Archive for December 2017

Snowed-Inn Christmas Review

December 30, 2017

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Snowed-Inn Christmas is one of the latest entries in the by-the-numbers Lifetime original Christmas films. Yes, this is definitely one of those movies where you can predict most of the plot points before they happen. Having said that, it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to enjoy.

The story focuses on two journalists, Jenna (Joy Lenz), an intelligent, organized young woman who could probably benefit from lightening up a little and Kevin (Andrew W. Walker), an immature, irresponsible young man who can be a bit of jerk. Their personalities clash when their boss pairs these two polar opposites together on an assignment to take a trip and write a story on the true meaning of the holiday.

Things go wrong when their plane gets diverted and the bickering coworkers get stuck in the real-world town of Santa Claus, Indiana. Fortunately for them,  an older woman invites them to stay at the small Inn owned by her and her husband, the immediately obvious real Santa and Mrs. Claus (which for some reason, the film sort of treats it like a twist later on).

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The two start spending a lot of time together building up to their inevitable if not somewhat charming romance. You can tell exactly how this is going to play out: they fight at first, then they have a couple nice bonding moments and eventually develop feelings and get together. It’s nothing new but the leads have some charm and we do get one interesting and unexpected development with Jenna’s character.

Although, the development we get with Kevin’s character doesn’t really make a ton of sense. We know at the start of the film that he doesn’t want to spend Christmas with his family. And his reason doesn’t really end up being all that believable.

Additionally, the movie didn’t really need to include the real Santa and Mrs. Claus portion. It didn’t really add anything and the romance was much more enjoyable. It was like they just felt the need to add another Christmas element to the story, which wasn’t necessary.

Overall it’s definitely a watchable TV movie that keeps your attention. There’s plenty of better Christmas movies out there but there’s also plenty of worse ones. I suppose it can get a very mild recommendation (but just barely). It’s the kind of thing you can half-pay attention to and you’ll get some entertainment out of it.

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Underrated Christmas Specials (Part II)

December 24, 2017

Three years ago, I put together a post spotlighting some underrated holiday specials. It was definitely a fun entry to put together. So let’s talk about a few more of these lesser known specials worth checking out this time of year (in alphabetical order).

 

11 Louds a Leapin’ (The Loud House)

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For our first entry, we’re going with last year’s Christmas special from Nickelodeon’s The Loud House, their biggest hit since the talking sponge. Although popular among cartoon fans, it’s likely not known by those of you who aren’t part of that community. But yes, The Loud House is  a good show and this is easily their best episode. It’s funny, well-animated, touching and has a great song with a nice if not cliched message.

 

Christmas (The Wonder Years)

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I adore this show. And this is just a great episode. It starts off as a pretty simple if not really funny story about a family who wants a color TV for Christmas. But it becomes so much more than that by the end. I won’t give it away but trust me when I say that it’s some  emotional stuff. This is a great example of a story that balances comedy and drama flawlessly. Definitely the best special on this list and well-worth seeking out.

 

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

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Pretty much everyone likes Sesame Street. And this 1978 Emmy-winning special gives you pretty much everything you’d like from something like this. There’s three different plots. The main one focuses on Big Bird and gives us a unique take on the whole “does Santa really exist?” story. Bert and Ernie do their own take on the classic “Gift of the Magi” story and it’s an enjoyable one. And finally, Cookie Monster gets an uproarious little plot about trying to write Santa a letter. The special isn’t without some problems. But it’s still worth spending an hour of your time watching on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF4XRQwzls8

 

The Most Adequate Christmas Ever (American Dad!)

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Considering this is a Seth MacFarlane show, you might expect this to be a really dark, twisted Christmas episode. And don’t get me wrong, there’s some of that. But compared to a lot of his other specials, this is pretty tame. It’s about protagonist Stan Smith dying and trying to convince Jesus to give him another chance at redemption. A lot of people prefer their season 5 special ‘Rapture’s Delight,’ but this is the one for me. It’s one of the funniest episodes of the show and has some nice moments too. Check it out.

 

Night of the Meek (The Twilight Zone 1985)

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This one right here is a remake of the 1960 classic episode starring Art Carney (which I included in my previous list). And surprisingly, this is about as good in its own way. This episode keeps the basic plot and themes of the original. But it makes enough changes to give it its own purpose. One difference is that this one focuses more on the idea helping children during the holiday. And Richard Mulligan is great as the drunken yet kindhearted Santa Claus. Watch it here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXYWEswofc0&t=1564s

 

 


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