Announcing Yuletide TV: 2013 Edition

I am happy to announce that for the the second year in a row I will be embarking on a 25 day quest to recap some of the greatest christmas episodes of all time. From Dec. 1–Dec. 25 I will be traversing every genre imaginable to examine how Christmas is brought to life, celebrated, and in some cases, reviled.

I will be following roughly the same format as last year. There will be no Rudolph or Charlie Brown present in my list. Instead, I will be focusing on those episodes that could stand on their own alongside those Christmas specials as perennial holiday classics.

Throughout the year I have been meticulously making notes for possible series and episodes to include in this year’s countdown. I knew finding another 25 Christmas episodes wouldn’t be an issue, but could I come up with 25 completely different series? Happily, the answer is yes. There will be double-down’s this year, so even though I loved visiting Point Place and Greendale Community College last year, this year leads to new adventures.

However, as a way to get ready for the new year, I have collected all of last year’s posts below in order of when they were posted. Pick and choose at your leisure and get ready for tomorrow!

Yuletide TV: 2012 Edition

1. Saved by the Bell, “Home for Christmas (Parts 1 & 2)

2. Clone High, “Snowflake Day: A Very Special Holiday Episode

3. That 70’s Show, “An Eric Foreman Christmas

4. The Inbetweeners, “Xmas Party

5. Dorm Life, “Finals

6. Recess, “Yes Mikey, Santa Does Shave

7. Batman: The Animated Series, “Christmas with the Joker

8. X-Men, “Have Yourself a Morlock Little X-mas

9. Futurama, “X-mas Story

10. South Park, “It’s Christmas in Canada

11. American Dad!, “Rapture’s Delight

12. Band of Brothers/The Pacific, “Bastogne/Battle of Guadalcanal/Leckie

13. M*A*S*H, “Death Takes a Holiday

14. Cheers, “Christmas Cheers

15. Home Improvement, ” ‘Twas the Flight Before Christmas

16. Spin City, “Miracle Near 34th Street

17. Scrubs, “My Own Personal Jesus

18. Saturday Night Live, “Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin/Justin Timberlake

19. Top Gear, “Vietnam Special

20. Smallville, “Lexmas

21. Misfits, “Christmas Special (Episode Seven)

22. How I Met Your Mother, “Symphony of Illumination

23. Mad Men, “Christmas Comes but Once a Year

24. Community, “Comparative Religion

25. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: “Deck the Halls

Tomorrow: The real fun gets underway!


The Who Before the What – My Prequel to the Doctor Who Special

Doctor Who fans have had a really good week – I speculate many nerd-gasms necessitated new pants in the internet community. Over the last weekend fans who couldn’t attend Comic Con finally got to see footage for “The Day of the Doctor” (the 50th anniversary special premiering on 11/23), and it was glorious. Today, BBC released a “Day of the Doctor” prequel titled “The Night of the Doctor,” which necessitates its own breakdown and analysis of sorts. Combined, the two equal a moderately long article here in the commons. As much as I’d love to write the order of my thoughts in a wibbly-wobbly ball, I should really keep things linear so that you can follow along (which isn’t fun at all). None the less, let’s begin at the beginning with the extended Doctor Who “The Day of The Doctor” trailer impression. Continue reading

HIMYM Recap: “Platonish”

HIMYMWhen do you consider something a retread and when do you see at a necessary rehash of past events to provide greater understanding for the present? That is the question at the center of last night’s HIMYM as the show takes a break from Farhampton to head back to the bar and revisist the Ted-Robin-Barney love triangle. Have we been here before? Yes, but as a Ted-Robin shipper, it’s an important flashback as the show continues to distance itself from the relationship that started the story in the first place, and transitions to the one that will close the story.

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The Return of Coach in New Girl’s “Coach!”

After watching the pilot episode for New Girl I thought Coach was my favorite character. He had a certain charisma about him that made me think he was going to be a perfect fit between Nick and Schmidt. Obviously, after the pilot episode we got Winston, which created a jarring feeling at the time. Although Winston was a good alternative to Coach, there was something about Coach not being around that was inherently disappointing. Now Coach is back! Everyone can celebrate the happy ending that is Coach returning to New Girl. Honestly though, I don’t know if I enjoyed this episode as much as I could have. I don’t want to dive in and pick at the little things that are bothering me, but I’m going to.

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A Recap of “Indifference”

It’s no secret that The Walking Dead has a lot of characters rounded up in the ol’ prison, but hardly any of those characters have been given any substance. Of course there are the core survivors, but it’s all too easy to forget about the people who were picked up between season three and four. The Walking Dead’s “Indifference” doesn’t help the unnamed survivors’ case by focusing on the two away teams on the hunt for supplies. However, “Indifference” shows us the current mental state of some of the more able bodied survivors (aka whoever isn’t a child). Instead of doing a recap of “Indifference” I think looking at specific pairs from the episode could be more valuable: Carol and Rick, Bob and Daryl, and Tyreese and Michonne.

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Agents vs. Arrows: Comparing Two Superhero Shows

There are two superhero shows on network TV right now: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow on the CW.  As Arrow embarks on its second season and SHIELD prepares to launch its November sweeps episodes, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at these two shows and see where they succeed and where they fail.



These are two very different shows. One is four episodes into an already strong second season. The other is five rocky episodes into the start of its first. Arrow has modest but consistent ratings, while SHIELD started strong, but continues to falter as the storytelling refuses to improve. That being said, Arrow is doing a number of things right, that SHIELD is not.

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