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Holiday specials to watch this season

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Sunday, December 1, 2013

Updated: Sunday, December 1, 2013 21:12

’Tis the season for holiday-themed television specials. Today, holiday TV specials can go in two directions. They can be awesome, heartwarming, funny and all around pleasurable, or so sappy you want to reach for the nearest bucket and get rid of those 10 or 20 festive cookies you just chowed down on. Anything that Lifetime or Hallmark channel specifically makes for Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s should be avoided or at least discriminatively selected from. However, I find that aside from the classics like “The Muppet’s Christmas Carol” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” regular run-of-the-mill television shows can have some of the best holiday episodes.

The Office- Season 2, Episode 10 “The Christmas Party”: Everyone remembers the class gift exchanges or Christmas parties where you had to exchange gifts the Yankee Swap way. For those who don’t know the terror of a Yankee Swap, let me break it down. The first person selects a random gift - no gifts are labeled with names - and opens it. The second person has the option to grab the just opened gift if it’s something desirable such as an Xbox One, or open a new gift if the first person had the misfortune to receive a toothbrush. The game goes one with people stealing gifts left and right until the last gift is open. Now picture this scenario in Michael Scott’s harebrained Scranton, Pa., Dunder Mifflin office. Needless to say chaos and hilarity ensue.

The O.C- Season 1, Episode 13- “The Best Chrismukkah Ever”: This episodes falls under the heartwarming category. Ryan, who never had a Christmas that didn’t include his parents fighting or getting drunk, gets introduced to his pseudo-adoptive family the Cohen’s bi-religious adaptation of both Christmas and Hanukkah. The episode showcases how families of combined religions celebrate both faiths in a modern interpretation. It wouldn’t be “The O.C” though without a hefty helping of drama, so the residual angst and troubled facing Marissa Cooper come front and center for much of the episode.

Arrested Development- Season 2, Episode 6 “Afternoon Delight”: As expected, this loosely Christmas-themed episode is full of laughs. Most of the comedy takes place at the Bluth Company Christmas parties. Yes, there are several of them due to Gob’s irrational and sporadic ideas. In this delightful episode you watch Lindsay and George Michael sing “Afternoon Delight,” a song that is not nearly as innocent as it sounds, Tobias screams the ever famous “I just blew myself” and Lucille gets high on a movement-slowing variety of marijuana after a misunderstanding with her brother-in-law, Oscar. The craziness of the episodes cannot be matched by most family affairs, but we can certainly relate to how family can complicate a relaxing holiday.

Friends- Season 6 , Episode 10- “The One With the Routine”: Monica and Ross take to the stage in this memorable episode as party people in Dick Clark’s News Year’s countdown. The brother-sister duo want to dance on the platform, which will be visible on camera, but have to audition for the part and after rehearsing their dorky routine from elementary school, they get the green light. They dance the night away and ring in the New Year with Clark.

 

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