Sunday, December 06, 2009

Pop Culture up that Christmas Celebration!

Having worked a career in retail has pretty much killed any positive feelings I had for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The never ending insane busy atmosphere of the various stores I've worked in makes it feel like I spend months preparing for the big day with your family so when it finally comes it just feels like an anti-climax. No celebration can live up to that build.

About the only part of the holiday I enjoy anymore is the pop culture aspect; the movies, the TV and many of the commercials (I love those Christmas themed Coke commercials) and this year there is a new book to help you navigate through some of the unusual and overlooked Christmas entertainment! It's called The Christmas TV Companion: a Guide to Cult Classics, Strange Specials & Outrageous Oddities by Joanna Wilson.

The book covers pretty much all genres, TV and movies, live-action and animation, stuff you've heard of and a lot more you probably haven't. I think one of the things I enjoyed most about reading the book was being reminded of all the Christmas themed episodes I had seen over the years and completely forgotten (by the way I would avoid the 1959 Mexican movie Santa Claus if you don't want to have nightmares for the next 6 months :)! More than just another encyclopedic listing of TV shows, the book offers commentary, trivia and themed suggestions for making your own marathons. I've been making a list of the programs I want to check out and programming the TIVO to find and record those shows. (I wish someone out there still showed Whoops! Haven't seen that since it first aired and I'd really love to check out their post-apocalyptic take on the holiday.)

I also need to see the 2005 Dennis Leary Merry Fuckin' Christmas Special which apparently has a segment with William Shatner called Christmas with Mr. Shatner in which he mocks kids letters to Santa! HILARIOUS! Speaking of Star Trek there is a whole section of the book devoted to holiday programming featuring Trek actors. There is also a section devoted to the Star Wars holiday special and if you've never seen the SW holiday special this is just enough of a taste. I promise you, you do not want to see it, it's long boring and silly...not in a good way :)

In any case it's a very cool book that I think you should check out if you dig holiday themed movies and TV! It would also make a cool Christmas gift and that's a recommendation from someone who has spent the last 15 years working in book stores :)


Rol said...

I work in advertising (to my eternal shame). We wrote our first Christmas ads in April. Talk about killing the season!

Wings said...

Looks very cool! Gonna check paperbackswap right now!