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Showing posts from December 25, 2011

Wrapping Up and Turning Off the Christmas Lights

That's right, kids. Another year's come and gone, and Mainlining Christmas is getting washed away like the batch of eggnog that went rancid before you got to it.

We had a lot of fun this year, though, didn't we? No. Not really. Mostly we just sat through an ass load of holiday specials that were, on average, even worse than the ones we sat through last Christmas. Sure, there were exceptions. The Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, the Community Episodes, Futurama, Arthur Christmas... and so on and so forth. But, God, those didn't make up for the rest. If I never sit through another version of the Nutcracker, it'll be too damn soon. And you know what the difference is between a good version of A Christmas Carol and a bad one? NOTHING: there is no difference. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.

We listened to more Christmas music than most people think exists. Hell, we're over 1200 tracks now, and still growing.

I forced more fiction down your throats. Or, I guess down your eyes. …

Summary of 2011: the Good, the Bad and the Mostly Mediocre

This year, for Mainlining Christmas, we watched 77 things, by my list: 6 Shorts, 21 Movies, 27 Episodes and 23 Specials

That includes eight Christmas Carols (versions of or episodes inspired by) and five Nutcrackers.

We also branched out a bit, with quite a few music and book reviews.

By this time last year, I was experiencing extreme time dilation. I had been convinced the next day was Christmas for about three weeks. This year I'm feeling a bit of the reverse. I feel like we have weeks still to go. This sense might have been exacerbated by the fairly high temperatures we've been having here in NYC.

Best and Worst lists are a bit tricky this year; my response to the vast majority of what we watched this year was "meh". Even the things that were great would have a difficult time going up against the best of last year, when we watched our very favorite specials and movies. Hell, things that I loved this year have a hard time beating out some great stuff I couldn't…

Music for Seasonal Survival

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As we've continued to expand our collection of Christmas music, I keep finding new songs to enjoy. This year, listening to nothing but holiday music was hardly a trial at all. Here are some of the new tracks that got a lot of play on my iPod this month.

Broadway: Carols for the Cure Volume 13 (Various, 2011)
There are plenty of fun tracks on this CD, but I kept coming back to just a few. Because I can't point you anywhere to hear these recordings, I'm excerpting a bit of lyrics of each.

St. Nicholas Sky
This rock anthem from the cast of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark is better than any music actually in that show. I really warmed to this song quickly, and I think they did a great job with it
I dream the (light?) with open arms and wander out into the stars
Remember when the world was ours - I look for you.
And I - all I have to do is close my eyes, and I will (watch?) the darkness come alive
And, how I wish that you could be with me tonight, under the cold St. Nicholas Sky.

A Chris…

Futurama X-Mas Specials: 1999, 2001, 2010

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Before we wrap up our second year of Mainlining Christmas, we really need to correct an oversight. We've been meaning to get around to covering the three Futurama Christmas specials since day one, but we kept putting it off. Ironically, we were putting them off because we wanted to save them for when they were needed. Say, when we'd exhausted our supply of holiday specials and were waiting for Netflix to ship us something.

Well, it turns out that's never going to happen. Contrary to our naive assumptions, the internet contains hundreds if not thousands of hours of holiday cheer. I dare say we could run this blog every Christmas for a decade and not run out.

Lucky us.

So, rather than rob our list of reviews of these three for yet another year, we're tackling them now. After some of the crap we've seen recently, these are a welcome relief.

XMas Story (1999)
This was the first of the Futurama holiday specials, and it introduced us to Robot Santa Claus, voiced brilliant…