Top Five: Alternative Programming for Inauguration Day

<img src=”mike2.jpg” alt=”Mike icon smiling red hair” /> Love him or loathe him, is anyone really looking forward to spending an otherwise perfectly good Friday watching hour after hour of the Orange One and his parade of B-listers and Jerry Lewis telethon escapees?

 If the answer is no (and dollars to dog biscuits it is) we’ve got just the remedy: Our Top Five options for Inauguration Day Alternative Programming!

1. Tantrums, tirades, and talking turds.

<img src=”beefcake-16x9.jpg” alt=”Cartman eating cheesy poofs” />

Starting at 10:30 am, it’s an all-day South Park marathon on Comedy Central . Why torture yourself watching a narcissistic, cartoonish, child-man with no filter and a face the color of a cheese puff, when you can while away the hours with Cartman, a narcissistic, cartoon child with no filter, stuffing his face with Cheesy Poofs?

 

2. Special victims, special people.

<img src=”SVU-cast-poster.jpg” alt=”law & order special victims unit cast” />

 

If animated vulgarity is not your bag, check out the mix of drama and comedy on USA Network. From 8 am to 5 pm it’s a marathon of Law & Order Special Victims Unit. Revisit a gentler time, when Richard Belzer and Ice T could play cops even your grandma could love. And from five until the wee hours, it’s a parade of  Modern Family episodes. Spend one last, nostalgic night with your favorite extended family–before they’re all deported or sent to gay conversion camps.

 

3. Life is like a box of–Dang! Chipped my tooth on the nougat.

<img src=”FOrrest-Gump-movie-poster.jpg” alt=”Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump on park bench” />

 

We suppose you could fritter away your evening hours waiting for Paul Anka to be wheeled out with his oxygen tank for a few choruses of My Way–or you could tune in to AMC from 6 to 9 pm to enjoy the much-beloved Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump. Remember when we thought the idea of a clueless twit bumbling his way into history was cute?

 

4. Pass the Saurian Brandy.

Mister Spock Captain Kirk Doctor McCoy

 

If you really want to escape, BBC America offers up an all-day marathon of Star Trek. From the early morning hours until 3 pm, it’s Captain Picard and his laid-back bunch winning the day against the Ferengi, Q, and even the Borg with the “politic” weapons of reason, patience, and all-round-decency. If you prefer a little more swash in your space-buckle, Kirk, Spock, and Bones are the original “team of rivals,” boldly going into that final frontier. We know what you’re thinking–Beam us up!

 

5. Tell yourself, “It’s only a movie…”

<img src=”thomas8201.jpg” alt=”Andy Griffith as Lonesome Rhoads” />

When we’re looking for escape, Turner Classic Movies is our go-to channel, but something tells us the TCM programmers are having a little fun with us on this historic day. At 12:45, shortly after the swearing in, they’re showing The Fountainhead, alt-right darling Ayn Rand’s vision of (metaphor alert!) an “idealistic” architect who would rather blow up his building than compromise on its design. The speech Gary Cooper gives at his trial to justify his anti-social actions is an unintentional comic gem. If cinematic objectivist philosophy is a little too dry for you, at 2:45 TCM offers up Truman Capote’s frothy confection, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn is the iconic Holly Golightly, George Peppard is her “straightened” boy-friend, and Mickey Rooney is a reminder of just how far we’ve come from a time when offensive racial stereotypes were not only accepted, they were expected. But the fun and games are over at 4:45, when Andy Griffith blows through our screens as the loathsome Lonesome Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd. This biting satire by Elia Kazan and Bud Schulberg skewers politics and television with more prescience than any movie this side of Network. The parallels to our current situation are inescapable, as writers on the left and right of the political spectrum have noted. Viewers weaned on the homespun humor of the sheriff from Mayberry may find Griffith’s portrayal of a soulless conman disturbing, but it’s one of the greatest performances ever committed to film.

<img src=”mike2.jpg” alt=”Mike icon smiling red hair” /> So there you have it, five perfectly acceptable ways to veg out on the sofa and binge-watch your way into video-induced oblivion.

 Or, if by 10 pm you’re still not ready to pack it in, you could just tune in to the SyFy Channel and embrace your…

<img src=”Doom_movie_poster.jpg” alt=”shooter POV doom monster” />

 

 

 Editor’s note: All times listed are Central Standard Time.

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