Christmas in the movies is usually something grand or epic that is played up because it has about two hours or so to build up, climax, and then resolve itself as the audience waits to see how it will all play out. Christmas in TV episodes however is something else since they usually only have 30 minutes to an hour depending on the show. Plus there are commercials to think about so there’s even less time to introduce a story and move it along from one point to another. Somehow though they manage and they get to the point rather quickly in an effort to make the audience either laugh, cry, or experience a wide range of emotions that are meant to be experienced throughout the course of the show. When you really get down to it most of the interesting parts in a Christmas episode happen in a manner of seconds.
Here are some of the best Christmas episodes on TV from 2010 to now.
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine(2015)
The crew of Brooklyn Nine-Nine are known for many different things, not the least of which is how they get along with one another and how, at times, they kind of just tolerate each other. But when one of them decides to give their captain a gift, despite a no-gift policy, she does so in a way that seems like it will be appreciated but seems to forget that in this post-9/11 world things that show up unannounced on a police captain’s desk with a vague message scrawled on top of a box phrased in what might be a demand or a cheeky request tend to get looked at as an overt threat that can’t be ignored. Oh yes, great gift.
4. American Horror Story: Asylum (2012)
This would be a Christmas that anyone might WANT to forget. A beardless, blood-spattered Santa is one thing, but a maniac dressed in a Santa suit is something that you might never forget no matter how hard you tried. Hands down, Asylum is one of the creepiest and most disturbing chapters of the AHS continuity to ever be filmed, but this episode alone is something that even the viewers wouldn’t be able to forget unless there was something else on the TV to watch. Ian McShane is the kind of guy that simply knows how to play creepy despite the fact that he can flip the script and be a good guy as well.
3. Modern Family Season
As well-meaning as this family is, and they are really, if there’s a way to screw things up then they will. It doesn’t even seem to be a conscious choice sometimes as things just tend to happen that are brought on by their gathered insecurities, their need to control everything, and their penchant for over-reacting to the smallest things that a lot of people would shrug their shoulders at. It’d take far too long to point out all their issues since each of them seem to have several things that are kind of obvious. But spending a Christmas with this family would no doubt leave person feeling as though they’d just run through an American Gladiator course.
2. Orange Is The New Black
A women’s prison shouldn’t really be too different when it comes time for Christmas, but you don’t tend to hear about prisons being cheery places even on one of the happiest days of the year. That being said, these ladies had a chance to audition for a pageant that was devised as a way to get them in the spirit of Christmas so that they could have something to do that would occupy their time and bring them a bit of joy. The only problem is that very few of them have any real talent that could be put on display and it’s quickly established that putting on a pageant isn’t quite as easy as anyone thought.
1. Fear the Walking Dead
You can just imagine the things that must come back to haunt Madison when she really sits down to think about it. Like so many others in the show she’s done what she had to in order to survive and to keep her family together as much as possible. But she has failed along the way and she has done terrible things as well, all in the name of staying alive. The blood on her hands is no less than anyone else’s since she’s justified certain things that she probably never would have done in the past. That’s the trick with the end of the world however, morality is a tool just like anything else, it’s used when it’s needed and abandoned when it’s not.
Christmas episodes on TV are usually a lot of fun or at least somewhat insightful since it gives you another look into the characters and what really motivates them around this time of year.