Murder, She Wrote: A Christmas Secret

This episode opens with a Christmas party in which the host introduces his future son-in-law, a NEW Cabot Cove Resident. Has this man seen the violent crime rate in the otherwise sleepy town? RUN!! Get out while you still can! There’s something toxic in the water! This town should be a case study for the lead-crime hypothesis!

But no, it’s just so charming here in Cabot Cove. This guy is going to stick around, work for his father-in-law, and be a tax accountant. Ugh have I ever written a more depressing sentence? Well, maybe it’s not depressing for people who love math (not me).

Anyway, Jess has a heart to heart with the bride-to-be, Beth, who cannot understand why her fiancee, Charlie, seems a little bummed out after the Gulf War. Jess explains how post traumatic stress works and we cut to Mort inviting Charlie to go shooting. Charlie’s like cool, my gun is at the hotel. Ugh. This feels like a real Chekov’s gun moment. Why can’t we have anything nice in Cabot Cove?

Before things get too heavy, we move on to Jess and Seth arguing over whether or not they will have a white Christmas. Ah the yin and yang of Cabot Cove. One moment, you’re worried that your friends and acquaintances might not survive the week because every one of your neighbors could be a cold blooded killer. The next moment you’re overwhelmed by the hygge.

As the party wraps up, Charlie heads to his car and finds a mysterious, wrapped gift on the passengers seat. He unwraps what appears to be a Willie Nelson cassette tape. But when he pops it into the player, he discovers that it’s really a mysterious message from “a friend” asking him to meet at Sally’s Landing for some holiday blackmail.

And before you’re like “oh my! how dark!” can I interest you in a Christmas store front?

Or a great shot of Mrs. Fletcher buying some holiday wrapping?

I mean this town goes ALL out. They even decorate the life preserver. Oh and before I forget to mention this crucial plot point, Charlie recognizes the woman waiting for him as Wanda, from the Christmas party, and he proceeds to drive away from the landing without even speaking to her.

In the next scene, we see Wanda helping with decorations at the community center. Everyone is incredibly hostile to her because she’s apparently screwing everyone’s husband. A fact we learn from Beth while she and Jess make cute little paper chains.

Jess, now decked out in tinsel herself, seems to be the only one who can be cordial to Wanda. She requests four red balloons from Wanda and Wanda is like cool but can you bring me my lunch? Um, she’s not your maid, Wanda!

Anyway, Jess is like I think I see it in that locker behind you. And Wanda abruptly shuts the locker and is like no, that’s not my lunch.

She then tries to hand Jess four green balloons, which is how we learn that Wanda is colorblind. Something tells me this fact will be important later.

Anyway, Beth heads over to Charlie’s hotel because she’s not buying the whole stressed from the war thing and she thinks something else is up. He isn’t in his room, but she plays the mysterious tape and finds an appointment in his planner for a meeting at the Light House Motel. Beth books it over there and finds Charlie greeting another woman with a kiss.

Now at this point, we’ve been seeing a lot of heavy kissing from Beth and Charlie. This looks way more like a friendly greeting to me. My hunch is that this woman is Charlie’s sister, but of course Beth does not see it that way. Hold on a second. You’re not getting sad in this Christmas episode are you? Here’s a glimpse of a happy couple with a Christmas package just behind Beth’s car as she tearfully drives away.

As Beth cries upstairs at her parents’ house, her mother tells Charlie that Beth is feeling sick. She seems to genuinely believe Beth’s fake food poisoning and begs Charlie to still attend the party at the community center with Beth’s father and her.

At the community center, Jess and Seth watch Mort lead a chorus of carolers. Too bad Adele can’t be there. She’s busy delivering baskets of food to the poor in another town. She’s missing Seth play Santa!

Meanwhile, Charlie follows Wanda into the women’s locker room to a soundtrack of a very ominous riff on Good King Wenceslas. We hear a shot (that makes Seth flinch outside of the locker room but of course he doesn’t check it out even though this is Cabot Cove). Charlie passes another Santa in the locker room and (presuming its Seth), he asks what the shot was. The Santa (not Seth, obvious) dashes away without responding. And just as Charlie happens upon Wanda’s motionless body, J.Fletch appears — presumably to check out the noise but if this arrival isn’t an easy win for the “she killed them all” camp then I don’t know what is.

