Sunday, December 13, 2009

#8: Golden Girls- Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas

Don't let the name of this Christmas special fool you- this is NOT about Dorothy, Sophia and the other two stumbling on Halloween town and doing their own take on Nightmare Before Christmas, with Blanche screwing Jack and Sophia beating Oogie at a game of dice. I apologise now for your disappointment- don't worry, I felt the same way. In fact, if ever there was a fan-fiction begging to be written, it's that one. (And if I see it hit the web at any point in the next few days, I'm going to sue)

In actuality, this episode is, as far as I can tell, the first Christmas for the Golden Girls (not ever, of course. The whole PREMISE of the show is that they have a combined age of about four thousand, so I'm guess they've celebrated Chrsitmas once or twice before this), and they're all planning to go home to their seperate families for the holidays. Now, this story had so much crammed in to a twenty miniute episode, I'm suprised they didn't just call it "Tardis", but what we have is: Blanche fucks a Santa, Sophia maxes our Dorothys credit cards buying gifts, Rose still believes in Santa, some guy dressed as St Nick pulls a gun on the ladies demanding they hang with him at Christmas, all the planes are grounded, they get dinner at a diner and also, let some guy go home so he can spend the night with his family, instead of waiting on them all night at this stupid cheesy restaurant.

The lesson here? Don't attempt the holidays unmedicated, I think. After this much excitement, anyone would have been driven to drink! Also, should that guy have just left four old ladies in charge of his business? Am I the only one that thinks that was slightly irresponsible? I mean, he doesn't know them from Adam, and here they are, just up and offering to run the joint. And he accepts! If he's an employee, I hope he gets his ass fired. Enjoy spending ALL your time with your family now, bitch! And if he's the owner, it was even stupider. The women had already proved they couldn't handle a hostage situation, so if the place got held up, good luck keeping anything, douchebag. What a load of bollocks.

Oh well, I suppose my first mistake was expecting realism from the Golden Girls. The highlight of the episode was from Dorothy, when faced with one of Blanches usual whorebag stories, shouting "Blanche! I could get HERPES listening to this story!!" I think that may make it into MY repertoire. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

#7: Frasier- Miracle on Third or Fourth Street

Back to episodic adventures tonight, with the first ever Frasier Christmas Special, "Miracle on Third or Fourth Street". Yes, even the show that was so pretentious it gave pretentiousness a bad name managed to have a few Christmas miracles, and of all the specials, this one was definitely the first,

Plotwise, it had Marty being, you know, normal, and Frasier being a prick about it, and them having a fight. So pretty much EVERY episode of Frasier, except this time, it was at Christmas, and it was over some Christmas lights, which DESPITE Frasiers protestations, I thought were tacky as all fuck. Chilli shaped lights for the tree? Nope. Not buying it. That shit's ugly. And not even in a "so tacky it's awesome" kind of way. Just the regular tacky. So, to be spiteful, and because he's not going to see his son for the holiday (they explain why, but I was making popcorn at the time. It had something to do with the Sound of Music, so I'm guessing there was a touching coming-out story in there as well) Frasier decides to take the Xmas shift at the radio station, and spends his entire day being miserable, listening to even MORE miserable people whine about their problems. Just an aside for a second: You're a fucking radio psychiatrist, Dr Crane- HARDEN THE FUCK UP! Listening to sad losers is your damn job! You don't get to act pissy about it, just because you're in a bad mood! It would be like me cracking the shits because people kept buying books off me! Fool. Anyway, on the way home, Frasier decides to chill with a bunch of homeless guys, and have dinner, because, to his surprise, all the good restaurants are closed on Christmas. So far, Frasier hasn't done much to convince me he's as smart as he keeps saying he is, to be honest. It's Christmas, Einstein. What did you THINK was going to be open. Isn't it still kind of a big deal that some McDonalds will serve you on the 25th??

Long story short, it turns out he's forgotten his wallet, and looks like a bum, so everyone assumes he's dirt poor, and offers to buy his dinner for him, despite the fact they've got less money than Britney Spears singing teacher does, which Frasier, whilst touched, accepts. Now, this is where I tend to get annoyed at sitcoms. Because he acts as though the kindness of strangers is some kind of massive Christmas miracle, but really, if he'd opened his fat mouth and offered a plausible explanation for what was going on, the poor homeless peeps wouldn't have HAD to pay for the rich wankers food at all. But no. He tricks them all into buying him dinner. For shame.

So I think the message here is, despite their good intentions, homeless people are morons, and the holiday season is an excellent time to take advantage of their kindly nature and exploit the holy fuck out of them. It's what Frasier would do, and he's a pretty damn classy guy. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

#6: T'was the Rant before Christmas...

