Ah yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when white stuff falls from the sky and trees decorate a whole bunch of living rooms. But most importantly, it’s a time for some great Christmas content on the “TV”. In celebration of the season, WLC has concocted a list of five awesome Christmas TV episodes, in no particular order, that you can watch right now via Netflix or Hulu+.
Futurama – Xmas Story (Netflix)
Leave it to Matt Groening to put a murderous spin on the classic Christmas special. It starts out like other Christmas stories set in the year 3000, but Xmas Story quickly transforms into a chase movie with Fry and Leela being hunted down by Robo Santa (voiced by John Goodman).
The best part of the episode comes in the closing scene, when the gang starts singing a parody of “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.” Much like the other times Futurama has done song parodies, this one not only serves as a quick and hysterical gag, but it also pays tribute to the classic song and the holiday itself.
Malcolm in the Middle – Christmas Trees (Netflix)
In the best Christmas episode of the hit series, Hal attempts to get closer to the boys by buying a lot full of Christmas trees to sell. However, due to some misadventures with the local church, the chances of making a profit by the end of the night turn increasingly grim.
What’s so much fun about this special is that it taps into the heart of Hal’s character. He just wants to be a good dad, and he wants to make sure the boys know how much he wants to have a relationship with them. One of the best moments that reflects that is when Hal’s explaining to Malcolm, Reese and Dewey how to use the power tools to prep the tree for transport. Despite knowing the absolute chaos that could ensue, he still presses forward in a nice bit of subtle comedy in order to have a successful night with his sons. And what parent doesn’t want that?
South Park – A Very Crappy Christmas (Netflix)
This may not have been the first time South Park dove into the Christmas well, and it sure as hell wasn’t the last. But as far as this fan is concerned, “A Very Crappy Christmas” was Matt & Trey’s best take on the holiday.
What makes this one rise above the other Christmas specials is that it allowed the duo to tap into their musical talents and also gives some depth to Mr. Hankey. In fact, the best moment of the episode comes when those two elements combine in the musical bit “The Circle of Poo” performed by Mr. Hankey and his son. Not to mention that this episode also gave general audiences a glimpse into the shows past by going slightly meta and having the boys “create” the original “Spirit of Christmas” short film, which was responsible for getting the actual show on the air in the first place.
Community – Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas (Hulu+)
If there’s one thing Community does best, it’s parody. And unlike this year’s Christmas story, which was built on the writers’ disdain for Glee, last year’s was built on their love of the classic claymation Christmas stories of yesteryear. And adding to the absurdity, the whole look of the episode exists within Abed’s head.
The Christmas value portrayed in this episode is the true meaning of friendship. The entire episode follows Abed through his claymation journey while the the study group is in the “real world” trying to help guide him through what they think is a mental breakdown. The most heart-warming moment comes when the gang begins to sing, sending Duncan away while trying to snap Abed out of his catatonic state. In their attempt to bring magical joy back to Abed, they all find common ground in their love for the holiday, and to quote, “That’s what Christmas is for!”
Oh, and I SO want a Christmas Pterodactyl with a self-destruct button.
[Note: Join us (@WeLoveCult) tonight on Twitter for a Tweet and Watch of "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" at 9pm EST, hashtag #TimBurtonBoner]
Of course, of course I had to come in and step all over Merrill’s article with a big, fat, mention of this Tennant era gem. More fun than the other Davies era Christmas episodes and less mawkish than last years “Christmas Carol”.
“Voyage” is a fine display of the Doctor at his best, dashing about, mad and heroic aboard a space traveling Titanic on a collision course for earth (another knock against “Christmas Carol”, it’s lack of originality.)
In the end, of course, The Doctor is triumphant, but at what cost? The themes of loss were quite prevalent during the Tennant era and our brief encounter with Kylie Minogue’s Astrid and some of the other well drawn one off characters in this special goes a long way to remind us of that cost that the Doctor pays whenever he gets close to someone.
I know I’m doing a brilliant job of selling it as a Christmas time treat, but in the end there is redemption for the surviving characters and a fantastic send off for one casualty that uplifts the spirits a bit. Cobble that with the Doctor’s excitement over the opportunity to say “Allons-Y Alonso!” and I’ll sit down and watch at every opportunity. -Jason Tabrys
What are some of your favorite Christmas specials?
Love It? Share It!
What did you think? Comment below!
Comments are closed.