Luckily, she is wearing an excellent Christmas tree broach.

The real Seth examines Wanda, and declaring her close to death, accompanies her to the hospital. Jess and Mort then seem to imply that Seth has been such a Scrooge that they fear even Christmas is not safe from toxic negativity — toxic enough for MURDER. I’m not even kidding: Mort says “doc stacked the deck against us.” Although, given that this is the ONE Christmas episode in the show’s run he might have a point. Perhaps even a town full of nosey people with poor impulse control decides not to go murdering on a day meant for peace and goodwill.

Beth then chooses this very moment to confront Charlie. He’s like do you know what just happened? And she’s like yeah but I still want to talk about you and that strange woman from earlier at right this very moment. I know cheating is bad but the dude literally just found a nearly lifeless woman’s body. Can Beth please show him a little grace? We can talk about cheating tomorrow.

Luckily, the next morning we learn that Wanda will live because, according to Seth’s medical description, the bullet “was deflected in some sort of flukey fashion” and for this reason didn’t do any major damage that couldn’t be corrected with emergency surgery.

Beth then shows up at Jessica’s house to say that Charlie’s gun was used to shoot Wanda. The cops found Wanda’s blackmail tape and Charlie confessed to going to the landing. He’s been arrested for murder and Beth wants Jess’s help. Wow, that’s stressful isn’t it! Good thing we get a great glimpse at Jess’s awesome Christmas decorations.

Jess gives Seth the signal to get lost so that Beth will open up to her. As soon as Seth is out the door, Beth says she’s worried that Charlie got the money for her ring in nefarious ways. She also confesses that she’s worried he’s cheating.

Jess goes to see Mort and asks if Wanda had any time to go to California within the past year and he’s like no way. You want to know why? One time when Jess was away, a group of delegates from Cabot Cove went to Tokyo because they wanted to build trade relations. Mort then makes a joke about opening a chain of CABOT BURGERS in Japan. What is this Cabot Burgers? I haven’t heard of it. I need an establishing shot stat!

Floyd Bigelow went on the trip so Wanda handled the books. When Floyd returned, the pension accounts and short-term CD accounts were a freaking mess. And he thinks that Wanda was behind it and that she was embezzling funds! Oh by the way, here’s Floyd Bigelow. We also met him at the Christmas party earlier:

With absolutely no connection between Wanda and Charlie, Jess and Mort start to wonder if maybe the tape was left in Charlie’s car by mistake. And then they’re like hey, Beth had access to that room too. But Jess doesn’t think Beth is a murderer — which is weird because like everyone in that town is a murderer. Maybe Jess has rose colored glasses and that’s the whole reason she’s able to even live there. Maybe it’s genuinely shocking to her that people die on the regular in that town.

Anyway, Jess goes to the Light House Motel to see what’s up with that strange woman and it turns out that she is his sister! But also…he has a toddler..he’s a dad! He was afraid to tell Beth that he had a child out of wedlock. I mean. It really seems like this is something that you would mention before proposing…but…Jess can’t figure out why this would be grounds for blackmail since Charlie was going to have to mention the kid at some point anyway.

And that’s when Jess remembers that Wanda is colorblind. She calls down to the hardware store that Floyd owns and asks him to bring the master keys for the community center, so that they can access Wanda’s locker. Floyd heads to the community center with a revolver.

When Floyd starts to open the locker (early and without Jess), his eavesdropping assistant Amy confronts him and tells him that she framed Charlie. And that she’s the only one who knows the truth and she looooves him. THAT IS NOT THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT. Anyway, Mort and Jess show up right at this moment. And in a true Murder, She Wrote anomaly, NO ONE DIES. And that, for Cabot Cove, is a Christmas miracle.