Because, you know, all this Christmas Positivity is getting me down. So on Sunday, instead of watching somebody ELSE moan about Christmas, I figure I'll do some whining of my own. Because if these things have taught me anything, it's that Christmas is about complaining about things until someone takes pity on you.

And you know what I've realised really, REALLY pisses me off? Goddamn "Australian" Santas. You know the ones I mean. Stupid cartoons of Santa, wearing a singlet and shorts, chilling on the beach. He's not above wearing an akubra. . Occassionally, if he's feeling exceptionally crass, his sleigh will be pulled by kangaroos.

Just look at the smug fucker! Is our national identity SO flimsy that we have to plagerise a beloved cultural icon and bastardise him to within an inch of his life, just so that he can fit within the confines of a tired Australian cliche that's been beaten to death? Why, when we're already taking the leap of logic that says this fat bastard can make it around the entire world in a single night, do we feel the need to start bringing sense into all of it, and raise issues like the heat? Santa is travelling at Warp Seven around the globe, breaking ALL laws of time and space squeezing his fat ass down chimneys that don't exist, and we're meant to believe he can't cope with Australian heat? The sleigh doesn't have air conditioning? Most importantly, we're dealing with FUCKING MAGIC! At what point did someone think "Oh no! Santa's going to get heatstroke!" and bypass the hundreds of other logic leaps we were already accepting at face value?

And don't even get me started on that fruity looking elf. He's going to be devestated when he realises Santa came too early to drop him off at Mardi Gras. And if the ridiculous concept of a Santa dressing for the weather wasn't enough, we feel the need to butcher one of the staples of the whole damn mythology, MUTANT REINDEER, and importing flying kangaroos into the fray! Why? Now, I'll be the first to admit I've never understood where Santa's army of reindeer came from, but I've always kind of accepted they belong. Why then, do some dickheads feel that it's more acceptable to have him being whisked through the night sky by white kangaroos? Fuck you, Rolf Harris. This is all your fault. You and that stupid song. I feel it's a sad state of affairs when a country has such an insecure sense of self that they feel the need to shoehorn existing pop culture icons into an extremely narrow box, and truth be told, it's borderline offensive. Now patriotism is great and all, but is there really a need to be a total wanker about it? Should DC start drawing Superman in thongs when he's staging a rescue down under? Should Mickey Mouse be seen cooking a barbeque and downing a beer? Or can we, as a nation, create our OWN icons, and leave the others the fuck alone?

On a completely hypocritical note though, how fucking awesome is Mexican Santa? Because I think a Santa in a sombrero is something we could ALL get behind.

#5: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Being the weekend, I wanted to do something a little more exciting for this game, and so I decided that on weekends, instead of watching episodic christmas adventures, I'd reward myself with a sugary blast of Hollywood flavoured Christmas Awesome, and start slowly devouring the pile of Holiday Movies that are an annual tradition with me.

And where better to begin than The Nightmare Before Christmas? I'm not going to bother recapping the plot, because in the year 2009, certain things are taken for granted, and one of those is the fact that at some stage in your life, you've watched this gem of a film, about a bunch of weirdos that live in Halloween Town and decide a hostile takeover of Christmas Town is in order. And there's singing. There's not really a great deal to make fun of with this movie- the plot is fairly straightforward, and it manages to do all of it without wasting unnecessary time on trivialities like the meaning of Christmas or goodwill amongst all mankind. Nope- Christmas in this universe is fairly straightforward. It involves Santa making presents and distributing them. Thats all there is to it. Which sounds like a nice, simple concept to me. There's one part where Jack Skellington tries to explain the idea of Christmas to the Halloween monsters, but he seems even more clueless than I am, and you can tell that if he had hair he'd be pulling it out by the end of it, because they all seem pretty fixated on the ideas of mutilated feet and infectious diseases. No one said the people of Halloween Town were thinkers, after all.

Also, the Santa in this version? You can totally tell he kicks all sorts of ass. See the way he brutally murders that bug at the end? Then threatens to kick Jacks ass clear off if he ever fucks with Christmas again? You just know he could have escaped at the beginning, he just wanted to see how badly everyone cocked things up without him. Probably so he'd look even MORE heroic when he fixed everything. Santas a man with a plan. And that plan involves looking suave while saving the day. And teaching scrawny skeleton monsters valuable lessons about staying the fuck on their own turf.

And isn't that what Christmas is ALL about??

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

#4: Futurama- "Xmas Story"

Futurama is pretty much my favourite series of all time. So it comes as NO surprise that it's also responsible for pretty much my favourite Christmas episode of all time as well. Two of them, actually, but we'll play the game chronologically and watch only one today- the first one, funnily enough: Xmas Story.

