Do’s and don’ts from Scrooged

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1988

It’s not nice to try and shoot ghosts, but it’s okay for them to drink your booze.

It’s not alright to glue fake antlers on a real mouse, but it’s okay to staple them on.

It’s wonderful for a TV executive to make a scary, misleading commercial, but it’s totally wrong for an assistant to question said executive.

It’s acceptable to go without a tree, but not acceptable to decorate your little brother as a tree.

Firing someone the day before Christmas is good, but when someone tries moving in on your job it’s bad.

Real ghosts of Christmas future that look like death are fine, but don’t make fake ones look like that because it’s too scary.

Ghosts beating the poop out of you is great, but questioning the ghost is a negative.

Trying to take over production of TV show while the executive is acting nuts is wrong, but holding TV staff at gunpoint is fine and dandy.

Interrupting a live TV show is not okay unless of course it’s too rant about being nicer to people.

 

There you go. This was my first time viewing this one. My wife recommended it and I thought it was slightly dated, but overall funny.

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How the Grinch stole Christmas

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1966

So this oddly shaped fella called the Grinch lives up on this mountain. He hates the Whos who live down in the village, he hates Christmas and apparently he’s not too fond of clothing because he strolls around naked. Christmas is coming so the Grinch develops this crazy plan where is going to animate the Statue of Liberty with goop and walk around in it oh, hey wait I think I just mixed up the notes of the Grinch with Ghostbusters 2. Now, here we go the Grinch will dress up in a crap Santa suit (yet he still doesn’t like pants). Then he makes his poor little doggie Max pretend to be a  reindeer. On Christmas eve they go down to the Who village and start taking all their Christmas stuff. So not only is the Grinch a near nudist but he’s a thief too. A little who named Cindy Lou Who wakes up and questions the Grinch, but he lies (another strike against him) and goes about his horrible business. He takes all his collected stuff in his sleigh back up the mountain to dump it and really create a mess. He thinks that this will really curdle the Who’s milk. However they wake up singing. The Grinch stops and realizes he’s been a real nasty guy so his new found goodness helps him to stop the sleigh from falling off the mountain. He and Max ride back down to the village, give all the stuff back and fortunately instead of beating the Grinch senseless for his crimes the Who’s are a forgiving lot. The Grinch has Christmas dinner with Whos and cuts on something called a roast beast. Now he’s a good Grinch. Roll the animated credits.

Negatives-Nope.

Positives-A great adaption of a wonderful Dr. Seuss book. The Chuck Jones animation is fantastic in bringing these characters to life. Boris Karloff is one of the few people who could have done justice to the Grinch. A classic cartoon through and through.

Upcoming junk and stuff

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Between now and Christmas I hope to review the following films.

Scrooged

Scrooge

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch stole Christmas

The Munster’s Scary little Christmas

plus TV specials…

The year without a Santa Claus

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch stole Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas

and…

a Christmas episode of Night Court (featuring two people with ties to well known sci-fi franchises)

That’s eight reviews in less than two weeks so I better get started.

Take care!

Star Trek record for Christmas

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When I was 12 I was kind of beyond Christmas and wasn’t really expecting any present, but I got two. The first was a Nerf football which was cool because my old one was holding on for dear life. The second was the above record. I had gotten into Star Trek about a year earlier and by this time had seen all the episodes, read the novel adaptions of all the episodes and read a few of the novels as well. This record contains three stories all written by Alan Dean Foster who done the adaptions of the animated series. The stories themselves are actually decent enough and capture the spirit of original Trek although in a shorter time frame as each story clocks in around 15 minutes. The actors doing the voice do an alright job of trying to sound like the original actors. The only record player in the house was in my parent’s bedroom so I would go in there quite often to hear this record. I was still new to Trek and was glad to get a chance to soak in and thing related to that universe. I still have the record and it’s one of my favorite presents that I got growing up.

