“The Moodys” opens with a shot of a nice, suburban home, complete with snow and Christmas lights. As “Jingle Bell Rock” plays, we go inside to see a dancing Santa Claus figure — and then Santa’s head explodes.
Well, it’s shot off by the family matriarch, Ann (Elizabeth Perkins), who yells, “I just wanted to have a nice Christmas, and you all ruined it!”
So, yeah, it quickly becomes clear that this show — based on the 2012 Australian miniseries “A Moody Christmas” — is not a Hallmark movie.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the sweetness and romance of Hallmark movies. But there are two dozen new entries in that genre this season, and there’s only one “Moodys” — a six-part, three-hour miniseries about a dysfunctional family of five who gather for the “perfect” holiday. And the Moodys’ doesn’t even come close.
Ann is obsessed with that unattainable perfection. Sean Sr. (Denis Leary) is hiding a health issue from his children. Older son Sean Jr. (Jay Baruchel) is a 30-something slacker who still lives at home.
“You know, you could get your own place,” Sean Sr. says.
“Don’t play chicken with me, old man,” Sean Jr. replies. “I’m your most likely caregiver.”
Daughter Bridget (Chelsea Frei) has just blown up her seemingly perfect life by cheating on her husband. And younger son Dan (Francois Arnaud), who just ended the latest in a long string of unsatisfactory love affairs, falls for his cousin’s girlfriend.
“You have a thing for Marco's girlfriend? Ew!” says Bridget.
“Oh, are you seriously judging my crush, you infidel?” Dan replies.
“Hey, stop fighting,” Sean Jr. says. “You’re both godawful people.”
Except … they’re not. Sure, they’re flawed, but you can’t help but like them. There’s a lot going on in “The Moodys” that will not only make you smile, it will make you laugh out loud in spots. And, as it turns out, it’s heartfelt and emotional. It’s... fun.
The scheduling is weird. The six half-hour episodes air in three one-hour blocks — Wednesday, Dec. 4; Monday, Dec. 9; and Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on Fox/Channel 13.
I’d suggest recording “The Moodys” and binging it. The total running time (minus commercials and promos) is about two hours — movie length.
SEXY BYUTV • It’s decidedly non sequitur, but the sexiest man alive is on BYUtv on Sunday.
This year’s “Christmas Under the Stars” (5 p.m.) features John Legend, recently named People Magazine’s 2019 Sexiest Man Alive. He sings traditional holiday songs and some of his own songs.
And you thought BYUtv wasn’t cool.
VERY BRADY • Utahn Mike Lookinland and the rest of the original “Brady Bunch” kids — who now range in age from 58 to 65 — are returning to the remodeled house that “The Brady Bunch” (sort of) lived in for “A Very Brady Renovation: Holiday Edition” (Dec. 16 on HGTV — 8 p.m. Dish and DirecTV; 11 p.m. Comcast).
It’s a follow-up to “A Very Brady Renovation,” in which the house that was used as the exterior for the 1969-74 sitcom was remodeled to recreate the sets. And that garnered HGTV’s best ratings ever.
Lookinland (Bobby), Susan Olsen (Cindy), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Barry Williams (Greg) and Maureen McCormick (Marcia) join the Food Network’s Ree Drummond and HGTV’s Jasmine Roth to make “retro DIY decorations” and 1970s food, including fondue-style potatoes, gelatin fruit salad and santapes (aka Christmas canapes). The special repeats Dec. 22 on the Food Network.
BINGO! • WWE hall of famer Mick Foley will host “interactive bingo” during airings of four holiday (or holiday-ish) movies on Thursdays in December — 7 p.m. Dish and DirecTV; 10 p.m. Comcast. I guess holidays are always a gamble.
The movies are “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Gremlins,” “Year Without a Santa Claus” and “Snow Day."
KILLER CHRISTMAS • It’s that time of year when holiday favorites are marathoned. Like 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” on TBS and TNT starting Dec. 24 at 6 p.m.
Our friends at Syfy are putting their own spin on this tradition, with what they’re calling “A Nightmare Before Elm Street Christmas Marathon,” starting Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. Because nothing says “merry Christmas” like watching slasher films about a child killer who was burned alive by the parents of his victims only to return from the dead and kill teenagers in their dreams.
KILLER CHRISTMAS, PART 2 • If you find real murders more interesting than fictional murders, be sure to check out Oxygen’s “Homicide for the Holidays.” The four installments are recreations of a mother “brutally shot to death” while driving her sons home from a Thanksgiving celebration; a young couple found murdered inside their home; a “beloved couple” found murdered inside their home on Christmas morning; and a family “found massacred inside” their Santa Claus, Ga., home.
I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. The episodes air weekly on Saturdays beginning Dec. 7. The first airs at 5:30 p.m. on Dish and DirecTV and 8:30 p.m. on Comcast; the remaining three at 5 p.m./8 p.m.