It's Frys first Christmas since coming to the future, and we learn that it's now referred to as Xmas, which will prove convenient whilst typing. Also, Xmas Trees are Palm Trees, instead of Pine, which personally, I think is a huge improvement which could result in me decorating an obscenely flashy palm tree this year in tribute. I'm not sure yet. (On a related note, I really must get around to decorting the house) So anyway, Fry moans about being lonely, and Leela moans more about being even MORE alone (is it my imagination, or do ALL these Christmas specials seem to revolve around people moaning about something? Maybe THATS the true meaning of Christmas?) so Fry decides Leelas moaning trumps HIS moaning, and he should man the hell up and do something about it. Also, Bender seems keen for free alcohol. And looting old ladies. Which we can ALL get behind, regardless of the time of year. Anyhow, Fry buys Leela a parrot (and to anyone watching at home- please never buy me a parrot.) which promptly takes off, leading to Fry endangering his life trying to get the stupid bird back, which means Leela needs to rescue him.

Far from that wrapping everything up nicely, Santa then shows up to kill everyone. Except Dr Zoidberg. But the Planet Express crew manage to fight him off, and the episode ends with everyone feeling pretty good about themselves and Santa vowing to kill them all next year.

So what did we learn? Ummmmm.

500 stink lizards are better than one parrot?

Old ladies are good for mugging?

Santa is planning to stick coal so far up your stocking you'll be coughing up diamonds?

I think the best lesson we could have possibly picked up from this episode of Futurama is if you want people to pay attention to you at Xmas, you just have to make sure you're complaining louder than everyone else. Also, Santa is a bastard, and if you hear "Ho Ho Ho" at any stage, you're pretty much already dead.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

#3: 30 Rock- Ludachristmas

If anyone can reach into my cold, loveless heart and teach me the true meaning of the Christmas Season, it's Liz Leman and the 30 Rock kids, right? Well, this was the reasoning that led me to watch the episode from Season 2- Ludachristmas. So after a little research on Urban Dictionary, I discovered that "Ludachristmas" is a day before christmas where you get crunk and rock out. Bless you, Tina Fey. I knew you wouldn't let me down.

Anyway, this episode is about the TGS team planning what seems to be a fantastic Christmas party, until Kenneth locks them all up, denies them any alcohol, and forces them listen to Rev. Garry bitch about jesus. Or something. And Liz's parents are in town for the holidays, but their story was a little less exciting, so I'll stick to the party vibe. My ears pricked up when Kenneth started harping on about the "true meaning of Christmas"- surely I was about to get some dollop of seasonal goodness that would make things clearer?
Yeah, not so much as you might think. He bitched a little about how no one wanted their shitty corporate gifts when some kids somewhere want wood, then Tracy decides the Christmas Tree is evil. As incomprehensible as that sounds, I did manage to gleam two VERY important Christmas messages from it all, which I think are further clues in the Dan Brown-esque mystery I'm on the verge of solving. (And watch- I promise to be more exciting and less pompous than Robert Langdon, too.)

1: In the words of Frank- Who cares about the true meaning of Christmas? It's about getting crap, and eating too much! It's about getting drunk, and hugging your cousin until your mom says "Frank, enough"!

Now that sounds like a Christmas message I could get behind. You know, without the incest. Also, this episode taught me that christians ruin christmas for EVERYONE. But I think we all already knew that. They get so damn smug about the fact they "own" the damn season. You know what, christians? Santa didn't fight for your freedom so that you could piss and moan about some damn manger.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

#2: American Dad- The Best Christmas Story Never Told

Todays episode was definitely both infinitely more entertaining AND christmassy than yesterdays episode of Will and Grace. Propably not surprising, considering I still think American Dad is friggin HILARIOUS, and it managed to teach me even more about what it means to celebrate Christmas.

So the episode starts with the towns Christmas Celebrations being cancelled due to them being held on public grounds, so they can't hold a religious ceremony there or something. This pisses off Stan immensely, and he deals with his frustration by smashing presents and destroying the tree. And cancelling christmas. I think. Then Lisa Kudrow shows up as the ex-Tooth Fairy/ current Christmas-Fairy to take Stan back in time and remind him of how much he loved the season as a boy. Which causes him to decide to kill Jane Fonda in the past, because it's all her fault that the Liberal Movement has destroyed everything he loves about America.

Interesting if slightly incomprehensible plot, it did give me a few vauluable lessons:

1: Silent Night, Holy Savings
2: To make someone truly happy at Christmas, you should give them a gun.
3: Maybe you should have just married Chad.

