My Top-Eleven Favorite Festive Christmas Episodes

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Truth! This post has been in draft since December 1, 2011. As soon as all of those Hallmark movies started playing round the clock on November 1st the holiday bug bit me hard and it probably won’t let go until sometime in January when CK forces me to finally toss out our badly shedding Christmas tree while I kick and scream and protest loudly.

Anyway, you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted on either of my blogs since last December. To make a long story short I’ll simply provide you with two words: burnt out. But after my year long hiatus I feel like I may be able to string 4 or 5 sentences together from time to time and at the request of Sara Rosso I now present to you my personal Top 11 Must Watch Christmas TV Episodes. Also, No. That Seinfeld episode and the O.C. Christmukka series are not included. Neither is the episode where Ross dresses up like an armadillo.

PS: If there’s a legal way to watch an episode online I’ve done my best to link to it otherwise you’re probably going to have to do some sort of TiVo search or buy/rent the DVDs.

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Beverly Hills, 90210: A Walsh Family Christmas (1991)

The spray painted tree. Tori Spelling’s plaid shorteralls. Brenda and the stray Santa. Not to mention, that Emily Valentine finally gets the shirt off Brandon’s back. Then snow and a sing-a-long with a Casio keyboard. I miss the 90s.

How Can You Watch It? Looks like DVD only

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Sisters: Egg Nog (1991)

How Can You Watch It? You can’t. (I know. I’m such a jerk). Unless you have a VHS copy lying around somewhere. Which I used to have with the words “CHRISTMAS” in red marker written on the side. I’ve enlisted my little sister with the task of scouring the family basement to see if she can find it. Otherwise, we’ll just have to wait until the DVDs are released. Trust me. This one is great. Needless to say everyone gets sick from egg nog, Teddy is visited by Charles Dickens and Frankie punches out Mitch. Total dysfunction junction. Love it!

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Veronica Mars: An Echolls Family Christmas (2004)

A poker game gone awry makes Veronica put her Nancy Drew cap back on. Not that she ever takes it off…The Echolls house is decked to the nines and Aaron gets what he deserves. God bless us, everyone!

How Can You Watch It? Amazon Streaming

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Supernatural: A Very Supernatural Christmas (2007)

A freaky pagan God drags holiday revelers up the chimney never to be seen again. Don’t worry Dean and Sam are on the case! Bonus: little Winchester kid flashback scene. Don’t you love those?

How Can You Watch It? Netflix or Amazon Streaming

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My So-Called Life: So-Called Angels (1994)

It’s not just Claire Danes’s making an ugly cry face. You’ll be joining her. Tears. Tears. Tears. OMG. More Tears. Ricky is homeless! Juliana Hatfield is a guitar playing street urchin. More tissues please.

How Can You Watch It? Hulu or Amazon Streaming

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Gilmore Girls: Forgiveness and Stuff (2000)

Gilmore family drama at its finest. Mom is still mad about Rory shacking up with that Winchester kid (OK Dean — whatever) in Miss Patty’s Dance studio and not coming home until the wee hours of the morning. Are we sure she wasn’t hanging out with the other Dean? Also, admit it, who else isn’t weirdly satisfied when Lorelai and Rory fight? No one is that perfect, ladies. Come on.

How Can You Watch It? Amazon Streaming

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Ugly Betty: Fake Plastic Snow (2006)
How Can You Watch It? Hulu or Netflix or Amazon Streaming

I just really miss Becki Newton. Like. A lot. And she’s such a pretty, pretty, princess snow angel in this special. I heart her so much. Betty has a nice storyline too. But Becky/Amanda is really where it’s at. Also, Mode is flush with sparkly things. So much eye candy!

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Arthur’s Perfect Christmas (2000)

Thanks to my little sister and I being 14 years apart in age I can recite this entire movie as she watched it approximately 300 times. Also, I wish Muffy was my best friend. I know that makes me a bad person.

How Can You Watch It? Amazon Streaming or YouTube and probably on PBS at Christmas time.

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Community: Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas (2010)

One word: CLAYMATION!!!!!

How Can You Watch It? Hulu or Amazon Streaming

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The Office: Christmas Party (2005)

*Sigh* Remember when you used to love Jim and Pam and you wanted them to get together so much? This will give you serious nostalgia for the brilliance of Office episodes from the past. Also, Michael buys like 15 bottle of vodka for the office party. Guess what happens next?!

