Blogmas Day 21: Best Television Christmas Specials

Blogmas - 2019

Have you ever heard that jazzy, doowop mash-up version of What Christmas Means to Me with the bitching harmonica solo? Literally my favorite Christmas song but until this evening, I thought that it was a woman singing – it isn’t, it’s Stevie Wonder and I’m shocked. I might love it even more now but am I the only the thought it was a lady singing, let me know…

I’m just waiting on a couple of gifts to be delivered and I am officially done gift shopping. I like to stay up really late and listen to holiday music or watch old television Christmas specials while wrapping. I did a wrapping paper and gift bag shop yesterday, now I just need to queue up my favorite shows/songs.

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The Conners decorate their home for the holidays, after receiving a note from their neighborhood association asking that the decor be removed – they retaliate with even more lights and over the top decor. I grew up in a very white trash community, this episode resonates with me on so many levels.

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Just about everyone is having a miserable holiday and regales their woes to a masseuse that Frasier has treated the household to as a holiday treat. Daphne and Martin are in a quarrel as Daphne though the old guy was dying on account of his mysterious visits to church. Frasier spills the beans about Roz’s pregnancy to her unwitting mother and Niles is just Niles.

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I know that most everyone’s favorite holiday episode is Benihana Christmas but I think that episode is just tragic. In this one, Phyllis blackmails Angela into allowing her to throw a really bizarre Moroccan themed office party. Meredith lights herself on fire while belly dancing and gets hauled to detox and Angela’s tryst with Dwight comes to light.

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Sugar Addiction *

Even the crypt keeper gets into the holiday spirit with this kitschy slasher episode. After offing her husband to cash in on his insurance policy, a disgruntled housewife falls victim to a serial killing Santa.

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Sugar Addiction *

George thinks he’s scored the best Christmas gift for Elaine when he finds a cashmere sweater on clear out. He soon finds out that it is stained with a small red dot, he seduces the cleaning lady and gifts her the sweater. Jerry accidentally servers Elaine’s alcoholic boyfriend booze and it’s all around a bizarrely hilarious episode.

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Sugar Addiction *

Have we talked about my love of Northern Exposure lately? Maurice meets his son he fathered while in the Marines and Joel sets out to find his first Christmas tree. It seems light on plot but it’s one of the most endearing episodes.

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Christmas is a rough time for Monk since it was his wife Trudy’s favorite time of year. He’s having a hard enough time when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and apparently guilty of shooting Santa.

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Springfield Elementary gets snowed in, Homer and Flanders are tasked with rescuing the kids before the students drive Principal Skinner completely insane.

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There are so many good Christmas specials but this will at least get you started 🙂 Are you done shopping or do you like the chaos of last minute shopping 😉 I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season, thanks for reading!

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Blogmas Day 2: Winter Watch List

Blogmas - 2019

Oh, the weather outside is frightful and staying inside and eating everything in my pantry sounds so delightful 😛 Actually, the weather isn’t that bad but I would like to stay inside until we’re in above zero temperature but alas, I still haven’t married rich. I’d also like to stay inside so that I can catch up on some shows! I’m in a television mood lately, probably because I’m inside more, here’s what I’ve been watching.

The Crown: I might be the last person alive to tune into this historical drama series and my interest was only piqued when I saw the star-studded season three cast. Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies and Gillian Anderson?! I mean, come on – I am only on the first season but I’m hooked so far. I think that Princess Diana debuts in season four and I suspect I won’t keep watching it. Does anyone else find it difficult to watch historical style dramas about things that happened in their lifetime? Anyway, this show chronicles the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and it’s really good.

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Modern Family – Again, probably the only person in existence to check this show out but I think it’s hysterical. The personality dynamics play so well together and make the family so perfectly quirky. It’s such a fun show and reminder that families come in all shapes and sizes.

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Jack Ryan Season II: I watched season one on the first day it premiered in one sitting and it was worth all of the stuff that I didn’t get done that day. I haven’t tuned into the second season because I haven’t had the time. This series is an adaptation of the Tom Clancy thrillers starring Jack Ryan and the first season was awesome. I really have to find the time to watch season two. Also, who knew (besides Pam) that Jim was such a fox underneath all of those ties and button ups?

