Boy Meets World: Santa’s Little Helper

Mr. Feeney reads the class A Christmas Carol and discovers that Cory and Shawn really don’t get it because they keep expecting the Grinch to show up. He asks Topanga to switch seats with Cory (which she tries to do through transcendental meditation because she used to be New Age, remember) who describes A Christmas Carol as going to cool places with ghosts when you’re mean.

Topanga tries to explain to them the historical origins of Christmas and it’s evolution from the winter solstice tradition. (Uh-oh, I said Christmas, evolution, and solstice in the same sentence. I feel like someone isn’t going to like that.)

Cory is so certain that he’s getting a basketball for Christmas that he’s saved up money to buy his gift a gift, a $5 net (that’s $8.46 in today’s money, for those of you keeping track at home).

Meanwhile, poor little Morgan has been traumatized by a trip to the mall to visit Santa. Apparently, there was a mean elf and Santa had a heart attack right as Morgan was asking him for her present. So she thinks she killed him. (He’s actually alive, in the hospital, and intubated.) Yikes. People spend years in therapy for this kind of stuff.

When Cory arrives home from school, he immediately runs to the tree to see if there are any new presents to shake. AHHH WHAT A WONDER TIME OF LIFE THIS IS! He can’t wait to head over to Shawn’s because Shawn has been bragging about all the gifts under his Christmas tree. That’s when Cory’s dad tells him that Shawn’s dad lost his job, and Cory realizes that Shawn may be having a Christmas more on par with Tiny Tim’s than his own. (So I guess he did learn something from the book.) Cory decides to give Shawn one of the presents from under their tree since he’s no Scrooge.

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But when Cory gives Shawn the basketball, Shawn realizes he’s feeling sorry for him and he doesn’t like it. Cory says, “Christmas is about charity. You should be thanking me.” Mr. Feeney overhears from next door and tells Cory that “a true gift is given with no expectation” and that Cory “gave the gift to get the thanks.” He gives Cory the example of friendship as a true gift.

In a surprising turn of events, the mean elf shows up at the house to return their money since Morgan wasn’t able to take a photo with Santa. He also tells her father that he thinks she’s a demon child because Santa had a heart attack when she sat on his lap. Wow, harsh!

Meanwhile, at school, Shawn is embarrassed because he doesn’t have any money to contribute to Mr. Feeney’s Christmas gift. The little shit collecting the money at school, Minkus, says that he can’t put his name on the card without him contributing to the fun, even if he doesn’t have the money, so Cory tells him privately that Shawn lent him $5 which he had forgotten to return. Thus, Shawn is included and Cory’s gift is anonymous. The class gives Mr. Feeney a nice thick dictionary because they obviously think he has no interests outside of school.

When Shawn thanks Minkus for including his name on the card even though he didn’t contribute Minkus tells him not to thank him since Cory contributed the money that he owed Shawn. Realizing that Cory’s not a terrible person out for charity only to feel good about himself, he stops by Cory’s house to give him a basketball net.

At the end of the night, Mr. Feeney stops by the house dressed as Santa and tells Morgan that he is okay and that Mrs. Claus undercooked his figgy pudding, so none of this was Morgan’s fault. This makes Morgan feel better, but now she wants to know why Santa looks like Mr. Feeney!!

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Very Special Holiday Lesson: Mall Santas are always a bad idea. You’re not helping other people when you’re focused on making yourself look good.

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch: A Girl and Her Cat

Sabrina is very upset with Salem because he ruined her favorite Christmas sweater. (Um, she’s a WITCH why can’t she just zap it back to perfection?) When Salem won’t say he’s sorry, the family leaves him alone to reflect on his actions (which no cat has ever done ever.)

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While Salem is in timeout, Sabrina goes to a pizza place to meet Harvey. Harvey gives Sabrina a silver choker for Christmas. Sabrina gives Harvey a scarf, but she notices that Salem has ripped up the wrapping and she gets mad again. Just as they are about to kiss under the mistletoe, Salem causes a ruckus. He’s snuck into the pizza place and is chasing a mouse. They get tossed out of the pizza place when Sabrina is accused of brining a cat into the building.

In the alley out back, Sabrina and Salem argue and he refuses to come home with her. Salem’s plan is to sulk for a while and make everyone worry about him before he makes his way home. But as he heads back to the house, a kid hits him with his bike. He’s worried about Salem, so he takes him home.

OMG THE GUY PLAYING THE KID’S DAD IS THE GUY WHO PLAYED THE DAD IN CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL. IT’S A WEIRD CLARISSA/SABRINA REUNION!!!

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Salem manages to call Sabrina while the kid is away for a moment. He comes back into the room while Sabrina is on the phone and tells her that the cat his now DUN DUN DUN!

So they can’t use magic to find him because you have to wait 24 hours to file a missing witches report. This means they have to search for him “the mortal way.” But apparently the mortal way involves zapping Coolio out of an advertisement in the alleyway, so he can tell them what he saw.

