Nobody owns Christmas on TV like ABC Family owns Christmas on TV. In the few hours of its "25 Days of Christmas" schedule that "the Fam" isn't showing the entire Harry Potter canon, it's airing one of its reliably formulaic and comfortingly harmless original holiday movies. Since 2004, ABC Family has produced 19 of these pine-scented, feel-good films and stacked them with a mix of up-and-coming teen idols, '80s staples, and daytime TV hosts. So who owns December on cable? We did the math to find out.
A Four-Way Tie for #2: Tom Cavanagh, Jenny McCarthy, Christina Milian, and Ashley Williams
The affable and appropriately adorable Tom Cavanagh and Ashley Williams earn their spots on this list for starring in Snow and its completely necessary sequel Snow 2: Brain Freeze. McCarthy also benefits from the follow-up trend with her lead roles in Santa Baby and Santa Baby 2, as the big guy's secret daughter. R&B star Milian branched out, however. In Snowglobe, she learns the true meaning of the holiday when she gets stuck inside a — well, you know. Then the season gets a little dark in Christmas Cupid, when Milian plays a P.R. rep who has to play Ghost of Christmas Past for her recently deceased client. Yikes, ABC Fam.
#1: Mario Lopez
Erstwhile host and forever A.C. Slater, Lopez can also add "25 Days of Christmas" bragging rights to his resume. He has starred in an unprecendented three ABC original holiday movies. It all started when he teamed up with another '90s TV survivor for Holiday in Handcuffs. Melissa Joan Hart's character kidnaps him to spend a holiday with her judgmental family, but don't worry, they'll fall in love and no charges will be pressed. From there, he moved on to voice work, playing the titular pup in The Dog Who Saved Christmas and The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation. Congratulations, Mario! The Christmas cage match is yours.
While the rest of us were busy planning out our viewing parties and speculating on Tumblr, classic Doctor Who stars Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, and a few surprise faces were trying to scheme their way into the big special. 5th Doctor (and David Tennant's father-in-law) Davison produced this comedy short, which has enough inside jokes and clever cameos to please modern and classic fans alike.
One thing's for sure: Carrie Underwood never need question the dedication of her fanbase. When we posted a little guide to getting the most fun out of watching NBC's special television event (even if it's a misfire), we had no idea we'd be inspiring a comment war for the internet history books.
Despite the main argument being that the general concept of the show and NBC's lack of success in mounting anything similar spell out its likely doom, Underwood's fan club took it personally. Nevermind that the worst thing we said about the show's star is that she's miscast in the role; the comments section would have you believe that we launched a full-scale attack on Carrie. Questioning her casting is akin to "kicking a puppy." We were told that no one is allowed to express an opinion that differs from "Team Carrie" unless one holds the same amount of Grammys that the singer does. (We're working on that one.) We had no authority to criticize the decisions of the producers because they also produce "the actual Oscars." And no one ever complains about those! Some Stephen Moyer fans stepped into the fray even though our singular comment about him was that he looks good with his shirt off. Sue us.
By suggesting viewers live-tweet the show, we were "encouraging cyber-bullying" and "forming a hate group, which, by the way is illegal." In the words of one commenter, "No wonder the world is in such chaos." With emotions running so high, it was inevitable that a flame war within a flame war take shape. Soon the fans were turning on each other, arguing over who is more dedicated to Carrie. This is what happens when you take this internet business too seriously, friends. Drama!
Meanwhile, plenty of readers shared our trepidation about the special and committed their Thursday night to hate-watching with us. It's so close, we can taste it! Are you tuning in?
It's been almost four years since he last donned the Tenth Doctor's tight pinstripes, but David Tennant didn't miss a beat when he returned to Doctor Who in the 50th Anniversary special. Every actor who's played the face-changing Time Lord has left a legacy on the series, but there's no denying that Tennant is a fan favorite. From classic catchphrases to bro-ing out with Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, here are our favorite David moments from "Day of the Doctor."
1. So much for the "Virgin Queen."
And we finally know why Elizabeth I is so upset with the Doctor in their subsequent run-ins. He married her, told her he'd "be right back," and then took off in the TARDIS. We love you, Ten, but we've got to side with the Queen on this one.