Christmas episodes

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There are a few Christmas episodes I watch every year, but they tend to be more comedies than sci-fi and horror. Of course there are more of those because it’s easier to squeeze Christmas into a the world of a comedy than it is putting it into a sci-fi setting. Every year I normally watch Christmas episodes from the Andy Griffith show, Green Acres, Cheers, Night Court, Mary Tyler Moore and Frasier. Then there are Christmas episodes I watch maybe every other year as well. As I kid I would usually get excited when a show had a Christmas episode whether it was good or not. It’s not too surprising that there are more Christmas episodes of shows than any other holiday. Now if I watch an older series in order I find it funny that most shows just have their same setting every episode I mean it could be September or April and you don’t know and then bam it’s a Christmas episode. That’s fine too.

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***What are some of your favorite Christmas episodes?

Christmas specials week: Santa Claus is comin’ to town

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1970

So this human baby is raised by elves who make toys. Then he goes off to the big city to meet his real dad and have sugar driven hilarious adventures. Oh, wait I thought this was Elf when I got to that second line. Go back to that first line and let’s go from there. A young guy is raised by toy making elves and he wants to go to this town to give  away toys. Along the ways he runs into a mean winter warlock who turns into a not so bad dude when given a toy. He’s not the main meanie here anyhow. A fat sour face named Meisterburger Burgermeister rules over a town and does not allow toys. Well that puts and end to that. Okay not so fast because this  Kringle fellow who will one day be Santa pushes the limits to get toys to the kids. In doing so he sets up a lot of things that will one day be Christmas traditions for all of us to follow. He also meets the woman who will one day be his wife and he likes even after she sings this out of place hippie dippy song. Kris (Santa) gets nabbed, but his friends help him and eventually toys and goodwill win out and Mushroom Burger I mean Meisterburger Burgermeister fades away. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the rest build a workshop at the North Pole and it all falls into place. So now we are all the wiser and made aware of every piece fell into place or something like that.

Not quite as classic as Rudolph and for me not as amusing as Year without a Santa Claus, but definitely a good one. The characters are good as are the voices. I really like the Winter Warlock quite a bit. We watch this one every year and for this season we watched it last week.

Top ten favorite Rankin-Bass Christmas special characters

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Here they are in no real order. Yes, I do realize that Santa didn’t make the list.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer-A little goofy at times, but he was a kid. A decent enough hero and the star of a great special.

Abominable Snow Monster/Bumble-He was mean at first and wasn’t seen much until the end, but the threat of him had me remembering his name and eyes since the first I saw Rudolph.

Snow Miser-The special may have been called The Year without a Santa Claus, but let’s face it the stars of the show were this icy guy and his hot headed brother Heat Miser.

Heat Miser-See above.

Mayor of Southtown (The Year without a Santa Claus- “Snow? In Southtown?” Just getting to use that on my southern friends in college helps him make this list.

Mrs. Claus (Year without a Santa Claus)-Easily my favorite Mrs. Claus and my favorite member of the Claus family from any of these specials. they just never quite did Santa right for me.

Frosty the snowman-Okay, so he is animated which isn’t as cool, but a likable character and a good story.

Professor Hinkle- The clumsy magician who was so mean to Frosty.

Winter Warlock-He looked pretty rough until he warmed up in Santa Claus is coming to town. Probably my favorite character from that special.

Burgomeister Meisterburger- The mean old toy hating ruler from Santa Claus is coming to town.

There you go. Maybe you loved the Little Drummer Boy or Nestor or the long eared donkey or for some reason you liked Twas the night before Christmas cartoon. Feel free to add on what characters you liked from Rankin-Bass Christmas specials.

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Lack of Christmas episodes in sci-fi shows

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As I get ready for Christmas episode week later this month I am reminded of the lack of Christmas episodes in sci-fi series. Yes, I’ll find enough to review for a week. However they are all series set in either present day (when they were made) or the past and not in the future so much. Yes, Captain Kirk met Helen Noel at a Christmas party, but that was mentioned and not seen. Maybe spaceships, interplanetary travel and futuristic cities are more exciting than Christmas lights, caroling and eggnog. Perhaps religion has changed in the future and the holiday isn’t what it was. Another thought might be that sci-fi writers just shy away from the topic. They were not afraid to have snow and ice, but apparently the holiday and the weather don’t always go hand in hand in space or the future.

***Why do you think there aren’t more Christmas sci-fi episodes?

***What sci-fi show do you wish had done a Christmas episode?