The Christian Hipster’s Guide to Holiday Specials

Christmas misfits and Christmas togetherness.  Hipster pop-culture-reference style.

Christmas misfits and Christmas togetherness, hipster pop-culture-reference style.

Holiday Specials that hipsters wish they didn’t love so much, because they’re too mainstream:

  • “A Charlie Brown Christmas”  It’s pretty hard to go wrong with Snoopy.  But just like the original three Star Wars films, the Schultz classic with the ubiquitous soundtrack been corrupted by the Empire it railed against.  Hipsters lament the overabundance of Charlie Brown merch (a fake plastic “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree?  Really? Have you seen the special?), but secretly want a Linus ornament.
  • “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” While hipsters will drop comments about other claymation specials in order to stay hip, they all can quote Hermey’s stanza “Why am I such a mistft/I am not such a nitwit/You can’t fire me, I quit/Seems, I don’t fit in,” love the elf with hipster glasses, and think Yukon Cornelius is pure gold, pun intended.
  • “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”  It merits mentioning. Jim Carrey is a ruiner. I’ll say no more.

    Almost as Hipster as an island of misfit toys.

    Almost as hipster as an island of misfit toys.

Holiday Specials hipsters want to love but just can’t:

  • “The Star Wars Holiday Special” As cool as it would be to really like the ill-planned and rightfully scorned infamous SW Holiday Special, it’s not even so bad it’s good.  It’s just painful.  The best part is Harvey Korman in space-robot-drag doing a cooking show segment.  Creepy, wrong, and bland more often than not, the highlights are (they are few and not really worth it) the cartoon segment where Boba Fett first appears (as an ally!) and a young Harrison Ford (but his line delivery is so poor you might as well just rent a copy of Witness and call it a day).
  • “Frosty Returns”  It’s not the overplayed original, it’s the 1992 sequel narrated by Jonathan Winters.  A stab attempt at plot melts like the proverbial jolly happy soul, and it is ultimately forgettable.  Like last year’s snowman…

    Our friend Boba?  Everything about this special is wrong!

    Our friend Boba? Everything about this special is wrong!

Holiday Specials hipsters reference but don’t watch:

  • “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Special”  As fun as it is, set as a staged version of “A Christmas Carol” with Magoo in the lead role, Hipsters will begrudgingly find they get their Dickens fix more fully from “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” mostly for Scrooge McDuck and Donald’s delightfully incomprehensible turn as nephew Fred.
  • “Nestor the Long Eared Donkey” Rakin and Bass strike again, this time narrated by cowboy Roger Miller.  A more biblical turn on the misfit animal helper theme, Nestor is worth watching. Once.

    Nestor later became friends with the little drummer boy and the littlest angel.

    Nestor later became friends with the little drummer boy and the littlest angel, to no one’s surprise.

Holiday Specials hipsters love:

  • “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas” Even Dr. Claw tries to steal Christmas (although he’s no Mr. Potter).  Purists who try to forget there are movie versions of the classic TV show will doubtless enjoy Gadget’s inept turn in the toy factory, and his spontaneous amended rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  At least Penny and Brain know how to rescue Santa.
  • “A Muppet Family Christmas”  The 1987 special finds the Muppet gang showing up at Fozzie’s Mom’s farmhouse, not knowing that Ma Bear is preparing to leave for Florida for the holidays and has rented the place to Doc and Sprocket (from “Fraggle Rock.”  Hipsters will happily note there is a Fraggle hole in the house).  But hey, who wouldn’t want Gonzo, Beaker, and Dr. Teeth in their kitchen? “Be careful, Sprocket, these could be from some foreign planet,” Doc tells the dog, who has just encountered Animal. “Actually they’re from Television.  I recognized Fozzie’s weirdo friends,” Ma Bear replies.  And God Bless them, every one.

    "Aha, Brain! Now I control the elves!" Crisis averted, Penny.

    “Aha, Brain! Now I control the elves!” Crisis averted, Penny.

There are of course many more, so discover your own favorites  or comment with your hipster traditional favorite.  But don’t let Dr. Honeydew near the egg nog…


About jenletherer

BA, Theater and Speech Communication; English:Creative Writing. Siena Heights University, 2002. MFA, Film Production. Boston University, 2005
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3 Responses to The Christian Hipster’s Guide to Holiday Specials

  1. Terri says:

    The very, very best of all the renditions of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is, hands down, unarguably The Muppet’s version.
    The costuming is exquisite– tiny little frock coats and waistcoats… [Side note– I hang out with a lot of costumers and museum textile people… Nearly every single period clothing vs. costuming discussion will end up referencing (in dreamy tones) the Muppet version.]

  2. Peter Pollet says:

    So many people don’t understand when I say that the live action “Grinch” film is a complete desecration. (Them: But it’s so funny! Me: First, no it’s not. Second, that’s not the point.)

    I tried to make a viewing of the Star Wars Christmas Special into a yearly tradition…and failed. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it a third time.

    My father (and my father-in-law) loves the Magoo special. I rolled my eyes when I learned of this–then I watched it. A bit long, but definitely a great interpretation of Dicken’s classic. Still, I have to agree with Terri–the Muppets’ version is the one to beat. However, the costumes are not the high point for me, rather the ultra-rich characters–including, but not limited to, Kermit’s sweet Cratchit, Michael Caine’s darling Scrooge, and the clever narrating duo of Gonzo & Rizzo.

    My favorite ridiculous/obscure Christmas special would have to be Opus the Penguin in A Wish for Wings that Work. It’s so bad that I never remember anything that happens in it–which is why I have to watch it once every few years to remind me how unmemorable it is. Yet is still holds a place in my heart.

    But my favorite beautiful/obscure Christmas cartoon would easily be The Snowman. I’m having trouble finding words to describe why I love it–but then, it really speaks for itself. And it is a masterpiece of animated film.

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