The Golden Girls: Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas

Dorothy is being kind of a Scrooge, but for good reason. She’s not feeling the holiday spirit because everything is so commercialized and her wallet can’t handle it. (Ugh girl, I feel you.) Rose suggests that they all celebrate “St. Olaf Style,” which luckily does not involve herring or strange festivals this time, but rather involves everyone making gifts for one another.

Rose gives Dorothy a maple syrup spigot, very handy in Miami, and Blanche gives everyone a nudie calendar, entitled “The Men of Blanche’s Boudoir.” All of the girls are traveling this Christmas, so they exchange gifts early. The following morning they all plan to travel to the airport together after picking Rose up from work. (This is back in her days of working at a Crisis Center.)

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Dorothy and Blanche arrive to pickup Rose from her office while Sophia waits in the car. However, Rose is with a client so they have to sit in the waiting area. As they finally prepare to leave, a man in a Santa costume enters the office and holds them up at gun point. He doesn’t plan on robbing them though. He just doesn’t want to spend Christmas alone. ūüė¶

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Omg he even brought presents for everyone. And theses ladies are like WAHHH WE’RE GOING TO MISS OUR FLIGHT. Chill, girls. You need to hang out with this poor guy who brought you all gifts.

Oh wait, Rose makes a pretty good point. They’re not entitled to give him a good Christmas. And he’s being pretty darn selfish.

After a while, Sophia gets tired of waiting in the car. She walks into the office and immediately spots the Santa’s gun as a toy. They all rush to the airport, hoping to make it in time to catch their flights.¬†Miraculously, they do make it to their gates in time! And then everything is grounded for a weather delay.

They go to a diner and feel sorry for themselves. When the waiter/cook (he’s the only guy working at the diner)¬†comments on what a nice family they are, they realize they’re very fortunate to have each other (and to not be spending Christmas alone like the Santa at the Crisis Center). They want to do something nice for the waiter/cook so they convince him to go home for an hour to be with his family while they watch the diner…uh okay…

If that wasn’t implausible enough, it suddenly begins to snow. In Miami. This hasn’t actually happened since 1977. Yeah, I looked it up.

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Very Special Holiday Lesson: Sometimes the best families are the ones you choose.

Your Complete Guide to Jenny Lewis’s “She’s Not Me” Music Video

Jenny Lewis was my very first girl crush. Before I knew what¬†girl crushes were. Or maybe even crushes. Or maybe even girls. Well, no probably not before that one. But anyway, I thought she was just fantastic in literally everything. It didn’t hurt that she had hair just like¬†The Little Mermaid.¬†I liked that she seemed both friendly¬†and sad. Even in roles where she played a total jerk, she still seemed like she’d be fun to hang out with.¬†I went to see her in college during the¬†Jenny & Johnny¬†tour and was so devastated when she threw her guitar pick right near me, but I couldn’t find it. But I discovered on the walk home that my boyfriend had casually slipped it into my jacket pocket.

She wasn’t the type of child¬†actor¬†that created all of the pandaemonium of Jonathan Taylor Thomas or the¬†Olsen Twins, but I think that’s what made me like her even more. I liked that I could watch her in a kids¬†movie and enjoy how unassuming she was. It made it easier to pretend that I was a member of¬†Troop Beverly Hills and just happened to be off camera in the slumber party scene or at the back of the¬†line as we traipsed through the woods at the Jamboree. So when I saw her music video for “She’s Not Me” it was fun because it’s a great song and because I love kitschy nostalgia.

I got a lot of these more obvious references, but I felt like everything was done very purposefully here and I couldn’t help but wonder: Why is she sitting in a pile of teddy bears? So I did a little investigating…

The Golden Girls–Okay, so the first one’s not a movie. Before she played a girl scout in¬†Troop Beverly Hills, she played a girl scout on¬†The Golden Girls. She was an evil girl scout who bullied troop leader, Rose. Honestly, it’s like the most horrible role if seen her in. Like I totally would have cast her in a remake of¬†The Bad Seed based upon this performance alone.

Troop Beverly Hills–This is probably the most recognizable of all of the reference in the video. But can I just take a moment to say how perfect Vanessa Bayer is at impersonating Shelley Long? Also, Zosia Mamet’s hair is on point. I was immediately like “OMG she’s Cleo!” But did you notice that Jenny Lewis¬†also pays tribute to her character’s gymnastics training? Seriously, such a good movie. This¬†may need to be a¬†Very Special Movie…

Pleasantville–I feel like the Hell Ville reference has to be a reference to Pleasantville just based on the name alone. But the priest and the Jenny’s outfit don’t really make sense with the movie.

The Wizard–The movie that introduced us the super cool yet ultimately disappointing Nintendo Power Glove. But such a cool idea though.

Toys R Us Commercial–I’m pretty sure this is the inspiration for both the teddy bear (obviously) and braids scene as well as the tricycle scene (less obviously). Also, look out for Baby Steve Urkel!

Disney Episode Showdown: The Golden Girls vs. Blossom

Remember, that The Golden Girls never actually went to a Disney Park, so they are once again at a disadvantage in this competition. But everyone loves an underdog. And everyone loves The Golden Girls. The only reason that Dorothy and Sophia never go to the park (aside from one short ride on Space Mountain in the credits) is that Dorothy has really only taken her mother on a trip in order to be able to spend time with her without interruption. They basically could have found a quiet corner booth in a Miami diner and had this exact same experience.