Very Special Holiday Lesson: If you’re colorblind and you’re going to leave a wrapped gift in someone’ s car — make sure to note the correct license plate.

P.S. In a very sweet moment, Jess gives Seth the toy train he always wanted as a child because they are in loooove.

And WAIT is that blond woman caroling with Mort ADELE???

Kenan & Kel: Merry Christmas, Kenan

First of all, I forgot this theme song was by Coolio and it totally slaps. Secondly, Kel introduces this episode as a “Very Special Episode,” which made me feel even more like I was in the right place. It’s always good to have your selections validated!

After the pre-show intro, we cut to Kel decorating Kenan’s family’s Christmas tree with orange soda — which reminds me, head over here to check out my orange soda donut recipe.

On Christmas Eve, Kenan places a downpayment on a bike. Kel tags along to the store and finds his dream present — and one of the best props I have ever seen — a tubaphone.

Kel Mitchell on Twitter: "Hey Wisdom it's almost Christmas! Happy Christmas  Eve! 🎄♥️" / Twitter

Seriously. There’s even art of this thing. God, I love the internet.

❄🎀📯 Tubaphone Kenan and Kel 🎀📯❄ en 2021
Tubaphone by King Arlequin

While at the store, Kenan and Kel witness a mob of small children attack Santa. With the original toy store Santa no longer up to the job, the store manager recruits Kenan to be Santa for a flat rate of $100. Kel gets to be an elf…I’m not sure if he’s also being paid or just being supportive. Either could be true with Kel.

Kenan & Kel" (1996) - Episode: Merry Christmas, Kenan | Kenan e kel, Papai  noel, Noel

Turns out, Kenan is the best Santa ever. He evens speaks an obscure language called Fishlockian and is able to sing a carol with this small Scandanavian child:

Everything is going great until he promises a bike to a kid who asks for the gift for his sister — only to find out that their mom can’t afford it. So Kenan decides to use the money he intends to use for his mountain bike to buy these kids some presents.

That’s all well and good but he also decides to break into the house, dressed as Santa, to leave presents. Luckily, this doesn’t go poorly and the whole family thinks it’s very sweet instead of very creepy.

After all this, Kenan somehow has cash left over to buy Kel the tubaphone.

97 Kenan & Kel Christmas! | Dan Schneider in the 90's

Don’t worry though because the real Santa (or maybe just the store manager also doing a little B&E) brings Kenan his bike on Christmas Eve after the family goes to sleep. Kenan and Kel then close the show with the rest of the episode’s cast and the audience singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Very Special Holiday Lesson: Breaking and entering is okay as long as you leave gifts? No wait. Absolutely don’t do that. Just leave a gift card in the mailbox instead. Bye!

I’m also going to share my favorite Kenan & Kel bit from All That: “Mavis & Clavis”:

And also this really cute reunion video:

The Golden Palace: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot (Less) Like Christmas

Ah The Golden Palace. I wanted to love this show so so much, but let’s face it The Golden Girls just doesn’t work without Dorothy. I at least hope they had more fun filming it without the on-set tension. Plus I’m not sure I love the hotel vibe. There’s so much to do at a hotel that it makes me miss the days when the girls had more freedom to randomly star in school plays or spend all day watching I Love Lucy.

One other item of note before we get into the episode is that I totally forgot they re-recorded the original theme song for the spin-off. I’m definitely partial to the original, but this version isn’t bad either. In this Christmas episode, we hear the standard GG musical interludes but this time with a little sleigh bell action superimposed. It’s quite nice.

At the top of the episode we learn that the hotel’s chef, Chuy (Cheech Marin) hates Christmas because of a string of very bad Christmas luck, including: being drafted, getting divorced, having to be a walking display for a cake at a restaurant and having other humans eat directly from his body (I am so sorry that really needed some kind of warning).

Meanwhile, Rose coaches hotel manager, Roland (Don Cheadle) on how to be the perfect Santa Claus for the children’s hospital. She’s kind of a drill sergeant. It’s really great. She enlists Sophia’s help in a mock present request demo. But Sophia sexually harasses Roland, which yeah…this is uncomfortable. Let’s move on past it.

Next Roland must deal with a seminar full of people who have been traumatized by Christmas and will be staying at the hotel to avoid it entirely. Only no one seems to have told Roland this in advance and he’s now tasked with stripping the hotel of any reminders of the holiday season lest he loose out on a block of fifteen rooms.

Enter Rose: dressed as an elf, ready for some more Santa coaching. She doesn’t react too well to the idea of skipping Christmas. “I’m gonna wear my elf costume or I’m gonna walk around naked.” Blanche then explains that they can still have fun as long as they keep quiet. For example, she still plans to have her date with a Dickens caroler. (This is followed but a lot of Dickens inspired double entendres from which I will spare you.)

But Roland isn’t willing to take any chances. Rose has to ditch the costume and Blanche has to ditch the date. Chuy, as the only grinch, is the one staff member to be happy about the new hotel’s new anti-holiday stance.

That night Chuy awakens from a dream and is greeted by an angelic Rose a.k.a. “The Ghost of Christmas Past.” That’s right. This is a Christmas Carol episode. Turns out those Dickens double entendres were some kind of weird foreshadowing. Chuy says, “You’re not really here. You’re just something I ate at Woodstock.” But of course we’re going on this journey whether or not you believe she’s real. Christmas Rose and Chuy travel to his father’s restaurant. The kitchen looks suspiciously similar to the Golden Palace’s kitchen. But don’t worry about that. It’s an in-show joke. Rose tells Chuy that if his father had an oven and a sink in his kitchen, then it’s close enough.

Here is a photo of young Chuy in the cake table costumer before the slices of dessert have been placed on the table cloth portions.

Oh GOD this is a flashback to the scene that Chuy mentioned earlier where he had to walk about the restaurant dressed as a cake. NO. Hard Pass. Chuy’s dad spins this as a “great honor” and grown Chuy appreciates this whole situation in a different way than young Chuy did. It’s all about “a warm friendly place to celebrate the holidays,” his dad says — which like yeah I get that but can you not do that with a regular table?

Adult Chuy magically returns to his room and Christmas Rose disappears, replaced by Christmas Blanche a.k.a. “The Ghost of Christmas Presents.” (That is not a typo.) Christmas Blanche asks Chuy to tell her what presents he purchased for his coworkers this year. He tells her that he didn’t purchase anything for them.

Christmas Blanche leads Chuy to a walk-in freezer, which is the only place the guests cannot hear or see the Christmas celebration Chuy’s coworkers are having — which includes non-ghost Blanche. The non-ghost version of Blanche tells the others that they can’t open presents until Chuy gets there. Uh-oh. Christmas Blanche asks Chuy if he feels like a total jerk now and he agrees that he does. She then returns him to his bedroom where he meets Christmas Sophia a.k.a. “The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.”

Christmas Sophia guides Chuy to a very dingy looking version of the hotel. Rose is scrubbing the floors in rags and we quickly learn that she, Blanche, and Sophia no longer own the hotel. We also learn that the new owner refuses to let anyone celebrate Christmas. Oh and also future Blanche is a spinster who abhors attention from men. We soon find out that Blanche swore off men after her ex-husband stole the hotel from them. Weirdly enough, her ex-husband is Chuy.

Christmas Sophia tells Chuy that he turned into a horrible person because he hates Christmas. Sounds like solid logic to me. Let’s move on. Future Rose begs Future Chuy to let them have a small Christmas celebration. He agrees as long as they let him dictate the festivities. Unfortunately, this involves forcing Future Sophia to wear the cake table and dance for them while everyone else claps along. I genuinely may have nightmares about this. Not even joking.

Thankfully, present day Chuy wakes up in time to stop this atrocity from happening. He hops out of bed and runs through the hotel yelling “Merry Christmas.” (Guess he forgot about the extra special request from that 15-room block.) When he cannot find his friends, he checks the freezer that Christmas Blanche led him to only to find they’ve all frozen to death. Wow. Dark. Luckily, this too is just a dream.

