12 Shows of Christmas, Part 3

Part one of the 12 Shows of Christmas from Scotwot and TelevisionFanboy is here. Part two is here.


For the ninth day of Christmas, Scotwot gave to me... My So-Called Life's exquisite melancholy

"Do we have to keep talking about religion? After all, it's Christmas!" There are light touches of humor peppered throughout this dark and troubling episode, offering us relief from the reality of the show. The humor ensures we don't feel preached at, plus, as nothing is neatly tied up by the end credits, we are given space to think about the issues raised: homophobia, teenage homelessness, loneliness, rejection, and depression.

"So-Called Angels" is this episode's title, although it could be retitled "The Best of Intentions Gone Awry." I think we all believe, or at least hope, that we'd do the right thing in most situations, although determining what the right thing to do is, as we learn by watching these characters, not always easy. Questions are asked that sadly, 20 years on, are just as relevant as they were when the show aired. Even the phone number given at the end is still the same.

Excellent writing and cinematography layer the episode with subtle juxtapositions. Almost every shot has a musical or visual element playing out in the background. Combined with the dialogue, these components either belie our idealization of Christmas or tell us exactly what is going on in a character's life.

Angela Chase (Claire Danes) may be the protagonist of the show, but Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) is the shining star of this episode. His performance as a gay teenager beaten by a family member is exceptional and heart-breaking.

This is certainly not the happiest show on the list, but its honesty about teenage/parental life, especially at Christmas, makes it my most loved.


For the 10th show of Christmas, TelevisionFanboy gave to me... the best sitcom ever: Community

Community's Christmas episodes are exceptionally weird and enjoyable. There's an adorable foray into Abed's emotional breakdown, a laugh-filled episode focused on a group kidnapping, and even a jolly glee club episode where the gang steps up after the old team dies in a car crash. If these don't sound like traditional Christmas episodes to you, you're right. Community's holiday episodes are outrageously off-topic, but always circle back to a theme. The holidays are about spending them with your family and this group of oddballs is a family.

Here are a few highlights from Christmas episodes past:

Decorating the Christmas Troy.

Delivering a candy cane beatdown.

A sanity-restoring group hug.

A not-at-all creepy Community non-denominational celebration.

And somehow Britta being even worse.


For the 11th show of Christmas, Scotwot gave to me... The West Wing getting funny

Hold up, hold up, stop scrolling! This is a politics-free zone, truly!

The West Wing has some truly funny Christmas moments that are best illustrated in GIFs. Enjoy giggling your way through this selection of goodies:

We strongly suggest that you do not kiss Santa Claus in front of your children, unless of course you want to spend your Florida retirement home ahem, "kids' college fund," money on their extensive counseling. "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" may be a cute song, but IRL, not so much.

Claudia Jean! Hey, if the kids are sound asleep, what happens in the den stays in the den. Especially if it's just a fake Santa.

Dad decides to cook! Joy! (Or not.) When your dad realizes that cooking the turkey is just a tad more complicated than he thought, help is at hand.

This is my house right about the time the booze runs out — and the turkey still isn't ready.

Even the most optimistic of us feel this at some point. Sneaking out the back door is not the worst thing to do — especially as you still haven't cooked the turkey!

Whilst sneaking out, you might by chance meet the guy who likes you and take all your pent up frustration at having had no food or booze and say this to him, in exactly this way. Oh yeah, he'll back off, in about 100 years.

However, if you're trapped at the office Christmas party, the booze is flowing, and suddenly you realize you have the hots for your (single) boss? #goforitatXmas

The moment you realize sometimes your colleagues just don't like you, even at Christmas. Choose your desired comfort from the choices below:
a) too much booze
b) too much food
c) go to your office till everyone leaves

Yep, Toby chose C.

FLOTUS chose A — along with C.J. and some pals they have themselves a merry old time sneaking away from the party with some very good booze.

However, if do you choose option A, you will awaken the next morning wondering exactly this...


For the 12th and final show of Christmas, TelevisionFanboy gave to me... Charlie Brown and Snoopy!

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the perfect holiday special. Every year it brings families together to tell a wonderful story of appreciation and love. Free of commercialization and voiced by a cast of children, this special (first airing in 1965) almost never happened. Executives feared it was too slow-paced and amateur for audiences. Its message of love and perseverance has proved timeless and it has won both a Peabody and an Emmy. More than 50 years later, this special continues to be immensely popular.

So remember to have fun, wish your loved ones well, and don't forget to...


From all of us here at SideReel, happy holidays!


1 comment

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Dec 23, 2016 7:48PM EST

nice :)

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