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Mindhunter Season II: I started watching this but only made it through the first episode. Again, an awesome show that I really want to finish but never find the time. I’ve heard that the likeness of the actors to the serial killers they play is uncanny in this season. We got a taste of that in season one with Ed Kemper, I’m dying to see who signed on for the second season.

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I just realized that none of these shows are remotely festive 🙂 I think the only show that feels Christmas-y to me is Mad Men, I associate the 50’s with Christmas for some reason not clear to myself. Anyway, this is how I will be spending my nights in this winter. What are you watching, are any of these on your list? There’s so much good television out there, it’s hard to know where to start!

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31 Nights of Halloween: Best of Treehouse of Horror

31 Nights of Halloween

The Simpsons have been on television a loooooooong time, too long in my opinion. I stopped watching them probably 10 or so seasons ago, aside from their annual Halloween Treehouse of Horror specials. This year, the special marked their 666th episode which is just so fitting for a Halloween special. I’m not sure that I will watch it since even these once great, incredibly creative episodes have become lackluster. I remember waiting patiently each year to watch these as a kid and getting screwed a few times because of that pesky mountain time. Those were the days when you actually had to be physically home at the time  your favorite show aired to watch it. If you aren’t familiar with these episodes please leave there are three horror stories, that sometimes parody well-known horror films or are otherwise just creepy stories. These are the episodes that I appreciate the most. I am doing these by air date since I own the actual seasons of only Treehouse of Horror episodes so I’m unsure of where they fall in the regular seasons and I’m lazy.

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Hands down my favorite episode – it has everything from Satan to der vampyr. In the first story, Homer sells his soul to Satan (played by Ned Flanders) for a donut. Bart is terrorized by a gremlin trying to wreck the school bus in the second story and Mr. Burns plays Dracula with wig and all for the conclusion. There isn’t a bad story in this episode which isn’t always the case.

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This one parodies I Know What You Did Last Summer with a twist that was just as ridiculous as the original movie ending. It has a weak filler story about Bart and Lisa acquiring superhuman powers but ends on a strong note with Homer failing to prepare the plant’s computers for Y2K and causing the crash of the technological world. Remember when we all thought that the world was going to end because computers couldn’t compute zeroes? Good times.

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Homer goes insane in The Shinning, then travels back in time in an attempt to fix a toaster and Springfield Elementary cafeteria starts eating misbehaving children. I think  this episode has the most comical Marge line of any episode, when Bart and Lisa try convincing her that they are going to be eaten she responds with; Kids, you’re 8 & 10 years old, I can’t keep fighting all of your battles for you. Classic parent response.

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Homer is attacked by an evil Krusty the Clown Doll, the middle episode story is a lame King Kong parody and ends with Lisa turning the residents of Springfield into zombies while trying to bring her cat back to life. I also love that this episode takes place during a Halloween party at the Simpson’s’ house and Bart is rocking the classic A Clockwork Orange costume.

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This one starts out strong with the Simpsons moving into a haunted house that just so happens to be on the site of an ancient burial ground. The second story is lame, something to do with aliens overfeeding them but not wanting to eat them…? And finishes with a parody of Poe’s The Raven narrated by James Earl Jones.

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There are so many good ones but these are classic introductions to these specials. I think the only reason I will be sad to see The Simpsons retire from television is that there won’t be anymore Treehouse of Horror episodes. Did you watch these as a kid? Let me know what your favorite episodes are!

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31 Nights of Halloween: Nancy Drew (2019)

31 Nights of Halloween

Hey, guess what, I’m that person who likes to make lists and then I’m like – who needs lists, I’m a free-spirit, I don’t need lists. Needless to say, I did not watch Carrie this evening and instead, watched the first episode of The CW’s Nancy Drew reboot. This is the problem with lists, amazing things could present themselves that might be missed out on if one stuck to a list! I will slot Carrie in for that horrible Hulu original series that I already mostly forgot about and watch it this weekend. See, at least I have a plan…