This is elder abuse.

A now fully awake Chuy rushes into the conference room and shouts “Merry Christmas” at a room full of traumatized seminar attendees. Chuy then engages in some sort of proselytizing. In the middle of his speech, we cut away to Rose drilling Roland on his Santa impression in the lobby. Then Chuy and the entire seminar rush into the lobby, full of holiday cheer. (Whatever Chuy said seems to have worked. Whatever it was.)

Then they all sing O Come All Ye Faithful and Estelle Getty breaks the fourth wall to wish the fans a Merry Christmas.

Very Special Christmas Lesson: I have honestly always found the people-as-tables thing to be disturbing and this furthered my view on that point. Anywayyyy, I guess the more positive message here is that it’s never too late to change. So let’s all carry that into 2021! Happy Holidays, Very Specials Readers!

DIY Advent Calendar

This year I decided to make my own advent calendar. I used this instructable to make mini origami envelopes, which I then filled with fun little tasks or activities. I mixed them all up, so I wouldn’t know which slip of paper ended up in which envelope. (Except for when I knew I’d be out of town this month and I wrote “Have a great time at Disney World” for those specific envelope dates 🙂 )

This was very easy. All you need is:
-Cardstock (for the base of the calendar and for the envelopes as well)
-Slips of paper (for the prompts)
-Tacky Glue (to put it all together)
-A metallic sharpie to write dates on the envelopes

I used Washi Tape to sick this to the back of my front door, but it’s up to you how you want to adhere it and to what surface!

Full House: A Very Tanner Christmas

Good Evening Very Special Readers! And a very merry Christmas Eve to you as well!

screen-shot-2012-11-07-at-1-24-35-am‘Twas the night before Christmas and all the Tanners could do was be demanding. Becky demanded a midwestern blizzard in San Francisco. Danny demanded Stephanie and Michelle stop trying to open all of the presents, including his gift for long-distance girlfriend, who had to cover local Swedish news? Stephanie and Michelle (as previously mentioned) demanded all of the presents in the world ever. But perhaps worst of all, DJ demanded that Steve give up his dream of going to college because it would mean that he had to move to Florida.

Jesse set out to teach the little girls the real meaning of Christmas, while also trying to fix his wife’s broken prairie Christmas dreams. Danny helped DJ deal with her broken heart. Joey did nothing but make stupid jokes.

Kimmy Gibbler also tried to help her dear friend DJ get over an awful break up by inviting the entire wrestling team to the Tanner’s family party. They all lined up to kiss her in front of her three male parental figures, but DJ loved Steve too much to go through with it. So Danny helped her realize that she was being a jerk, and that he and Vicky find a way to make things work even though she has to be a Swedish news anchor.  hqdefault

Lucky for DJ, Steve is such a forgiving boyfriend that he snuck into her family gathering as Santa when she wouldn’t take his calls. This was not at all a weird thing. It was also not weird that everyone mistook Steve for Joey even though Steve is a 17 year old boy and Joey is a thirty-five year old man with no real career or family. Alas, that is the power of a Santa Suit.

Vicky also showed up in a Santa suit because that is how you mend broken relationships in the Tanner household.

So how did Jesse teach Stephanie and Michelle the true meaning of Christmas? He let them talk about presents all day and then took them to a homeless shelter on Christmas just to show them what selfish little brats they were because guilt is the best way to nurture compassion.

And Becky finally got her white Christmas because Jesse filled the backyard with one of those snow machines that a ski resort uses. And it didn’t melt. Not even a little bit. It was a Christmas Miracle.


Very Special Lesson: I hear the ladies really like the Santa suits.

Baywatch: Silent Night, Silent Baywatch

Do you ever feel like something is missing from your life, and you just can’t put your finger on it? That something is the Baywatch Christmas episode. This is actually a two-parter, but I can only take so much Baywatch so I will only be reviewing the second part of this classic tale of loan sharks, child con-artists, and ridiculously sexy lifeguards. Or as I like to call it, the true meaning of Christmas.

