Is the Grease 2 Finale the 2020 Fever Dream We All Need?

Listen, I think we were all hoping for a “Cool Rider” kind of year and instead we ended up freezing on stage, taking off our star crowns, and hallucinating out of our fucking minds from the stress of it all.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the deliciously campy Grease 2, the girls of Rydell High’s talent show decide to perform something akin to the “Calendar Girl” song but with more of a home-spun “Chicken Soup with Rice” feeling to the music.

Our protagonist, Stephanie, is supposed to be the big December finale. But she’s distraught over the fate of her love, who has been attacked by a motorcycle gang (a much meaner version of the original Grease’s mostly lovable T-Birds) and is presumed dead. Yeah it’s a downer. This causes Stephanie to enter a fugue state. Fortunately, her disassociation also involves some off-the-cuff song-writing abilities, which gives us “(Love Will) Turn Back the Hands of Time.”

I thought this was powerful stuff when I first saw it at 8 years old. In the years since, it’s felt pretty ridiculous. But I’ve come back around. I love it again. I think this is the kind of saccharine shit my cold, cold heart needs right now.

If that doesn’t work for you, this one should. If ever there was a “Hard Candy Christmas,” it’s this year:

For a literal hard candy Christmas, try these stained glass cookies.

Pop Culture Holiday Gift Wrap

For optimal reading pleasure: play this song in another tab while you read this post.

The following is a holiday gift wrap round-up because I am OBSESSED. I couldn’t possibly require this much gift wrap, but I’m hoping this extensive list that nobody asked for will *inspire* you this holiday season.

Mean Girls Gift Wrap  Wrapping Paper  Present  Birthday  image 0
Mean Girls from Lucy Maggie Designs
Jeff Goldblum (And dinosaurs!) from Angie Beal Designs
Britney Christmas Wrapping + Gift Tag from Foggish
Die Hard 8-Bit from katdoesartstuff
Tom Selleck (and mustache!) from Angie Beal Designs
Christmas Movie Gift Wrapping Paper Home Alone Elf Grinch Wrap image 1
Christmas Movie Gift Wrap from Posh and Sparkles
Christmas Dolly Wrapping Paper & Gift Tag   Celebrity Xmas image 0
Holiday Dolly Christmas + Gift Tag from Foggish
Jane Fonda from Angie Beal Designs

And that brings us to the gift tags…

Friends TV Show Christmas Gift Tags Friendsmas Holiday Party image 0
Friends Gift Tags from Sincerely Susan VIP
Schitt's Creek Christmas Gift Tag Set of 8 image 0
Schitt’s Creek Gift Tags from Boxing Bear

The Magic School Bus Holiday Special

It’s the holidays and Ms. Frizzle’s class is sorting recycling! (This genuinely makes my heart glow). Liz the Lizard is even powering the sorting conveyor belt by peddling a bicycle — so this is an entirely green operation!

But Wanda is being kind of a grinch about the whole thing because she’s worried they won’t finish recycling in time for her to make it to the Nutcracker ballet performance. She even has a special nutcracker that she’s brought to school with her.

In her haste, Wanda drops the nutcracker on the classroom floor as they head to the recycling plant. Arnold mistakes the nutcracker for recycling (idk how) and puts it in a bin. (Cue the drama.)

At the recycling plant we meet Ms. Frizzle’s cousin, Murph. She’s voiced by the one and only Dolly Parton! As you probably know, Ms. Frizzle is voiced by Lily Tomlin so it’s like a very special mini-9 to 5 reunion! (Also, I did not know Ms. Frizzle’s first name was Val, so that’s kind of a fun fact.)

At the plant, Arnold dumps the nutcracker into one of the transportation bins. Wanda spots it just in time to see Murph drive away, which sets us off on a journey through recycling! Wanda’s nutcracker doesn’t fare so well. He’s smooshed up and turned into a pile of plastic pellets, which is strange because I thought Nutcrackers were made of wood. But evidently in this case, they’re made of recyclable plastic.

So now Wanda hates recycling…and she wishes that recycling had never been invented. (Careful what you wish for Wanda! Sounds like you would really like the Trump administration).

Luckily, this is a safe learning environment and not 2019 America, so Ms. Frizzle decides to show Wanda what the world would look like without recycling. Hint: there are no trees and the landfills are overflowing.

Wanda is a hot mess. She bangs on the bus (rude, since we know the bus is anthropomorphic) which sets off its anti-recycling ray — and un-recycles the bus. So basically it’s a pile of junk.

Luckily, Murph is there to show them how to recycle bottles and cans (at the landfill that used to be their school) in order to rebuild their bus from plastic pellets in a few short minutes! Idk if this is okay with child labor laws, but I guess they were in dire straights and really needed that bus back. Now that they have the bus back, Ms. Frizzle restores the recycled world!

Things work out for Wanda too because she uses what she’s learned about plastic pellet recycling to make brand new nutcrackers soldiers for herself and the entire class. (So I guess they were toy soldiers the whole time and not nutcrackers–whoops, my bad.)

I’ll let Dolly handle today’s Very Special Christmas Lesson: