No other holiday says television like
From the vicarious chill of the early-morning East Coast parade sites, to a game called football I am told is popular, to the official beginning of the Christmas-special season (a gun that
Thanksgiving Day itself begins, as any child knows and no adult can possibly have forgotten, with the
Marathons, which is how the pioneers binge-watched, are another custom of the day, as much as marshmallows melted into sweet potatoes or an aged aunt's sloppy kiss on the cheek. In the days before television was totally your slave, it was a rare opportunity to luxuriate in hours of
But even now that your wish is its command, there is something special about the unasked-for offer, the unexpected bounty — something very much in tune with the holiday and its spirit of happy overindulgence and exhaustion.
This year's Thanksgiving Day marathons include something for many tastes. There will be huge batches of "Adventure Time" (
TBS will have a Thanksgiving meta-marathon of Thanksgiving episodes of "Friends" (Thursday, from 10 a.m.), followed by three hours of "Seinfeld," culminating in "The Strike," where you first heard the word "Festivus." Not exactly on television, a "Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon" begins at noon, live-streamed from MST3KTurkeyDay.com, providing a vicarious social experience for those wishing to avoid or unable to enjoy a real one.
Later in the weekend, and out of the nominal holiday spirit, Showtime will offer current seasons-to-date of "Homeland" (3 p.m. Saturday) and "The Affair" (4 p.m. Sunday). Syfy will rerun the whole first season of its virus-in-Antarctica sci-fi-horror-thriller "Helix" (6 a.m. Friday); BBC America, on the strength I suppose of Patrick Stewart being British and having the word "America" in its name, will cover large tracts of Friday with
A clutch of old Christmas specials will be dragged again from the old Christmas special box; only the CBS pairing of "Yes, Virginia" (voices of
And there will be dogs: NBC has the "13th Annual National Dog Show" Thanksgiving Day at noon, with a prime-time repeat Saturday at 8. Thanksgiving night at 8, Fox airs "Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular," at once a celebration of rescue dogs and an opportunity to rescue one. Hilary Swank and Jane Lynch co-host;
Last and possibly most is "Comedy Central's All-Star Non-Denominational Christmas Special" (premiering 10 p.m. Thursday and repeating every night through the weekend), an olio of holiday-themed japes and bad examples built around the stars of a network that has every cause to be proud of them.
I have not seen any of this undoubtedly magical hour, but we have been promised appearances by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from "Broad City";