All valuable lessons. So, I guess what American Dad is telling us is, to make the most of things, marry Chad, buy him a pistol, and make sure you get a good price for it. Because THATS what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas.

#1: Will & Grace- "Jingle Balls"

Lets kick off our Christmas Adventure with that seasonal staple: Will & Grace. The 11th episode of the Fourth season seems as good a place as any to begin, with an episode called "Jingle Balls". You see what they did there? They used a popular christmas carol, "Jingle BELLS" and changed one letter, so that it says "BALLS". As in testicles. Oh, the hilarity. What WILL they think of next?

This one didn't really have much of a Christmas feel to it- Will was ashamed of his dancer boyfriend or some rubbish, which could have happened at any time of the year beyond a quick "Nutcracker" reference, but the Holiday portion of the episode came when Jack cockblocked Graces attempt to dersign the Barneys Christmas Window. Because he's a dick like that.

Anyway, after nominating himself, and casting Karen as a naughty, leather-clad Mrs Claus in some nightmarish dominatrix creation, thouroughly pissing off Parker Posey, causing her to threaten to fire him, Jack prays to Santa to fix the entire clusterfuck up, which goes about as well as you'd expect it to. It's not until Karen bribes Grace that she decides to bail him out, and does ALL the work herself, and allows Jack not only the credit, but to go on believing that Santa Claus designed the window display. The stupidity on offer in this episode makes my brain hurt, but Karen Walker, in her usual fabulous fashion, tries to explain the meaning of Christmas to Grace thusly:

"It's Christmas, for goodness sake! Think about the baby Jesus... up in that tower, letting his hair down... so that the Three Wise Men can climb up and spin the dreidel and see if there's six more weeks of winter."

To be honest, the only Christmas message I gained from this episode was that, in life, there are NO consequences for severely fucking your friends over, so long as there's a rich alcoholic to pay them to forget it and do your work for you!!!

So I consider this adventure a success so far! Merry Christmas!

December Dilemma

It has come to my attention, being the Christmas season and all, that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost to us all. And that's depressing. But instead of sitting around, moaning about things like everyone else, whilst overdosing on the rampant consumerism that plagues the holidays most year whilst further sliding ever-downwards on a spiral of anti-christmas depression, I decided to do something constructive. And that is, rediscover EXACTLY what the TRUE meaning of Christmas is, as explained through that age old medium of the CHRISTMAS TELEVISION SPECIAL.

Yes, one for every day between now and Christmas, I intend to watch as many Christmas themed movies and TV episodes that I can find, because surely, if anything can teach me the true meaning of Xmas, Hollywood can. So feel free to sit back and enjoy: consider it my lovingly crafted Christmas Gift to you all. Because we could ALL do with a reminder of what December 25th is about.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tis the Season. To be drunk.

Not that I normally need an excuse to drink too much, but it is always nice when December roles around and you have a legitimate reason to consume more alcohol than is generally encouraged whilst surrounded by people simultaneously wishing you an awkward Merry Christmas and trying to coax you into surrendering the karaoke microphone. As far as I'm concerned, it's what Christmas is all about. And, in keeping with the precedents set by previous years, I've already attended the Work Christmas Party and managed to make a complete tit of myself (although people assure me I was "entertaining". Sadly, I have to take their words for it. My memories of the evening clearly bear little to no resemblance to the actual events)
If it taught me anything though, it was that I should steer well clear of public speaking. Ever.

But it's always nice to see workmates in a slightly more relaxed environment- especially leading into Christmas, it's good for everyone to kind of unwind before the world goes completely batshit insane. I was talking to someone about it the other day, and mentioned that it feels like we're preparing ourselves for war, and those of us that have been working there for a couple of years are the grizzled, hardened veterans, looking at all the fresh-faced, excited youngsters that are about to have their faith in humanity shattered by a Retail Christmas (something that honestly needs to be experienced to be believed- no amount of me telling you about it will convince you of what it's really like...) as well all prepare to charge the enemy together or something. One thing the general public should be aware of this year though, is the fact that I've been playing kind of a lot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 or whatever it's called (you know the one. You've probably just taken a break from playing it yourself) and feel my usual method of "passive resistance" has been replaced by a more effective method of "Shoot first, questions later". I may be the only employee wearing both a Santa Hat AND Guerilla-style camouflage face paint, but I like to feel that duality adds to my charm. The fact that the face paint will most likely be pink is completely irrelevant. It's still threatening.

I think when you equate your place of employment with a demilitarized zone, it's probably time to start looking elsewhere. Lets see if I can be out of there before next christmas...