TV Christmas

[I originally posted this ranking in December 0f 2005, but with Holiday specials coming up figured it's a good time to remind ourselves of what we should be watching. If I had to do this list over again, I might have included the Smurf Christmas special, and maybe the claymation Rudolph and Claymation Santa ones. (I do love that song "Put one foot in front of the other" sang by the abominable snowman.) But here's the thing: those shows (and others) are fine and all, but hardly essential, whereas the five shows below are so essential that I consider you dead inside if you don't watch them this year. Four of them you're familiar with, one probably not, but do whatever it is you have to do to watch these shows this season, okay? They should be as big a tradition as the tree, the presents, and Christmas spankings. - HtC]




THE TOP FIVE TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS



#5 A Garfield Christmas - Just goofy enough to work. Highlights include several of the songs, and "Grandma," especially when she talks about how all they used to have were "wood-burning cats." What the heck are those?



#4 Claymation Christmas - This is one of my family's all-time favorites. The two dinosaur hosts talk about Christmas carols and their meanings. Well, one of them does. Herb mostly tries to find food. The announcers are also on the search for the meaning of Here we come a WASSAILING....The California Raisins end the show, but the funniest songs are actually We Three Kings (where the Wise Men are super-serious and the Camels all jazzy on the chorus), and Carol of the Bells, in which a bell choir features bells hitting themselves on the correct note. I can't explain it here, but it's hilarious.


#3 How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Just watched this yesterday to refresh; it really is lovely. Boris Karloff adds a great touch with his voice, and I love Max the dog. One question, though, what on earth are those Whos saying at the beginning of their song?



#2 Blackadder's Christmas Carol - Not very well known on this side of the pond, but those who do cherish it. My brother got it for me one year, and it's a hard-core family tradition. Blackadder, for those who don't know, is played by the incomparable Rowan Atkinson, in several specials down throughout history. He's usually a moron. In this version Blackadder is the nicest man in all of England, and the Ghost (played by Hagrid), shows him how all his ancestors were rotten, and if only Blackadder were rotten, his descendents would rule the world. The humor is very British, but I still don't see how anyone wouldn't laugh themselves sick.




#1 A Charlie Brown Christmas - I'm a recent convert to the magic of Charlie Brown. I was never that into it, but last year I got this book at the library; releasing all the old material with commentary and whatnot. Seeing the evolution of Charlie Brown made me appreciate the genius a little more. I never found Charlie Brown that funny, but I came to understand it's not supposed to be. It's the melancholy aspects to his character that make it so brilliant. When I rewatched the special the other day I realized how amazing this Christmas special was. (And for me to rank it ahead of Blackadder is saying something). I love the dance scene (Especially this one random kid in the middle who just jukes his head from side to side while dancing in place. Look for him.) I am blown away by Charlie's sadness as he searches for reason to find meaning in such a crassly commercial holiday (something I can relate to). I like at the end when they all are "oohing" Hark the Herald Angels, and their mouths all make the "OOOO" shape. Actually, the music might be the best part. The dance song number is classic, and the kind of sad one (Christmas Time is Here) is one of the best Christmas songs ever. It makes me so sad to listen to it, but in a good way. So, there you go.

Up Next: Best Christmas movies

1 comment:

rennratt said...

I love most of these. ABC Family had all of the 1980s Christmas movies on over the weekend. Though I was likely in junior high/high school at the time, my parents never 'allowed' me to watch them.

Now I know why. Some of them were just freaking CREEPY!