30 Rock Christmas Episodes (2007-2010)

30 Rock: Ludachristmas (2007)

The first Christmas episode is in Season Two. The main plot, following Jack’s trouble with his elderly mother and Liz’s annoyingly perky family, was darn fun. There’s great family dynamics, and the resolution is nicely cynical. The B-plot about Tracy’s alcohol monitoring and the office Christmas party was also pretty funny.

30 Rock: Christmas Special (2008)

Season three brings us this episode, with promising plot hooks and decent execution. Elaine Stritch is fabulous again as Jack’s mother, whom he has (accidentally?) hit with his car. Liz’s plot, however, is about her desire to donate toys to some needy kids, and while the takeaway is kinda funny, it’s awkward and painful to watch.

30 Rock: Secret Santa (2009)

This one I had seen before, and it’s rather weak. The gags fall flatter and the tropes are tired. Blah.The joke about Jenna’s insecurity about her singing made me sort of angry. I know the character is shallow and crazy, but I just didn’t like it.


The Adventures of Pete & Pete: O Christmas Pete (1995)

Man, I forgot how freaking weird this show is! It’s really, really weird. Watching this episode, about how one kid’s attempt to keep Christmas around a bit longer spirals into a battle for the ages between the Christmas Spirit and an evil Garbage Man with his own theme song is... well, there’s nothing else quite like it.

Overall I’m glad we saw this. It certainly wasn’t boring. It was an exceptionally surreal experience and it suffered from the abuse of sound effects, but at least it wasn’t boring.

If you’re looking to relive what you liked about Pete & Pete, you might want to start elsewhere. But if you want a very unique tale of holiday cheer, give this a shot. I found it on YouTube.

VeggieTales: St. Nicholas Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving

Ah, VeggieTales. At last we meet face to face.

VeggieTales is about a bunch of anthropomorphic vegetables who praise Jesus and tell really, really awful jokes. The vegetables don't have hands, but still manage to lift small objects in front of them, as if they did. I can only assume this is done with a limited form of telekinesis.

As premises go, I think I'd rank this dead last out of absolutely everything humanity has ever invented. And yet... somehow... this was so bad it failed to live up to its potential.

I'm going to gloss over the frame story about a broken truck and jump right into the real meat of this thing, which concerns the "real" Santa Claus. Of course, they're referring to Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra. Ultimately, I'd describe the final result as being less historically accurate than Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Sure, they turned Nicholas into a pepper, but that was far from the only alteration. The story started out acceptably (not cou…

The Twilight Zone: Five Characters in Search of an Exit (1961)

We watched another Christmas-themed Twilight Zone episode last year, and thought it was pretty decent. This one was slightly less good, but still okay.

Actually, knowing that this is a Christmas episode has a decent shot at giving away the twist, but it’s not that awesome of a twist. The plot, such as it is, follows five amnesiac strangers who are trapped in a featureless room together. They know their occupations, they know a little about the world, but they don’t know who they are or how they got there. The Army Major is the most recent one to arrive, and he pushes the others to try various crazy escape plans. The rest of them seem rather content to just pass the time.

Some of the acting is pretty interesting, the clown and the dancer have some neat moments, but the major has too much over-the-top bluster. He’s a bit one-note, and he’s the main character. We did really enjoy the characters working through all the obvious and not-so-obvious theories about where they were.

It’s not a…

Mythbusters: Holiday Special (2004)

Huh. I was not actually expecting that one to be so boring. Only it was, in fact, really boring.

Has Mythbusters always been boring, but I only watched it at times in my life when I wasn’t very picky? Although come to think of it, Mythbusters has always been something that I either heard about or would occasionally watch a clip from, not a show I ever sat down and watched.

In this episode, a great deal of screen time is dedicated to building a Rube Goldberg device centering on the Mentos-soda reaction and a few holiday knick-knacks. It has to be designed and built and talked about and then tried over and over. These segments are dull, un-whimsical, and annoying.

Meanwhile, the kids on the show “test” a bunch of other “myths”, although I think they might have been scraping the bottom of the internet for some of these.

Can you break your foot (or a small dog) by dropping a frozen turkey on it?
Well, considering the weight and density of a frozen turkey, I’d say, duh.

What crazy remed…

Fiction: Wings in the Night

Welcome to day 22 of Mainlining Christmas's series titled, "25 Christmas Eves." We've got a very special Christmas Eve for you this time, boys and girls. A nice little religious piece called, "Wings in the Night." Hope you like it.
By: Erin L. Snyder
“Mr. Juliard?” the woman asked, extending a hand over his hospital bed. She was beautiful, or at the very least attractive. Exotic would be the best word: her ethnicity was difficult to pin down, even for Hugh, who’d always been good at that sort of thing. Part Spanish, part Indian, maybe?

Hugh didn’t ask, of course. He simply raised his hand. It was tiring, but mainly because the painkillers sapped his energy. “Hello. I didn’t catch your name,” he said.

“Burkwitz. Melody Burkwitz.” She smiled. “I’m not sure if you’ve heard of me.”

Hugh shrugged. “Sorry,” he said.

“I’m not offended,” she said. “I’ve done a few morning shows. My books tend to gather attention. It’s not always the sort I’d like, I’m afraid.” She …

Suburgatory: Krampus (2012)

I was flipping through shows on Hulu (every year they compile a list of Christmas episodes and specials available), and I saw an episode of Suburgatory titled "Krampus." Calling something "Krampus" is a good way to pique my interest, so I hit play. Keep in mind I don't remember ever hearing of "Suburgatory" before, so I was going in blind.

It was certainly an odd thing to jump into. It seems to revolve around a teenage girl, Tessa, who's recently moved to "the suburbs" with her single father. The focus jumped around a lot, so a good portion of the episode was devoted to minor characters. Also, the show wasn't entirely episodic, so a lot the plot lines were continued from previous episodes (though, in Christmas tradition, it seemed to wrap most of them up).

There was a lot going on here, but three plots seemed to be the most significant:

Tess went to spend Christmas with her (newly discovered) mother.Her neighbor discovered he was ado…