How Can You Watch It? Netflix or Amazon Streaming

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Being Erica: Fa-La Erica (2010)

How Can You Watch It? DVD only. Unless you live in Canada. I’m pretty devastated that they took Being Erica down from Hulu. I’m hoping that Santa will bring me the DVDs. It’s seriously one of my all-time favorite TV shows ever and I’m obsessed with Erin Karpluk. Amazon Streaming does offer seasons 1 & 2 but it doesn’t include this episode. Bummer.

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Bonus: (Since I do realize that we need to get through “Turkey Day” first) you should definitely queue up New Girl: Thanksgiving (2011). There’s a turkey banging around in the dryer. Cece touching all of the food and grossed out Schmidt and the gang even takes a seasonally appropriate trip to Best Buy. How Can You Watch It? Amazon Streaming or Netflix.

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments!

I Heart Being Erica

I have a little problem. I’ve become obsessed with a television show called Being Erica and I can’t stop watching it. Please take note as you may need to stage an intervention.

It all began innocently enough last week with a random browse through Hulu. I didn’t have intentions to stay. Truth be told I believe I was there to see if the newest episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey had been posted. I was hoping for some big hair and even bigger attitudes to enjoy while I ate my boring lunch but it was nowhere to be found. Instead I happened upon Being Erica and decided to give it a shot. Now it’s only one week later and I’m already on episode ten of season one and ever so completely smitten.

The premise of the show involves a 30-something woman’s attempt to straighten out her seemingly directionless life. Unfortunately she’s crippled with past regrets and can’t seem to move on from a line of endless mistakes that she’s made in her past. Even though she holds both an Undergrad degree and a Master’s in English she’s stuck in a dead end job, dating inappropriate men, all the while feeling like a complete failure. Erica just can’t catch a break.

The next part is going to make you have to get back in touch with your “suspension of disbelief” side. Erica begins seeing a therapist, Dr. Tom, who asks her to create an extensive list of everything that she regrets in her life. Then in each episode she’s given the chance to go back in time and attempt to alter her past. My description probably sounds a bit formulaic but the show is done incredibly well. Erica is played by the adorable and incredibly relatable Erin Karpluk. You may recognize her as “Alice” the radio station manager on the equally fabulous show Life Unexpected.

Other things I love about the show include:

The music. Every time Erica goes back in the past (especially during the college years) I have some sort of personal nostalgic break with reality complete with The Spin Doctors and Blind Melon. All I can say is that my life is pretty plain. I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain …

The clothes. Say hello again to flannel and all of the other accompanying accessories of the 90s. Plus, in the present, Erica is always sporting a sassy dress or outfit that makes me want to run out and go shopping immediately. She also has gorgeously styled long loosely curled hair that all women with straight hair (aka me) covet. Yes. I admit it. I have a total girl crush on Erin Karpluk.

So far there’s very little “happily ever after” occurring while Erica attempts to change her regrets. And that’s what I love and appreciate the most. Like many people I too tend to fixate on “what ifs” and “if onlys” but the lessons Erica learns from her jaunts into the past are rarely brought about by simply picking another path. Usually her new perspective is achieved via looking at the events as they unfold with an older and wiser set of eyes.

I find myself drawing a great deal of comfort in thinking that perhaps all of those “might have beens” that I think about so frequently probably wouldn’t have altered my life too terribly much. Perhaps what I really should focus on is moving forward with the choices I’ve made and learning more fully how that applies to who I am today. Who says you can’t learn anything from TV?!

And there you have it. Being Erica is the new love of my life. Check it out! Plus it just got picked up for a third season so I wont have to cry crocodile tears when I get to the end of season two. Thank you Canadian TV!

10 Reasons to Watch Sons of Anarchy

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Honestly, until Chris got me hooked on season 1 of Sons of Anarchy I had never even heard of the show, but after watching the first 13 episodes en masse I can’t get enough and I’m counting down the days until the new season begins on September 8th. In case you aren’t already a fan perhaps I can convince you to tune in after reading my top 10 reasons to watch Sons of Anarchy:

Katey Segal in Sons of Anarchy10. You miss Drea de Matteo. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Drea tart it up on the small screen and since I refused to watch that terrible monstrosity known as Joey I was beyond excited to again see a troubled de Matteo appear as main character Jax Teller’s estranged wife Wendy. Unfortunately she wont be appearing in season 2 but she’s just fabulous in season 1.