Most importantly, poster-Coolio saw that the kid’s bike had a vanity plate that said “Rex,” so we at least know the youth’s name. Coolio points them in the right direction and they start going door to door. (There’s a lot of going door to door for pets in this year’s very special holiday season posts.)

Sabrina eventually find the right house, but Rex won’t give Salem back. So Sabrina disguises herself as Santa and gives the kid a spatula and a Neil Diamond box set, to which he replies, “Didn’t you get my fax?”

1996 A YEAR WHEN CHILDREN FAXED THEIR LETTERS TO THE NORTH POLE!

She tells him he’ll get more presents in the morning, but she’s really there–I mean SANTA is really there–to take the cat back because there was a mixup and he got the wrong cat. When he still refuses to return Salem, Sabrina grabs the cat and runs. So then the kid screams and cries, “SANTA STOLE MY CAT!” repeatedly until his mother comes running into the room.

His mother (who never knew about the cat, only his father knew) tells him that he must have had a bad dream because he doesn’t have a cat. So the little boy says, “I saw him. He was real. He game me this spatula.” His mother looks bewildered and this poor kid is probably going to need years of therapy…though he did steal a cat so maybe he needed years of therapy anyway and hopefully this will speed along that process.

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Very Special Holiday Lesson: As Salem says, “There are worse places to be during the holidays than with your family.”

Doug: Doug’s Christmas Story

Before we start, I need to inform you all that this is a VERY dramatic episode of Doug. It starts off with Doug’s dog Porkchop saving Beebe, the resident spoiled brat, from falling through thin ice and being FALSELY accused of biting her in the process. Her father has Pork Chop taken to the pound and presses charges against Doug.

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In an effort to clear Porkchop’s name, Doug goes door to door with a petition. Unfortunately, he has a lot of trouble getting anyone to sign it. With no one in the real world to help him, Doug strategizes with his imagination. He assembles the dream team of Smash Adams (A James Bond-type who looks like Doug), Quailman (A superhero who looks like Doug), and Race Canyon (an Indiana Jones-type who looks like Doug). They all have different suggestions for Doug, but he decides to go with Smash Adams’s idea to get Porkchop out with some “high-tech gadgetry.” A pair of twins (whose names I cannot remember) help him out with a smoke bomb designed as a cupcake.

While his BFF Skeeter creates a diversion, Doug sneaks into the restricted area of the pound. Meanwhile, the security guard takes a bite out of the smoke bomb, whoops. And just before he can get to Porkchop, the guard kicks Doug out of the pound.

Finally, it is Porkchop’s day in court (and the poor thing has to wear a muzzle). Porkchop is able to communicate to Doug that he needs to go to the lake, but Doug has trouble convincing the court. This leads to Doug giving an impassioned speech about how Porkchop is a part of his family, just like Beebe is a part of he family. And the judge is all like “he’s just a dog.” And Doug proclaims that Porkchop is also a part of the community.

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Here is a short list of all the things Porkchop has done for humans:
-Babysat a couple of kids while their mom was out of town on an overnight trip
-Showed up with a hammer and nails to help some neighbors rebuild their home the morning after it burned down (he also brought cookies)
-Fixed a transmission
-Lent someone $20 bucks
-Taught a child to walk again after a devastating accident

This convinces everyone to go to the lake where Beebe recreates her steps. Porkchop starts to freak out again when she nears the thin ice, but guards hold him back. So she falls in and almost drowns. Luckily, Porkchop is able to break away from him restraints and jumps into the water to save her.

Porkchop is exonerated and hailed as a hero of his community. To repay Porkchop for how poorly they treated him, the whole town hosts a dinner for all of the dogs in the pound.

Very Special Holiday Lesson: Well, this is now my favorite Christmas episode ever. I don’t think I even need to watch any others (but I will because I promised you seven). Just remember, if you’re getting a puppy for Christmas, it’s a long-term commitment and if you’re not willing to stand by that dog through his wrongful imprisonment and come to his defense in a kangaroo court, then you should probably buy the new iPhone this holiday season instead.

Lizzie McGuire: Aaron Carter’s Coming to Town

I remember being a fan of Lizzie McGuire, but I have no memory of this episode. Maybe it’s because it was an Aaron Carter episode? I felt like he was a celebrity that was so heavily marketed to my demographic that I was just kinda not ever going to be a fan.

So Lizzie’s going to get into some super-secure music video shoot by using her school “press pass” where she plans to meet Aaron Carter and interview him for the “school webzine.” But you know, since it’s just some little piece of paper a middle school teacher printed up and laminated, her “press pass” doesn’t get them into the shoot. When the press pass doesn’t work, they decide to dress up as elves and sneak in as “extras” for the video shoot. That doesn’t work either, but Lizzie’s brother Matt gets in when he is mistaken for an Aaron Carter stand-in.

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Lizzie and her friends finally make it into the shoot when they hide behind her Dad’s car as he drives through. He has a pass and was planning to take the kids with him to the set, but they don’t know that, so they now plan to hide from him for the entire time that they are there. Ugh. This is such a Disney plot. Hiding from your parents and being “rebels” while doing exactly nothing wrong.

