Thursday, December 19, 2013

More Christmas-Themed Entertainment

Two years ago, I made a list of TV specials and episodes that I considered to be my favourite to watch during the Christmas season. It was all in fun and the truth is that I really do enjoy all that stuff proving that I am forever going to be an eleven year old trapped in a man's body.

But recently I got to thinking if I had covered everything that enjoyed watching as a youth and as an adult. Thus, my list of More Christmas-Themed Entertainment

1) The New Batman Adventures-Holiday Knights
The Batman animated series from the 1990s had the strange habit of airing Christmas episodes not around the holiday season. Christmas with the Joker from the first season aired in mid November of 1992 and this episode (Which served as the premiere to the final season) aired in September of 1997. It was also the debut of the new animation style which was quite different. Character designs were altered, some for better (Batman, the Scarecrow) and some for worse.

Apparently there was not enough in the budget to give the Joker eyes...

It was still the same characters from the past three seasons with the same voices behind those characters (Save for Jeffrey Combs who knocks it out of the park as Scarecrow) but the look and feel of the show was different. Oh and the sky apparently is red at night in Gotham.

Anyway, this episode is different because it's broken into three segments, each focusing on a different story that takes place in Gotham City around Christmastime. The first one deals with Poison Ivy and Harley brainwashing Bruce Wayne and using Gotham's richest man to go on a shopping spree. What's funny is that these two villains are at first hiding out in a roach motel yet have no problem going out in full costume while one of the richest men in the world buys them crap they don't really need. You'd think someone would call the cops but this Gotham and about 90% of its population is quite stupid.

The second deals with Barbra Gordon (Batgirl) helping the police catch a ring of shoplifters which turns out to be portions of the villainous Clayface, who was previously thought to be dead...even though that eventually got explained in a later episode this season.

The final segment deals with Batman and the new Robin (Tim Drake) stopping the Joker from detonating a bomb on New Year's Eve. I read in a magazine that summer that they were introducing a new Robin and was surprised that this one was even younger than the previous Robin.
Equally surprising is that his eyes are twice the size of his mouth

What's kind of confusing about this is that in the very next episode, they explain how Tim became Robin. It's fair to say that this episode has a problem with continuity. In fact, when I watched it recently, a lot of stuff stood out to me that just doesn't make sense but there is some small stuff that I do like.
Still, it's the Bat-Family kicking bad guy ass at Christmas. Just what you need to put you in a crime fighting mood this holiday season.

2) Tiny Toon Adventures-It's a Wonderful Tiny Toon Christmas Special
If you were a kid at some point in the early 1990's then there's no way that you somehow never saw at least one episode of this show. Yeah, I can understand if you didn't like it but you had to have at least seen it to know you didn't like it. 

Be honest, the theme song is playing in your head right now

This follows the same formula that a lot of shows do when doing a It's A Wonderful Life episode-something big is coming up, our central character screws up and feels useless (Buster Bunny in this case) and decides that life would be better without him.

This time, a guardian...rabbit named Harvey who sounds like James Stewart, comes down to show Buster what life would be like had he never existed. It's formulaic, predictable with dated jokes...but it's still fun to watch. 

Earlier this week, when I saw that it was going to be airing, I decided that I would sit down for the first time in over ten years and give it a watch and still enjoyed it and laughed like an idiot the same way I did when I was a child. 

Oddly enough about this episode, aside from the fact that it actually aired in December, was that this was the series finale. Also, Charlie Adler, the actor responsible for playing Buster Bunny had left the show by this point as he was apparently upset that he had not been cast in Animaniacs though Adler denies this.

Cast issues aside, this is still a fun episode that keeps in the spirit with the show and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

3) The Inbetweeners (UK)-Xmas Party

I've watched this series the whole way through and it may be one of the funniest things I've ever seen and seemed to perfectly capture what it's like when you're a high school student in the 21st century. I plan to one day do a review of the American version of this series and see what they did wrong (Here's a hint: EVERYTHING!) but in the meantime, let's look at the charming end to the first season (Or 'series' as they're known in the UK) and forget about that abomination that MTV tried to pass off as comedy. Remember how I said a few paragraphs about having to see a show to know that it's bad? That doesn't apply to the MTV version of The Inbetweeners-just watch the trailer for it and you'll know it sucks balls.

Fuck this show!

Our hero Will is organizing his school's Christmas prom and he really wants it to go right as he hasn't had the best year at his new school and also wants to confirm that the girl he almost lost his virginity to didn't do it for a bet. All the while his friends are getting into their usual trouble that they seem to wander into to perhaps prove God does have a sense of humour. 

Like I said before, I love this series. The characters are...flawed as hell to the point where they'd be despicable in real life but you still enjoy watching them. The dialogue is how high school students talk to each other-for better or worse and the humour is unlike anything you're bound to hear on network television.
 It's been a while since I've watched every episode, in fact, I don't think I've seen any of episodes after the first season more than once. But if you're interested in checking out the episode, just watch it here:

  

Oh and if you thought that Batman: The Animated Series had a bad habit of airing their Christmas episodes a bit too early, this episode aired in May!

And that's my list for this year. I haven't been as productive with the blog as I would have liked but I hope to change that in 2014. I want to keep doing my Animation Observation series, I'll be covering the Calgary Expo once again and try to do more of my usual comedic rants.

But...I feel like this isn't the way I want to end the blog for this year. Is there anything I can look at that'll keep me in the Christmas spirit while at the same time showing my immaturity and what a nerd I am?

...I think this will do nicely.

Next week, I'll be reviewing Batman: The Animated Series, Christmas with the Joker.
God bless us, everyone!

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