Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Five: {5} Favorite Christmas Episodes

We watch the same Christmas movies every year.  I always watch The Family Stone while addressing my Christmas cards the night before Thanksgiving, White Christmas while decorating the tree, The Holiday and Love Actually while wrapping presents, and It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Day with Matt.  But on other nights, when I want to be all Christmas-y but we don't have time for a whole movie, we frequently rewatch tv show Christmas episodes.   These are my top 5 (with some runners-up since I limited it to one from a show) and we watch almost all of these every year.  It's a lovely way to enjoy some Christmas spirit and maybe a few laughs (or tears) too.  If you are looking for something to watch while finishing up wrapping/decorating/food prepping, this is what I would recommend!

1) Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas (Community, season 2, episode 11)
Community was almost criminally underwatched and this Christmas episode is one of their top 5 episodes ever.  It came on the air while Matt was actually attending community college part time and he could really relate to it but he slowly converted me too.  In this episode they turn into stop-motion animation and have to wander through a frozen land to find the meaning of Christmas.  There are songs and it feels almost like a classic Christmas tv special ala Frosty or Rudolph.  We guaranteed watch this one every single year.  Also this line:


runner up: Regional Holiday Music (Community, season 3, episode 10)
Also hilarious with more songs and mocking of Glee (which I never watched). 

2) A Benihana Christmas (The Office, season 3, episode 10)

Season 2 of The Office is near perfection, in term of comedy tv.  I was working in an actual office at the time and while my co-workers and bosses weren't this crazy, I could definitely relate to a lot of what was happening on the show.  Things got a little more unrealistic as the show went on which is why their best Christmas episodes are early on.  It was very hard to pick between the two.  A Benihana Christmas happens shortly after the branches merge, Jim is back with a new girlfriend, Pam is un-engaged, Dwight and Angela have their secret thing going on, Michael has to use a sharpie to mark the girl he's "dating" because he can't remember which one she is, and Ryan gives the best excuses.  It's classic and wonderful.

runner up: Christmas Party (The Office, season 2, episode 10)
So much hilarious awkwardness with their Christmas exchange and OF COURSE Jim and Pam things going on, as all of season 2 had.  And Angela breaking all the Christmas bulbs will always be funny.

3) The Best Christmukkah Ever (The OC, season 1, episode 13)  

This was another one that was nearly impossible to pick between - season 1 or season 4 (also the same dilemma I have when picking an overall favorite season of the whole show, it goes back and forth between the two all the time.  As if anyone is really asking me to internally debate and pick a favorite).  BUT season 1 introduced use to Christmukkah so it wins.  As much as Ryan hates all the holidays, Seth loves them. I mean, you have Jesus and Moses on your side, how can you lose?  Marissa is being....Marissa (is it mean to say I like her best dead?  I know...but she wasn't a great character).  Seth has to pick between two girls (of course Summer wins in the end).  It makes Christmas without cold weather almost appealing (oh wait, it is...although maybe also weird to this lifelong midwesterner).

runner up: The Christmukk-huh? (The OC season 4, episode 7)
Season 4 was such a wonderful breath of fresh air after the blehs of season 3.  Ryan and Taylor fall off a roof and end up in an alt world.  I mean, that alone should sell it for you (I realize that probably doesn't...but if you haven't already watched the show you are really missing out).

4)  The One with the Holiday Armadillo (Friends, season 7, episode 10)

Friends was much more into their Thanksgiving episodes (I could do a whole list just ranking those but that probably already exists on the internet...season 8 is my personal favorite) and this is one of their most Christmas-y episodes in 10 seasons.  Ross wants to teach his son about Hanukkah but ends up only being able to rent an armadillo costume which makes total sense, since armadillos live in the desert and the people wandered in the desert for years with sense.  Lesson here: if you ever can't find a Santa suit, just get an armadillo suit.  It's just a seasonally appropriate. 

5) Tidings of Comfort and Joy (American Dreams, season 3, episode 9)

It's a shame that only season 1 of this show has been released on DVD, even more than 10 years after going off the air.  When the first season came out 11 years ago it cost almost $100 with all the music licensing rights.  And my dear fiance at the time bought it for me.  And this episode isn't on the DVDs but I may have it...somehow (I would definitely buy seasons 2 and 3 on DVD if they ever got around to releasing them!).   It was the first show I picked out and starting watching all on my own (I was a big girl) and I so enjoyed it.  It takes place in the 60s and in this episode their son JJ who had gone missing in Vietnam is (spoiler) found and returns home, seeing his family for the first time in...months and meeting his new son.  I'm pretty sure I cried the first time I watched it.

What else am I missing?  Gobs, I know.  (We can't watch everything!)  Let me know your favorites or recommendations.  Bonus points if they are on Netflix (which...only 2 of mine are...sorry about that). 

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