Christmas Episodes 2013 - day 7 and 8
As per your request, please find enclosed two Christmas episodes to catch us up.
First up, Twilight Zone, season 2, episode 11 - “The Night of the Meek”.
This is the only Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone that I could find. This episode is one of the few that was shot on video tape. Also, it stars John Fiedler, who you might recognize as the voice of Piglet. If you have any interest in The Twilight Zone, may I recommend that you check out the Retroist Podcast episode about The Twilight Zone.
Next episode is pretty much the polar (pun?) opposite of a Twilight Zone episode: an episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun - season 2, episode 12, “Jolly Old St. Dick”.
3rd Rock From the Sun is a show that’s pretty short on content, and generally contains a lot of punchy jokes and satirical quips. One of my favorite parts of this episode is Sally working the gift-wrapping kiosk at the mall.
Ali generally hates anything in black-and-white regardless of its other merits. I enjoy both the innovative storytelling of The Twilight Zone and the light hearted scenery chewing of John Lithgow (who was in The Twilight Zone movie, by the way).
Christmas Episodes 2013 - day 6
Well, we’re getting behind with all the travel and the sickness, but day 6 is season 9, episode 10 of Seinfeld - “The Strike”.
This episode contains references to Hanukkah, Christmas, and, of course, the Costanza’s Holiday of Festivus.
The episode starts at Tim Whatley’s Hanukkah party (he converted to Judaism just for the jokes).
At the office, George gives out donation certificates as Christmas gifts for a made-up charity called The Human Fund.
And finally, Frank Costanza breaks out the aluminum pole and resurrects the anti-commercialism holiday that he invented called Festivus. Festivus actually originated in 1966, and since this episode, it has taken on a life of its own.
This episode is very densely-packed, with two more non-holiday subplots involving Kramer’s long-time strike against H&H Bagels and Elaine’s quest to become a “Submarine Captain” with a loyalty program at a sub sandwich shop.
We both enjoy Seinfeld (who doesn’t), and this episode is a good one. I especially enjoy Frank’s “I got a lot of problems with you people!”
Christmas Episodes - days 4 and 5
We skipped a night, so we watched two episodes:
How I Met Your Mother, season 2, episode 11: “How Lily Stole Christmas”
This episode is about Ted still being mad at Lily for leaving for San Francisco over the summer. Very Christmas-y episode, with the “Winter Wonderland” over-the-top decorations.
Arrested Development, season 2, episode 6: “Afternoon Delight”
A really great episode of Arrested Development, with lots of Christmas-y content, as well as some classic G.O.B. (suits escalating in value, C’MON).
Christmas Episodes 2013 - episode 3
It’s Futurama, season 2, episode 4 - “Xmas Story”
This is the first Futurama Christmas episode, in which we learn that “Christmas” is now pronounced “Xmas”, just like “ask” is now pronounced “axe”.
I think the Futurama Christmas episodes are pretty weak, in general, but conceptually they are very original. This episode is John Goodman’s only appearance in Futurama, with Santa being voiced in later appearances by John DiMaggio.
Conan O’Brien appears in this episode, and we learn that he “lost [his] freakishly long legs in the war of 2012.” Of course, we know today that Conan still has his legs, and he never fought in any wars in 2012, proving conclusively that Futurama is not an accurate predictor of future events.
Ali doesn’t like Futurama as much as I, and I don’t like the Xmas episodes as much as the rest of the series, so we give this episode 2 “mehs” on a 1-5 scale of “meh”.
Christmas Episodes 2013 - episode 2
The next episode is Frasier, season 8, episode 8 - “Mary Christmas”.
This episode is the second appearance of “Doctor” Mary, whose career in folksy radio advice stems from being an intern with Frasier. Frasier is again forced to pair with her to do the corny play-by-play of the Seattle Christmas Parade. The “B” plot involves the rest of the cast opening all their gifts too early and then agreeing to re-wrap them.
Dr. Mary is again played by Kim Coles, best known for Living Single, and a host of other guest roles. The two callers to Frasier’s radio show in this episode were played by Stephen King and Wolfgang Puck.
Ali is a big Frasier fan; it’s probably her favorite show. I also tend to enjoy it. This episode was quite Christmas-y, so we both rate it highly, even though many of the jokes in this episode involve Frasier’s cornball sense of humor.
Christmas Episodes 2013 - episode 1
Last year, Ali & I decided to watch one Christmas-themed sitcom episode every night, starting right after Thanksgiving. Via Netflix, DVR, YouTube, etc, we were able to get a pretty good variety.
This year, we’re doing the same thing again, but I thought I would chronicle it publicly because why not.
We’ll also judge each episode arbitrarily on how “Christmas-y” it is. I.e., if the whole episode plot revolves around Christmas, it will get a higher ranking than an episode that just has one brief mention of Christmas (Also note, other winter holiday themes can also count: Hanukkah, Festivus, etc).
That’s pretty much the whole explanation. These episodes aren’t in any particular order, as we’re just picking them on the fly. We attempt not to repeat shows much.
First episode: The Office, Season 9, Episode 9, “Dwight Christmas”.
In this episode, Dwight chooses the party theme, and it’s a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas, starring Belsnickel and a host of other weirdness. I really enjoyed this episode because most of the weird elements that Dwight brings are really part of Christmas tradition in parts of Germany and Pennsylvania.
The other subplots involve Die Hard (a movie set during Christmas time), and some other minor plot points in the season’s main story arc.
Ali said it’s “2 stars” out of 5. I’ve never been a fan of The Office, but I do enjoy the Rainn Wilson. So I give it 3 stars.
The job interview of my dreams
I had a dream last night that I was being interviewed for a job.
Interviewer: What’s the name of that car you drive? You know, the [blank]-mobile?
Me: It’s the Upsetting-Mobile, because it makes people uncomfortable, people don’t want to be around it, but it gets the job done.
What the…what? What’s wrong with you, subconscious?