And while the plot is strong, we do have to remember that this is a “Disney Episode Showdown” and not a “talk about going to Disney Episode Showdown.”¬†The Golden Girls easily beat out quintessentially low-performing¬†Step by Step because the “family takes a trip to Disney” didn’t a plot really at all. If you watched the episode, you had to sit through 40 pain-staking minutes of people following other dreams at Disney while incidentally being at Disney. The only truly Disney specific event is Flash’s quest for the world record. And maybe if that had been like the entire episode and the whole family really pulled together to work on that and like met some Imagineers and discussed theme park planning or whatever then¬†maybe it would have been more interesting.

But instead we got to watch long montages at probably four different points in the show and that was a¬†major plot point. The rest of the time was spent watching two boys waste all of their savings to chase girls, mom & dad complain about their lack of alone time, and the sisters attempt to win a singing competition. I mean, they could have just as easily been at Universal. But honestly, I’m not here to shit on¬†Step by Step¬†again. It’s just that awarding¬†The Golden Girls plot victory over¬†Step by Step¬†(or even¬†Roseanne¬†for that matter) feels pretty justified even though¬†The Golden Girls¬†never went to the park.

But with¬†Blossom¬†it just doesn’t feel fair. I think that’s because even though the plot points on¬†Blossom are somewhat incidental too–like would any of this really hold together as an episode without the setting, iffy–the plot points are incidental in a good way. This couldn’t work as a stand alone episode but that’s because everyone’s kind of having a personal moment at Disney. And that personal moment is somehow created or rectified by actually being at the park. We shouldn’t expect much less from the O.G. of very special episodes.

Blossom would never have had an awful fight with her boyfriend if it weren’t for the fact that he started behaving strangely because he was afraid of all of the theme park’s attractions. He wasn’t just afraid of The Matterhorn, he was freaked out by The Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. That’s how bad his fear of heights was. And it made him act like a weirdo. But like many teenagers¬†she totally took it personally and made it all about herself. At the end of this episode she learns that it’s a stupid thing to do, and he learns it’s shady to pretend nothing is wrong when there is obviously something wrong. It’s a good lesson that they could have learned anywhere, but it’s cool that they learned it at Disney because that’s the kind of weird shit that you learn about each other at theme parks. This is a great way to integrate the setting and have a good overall plot all at the same time.

So I’m very sorry to¬†The Golden Girls because this does conclude their time in the competition, but I would like to thank them for being a friend. And also I’d like to point out that they only lose by¬†one point. That’s pretty badass for a couple of ladies on a soundstage.

I think their music was way better than “The Party.” And I still love those cardigans.

Point Break Down:
Blossom: Integration of Disney Setting (1 pt) + Overall Plot (2 pts)  = 3 pts



The Golden Girls: Vacation Attire (1 pt) + Music (1 pt)= 2 pts

Very Special Winner: Blossom

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Disney Episode Showdown: The Golden Girls vs. Step by Step

If you watched¬†The Golden Girls episode for this bracket challenge, you probably noticed that none of it is actually filmed on the Disney Park Grounds. The reason I’ve included it anyway is that I needed an even number of shows for this bracket, and it is possible to win the challenge without winning the integration of setting point.

So if you haven’t guessed already,¬†Step by Step wins the point for integration of setting. Aside from the fact that they are winning by default, this episode actually does a good job of integrating pretty much all of the major attractions. This is done largely through extended montages that depict a family friend, Flash, trying to break a world record. He’s attempting to visit all restaurants, food carts, and rides in less than four days. He’s doing this largely because a Russian holds the current record. And this is America. The montages are way too long, but it really cool to see how two of the boys work with Disney staff to set up a base of operations for Flash. I’d like to think this is something Disney would be down for in real life.¬†

This episode also incorporates Downtown Disney, which we haven’t seen before in this competition. One of the 7 children in this blended family, enters a singing contest at the Neon Armadillo. It’s also because of her efforts that¬†Step by Step wins the point for music.

But that’s where the easy points stop for¬†Step by Step. Now, this episode is nowhere near as bad as their Hawaiian episode, but the overall plot cannot hold a candle to¬†The Golden Girls. That’s partly because the only plot in¬†Step by Step is the family doing random stuff at Disney and spending way too much money.¬†The Golden Girls, however, captures all of the weird emotional baggage that can come with a family trip. In fact, the only reason that¬†Dorothy has brought Sophia to Orlando is that she’s worried that her mom will die soon and they will not have spent enough quality time together.

Morbid. I know. But this is¬†The Golden Girls so it’s funny. All Sophia wants to do is ride Space Mountain. But Dorothy has brought photo albums and slides and wants her mother to sit in the hotel with her for hours and tell her every single thing she was thinking in every single one of the photos. She also starts to keep a journal of Sophia’s witty one liners. This pisses Sophia off to no end, so she goes to the hotel bar and tries to have a¬†Casablanca¬†moment with the bar pianist. He doesn’t get the joke though so instead of playing “As Time Goes By” he plays a light-jazz version of “It’s a Small World.” When Sophia is finally ready to ditch Dorothy and go to the park herself, it rains in a¬†torrential downpour for 24-hours straight. Luckily, Dorothy realizes she’s being a little nuts and does take her mother to Space Mountain before heading to the airport. We sort of get to see this as the end credits roll over what looks like the interior of space mountain, so that’s kind of cool. I’m also giving the Vacation Attire point to¬†The Golden Girls because I like a woman who can dress well at any age and Dorothy¬†is killing it. Also, I hope to own as many cozy cardigans as possible as an elderly woman, so I’m very inspired by Sophia’s wardrobe.

Point Break Down:
Step by Step: Integration of Disney Setting (1 pt) + Music (1 pt) = 2 pts



The Golden Girls: Overall Plot (2 pts)  + Vacation Attire (1 pt)= 3 pts

Very Special Winner: The Golden Girls

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