Since the Christmas season is upon us, I thought I’d give you a good to-do list for your break. In this article, I tried to include a variety of different genres. Therefore, there should be something to enjoy for everyone.
“A Christmas Gift” – The Middle
This episode of The Middle has a few funny storylines, but the best is definitely the dishwasher plot. To set the scene for you, the Hecks are a family that barely get by on the money they make, and Mike is a stereotypical “cheap father.” Due to his refusal to spend too much money, he is terrible at gift giving and according to Frankie, the mom, he is the “champion of drugstore shopping.” Much to the audience’s surprise, this year Mike bought Frankie a new dishwasher. And he didn’t by the least expensive one there. He spent a good amount of cash to get a fancy new one, to make his wife happy. Frankie, not expecting this at all, begs Mike to get her a new dishwasher. Mike, not wanting to ruin the surprise, tells her he’ll buy some old one in a few months once they’ve saved a little. Frankie is persistent, but she goes too far the night before Christmas. At their Christmas Eve party, she turns all the guests against Mike for being cheap. They constantly make fun of him. And after having a little bit too much eggnog, Frankie sings “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Nothing!” All this build-up leads to a very funny climax. The stories are also entertaining. So overall, I think most people can find enjoyment in the 20-minute episode.
“Christmas Who?” – SpongeBob SquarePants
“Christmas Who” is a classic episode that any kid can enjoy. It’s not too long, which appeals to a child’s attention span. It’s funny and clever. There are so many iconic moments, and since I watched it so many times as a kid, I can quote most of the lines. SpongeBob as a whole is a perfect show to keep kids entertained, and the Christmas special really shows the writers’ strengths.
“A Very Sunny Christmas” – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The writers made the smart decision to make “A Very Sunny Christmas” a DVD special. This allowed them to go as far as they wanted to make this Christmas episode as untraditional as possible. In “A Very Sunny Christmas,” we see how delusional Mac and Charlie are. They both have Christmas traditions in which they believe everyone else should also participate, but really it’s just them. One of the traditions includes robbing other families’ houses. Dennis and Dee attempt to give Frank an “A Christmas Carol” experience in order to get money from him. They try to show him his past, present, and future, but of course it doesn’t go the way they think. This is one of the show’s best episodes and something hilarious to put on during the holidays. I’d especially recommend this if you’re tired of watching Hallmark movies, since this is essentially the polar opposite of the cheesy, predictable stories in those movies.
“White Christmas” – Black Mirror
Coming in second on my list is an episode with three separate stories all intertwined. “White Christmas” introduces new technologies and concepts that will grab your attention. Each story has surprising twists and turns that keep you hooked. I’d rather not dive too far into it, because I think Black Mirror is the type of show that you shouldn’t know anything about going in. But I will say that Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall give memorable performances. The rest of the cast play their roles well, too. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say you’ll be fascinated the whole way through. It is long, but if that turns you away from it, then just treat it like a short movie.
“A Benihana Christmas” – The Office
This is personally my favorite thing to watch over Christmas break. It’s longer than the usual The Office episode, having a 40-minute runtime instead of 20. There’s so much to enjoy, from Michael cropping his face onto his girlfriend and her ex-husband’s old Christmas card with their family and sending it out as his own, to Jim and Pam convincing Dwight he’s in the CIA. All the characters have something to do and at least one quotable moment. Andy is further fleshed out, and Jim’s relationship with both Pam and Karen takes a shift. If you enjoy The Office, or you even just enjoy laughing, you’ll love “A Benihana Christmas.”