I grew up on the Nancy Drew mystery series and was excited about a reboot but also hesitant because of that travesty of a show Riverdale that is loosely, loosely based on the Archie comic books. I’ve said it before and feel compelled to say it again, Ms. Grundy was a 70-year old matron and not a hot body music teacher who banged underage pupils. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Anyway, I still decided to give this new series a watch and see how it compared to the beloved books. To start, the characters seemed a lot older than those in the book (the teens in the book are a lot more innocent if you know what I mean). Nancy has ‘retired’ her detective work after the death of her mother. She is waitressing in her small hometown, still dating Ned Nickerson. The show deviates from the book with her other friends, Bess & George are still around but in a vastly different capacity. They aren’t really friends at all and are just forced together through circumstances, that circumstance being they’re accused of murdering a local heiress. While trying to solve this case, they uncover details about the unsolved disappearance of a local girl from decades ago. There’s a surprising amount of supernatural elements in the show and it’s pretty dark in nature. I guess that’s what happens when producers try to add a modern twist that appeals to a younger generation that didn’t grow up on the books and can’t relate to the stories. I think it’s cool to see Nancy make a comeback but also, can everyone stop ruining my childhood icons?! Come up with your own damn content. Anyway, it was a romp but I’m not sure I’ll keep watching.

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Fall Tag & 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List

31 Nights of Halloween, Entertainment

Call me corny but I still love a good tag and figured it would be the perfect way to kick off all of the Halloween content to come. Summer apparently isn’t going out without a fight and we’re supposed to see a high of 84 today…but I’m not letting the unseasonable weather kill my vibe!

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I love warm scents as soon as the weather turns cool; vanilla, cinnamon, balsam, camp fires, coffee and yes, even leather. I’m still off the jar candles but if I had to choose any one candle that embodies fall for me, it has to be Nature’s Wick Bonfire Nights.

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I would have to say my preference is for pumpkin stuff, I don’t associate apples with fall. I love an apple crisp at any time of year but only start reaching for pumpkin when the weather turns. Also, I have to say that my drink of choice has been the Iced Pumpkin Pie latte from Caribou, they have hands down the best pumpkin flavoring!

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The fashion! I admittedly dress like a complete slob in the summer, linen pants, cotton tops, sandals – I just cannot be bothered but come fall, you’d think I’d undergone a Devil Wears Prada make over.

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I love an overcast fall day, I spend them reading, cooking, cleaning, taking a walk through the leaves. I actually enjoy being outside more in the fall and winter than I do the summer.

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Halloween, we didn’t really do the Thanksgiving thing when I was kid – the whole genocide issue…I just find Halloween to be less problematic although, I won’t pass on stuffing.

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There’s a lot of things that I do at this time of year but getting out the flannel bedding always feels very fall-esque. I changed all of the bedding this weekend and will probably pay for it later but it feels so cozy.

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Farms and graveyards. I live in an area where the rural areas are being developed into your standard, mundane, milquetoast, American neighborhoods completely lacking in authenticity and culture. It just makes me sad to see the people who built America sell their livelihoods to software developers. As the farms sit vacant and the old homesteads are gutted, they make for some sad but poignant photos. I signed up for Find a Grave this summer, people will post graves that they are looking for and people in the area can go take photos for them. It’s really interesting and there are some beautiful graveyards in the Twin Cities.

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Back to school! I tend to get a little melancholy this time of year knowing that I will probably never set foot on another campus as a student. My university does an alumni day right about this time of year though and I always go if I can, I just love that old campus.

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Turtlenecks! Call me crazy but I think turtlenecks are the most subtly seductive piece of clothing. Plus, there are so many prints and textures available now, these ain’t your grandma’s turtlenecks.

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It depends, we have days like today where everything feels damp but it doesn’t really rain. Some seasons we get nothing but rain and the leaves turn moldy and sometimes we have those perfect, crisp falls with stunning foliage. I am hoping for the latter with just a touch of rain this year but I’m game for snow on Halloween too!

What does fall mean to you, let me know if you do this tag – I’d love to read your answers. Now, for my 31 Nights of Horror Watch List. I have not prepared a list for past years, I thought it might help me stay more organized this time around. Now, if you have not read my posts from prior years, my reviews aren’t real deep and are really just a recap of the movie/show and what I enjoyed about it. If you want really in-depth, thought provoking reviews then keep looking.

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As you will see, I am doing a mash-up of classics, family friendly movies, 90’s cheese thrillers and television series marathons. I am watching a ton of my all-time favourites but thought I would throw a little variety in this year since I’ve watched those to death. I’m excited, I hope you’ll enjoy these posts! I will be posting about decor, beauty and lifestyle as well so stay tuned. What’s on deck for your horror watch list, let me know!

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