In the midst of running from Lizzie’s dad and the one bumbling security guard on-set, they stumble into Aaron’s dressing room. Shortly thereafter, they’re discovered by Aaron’s manager who tells them in no uncertain terms to GTFO. But Lizzie asks if just one of them can meet Aaron because it’s Christmas and that’s a time of magical wish granting. Lizzie is such a good friend that she let’s her friend Miranda meet him, so that she can sing for him and get a music career or whatever. All of this happens off-screen.

But wait! Lizzie forgot her tape recorder in Aaron’s dressing room, so she goes back and knocks on the door to see if she can retrieve it. Aaron answers the door! And has the tape recorder in hand! Her name is on the tape recorder (thanks label makers of the early 2000s) so he says “Is this yours?” and she’s like “Yeah.” And he’s like “Merry Christmas, Lizzie McGuire.” Oh and BTW there is mistletoe over his door, so he just kisses her, which Lizzie thinks is romantic but like I dunno. It’s kinda weird to be kissing strangers without asking with or without a poisonous plant hanging over your heads.

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As Lizzie rejoins her friends, the security guard shows up and is ready to take them to “detention” which is a weird room where he’s also holding both of Lizzie’s parents hostage. (Her mom showed up to get her after the security guard called her, but he didn’t know where Lizzie was and then locked her mother up when she tried to look for her because she “didn’t have a pass.” Sounds like a lawsuit to me…)

Luckily, the director shows up and wants to use them all as “stunt elves” in the music video because he was very impressed with their skills in dodging the security guard. So they head off to be in the music video which is OMG NOT EVEN A CHRISTMAS SONG. It’s just Aaron Carter’s cover of “I Want Candy” with a holiday themed set. And so much for being “stunt elves” cause they’re just chilling in the background wearing street clothes.

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Very Special Holiday Lesson: I think this show basically says that trespassing is okay if you’re a really really good friend and an even bigger fan? But I dunno I’m pretty sure most of these people would have been arrested if this was real life.

A Very Special Holiday Season: Reader’s Choice!

Happy Holidays, Very Special Readers! I’m letting you pick this year’s holiday episodes again!

Same rules as last year (except I’m being lazier so only the top SEVEN shows will be included this year).

Some things to note:
-You can vote for as many or as few episodes as you would like
-You can vote as frequently as you would like*
-The 7 shows with the most votes will appear on The Very Special Blog from December 18th through December 24th

*voting closes December 10th

Also, please enjoy this “festive” coke-filled video that “NBC Classics” produced a few years ago to promo both Miami Vice and the holidays?? FYI the last image in this video is v. disturbing, not even kidding.

Mama’s Family: Zirconias are a Girl’s Best Friend

I’m not sure how this popular sketch from The Carol Burnett Show became a fairly long running sitcom, but then again I’m not sure how Vicki Lawrence had a #1 song either, so I guess she was leading the charmed life in the 70’s/80’s.

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Anyway, I’d like to talk about a very serious issue that we haven’t yet covered here: shopaholicism.

As a person living in the digital age, I find myself suffering from this frequently. But for some people, it’s a debilitating disorder. And even before we had the internet in our homes, people suffered from it via THE TELEVISION.

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Shopping is a slippery slope. First, you’re just buying some fake diamond earrings that remind you of the ones your mother used to wear. Then you’re using your credit card that’s “only for emergencies” to buy some miniature fans in bulk. Then you’re buying “a portrait of Elvis that lights up.” (But actually that one sounds cool. I want that one. Someone link me to one in the comments!!!)

Then you’re skipping church meetings to watch the 3 O’Clock Bargain Bonanza! Money is the root of all evil, lest we forget.

After about three weeks of this nonsense, Mama’s family intervenes (probably because she’s spending a lot of money and they all seem to be moochers) with aversion therapy. This consists of hitting her with rolled up newspapers–as you might do if you’re really bad at training your dog and also kind of an a-hole–every time she tries to order something over the phone. And for the price of only four people hitting her with newspapers in three easy-installments, Mama is cured for good! Wow!

Very Special Lesson: tbh I learned nothing from this and am heading to Amazon right now. I have to find that picture of Elvis!

Okay…so…about Halloween…

Maybe you’re wondering what the heck happened to the final Halloweek episode? Well, all I can say is I watched an episode of Small Wonder all ready to snark about it when I got home from a big trip on Halloween night. But instead I came home, met up with a friend, and saw It. I don’t know if you remember this, but I don’t like horror films like at allHere’s the write up I did about how traumatized I was the first time I saw Scream and that was a COMEDY. So yeah it took me approximately 72 hours to sleep normally again and thus I failed to fulfill my blog commitments.

Please allow me to make it up to you this week with a very special episode (that I have already written about and scheduled so I’m 100% sure I’m not going to be a liar this time). This episode is a one of a kind gem (hint, hint) and I’m really happy it exists in the world for me to share it with you.