Alynda Wheat
November 29, 2008 AT 05:00 PM EST

MSNBC: Saturday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Why you should gobble up 9 hours of jailbirds: There is no more inappropriate marathon for the holiday season than Lockup, MSNBC’s paean to prison life, which is precisely what makes it so awesome: counter-programming for Thanksgiving-weekend schmaltz! Let’s be honest: People love prison tourism. We love learning about the arts and crafts prisoners make to keep from losing it. We love learning about the intricate customs and rituals that make us feel like we’re delving into a fascinating — if preternaturally violent — foreign culture. We especially love the love (turns out, prison “intimacy” is a lot like online dating, only with only one gender and a lot less choice). Also: It is, perhaps, instructive to see where one might end up should holiday meals with loved ones go horribly wrong.

Must-see episodes: Three episodes of Lockup: Raw comprise the final troika (from 7-10 p.m.) of MSNBC’s version of the Scared Straight program — following episodes of Lockup: Inside Pendleton Juvenile and Lockup Holman: Extended Stay — and damn straight, we’re scared!

Need an appetizer? Try this one.

How about you, PopWatchers? You ready for multiple courses of Lockup? And if so, which episode is your favorite?

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