Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Could’ve Done Without for Another Year

“A Year Without a Santa Claus.”

They remade a Rankin/Bass Christmas Classic. It sucked. Why did it suck so bad? If you had watched it last night, you already know the answer.

1. Santa’s (John Goodman, yes, the same John Goodman that played Santa in that horrible “Frosty Returns” a few years ago, you would think he’d learned his lesson) beard looked as though it was culled from the miscellaneous batting bin at a Michael’s Arts and Crafts Store.

2. Heat Miser and Snow Miser were great casting choices. Who can hate Harvey Fierstein and Micheal McKean? The Miser’s songs are the best numbers in the original show. But something went horribly wrong here. Their songs were mashed together in a cacophony of crap! And what ever happened to the Miser’s minions? In the original, the minions are creepy duplicates of the Miser’s themselves. But in the NBC version, they’ve been replaced by tragically untalented, scantily clad, chubby dancing girls that I can only assume were pulled right off the stage of some “off the strip” Vegas act.

3. When did it become vogue to add that stupid “Desperate Housewives/Ugly Betty” music under every scene? Do we really need the constant barrage of oboe and English horn? If you need music to distract from the script, then perhaps it’s time to think about re-writes?

4. This one is the most heinous. This last point is the reason that I absolutely couldn’t stand NBC’s remake of “A Year Without a Santa Claus:”

Doctor Fucking Laura.

Dr. Laura is who inspired Jingle and Jangle’s plan to save Christmas? Dr. Laura?! Were all of the good psychologists taken? My god, NBC, what have you done?

Seriously though, forget the script. Forget the fact that NBC tried to stretch this already flimsy premise into a “two-hour event.” Forget all that. I’ll tell you why these “instant holiday classics for the entire family” always suck. They’re crammed packed with guest “stars.” Sure, not many people are beating down Harvey Fierstein’s door these days, but the dude still has a schedule to consider. As does every other “name” in the movie. When you have that many schedules to consider there’s no way you can make a quality project in a short amount of time.

Okay Networks, stop making shitty Christmas specials. Stop trying to slap together some piecemeal hunk of tripe and pass it off as a classic. Stop making TV shows like you make fruit cake. Sure candied fruit is tasty, but when it’s surrounded by nuts and some kind of horrible rock-like substance it becomes inedible.

I’m mad at NBC. I’m mad at the entire corporation. I almost spit my pancakes at Matt Lauer this morning. It’s not Matt’s fault. But he’s guilty by association. It a good thing that I’m too cheap to by GE light bulbs because things would have gotten a lot darker around here.

I remember when people made Christmas specials because they wanted to.

Okay, I didn’t watch the entire special. Who puts a “family” special on at 9? If you happened to see the whole thing, did it ever get better?

Fun Fact: Apart from “a new holiday classic from NBC” there are two words on television that drive me to madness. The most annoying words ever uttered on the small screen.

Tyra Mail.

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