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August 31, 2015

Christmas memories from the week gone by in sitcomland

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 13th 2009 2:02PM
The Office: Secret SantaI know not much time has passed, but let's review the Christmas memories from some of TV's sitcom this past season because if you ask me, they were sort of all over the map. Someday maybe I'll hold one of these in my heart like the On a scale from one to ten, with ten being classic, there were none that will live on in the annals of TV history, but there were a couple worth writing about.

The Office
I found this entire episode a downer. The economy is in the toilet and we all know it. Heck, I don't know anyone who isn't worried about having a job in 2010. So we can feel for the fact that Dunder-Mifflin is hanging by a thread. But it's hardly hilarious fodder for a holiday half-hour.

Yeah, that's just what a holiday party should be all about, the company being sold. It didn't matter that the ending was happy, Scranton is safe, the overall mood of the show was just dreary. Joel thought Michael's Santa/Jesus antics were funny, but it didn't work for me. Compared to past Christmas Offices, like the year with the iPod, this was a lesser entry.

Modern Family
I had very high hopes for the first Christmas show from Modern Family, especially when I heard that Fred Willard was going to be involved. Alas, his part was less than a cameo. Instead of the skinny Santa, I would have preferred a surprise visit from Grandpa Dunphy. And think of how it might have gone if Grandpa Jay doesn't particularly like Phil's dad? Fortunately, the show had some joy. Jay and Manny's bits continue to work well. The one thing that's really sucking on MF, though, is the voiceover narration over the end. Those Walton family moments are cringe-worthy.

30 Rock
An uneven episode overall because of the weird guest role by Julianne Moore. Did it seem to you -- like it did to me -- that she was more excited about the thick Boston accent she was using than anything she did with Alec Baldwin? But the Christmas part of the show had some funny ideas. Espousing Verkunian was an inspired, but mean, way to douse Kenneth's enthusiasm. The sweetest part of Liz and Jack exchanging gifts. Only Jack would get Liz a "Chip" for Christmas.

The Middle
Modern Family was about the family traditions being preserved, but The Middle was about the classic family Christmas traditions. For one thing it was the only sitcom that incorporated a visit to church. But it was a source of comedy because Fran was more concerned about getting the family there for her big solo than she was about prayers.

The whole notion of Mike not realizing how hard it is to do Christmas was great -- and true. Holidays are hard, even when they're fun. The shot of Mike and the kids asleep in front of the TV when they were supposed to be sitting in church, the car spinning out of control while they were fighting, Brick's Christmas miracle thanks to Pez. The Middle struck the right notes all around.

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I replayed from DVR the Christmas ep of Big Bang Theory from 2008...Sheldon and Penny shone so brightly with the gifting of the Leonard Nimoy napkin and the reciprical neverending gift baskets of toiletries. None this year have held up to that.

December 14 2009 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Phineas and Ferb , is one of the better cartoons available right now on television.
I can actually sit with my grand daughters and watch that one . though I have to say, the "naughty-inator " wasn't as inventive as the usual "inator" - du jour

December 13 2009 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree that the Office Christmas ep wasn't as enjoyable as years past (though I did love Phyllis as Santa and watching Andy pull off the 12 Days of Christmas)...

One of the better "holiday themed" eps from this past week, I thought, was courtesy of Community. Loved the Dean and his "Merry Happy!" celebration and Jeff getting a hard time for being an Agnostic ("just a lazy man's atheist!")...not to mention the giant Christmas rumble in the quad.

December 13 2009 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pollyprissypant's comment

I agree. I did enjoy the Christmas special where Micheal was "gifting" an ipod.

December 13 2009 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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