Wednesday, December 20, 2017

"Other" Geeky Christmas Specials

Christmas is less than a week away!!! I’ve got one post left after Christmas and then I’ll be gone until after my honeymoon. In honor of Christmas, I wanted to share a few Christmas special episodes you may not have thought of or that you may have forgotten. Sure, everyone thinks to watch “The Santa Clause” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” but for how many decades have sitcoms and cartoons been doing Christmas episodes? Just something to give some variety to your holidays.

Can't have a Christmas special without a monster attack
Digimon: A Very Digi Christmas
In the second season of Digimon, we had a couple short story arcs ending off season two. The second generation of Digi-Destined brought the original Digi-Destined’s partners to the Real World to spend the holidays together. It set things up for the three part “world tour” arc and it meant that everyone was in the Real World for a few of the last battles. While it fits nicely into the storyline of the season (which is saying) it was also just nice to have a Christmas-themed episode.

What's Christmas without a simple
miscommunication getting out of control?
Pokémon: Holiday Hi-Jynx
So back when Pokémon was new, Ash and his friends found a Jynx stranded on the beach. They deduce that she belongs to Santa Claus, so they end up making the trip to the North Pole to return her. We also got some tragic backstory from Team Rocket’s Jessie, where she thought Santa’s Jynx stole her toy (really to fix it). So after Santa and Ash beat Team Rocket and resolve Jessie’s backstory, Santa goes off to deliver the presents with his flying Ponyta (back before Stantler and Deerling/Sawsbuck existed). It was a fun episode that had no relevance in the series after this. But then again that’s Pokémon; 90% of it is standalone stories. Still, a fun Christmas episode. Worth a watch.

And the party started out so well.....
Arrow: Dark Waters
So Arrow has been doing Christmas episodes since its inception five years ago. So the list of Christmas episodes actually also includes “Year’s End’ (S1), “Three Ghosts” (S2), “The Climb” (S3), and “What We Leave Behind” (S5). Season four’s “Dark Waters” felt like it had a great holiday tie-in, it kept the season’s story arc moving, and it was sufficiently emotional.  I’ll leave it like that, to avoid spoilers, but I enjoyed it.

Is it bad that I liked him better here than in Star Wars?
The Flash: Running to Stand Still
Like its predecessor Arrow, we’ve had a Christmas episode of the Flash each year since it started. “The Man in the Yellow Suit” (S1) and “The Present” (S3) were great, but I want to focus on Season two’s “Running to Stand Still”. Guest appearance of Mark Hamill as the villain and there was a great Christmas-themed plot to foil. If for no other reason, watch this episode because of how freaky Mr. Skywalker is in the episode. But like Arrow, I’m not going to give spoilers. Just go watch it.

The power of music and friendship!
Community: Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas
So if you enjoy comedy and anything enjoyable, make sure you’ve watched Community. If you haven’t, go on Hulu and start episode one now. They do a wonderful job on this show of parodying other franchises and having plenty of pop culture references. So of course their Christmas episode had to parody “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and other Claymation Christmas classics. Musical numbers, Christmas-themed epiphany, and whatever wacky adventures they wanted to do. And it was all in Abed’s head (spoiler alert). Seriously, if you haven’t watched this show, do it now.

So obviously I haven’t hit all the Christmas specials, but in addition to these I’ve previously reviewed Doctor Who Christmas Specials and a variety of Disney specials. What Disney specials did I miss, particularly the geeky ones? Next year I’d kind of like to do a post on the Friends Christmas episodes. What do you think?

Don't forget there's a new Doctor Who next week, featuring the First Doctor and a likely regeneration.

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