematic skills of dearly departed Marissa Cooper to figure out that if The OC begins on November 2nd and airs all 16 episodes, the series will end its run at the end of February. It would, however, leave plenty of room for FOX to launch a new series in The OC 's timeslot, although tough competition from timeslot fellows CSI and Grey's Anatomy will make that a rather difficult feat. In other news, FOX has also gave a potential spark of life back to several pilots believed to be dead. Follow

Tuning Out: Why I Stopped Watching "Alias"

Let me start by saying that I was originally obsessed with Alias with a zeal that approached my current love of fellow J.J. Abrams series Lost . I loved that at the heart of this spy drama there was a story about a deeply dysfunctional family (distant dad, dead mother) all of whom happened to be in the deadly business of high stakes espionage. While there were crazy costumes, wacky wigs, and fierce fights each week, I kept coming back because I cared deeply for Sydney Bristow ( Jennifer Garner ) and her colorful cast of co-workers. But then something happened... Before we get to that, let's recap first. Alias launched in the fall of 2001, shortly after the events of 9/11 and around the same time that a similarly spy-themed show was launching over on competitor Fox (that would be 24 , natch). I instantly found 24 to be too eerily realistic, too stressful in a world that had just seen a real life terrorist attack. Alias , on the other hand, had a certain gleeful campiness along w

Tuning Out: Why I Stopped Watching "The OC"

Networks sometimes use the summer to launch new shows. Oftentimes these shows are complete and utter dreck--leftover episodes of now cancelled shows "burned off" in the primetime wasteland of the summer months--or new reality programs that soon spawn huge franchises( Survivor , Amazing Race , Beauty and the Geek , etc.). But every now and then, a network will throw a drama on during the summer in the hopes that, with little else on, an audience will find the show and nurture it and give it the strength to make it through the regular, primetime season. One such show was The OC . Created by twenty-something wunderkind Josh Schwartz and launched in the summer of 2003, The OC seemed like it would merely be a retread of Beverly Hills 90210 , just set slightly further down the California coastline. When it premiered, however, even I was surprised by how much I liked the show, despite wanting to dislike it. Instead of embracing those familiar teen drama tropes, the show toyed wi