2. Experimenting with new fashions.
David Tennant puts on fez; entire fandom collectively breathes into paper bag.
3. Charming Clara
Ten obviously approves of Eleven's taste in companions, and he can't resist laying on a little game.
4. Breaking our hearts all over again
Because it wouldn't be Doctor Who without a little pain and suffering, the script had Tennant repeating his famous final line. Also, an honorable mention for his gut-wrenching reaction when he heard the words "bad wolf."
5. Being adorable with Matt Smith
The entire 50th could have been just Ten and Eleven making fun of each other and we would have been more than okay with it.
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Leonardo DiCaprio may look like he has it all: the other half of Scorcese's friendship locket; a revolving door of otherwordly Brazialian girlfriends; and the top spot on Kate Winslet's speed dial. But as far as the internet is concerned, there's a gaping hole in this charmed life. Leo still doesn't have an Oscar. After Titanic, it felt like a snub. For a few years after that, the situation was curious. And now it's so preposterous that it's downright comical. Ever obliging, the good people on Tumblr have turned their pain and disbelief into art. Behold, the best of the Oscar hates Leonardo DiCaprio memes.
Most of the time, he'll just shrug it off. But try not to catch him on a bad day.
A spot on the awards shelf stays empty and pristine as it awaits the cool, mighty weight of Oscar.
At this rate, she'll have one before he does.
Should he need some advice on waiting patiently for years before being recognized for the wrong movie, his pal Marty has some pointers.
"Don't ever let them see you cry, Leo. Don't. Ever. Let. Them. See. You. Cry."
Based on the recently released teaser trailer, we've got high hopes for Angelina Jolie's turn as Maleficent. So evil. So glamorous. It's a dream come true for every kid who was equal parts terrified and captivated by the Sleeping Beauty sorceress. And now we've got a hankering for some more animated baddie updates. Here are five more villains Disney should consider reinventing in live-action.
Someone please put a lavender wig on Melissa McCarthy and let her loose as the loopy witch from The Sword in the Stone.
With Disney Theatricals' stage production of The Little Mermaid, we've already had a taste of a live-action Ursula. Plus, there's a juicy backstory that got the Sea Witch from King Triton's palace into her creepy underwater cave and we wouldn't mind seeing that play out in an Ursula-centric prequel.
Highly underrated and forever quotable, The Emperor's New Groove had a flawless foe in Yzma. But it would be near impossible to find an actress worthy of succeeding the peerless Eartha Kitt, whose playful performance made the whole thing sing.
A more demented Miss Hannigan type, The Rescuers' Madam Medusa would be a prime part for any comedienne to sink her teeth into.
Alert us the moment James Woods signs on to do this Hercules spin-off, and we'll preorder our tickets.
The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special is just days from hitting our eyeballs. And, with five decades of history to mine, it has the potential to bring back dozens of familiar faces (or voices). It won't be a shock to see Billie Piper, whose involvement was announced months ago and has figured prominently in the excitement-building PR campaign. Piper is heavily responsible for the success of the modern series, as new audiences were introduced to the traveling Time Lord and the TARDIS through the eyes of shopgirl Rose Tyler back in 2005. Based on the cryptic trailers for the special, fans have begun to wonder if Piper is even playing the Rose we know and love in this new story. For the sake of this list, we'll assume that she is, though we fully understand how futile it is to try to predict Doctor Who. Right or wrong, here are five reasons to rejoice over the return of Rose Tyler:
1. It's Rose freakin' Tyler.Every Whovian has a favorite companion, but there's no denying the role that Rose Tyler played in grounding the modern series. She was the perfect doorway into this bizarre world for newbies, a normal girl who possessed huge stores of bravery and compassion.
2. We can catch up with Rose and TenToo.When last we saw Rose, she was sucking face on a beach with her half-human clone Doctor. What have they been up to over in the alternate universe? Is it kids and game nights and bagged lunches, or have they kept on running and getting into trouble? Bets on the latter.
3. It's time for Rose to meet Eleven.She's known two of his faces already; we've been craving a meeting between Rose and Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor. And considering he's the same man who gave up the love of his life for her own sake, we expect some good old fashioned angst.
