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Sunday, December 19, 2010

WEEKEND REWIND: Top 40 Christmas Episodes, #10-#1

It's finally time for my Top 10 Christmas episodes! For #40-#26, Click Here. For #25-#11, Click here. Also, posting may be a bit sporadic this week and next as I am busy with Christmas and New Years things, most shows are in reruns, and ratings results get delayed. But check in from time to time for updates!

According to Jim "The Christmas Party"
10. According to Jim #32 "The Christmas Party" (first aired December 10, 2002)
Jim is in a war with a neighbor who throws a lavish Christmas party each year and finds himself happily uninvited. But when he finds himself lonely on Christmas Eve, he dressed up as Santa Claus and goes to the party. Things go fine until his beard is flushed down the toilet and the bathroom floods. It's a funny episode filled with slapstick comedy. Plus, there's a great moment at the beginning of the episode with "faulty" Christmas lights.

9. American Dreams #10 "Silent Night" (first aired December 15, 2002)
In the first Christmas episode of this underrated 1960s-set drama, Meg has to kiss Jimmy Reilly on American Bandstand but she really wants to kiss her beau Luke while Roxanne fights with her mother and JJ stresses even after being accepted to Notre Dame. But all these tensions are relaxed when a snowball fight ensues in the driveway on the way to Midnight Mass. It's a great episode from a great series.

8. The Bob Newhart Show #39 "I'm Dreaming of a Slight Christmas" (first aired December 22, 1973)
Bob and Emily plan to have a quiet Christmas Eve alone together but a blizzard hits and Bob is trapped at the office. As the snow falls and falls, Emily is lonely at home while Bob makes a long trek back to her, but he's too cold and tired to celebrate. They fall asleep on the couch with the lit tree in the background in the best Christmas episode of the many from this show.

The Office "A Benihana Christmas"
7. The Office #38/39 "A Benihana Christmas" (first aired December 14, 2006)
First aired as a one-hour episode, Michael is depressed when girlfriend Carol breaks up with him before the Christmas party. After trying to cancel Christmas, he goes to Benihana with Andy, Jim, and Dwight and brings back Asian girls but can't tell which one is his. It's an absolutely hilarious episode that features many great lines and some very funny turns on the karaoke machine.

6. Bewitched #15 "A Vision of Sugar Plums" (first aired December 24, 1964)
In the first Christmas episode of this classic show, Sam and Darrin bring home an orphan for Christmas who doesn't believe in Santa. But that's no problem for Samantha who takes the boy and Darrin to the North Pole to recapture the magic. It's a memorable episode that can make a going-to-the-North Pole plot believable given the show's premise. Gladys Kravitz is particularly funny in this episode as well.

5. The Wonder Years #9 "Christmas" (first aired December 14, 1988)
In a classic early episode from this show, Kevin stresses about getting the perfect gift for Winnie Cooper and the kids try to persuade Dad to buy a color TV for Christmas. From Wayne's incessant badgering about the TV to the family tension finally being broken by a rainstorm during neighborhood caroling, it's a sweet look at what Christmas is like after the childlike innocence is gone.

4. The Dick Van Dyke Show #76 "The Alan Brady Show Presents" (first aired December 18, 1963)
In an episode unlike any other episode of this classic show, the gang puts on a Christmas show for Alan Brady. Even with Richie's "Little Drummer Boy," there are many memorable musical performances. The best of all is the first one with a tribute in song to Alan Brady that is destroyed one by one by Buddy, Sally, Laura, and Mel. It's a great episode and a throwback to the old fashioned Christmas TV specials.

The West Wing "In Excelsis Deo"
3. The West Wing #10 "In Excelsis Deo" (first aired December 15, 1999)
This powerful episode from a powerful drama shows Christmas time in the White House. There are many great moments including the President interacting with visiting children and sneaking out to buy books. But the episode is a classic thanks to the storyline involving Toby and a deceased homeless Korean War veteran who is given a proper funeral. The moving finale to this episode is beautifully directed.

2. Happy Days #27 "Guess Who's Coming to Christmas" (first aired December 17, 1974)
In the sweetest episode from the early years of this show, Fonzie is too proud to tell the Cunninghams that he has nowhere to go for Christmas but Richie insists that he join them. Fonzie makes things interesting and it doesn't quite fit Howard's vision of a perfect family Christmas, but his genuine gratefulness and happiness in being with a loving family at Christmas makes this a great episode.

Mary Tyler Moore
"Christmas and the Hard Luck Kid"
1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show #14 "Christmas and the Hard Luck Kid" (first aired December 19, 1970)
But the best Christmas episode of all is from this classic show's first season. Mary is depressed because she can't go home for Christmas and then to make things work, she switches shifts with a man so he can spend Christmas Eve with her family. As she is all alone at the office, her fears get the best of her but its really Lou, Murray, and Ted coming to make sure she's not alone at Christmas. This episode is filled with memorable moments including Phyllis' Christmas gifts, Rhoda's huge gift for Mary, and Mr. Grant trying to decide how much money to give Mary as a Christmas gift. It has it all. The picture is the best I could find!

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