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22.12.2011 / Arts & Culture

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Christmas specials

If your favourite Christmas pastime is sprawling on the sofa and watching a stiff dose of old TV series, here are some of the best Christmas specials ever. Enjoy!

 

Going back to 1983, here’s a classic Magnum P.I. Christmas episode where Magnum and his friends spend an unusual holiday on an apparently desert island: Operation Silent. Skipping 20 years later, we bump into An Echolls Family Christmas from Veronica Mars, where the teenage blonde girl detective investigates on a poker game gone wrong.

 

Besides lending itself to detective stories, Christmas is a popular theme for fantasy and science fiction as well.  In a 1998 X-Files episode called How the Ghosts Stole Christmas, a couple of ghosts in love give quite a hard time to Mulder e Scully. Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s 1998 Christmas special, Amends, sees Buffy and her vampire boyfriend spend a troubled Christmas together. If you love the idea of travelling through time, check out A Little Miracle (1990) from the time-travelling series Quantuum Leap, where protagonist Sam Beckett jumps back to 1962 and tries to inspire a modern-time Scrooge with some Christmas spirit.Luckily, Christmas also inspires some really witty comedy stuff. Comparative Religion, an episode from Community (2009) is a nice example of Christmas fun: a group of students try to spend Christmas together in spite of their different religious beliefs.  In Secret Santa (2009), from 30 Rock, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin give each other a Christmas present for the first time and end up being both unexpectedly surprised.

 

For the 1980s sit-com nostalgics, here’s a huge classic: A Keaton Christmas Carol (1983) from Family Ties, where protagonist Alex (Michael J. Fox) meets the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

 

Finally, in case you’re looking for some good-natured Christmas stuff, here are a couple of out of the ordinary tips: The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee (1998) from Sports Night (written by The Social Network‘s screenwriter Aaron Sorkin) and In Excelsis Deo from West Wing. In both cases, Christmas becomes an opportunity to speak about our real or supposed idea of community.


Links

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0707456/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0577268/plotsummary

http://www.tv.com/shows/30-rock/secret-santa-1311509/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxQ-ErITaxg

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0681099/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D9qgxw1s0U&feature=player_embedded

http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/How_the_Ghosts_Stole_Christmas

http://www.amazon.com/An-Echolls-Family-Christmas-HD/dp/B0031PEL4M

http://magnum-mania.com/Episodes/Season4/Operation_Silent_Night.html

http://westwing.wikia.com/wiki/In_Excelsis_Deo



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