Christmas TV Specials

Last week I did Christmas Movies, so this week I had to do tv: the specials and Christmas episodes. What is the difference you might ask? Well specials are both easy and hard; the easy, once are like the Grinch, Frosty and all the other old-school stop animation - they are stand alone, not part of a series and are just shown at Christmas. Some series have Christmas specials that stand alone from the series, are shown at Christmas even if the series is on hiatus at the time (Doctor Who and Call the Midwife come to mind in this category). I put them in the category of specials. Personally, my favorite specials are the Grinch, Doctor Who (all of them, but the two I always watch are Voyage of the Dammed and A Christmas Carol), and the Disney Christmas Day Parade.

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Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean

There is one show that could be considered in both categories, it was first included in a series run but has become a popular Christmas special, that is Merry Christmas Mr. Bean. This is one of my favorites, one I watch every year and am sure pvr. The original run of Mr. Bean was from 1990 to 1995, but only for a total of 15 episodes over the 5 years, so you could look at it as a TV series or a series of specials. Any way you cut it, Marry Christmas Mr. Bean is a much loved classic.

Christmas Episodes

Now on to the much longer list of Christmas episodes, just about every tv show running will do a Christmas special every year (or close to it).  For me to consider it a Christmas episode, Christmas has to be central to the theme. Here are some Christmas episodes from shows gone past that you might want to check out.

  • The OC: the Best Christmukkah Ever - I have a personal love hate relationship with this show but the Christmukkah episode(s) were the best and points out how Seth is the best (and main) reason to watch the show.

  • The Office (UK): Christmas Special Part 2

  • Black Mirror: White Christmas - I added this one in for Elise as I believe her internet boyfriend Mr. John Hamm is in it [Elise’s reaction to this: HAMM BONE!]

  • Cheers: Christmas Cheers - working late, last minute presents and other sitcom high jinks plus it has a whole wack of Santa’s

  • WKRP in Cincinnati – ok so this show is the poster child for what sexual harassment at work looks like, but the two best episodes of this show are hands down the turkey episode and Jennifer’s home for Christmas. Oh you also get a lot of Andy and his tight tight tight pants.

  • Supernatural: A Very Supernatural Christmas - the boys fight Krampus, and you might never look at wreaths the same way again.

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  • Are You Being Served?: All the Christmas episodes – when you run as long as this show did, you are bound to rack up a number of Christmas episodes especially if it is set in a department store. I have a dvd with some of the Are You Being Served? Christmas episodes and the ones I would recommend checking out are, The Father Christmas Affair and Christmas Crackers.

  • My So-Called Life: So-Called Angels - Yes I was 14 when this show aired and very biased, but this show is one of the greatest one-season wonders of all times. My So-Called Angels is the best of that show, and really sells the meaning of Christmas in a way that isn’t super cheesy but impactful. If you like a Christmas special that will tug and your heart strings this is the one for you.

  • Golden Girls: ‘Twas the Nightmare before Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – both Christmas episodes have that amazing mix of humor and heart that is the calling card of GG. (Both Elise and I are huge Golden Girls fans, and for the last two years, I’ve gotten her birthday presents with a Golden Girl theme.) In their only two Christmas theme episodes, the girls tackle loneliness and metal health at the holiday and homelessness, with compassion and laughter, if you want to laugh and maybe shed a tear check them out.

Is there a Christmas special or episode that you love and want to tell up about? Reach out to us and let us know.

 Have a great week!