How can you not love TV when it gives us gems like this: Barbara Walters prattling on about Angelina Jolie finding “meaning and purpose beyond the narcissistic love of Hollywood”—in a special dedicated to heaping more narcissistic love on Hollywood! It’s called irony, and Walters wasn’t the only one oblivious to it last week: “To me,” said supermodel Tyra Banks, “beautiful means possessing some inner beauty.”

Wife Swap
Monday at 8 p.m.

“I haven’t brushed [my hair] in years,” says earthy, no-frills mom Ramona to her brand-new “daughter,” 5-year-old pageant queen Hannah. “I know that,” the pint-sized princess shoots back. But hey, just because Hannah’s a tiara girl doesn’t mean she’s destined to be a bitch: “I was very worried,” says the little angel of Ramona’s efforts to dress her, “’cause I didn’t want to…look like crap.”

Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006
Tuesday at 10 p.m.

Ever ask yourself, Just how does Patrick Dempsey manage to be so damn fascinating? “It’s more than his hair,” assures Barbara Walters, besotted with the apparently enthralling star of Grey’s Anatomy—conveniently enough, another ABC program. But while Dr. McDreamy may be good for a late-night fawn, he can’t give Walters quite the stargasm that Brangelina can: “Their combined star power,” Walters gushes about the Jolie-Pitts, “lit up the media universe in a blaze of sex and humanitarianism!”

Christmas in Washington 2006
Wednesday at 10 p.m.

“Christmas in Washington has become, for this capital city, as important to the holidays as mistletoe and reindeer!” announces Dr. Phil, introducing this treacly, apparently necessary special. And what’s a little forced merriment without some moshing by Dr. Phil’s wife/spinoff, Robin? “We will make this beautiful space,” she says to an audience that includes Lynne Cheney, “rock to the sound of Christmas!”

The Tyra Banks Sho
Thursday at 10 a.m.

“People admire me everywhere—I don’t even have to do anything or say anything!” gushes Brandy, one of several self-avowed beauties on hand to debate whether good looks are a blessing or a curse. “Wow,” ponders Tyra. “That’s deep.” Not nearly as deep, though, as the thoughts of beauty queen Elizabeth: “On a scale of 1 to 10,” says the former Miss Teen USA Intercontinental, “I would give myself a 9, because it allows me room to grow to be a really good person.”

Dr. Keith Ablow
Friday at 11 a.m.
Syndicated (WTTG-TV)

“It’s really annoying,” says party girl/teen mother Marisa, “when people think you’re a bad mom just because you’re [out] drinking.” And while lame ol’ Dr. Keith lectures her about responsibility blah blah blah, it’s tequila-lovin’ mother-of-four Mohogony who gets the real Ablow job: “Are you an alcoholic?” Dr. Party Pooper asks her. “No,” she answers. “I don’t be drunk drunk. I be just tipsy.”