Saturday, December 26, 2009

What the Heck is Boxing Day? and Other Holiday Lessons I’ve Gleaned from TV

TV may rot our brains, but sure makes up for it sometimes.  Christmas is one of those times (and every Wednesday night there’s an episode of Glee showing). 

Inspired by the resident TV-holic’s column on mental floss, I came up with a list of my favorite holiday lessons:

1. Boxing Day?  What kind of a holiday is that!?

MASH day afterI’m sure that many of you have looked at a calendar and wondered about little ol’ Dec. 26.  Behind Christmas and  Christmas Eve, this little holiday gets overlooked (mostly because we don’t celebrate it here).  It’s the day that servants and royalty traded places for a day to learn about each other.  Winchester works in the kitchen while Klinger acts as Coronel.  Perspective is the only present anybody unwraps on this day. 

2. Being with Those You Love Is Healing in Itself

Snowed in, the gang of The Mary Tyler Moore Show agrees to participate in the filming of a holiday-themed episode of Sue Ann’s show The Happy Homemaker.  Due to a series of squabbles earlier, Murray, Ted, Lou, and Mare start out pretty testy, but by the end of the night, their hearts are warmed by the holiday spirit and each other’s company.  See the transition here:


3. Singing Can Get You Out of Any Awkward Situation

Perhaps not a very good lesson (or true), but hilarious.  For those of you who don’t know, this delightfully edgy show (The Catherine Tate Show) out of the UK.  It’s also the basis of the first conversation I ever had with Mark.

Perhaps, the better lesson is have some tact.

4. Every Family is Dysfunctional

I often tell people that my second mission in life is to keep 30 Rock from becoming the next Arrested Development (cancelled after three seasons after winning a countless number of awards).  Episodes like Ludachristmas are the reason for that. 

Jack’s insanely cold mother, Colleen (played by Elaine Stritch), is in from Florida for a holiday visit.   This trip coincides with that of the hyperbolically stable and supportive Lemons, Liz’s family.  As Jack starts to identify with the Lemons and prefer their company, NUP_111912_0133 she makes it her mission to teach him a valuable lesson.  The holiday message of this episode is bold: every family has its problems, so there’s no reason to envy or compare yourself to someone else’s family situation.


Ben said...

Isn't tv great! Haha!

I like the last lesson the most. Every family IS dysfunctional in some way to some degree. It's good to keep that in perspective. Thanks.

Silus Grok said...

I love boxing day … it's the day I give my maid her annual tips and my other tradespeople theirs — mechanic, barber, and the like.

Very fun. :)

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