December 06, 2005

At 4:00 P.M., Prime-Time Looks So Promising

All kinds of shows sound promising on TV tonight. On A&E, Ted Danson stars in Knights of the South Bronx, a drama based on a true story about a teacher who turns his South Bronx classroom into a chess powerhouse. Showtime's Sleeper Cell continues. MTV's wrings one more episode out of the Real World Austin cast. Bravo debuts Party/Party and for the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy . My Name is Earl and the continually improving The Office offer NBC's only bright hour of scripted television. And Brian Wilson appears on the Tonight Show.

But the only sure thing tonight is the 40th anniversary re-airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. For some reason, I had never seen ACBC until last year, and I was flabbergasted by how well the show captures the melancholy and soulfulness of Charles Schulz at his best. The simplicity of the animation and, of course, the beauty of the Vince Guaraldi score, help make this movie the only made-for-TV Christmas masterpiece I've ever seen.