Christmas Viewing for Geeks
DARKNITE brings you this comprehensive holiday viewing guide – keep an eye out for SLAMADAMS reviews in the coming days!
Christmas is probably second only to Halloween in how closely it’s tied to popular entertainment. The holiday is very closely connected to the traditional movies and television specials that pop up every year. Now, let’s face it, we are not a socially graceful bunch, a holiday which promotes togetherness is not really our cup of tea and we tend to shun the holiday when we should use it as an opportunity to show the world the things which entertain us. Since as geeks we are connoisseurs of popular entertainment I say it’s time to tell the rest of the
world what we like to watch at this time of year.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: If you did not see this one coming, you might want to step back and reevaluate why you are on this web site. This Tim Burton and Henry Sellick collaboration, for many of us shows a dream Christmas. When the chief resident of Halloweentown is exposed to Christmas he immediately falls in love with it, except he knows how to make it better and once Old St. Nick has been kidnapped, he goes about doing just that.
The Simpsons: Marge Be Not Proud: A heartfelt episode of the beloved series from it’s glory days. At the top of Bart’s Christmas wishlist is a cartoonishly violent video game ala Mortal Kombat. When the desire gets the better of him, he steals the game and is caught. The ensuing episode features Marge wondering if her son is growing up too fast and if she can control him. In the end Bart gets her the best Christmas gift she could have asked for. The highlight of this episode is the performance of Julie Kavner as Marge who perfectly captures the range of Marge’s emotions throughout the episode.
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol: Since the show’s return in 2005 there has been a Christmas special every year, but none have been as Christmas-y as this dark gothic version of Dickens’ classic story. The Eleventh Doctor is forced to match wits with a greedy old man plaed by the always great Michael Gambon, on Christmas. Rather than dispensing of him as he has so many other enemies in the past, the Doctor uses A Christmas Carol, as a point of inspiration to draw out the good in the man.
A Muppet Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale, with it’s ghost and dark setting, seems to be a perfect fit for geek entertainment. But as bleak as the tale is, leave it to Jim Henson’s famous muppets to bring a certain glee and slapstick, to this story. With the great Michael Caine as Scrooge the various muppets filling out the rest of the cast this is a sure fire classic in geekdom.
Batman TAS: Christmas With the Joker: Christmas descends into the crime ridden city of Gotham and despite Robin’s best efforts he can not convince Batman that this is the one time of year when everybody treats each other with kindness. His argument is not helped when the Joker escapes from Arkham and takes over a TV studio. He challenges the dynamic duo in a series of trials in order to save the lives of their allies. As to be expected Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill provide huge entertainment in the voice roles that they have become synonymous with.
Die Hard: Just because it’s Christmas does not mean violence can;t happen, and that’s why we need John McClane. It’s Bruce Willis’ first outing in the now iconic role as he must stop Hans Grueber and reconcile with his estranged wife. It’s perfect to get any action junky into the holiday spirit.
Gremlins: Young Billy receives the best Christmas present of all, one that has a very strict set of instructions which include; do not get it wet and do not feed it after midnight. But all good rules are meant to be broken, and the cute gifts become horrible monsters which raise havoc throughout the town.
The Twilight Zone: Night of the Meek: As referenced in an earlier post, this episode of The Twilight Zone, features Art Carney as a drunken and unemployed mall Santa. He drinks because the holiday has been so heavily commercialized that people have come to see it as a day to get the latest toys, all the while the poor people he deals with everyday are neglected. But, one one Christmas Eve he finds a burlap sack filled with toys and gifts which he can give to those who deserve a good Christmas more than anyone. Wile this episode criticizes all that is wrong with Christmas it ends on a hopeful note, about a man who’s greatest Christmas gift was that he got to give others a good Christmas.