4. She'll huff and puff and blow your house down.Remember when Rose absorbed the time vortex and disintegrated the Daleks and saved the Doctor and made Jack Harkness immortal without even knowing it? That was awesome. There's a moment in the 50th trailer where her eyes glow like Bad Wolf Rose, so fingers crossed we'll see this badassery again.
5. David Tennant and Billie Piper, you guys.Chemistry like this can't be manufactured, folks. And we really had so few episodes with the perfect pairing of Rose Tyler and the Tenth Doctor. It will do hearts good to see these two together again.
And one reason to fear it.
1. Steven MoffatWhile her creator Russell T. Davies had great affection for Rose Tyler, the current showrunner has gone on record calling the companion a "needy girlfriend." Do we really want our beloved Rose in those hands? Be kind to her, Steven. Or at least fair.
It's the perfect album to score angry journaling, but can Jagged Little Pill be successfully adapted to Broadway? News broke last week that Canadian pop star turned poster child for late '90s female disillusionment Alanis Morissette is working on adapting the album that made her a household name for the stage. What could that possibly look like?
Whether or not we have faith in the idea, her collaborater Tom Kitt lends some expertise to the project. He worked with Green Day to develop the stage version of American Idiot a few years back. While that show didn't have much of a story to speak of, at least the punk trio's score sounded rich and full with a chorus of Broadway voices belting it. But American Idiot is also a concept album with a thematic throughline, if not a complete narrative. Jagged Little Pill on the other hand, is all over the place, from the white-hot rage of "You Oughta Know" to the chill "Hand in my Pocket" to the openly affectionate "Head Over Feet." Not to say that one person can't experience all those emotions in rapid succession (or even at the same time — we've all had those days). Morissette is a complicated lady — just like the rest of us — and it was that multifacetedness and honesty that drew us all to her in the first place. But when it comes to big-budget musicals, simpler usually fares better.
What this show needs is a solid book that divides the album's track listing among fully-realized characters and a truly kick-ass unknown to play our fictionalized Alanis, whatever they'll be calling her. If it works, it might just be spectacular. Cyndi Lauper collected a Tony Award for her composition efforts this year. Could Alanis be next?
Though Connie Britton — she of the glorious hair and forever status as "Mrs. Coach" — has been on the receiving end of all of Nashville's acting nods so far, her costar Hayden Panettiere deserves significant props too. Her character Juliette Barnes, a flashy blond country-pop machine, was introduced as the foil to Britton's Rayna James — an embodiment of the industry's love affair with shiny and overly produced acts without much happening beneath their shellacked surfaces. Of course, Nashville would be no fun without a little conflict. So, though Rayna has remained fairly saintlike throughout its season and a half run, Juliette has been all over the place.
The writers and Panettiere gained our sympathy for Barnes in the first season, when we saw how her unreliable junkie mother had affected her life. Juliette may look like she was born and raised in a Guess store, but her real upbringing was pretty bleak. She struggled with accepting her mother back into her life and getting her into rehab, just to then watch her downward spiral and overdose. Poor Juliette, right? But her mother wouldn't have started using again if it wasn't for Juliette's thoughtless affair with her mother's sponsor, who tried to blackmail her and then was shot by Mama Barnes. (Seriously, this show is bananas.)
We saw her be cruelly rejected by her Christian football player's family; become a good friend to Deacon after bedding him just a few times; and connect very sincerely with Rayna's daughter Maddie. But she's still got her issues — namely, ambition and neediness. She used Rayna's coma to promote her own album and, when we last left her, was very knowingly embarking on an affair with a married man. What do you think about Juliette Barnes? Are you still rooting for her to figure it all out? Discuss in the comments!
The Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Say what you will about the 2011 Oscar race, but The Social Network can't claim responsiblility for a real-life triumph like this one.
Yorkshire English teacher Mr. Burton used the methods he saw Lionel Logue use on the stammering monarch in The King's Speech to help his student Musharaf Asghar overcome his own stutter. Apologies to Colin Firth, but Mushy has taken your place as our favorite reluctant public speaker.