Tuesday, December 21

Holy Whapping Television Network (HWTN):
Primetime Schedule, December 20-24, 2004

Monday, December 20

8:00 PM -- Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling: The Sitcom. Mikey gets irritated that his rival Raphael is throwing noisy toga parties next door in the Stanze. Julius II calls in noted Florentine spin-doctor Nick Machiavelli, who urges him to do a painting-op showing off his kindler, gentler side (involving a mercilessly cute puppy) with hilarious results. Little Johnny Bernini tries out for the Sistine Choir, and gets in--only they want him for the soprano section. Permanently. (TV-PG: Paintings of naked people, and countertenor jokes).

8:30 PM -- I Love Beatrice. Dante has a big poetry reading coming up at the Medici Tavern, and Beatrice desperately wants to get in on it, concocting a wacky plan with her next-door neighbor, Laura, to crash it in disguise. "Beeeatriiiice, you have some 'splaining to doooo!" "Awwww, Dante, waaaaaaaah!" (TV-G).

9:00 PM -- Father Ted: A Lifetime Original Moment of Truth Movie. Movie. Repeat of last month's ratings success on the Women's Channel. On Craggy Island off the Irish coast, rector Father Ted Crilley forces Jack to join Alcoholics Anonymous ("Drink! Drink! Drink!"). Housekeeper Mrs. Doyle joins a drumming circle to empower her femininity, changes her name to Starbird, and then gets thrown out when she serves a chicken salad sandwich to a vegan. And Doughal gets a new sweater for Christmas, this one with a Big Bird on it. (TV-PG-13: Jack).

Tuesday, December 21

8:00 PM -- The Bob Bellarmine Show. Crazy next-door neighbor Galileo (Bill Daily) crashes Bob (Bob Newhart)'s dinner at the rectory for the upteenth time. Bob counsels a claustrophobic Zwinglian on his new confessional couch, an idea he got from his friend Rabbi Freud up in Vienna. (Repeat; TV-PG: Zwinglians).

8:30 PM -- The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys. In a new segment of this popular how-to show, Ian the Traditional Liturgist explains the proper use of a thurible, but his assistant, Little Aloysius (age 5, from St. Gabriel of the Seven Sorrows Yes-You-Betcha-We-Have-An-Indult Tridentine Mission in Little Tavistock, North Dakota) burns the set down by accident. Visiting expert Father Rocca is allowed to demonstrate a profound bow. (TV-G, but don't let the kids near a lighter).

9:00 PM -- Little Women II: Jo, Interrupted. Movie. Jo rebels at the thought of being portrayed by Winona Ryder, especially after Jo is mistakenly arrested for shoplifting at the town general store. (TV-G, mostly).

Wednesday, December 22

8:00 PM -- Domers: The Soap Opera. Mary-Louise and Mary-Beth have a catfight over who's going to try to steal Mary-Kate's boyfriend, Mike, who is Mary-Mary's brother, and who also secretly has a crush on Mary-Ann's roommate, Mary-Pat, whose real name is Heather but who changed it because she was the only person on campus not named Bridget or Mary and was feeling very left out. Philosophy Student Matt tries to get advice on his Aquinas paper from Holy Matt, who asks Perfect Hair Matt if maybe Wisconsin Matt or his roommate Hat Matt might know the answer, which involves the Gospel of Matthew. A random joke about South Dining Hall tuna casserole is made, like on every show. (TV-PG: South Dining Hall).

9:00 PM -- Two Guys, a Priest, and a Pizza Place. Notre Dame's basilica rector takes a sabbatical to rediscover his Italian roots by going home to work in his family pizza place. Hijinks and wackiness ensue. (TV-PG: Hijinks and wackiness).

9:30 PM -- Rick Steves' Travels in Vatican City -- Part two of twenty. Rick visits the Vatican grocery store.

10:00 PM -- Little Women III: The Search for Spock. Movie. Jo and Meg must make a dangerous decision that could part them from all they hold dear: continue living in mid-19th-century America and wearing very large skirts or steal the decommissioned Enterprise to recover Beth's body from the restricted Genesis planet. Also starring Rich as Leonard Nimoy. (TV-G, though I doubt it).

Thursday, December 23

8:00 PM -- The Adventures of SuperBenedictineMan. SuperBenedictineMan discovers that his nemesis the Ecumenatrix is out to break into the Gesu over Christmas and steal the precious relic of St. Francis Xavier's Bionic Baptizing Bicep to kick off her plan to...well, do something really nefarious, of course, probably involving a feminist Liberating Liturgy. (TV-PG-13: Liberating Liturgies).

9:00 PM -- The Liturgist. In this new Reality TV show, Cardinal Martini auditions new majordomos for St. Peter's Basilica. Color commentary by The Most Sarcastic Priest in Ireland and Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (unless it gives the poor guy a coronary). Special competitions for: thurible swinging, slightly random incorporation of indigenous customs, liturgical dance, designing ugly modern liturgical art, ad-libbing in Latin, interview, and special talent. "What would you say the world needs most today?" "A revision of the rubrics for Benediction. (Awkward silence). And world peace." (Applause). (TV-G, but be warned: Archbishop Milingo is trying out).

10:00 PM -- Late Night Compline with Fr. George William Rutler. Witty banter (largely in Latin) with special guests Reggie Foster and the Maytag Repairman. Musical guests: John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers.

Friday, December 24

8:00 PM -- The Holy Whapping Christmas Special. A snowstorm forces the gang, driving to Stillwater to buy Christmas presents at Loome's Theological Bookstore, to stay overnight at the ICRSP parish in Wausau. Andy discovers with horror that tonight's dinner at the rectory will contain only mushrooms, and that the closest Piggly Wiggly is in the next state. Matt attempts to convince the pastor to let him use a cope while serving mass, or an amice anyway, while he discovers his attempts to found a sodality dedicated to St. Murgen have gotten him irate phone messages both from Student Activities and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Trying to find an appropriately Christmassy movie, Dan looks for a copy of The Seventh Seal at the local Blockbuster and ends up having to drive halfway to Madison in the process. Emily discovers she has a long-lost identical twin sister, and gets into a long argument as to which one of them is the evil twin but the breach is healed by a long conversation about baked goods, firearms, sewing and football. Rich (guest star Pete Best) tries to convince the visiting regional superior to build a replica of the Gesu in South Bend. S. introduces the good priests of the parish to Tex-Mex/Indian fusion cuisine and in the end shows the bickering friends the True Meaning of Christmas, which presumably doesn't involve putting up Christmas lights around Halloween. Special appearance by the Schauss Family Singers. (TV-G).

10:00 PM -- Friday Night Live! All the way from La Fortune Student Center, the Whapsters consume vast quantities of Frappucinos and discuss tonight's question: "If Thomas Aquinas had been a professional wrestler, what would his nickname have been?" Musical guests John Tavener and Mick Jagger do a duet version of the Akathist of Thanksgiving. (TV-G).

11:00 PM -- Little Women V: The Final Insult. Movie. Jo and Elizabeth Cady Stanton discover a book in the attic called Liberating Liturgies and try to empower their Irish Catholic maid Bridget through the use of interpretive dance. Also starring Archbishop Milingo. (TV-PG-13: Liberating Liturgies).

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