Thursday, December 3, 2009

Love and joy come to you...

In the spirit of the holiday season, I have decided to talk about some of my favorite holiday movies and TV episodes. When I started to write this I did not realize how much I had to say, so I ended up having to split this into two separate blogs.

So let's start with my favorite Christmas TV episodes. These are in no particular order :o)

First up is "An Echolls Family Christmas" from the first season of Veronica Mars:

The reason this is on my list is because it is a Christmas episode, but it also happens to be one of my favorite episodes of the series. Logan hosts a poker party at his house but when Weevil wins the $5,000 pot it mysteriously disappears. Weevil starts taking things from the other players (ie. laptops, watches, Faberge eggs) until finally Veronica is asked to help track down the money. Meanwhile, Logan's parents are throwing their annual Christmas party and Keith is asked to figure out who is stalking Logan's movie-star father. Fabulously witty dialogue, a good mystery and Harry Hamlin & Lisa Rinna as Logan's parents make for a good time all-around. If I listed all of my favorite lines from this episode I would pretty much have to write the entire script, so you might as well just go watch it yourself :o) Here is a clip to get you started:

My next choice is "Noel" from season two of The West Wing:

The Christmas after Josh is shot, Leo makes him see a psychiatrist about the events of the last three weeks: Toby hired musicians for the foyer, an Air Force pilot disobeyed orders, Yo-Yo Ma performed at the White House, and Josh managed to badly cut his hand. All of these things bring up issues of post traumatic stress that Josh has not dealt with since the shooting. Again, this episode is not so much about Christmas as it is about Josh, but the writing on this show is so good that I had to put it on my list.

At the end of the episode Leo says something to Josh and it is one of my favorite line from the entire series:

"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you, can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me, can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guys says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here!" The friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out.'"

My third episode is "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" from the second season of Grey's Anatomy:

Christmas brings a range of reactions at Seattle Grace, from excess cheer to acting like a Scrooge. Burke and Yang have a heart transplant for a boy who does not believe he deserves it, which brings up their different philosophical perspectives. The interns help Karev study for his medical boards which he failed the first time. Izzie gets mad at first that everyone is helping him (seeing as Alex cheated on her with one of the nurses), but Meredith likens him to "Dirty Uncle Sal" and eventually Izzie comes around in the spirit of the holiday. When Alex asks her why she is helping him she says one of my favorites lines of the series:

Also in this episode, Derek is depressed and admits to Addison that Meredith was not just a fling and that he was in love with her and is still. He tells her that he has been depressed because "Christmas makes you want to be with people you love."

And finally we have "So-Called Angels" from My So-Called Life:

This episode always makes me cry and as a teenager I really did not like it because it depressed me so much and I did not fully understand what it was about. Watching it later in life, I realize how much it truly affected me and was a part of who I was and who I have become. The episode starts with no one really appreciating the true meaning of Christmas. At one point, Angela questions her parents about why they do not go to church to which her younger sister replies: "Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas!" Rickie is getting beat up at home, has no where to go and ends up at an abandoned warehouse with other homeless teenagers. Angela is concerned about him and tracks him down with them help of a mysterious homeless girl. Rayanne and Sharon volunteer for the teen help-line and Brian's parents leave him home alone while they go on a cruise over the holidays.

I love this episode because it is about helping others who are less fortunate than you. It is about being thankful for your family and friends and all the things in life with which God has blessed us. The episode ends with the family all ending up in a church together, not "finding God" but more, realizing the importance of being together and inviting others into their home who have no where else to go. It is about the true spirit of Christmas, which I think gets lost among the all the shopping and commercialism of the season.

It helps remind us that the holidays are not about presents, but about being with the people in our lives who are most important to us.

This is my absolute favorite time of year and I hope this helps you see why.

Do you disagree with my selections? Or have any of your own to add? Let me know in the comments section below.

I will try to get up the list of my favorite Christmas movies sometime in the next week. Until then I hope you enjoy this magical holiday season!