So this all begins with the child con-artist falling off a pier and being rescued by the Baywatch life guards. You see, the kid is a con-artist with a heart of gold. She’s just trying to steal money to bail her mom out of prison. And that’s why we care about whether she lives or dies.

The lifeguards save the dying child with some CPR (they have an unusually high success rate) and their technique is so good that no other medical attention is necessary. Anyway, the reason that the kid fell off the pier in the first place is that some creepy thug man was following her due to her involvement in illegal activities. But she’s so young and innocent that she wishes Santa would bring her mom home for Christmas. (She lost the money she stole to bail her mom out when she hid it in a bunch of Christmas packages).

David Hasselhoff (is that how you spell his name? I don’t care enough to actually find out) promises to call Santa. Then if we weren’t primed for a very special lesson enough already, David Hasselhoff catches her smoking a cigarette because she can’t sleep and we get to talk about the dangers of smoking! We are less than eleven minutes in to this show, people. Can you handle it? Ultimately, DH decides to go for the harm-reduction method and trades the kid some greasy potato chips for the pack of cigarettes.

Then some women ask DH to chose between them and I stopped paying attention because I don’t have time for this shit.

In the meantime, DH has bailed the con-artist’s mom out of jail, and if they just give back the money then everything will be fine. The only problem is that the kid says she dropped it off of that pier.

Also, Pam Anderson is in love with a priest. Guys, I wish I had been a Baywatch writer. The options were limitless. Can you imagine how creative you could be? And so many people watched this that you just know those people did pretty well for themselves.

Then there is something about people with dwarfism being mistaken for Santa’s elves, which would maybe be forgivable if done so by a small child instead of a twenty year-old protector of beach-goers. But then it turns out they really are Santa’s elves? So this is weird.

You know, I had a classmate in second grade who was only allowed to watch two hours of TV per day and she saved if for back to back episodes of Baywatch. At eight, I thought that was risqué, but watching this now I think all of these plots are written at a second grade reading level, so her television habits make a lot more sense in retrospect.

Then the lifeguards spray something that looks like the foam from a fire extinguisher all over the beach, so that they can have a white Christmas. I can’t help but wonder, is this eco friendly? In the midst of this probably-not-safe-for-the-ocean foam party, the creepy dude from the pier shows up and Santa’s elves chase him down. They disarm him by throwing Christmas gifts at him and then a man in a Santa suit (the REAL Santa, perhaps?) arrests him.

Meanwhile, back at the party, the priest that Pam Anderson is in love with opens the box with the stolen money in it, and the con-artist mom decides that letting that money go to the church is the perfect opportunity for a new start for her and her daughter.

Very Special Lesson: There were quite a lot in here let me see if I can remember them all:
-Don’t steal
-Don’t smoke cigarettes
-Do cover the beach in weird foam
-Do accuse strangers of being elves because they probably really are
-Do track down potential attempted-murderer of child con-artist even though you have no legal jurisdiction
-Do send said elves to attack said attempted-murderer of child con-artist
-Post bail for strangers as long as they have a cute dependent child, whom you have kept in your care even though you are not a foster parent or group home provider.

What did I just watch?

12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 2.25.41 PMThe title of this movie completely mislead me. Amber from Clueless is supposed to be this endearing dog-lover whose life is just not going right. First, she has to relocate her dog to the shelter she volunteers at because she’s been keeping her in violation of her lease. Then she loses her job. But then she gets a “life coach” who grants her 12 wishes. I thought that this life coach was an elf working for Santa but she is actually an angel working for God. Amber from Clueless uses most of her wishes to win the lottery, get a new car, change out her wardrobe. This shouldn’t be surprising if you have seen her previous work.

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 3.26.09 PM
This is the sketchiest website ever.

So I was like, when does the dog come into play with this? The Netflix description promised that all of the wishes would come true in an unexpected way, so I was thinking this was all extended exposition for like a dog getting a brand new car or something. But it wasn’t. In fact, it was all pretty boring and the way that the wishes came true unexpectedly was that she ended up alienating like all of her loved ones (except for her mom who we only ever see in phone conversations).

