Best of both worlds
Guillermo del Toro's all-access pass to the underworld has already given us "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy." His animated excursion "Trollhunters" isn't nearly as memorable, but it's still proof that the director has the most wonderfully jaded imagination in entertainment. In the series, a bored teenager is recruited by giant rodents (led by the perfectly cast Kelsey Grammer) to defend both human and mystical kingdoms. The humor and visual effects dwarf anything marketed by the Transformers toy department.
Now streaming on Netflix
Much ado about something
The Bard isn't at his best when ordered from a tasting menu, but "Shakespeare Live!" may inspire you to indulge in meatier fare. David Tennant and Catherine Tate host this celebration, taped in April in Stratford-upon-Avon by the Royal Shakespeare Company, with samplings from great works. It doesn't take long for the tribute to start feeling like a recital, although it's great fun to watch a Who's Who of veterans interpreting "Hamlet," only to get upstaged by the Prince of Wales.
8 p.m. Friday, TPT, Ch. 2
You gotta have Faith
Frank Sinatra offers perfect background music for the holiday season, but give the family a reprieve from your dusty collection with carols served by more contemporary artists. AXS TV provides a slightly hipper soundtrack on Christmas Day, starting at 7 a.m. with "Jessica Simpson: Happy Christmas." The guest list throughout the day includes classic concerts by Faith Hill, Heart and Michael McDonald, whose version of "Hallelujah" should be particularly poignant with the recent death of its writer, Leonard Cohen.
Sunday, AXS TV
Doctor Who, a character who seems to have been around as long as Santa Claus, pops by for milk and cookies (and mischief) in "Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Return of Doctor Mysterio," loaded with references to Superman and Clark Kent.
8 p.m. Sunday, BBC America