If you ever doubted that Amber from Clueless seriously sucked, then this should solidify the fact that she does totally suck. She is content to let her dog live in a spacious cage with a nice handler instead of at home in her cozy apartment? I mean that should have been the first wish! I need no other evidence to see that she is a totally selfish woman. She eventually learns from the elf/angels that her individual problems will sort of melt away if she just focuses on others

This is what I love most about unemployed people in movies. They’re like “I’m sad I don’t have a job” while I sit in my cozy townhouse and play on my computer/don’t at all look for a new job. There’s never any threat of actual real life damage. I guess she did fix that when she wished to win the lottery but still…Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 4.30.51 PM

She eventually does get her dog back at the end of the movie because her new boyfriend (who started dating her because they both love dogs so much) talks to the owner of the townhouses and like they allow her to keep the dog (no wishes necessary). Well, clearly she doesn’t love her dog that much. She wished for new clothes before she ever thought about getting that thing back.

Very Special Lesson: Don’t date the bubbly woman just because she volunteers at the animal shelter. What you don’t know is that she has special powers and could have used them to keep her dog in a loving home, but she didn’t because she sucks.

All That: Christmas

Why didn’t anyone tell me there was an All That Christmas Special?! I should have been watching it 1995 and not finding out about it on iTunes over a decade later! Also it’s only eighteen minutes and forty-five seconds long, so there is no excuse for not watching this. If you’re like “ahhh the holidays are driving me crazy! I have no time to be festive!” then I recommend you sit down right now and watch this very short children’s program. A lot of these are greatest hits (Super Dude, Cooking with Randy and Manny, Vital Information for your every day life). Do not let the short running time fool you into thinking there aren’t a lot of sketches. There are plenty of sketches. It’s just that some of them are like one minute long. randy-and-mandy

Anyway, the episode starts off with the meaning of Christmas: materialism. All of the kids tell Santa what they want for Christmas, including Josh who says he is Jewish but is awarded a new computer anyway. Kenan and Lori Beth are excluded because they are not on the nice list this year. Everyone else pretty much asks for the most 90’s stuff ever. I’m surprised someone didn’t request moon boots.

Things All That Kids Want for Christmas:

-Katrina wants a cordless phone

-Monique wants Denzel Washington

-Alisa wants rollerblades (and a lot of other stuff)

-Kel wants $50 cash immediately for a date (well I guess that’s something that has stood the test of time. Santa, if you do exist. Please bring me $50 immediately. I don’t have a date but I would like a little help on my groceries).

Vlcsnap-2012-06-29-02h27m23s130So basically this is just an All That episode but every sketch has a Christmas theme. Randy and Mandy’s cooking show is all about making chocolate meals (as usual) but they also include recipes for Chocolate Matzah Ball Soup and Chocolate Turkey Stuffing. Then they mix a chocolate milkshake in Kenan’s mouth and it feels like such a choking hazard that I wonder if this would be allowed today.

Then we get to see Superdude overcome his lactose intolerance and defeat the Milkman, who has kidnapped Santa. Did anyone else feel like Josh as “Milkman” in Super Dude was just doing his best Jim Carrey impression? Actually, maybe all of Josh’s characters are his impersonation of Jim Carrey.

This is only 19 minutes long! Where is the musical guest? Did the DVD cut it?

Anyway, French with Pierre Escargot is still the best part of this show.

Very Special Lesson: There was a severe lack of Lori Beth Denberg in this episode.

Vital information only had 2 lines and neither of them were great. Lori Beth was only been in this episode for 30 seconds total! I would like to send a message to the producers of All That and ask them to get into their space-time-machine and please re-write this episode to include her as an additional villain in the Super Dude sketch. We want to see the stakes raised in a holiday episode! And why have you squandered her talent?!

Very Special Fun Fact: Malcolm-Jamal Warner directed this episode. Also, apparently the episode was 24 minutes long and iTunes ripped me off. Run DMC performs “Christmas in Hollis” in the original performance and there is also a sketch called The Girls’ Christmas Carol.