9. Katey Segal has it seriously going on. If it’s possible to look as amazing as she does at 55 I’m completely going to stop annually fearing my birthday right this second.

8. There’s a biker with a sexy Irish accent.

7. Both Henry Rollins and Adam Arkin are joining the cast for season two.

6. I kid you not, one of the bikers in an Elvis impersonator. They call him fittingly enough “Bobby Elvis.”

Hell Boy and Patriarch5. The show’s plot is loosely based around Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

4. The town in Northern California that they all live in is called Charming. Not exactly the type of name you’d expect to be the hometown of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

3. The patriarch of the group is none other than Hell Boy himself, Ron Perlman. I seriously sit around waiting for him to start petting cats and lighting things on fire. He does still smoke cigars though so it’s an OK trade off.

2. If you’re a Mad Men fan, which let’s face it almost everyone is now (yay!) you’ll recognize Jax Teller’s childhood sweetheart as Don Draper’s temptress, Rachel Menkin. Maggie Siff’s usually stunning good looks are very played down though so at first you probably wont recognize her.

1. The main character, Jax Teller, looks like this. Now usually I wouldn’t find men with hair as long as mine very hot but when this guy takes off his shirt and hops on his motorcycle my little heart goes pitter-patter. Plus he’s a criminal with a heart of gold. Sort of like a heavy metal Robin Hood. When he shoots people in the head it’s all very endearing…in a twisted sort of way.

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My Fake Fiance

Ladies and gentleman get your TiVos ready! This Sunday, April 19th at 8:00 PM everyone’s favorite teenage witch and the guy who only says, “woah!” are starring in a cheesy romantic comedy on ABC Family. I’ll be there dutifully sitting on the couch in my pajamas with a big bowl of popcorn or maybe some cookie dough ice cream. I absolutely love this stuff!

Fluffy White Doggie

This is the commercial that gets me completely teary and causes various “awe-like” sounds to repeatedly come out of my mouth lately. Each time it airs during a television show I instantly stop fast-forwarding and watch it. It’s my dream puppy complete with a “please buy me Erin!” face that I just can’t resist, in a candy pink room, with a girl in cozy pajamas that is so “obviously” me. Let’s be friends puppy! Call me!

What Would Joan Do?


Ever wonder “What Would Joan Holloway Do?” Well now you can make her do whatever you want. The awesome illustrator behind all of those fabulous Mad Men wallpapers just released a Joan Holloway paper doll. Personally I’d like her to whip up a pitcher of martinis and teach me how to recreate her fabulous up-do. By the way, if you’re looking for a gift to fill my new pink Christmas stocking this will do just fine.

Bye Bye David

I interrupt my Seattle vacation and current pinot grigio sipping in the lobby of the Westin to take a moment to mourn the fact that Mr. David Tennant has quit his role as Doctor Who. CK introduced me to Doctor Who when we first started dating. Initially I mocked him mercilessly for liking the show but ever so slowly I started to change my tune. Initially it was simply the girl crush I developed on Billie Piper, but soon enough I became completely wrapped up in the Dalek filled plot-lines. Admittedly, I was a bit distraught over my first Doctor Who regeneration from bad boy Christopher Eccleston to David’s more quirky Doctor, but in the end he was fabulous. I can’t even begin to imagine who they’ll find to fill his shoes. Care to speculate on your Doctor wish-list?

Lost in Austen


I just finished Lost in Austen. I’m a weirdo. I like to watch period pieces while I workout on the elliptical in the evenings. I love Jane Austen’s novels, but I also love all of the adaptations that have been made from her stories. Serious to down right silly, I find myself compelled to check them out. In fact, Clueless and Bridget Jones’s Diary are two of my favorite movies of all time, and I don’t know any woman who doesn’t swoon at the site of Colin Firth climbing out of that pond soaked to the skin.

Lost in Austen is simply good fun. It’s full of lovely British actors, wearing pretty clothes, in romantic settings.  It’s also peppered with enough anachronisms and absurd liberties to the storyline to make Jane Austen roll over in her grave. Some will probably find this plot tampering offensive, but honestly I had a good laugh when Caroline Bingley came onto the modern day interloper Amanda Price and declared her “Sapphic love.”

Speaking of the main character, Amanda Price is actually portrayed by Jemima Rooper whom you might remember from the BBC program Hex. She played the angsty teen ghost Thelma Bates. Coincidentally, Jemima’s Hex co-star from season one, Christina Cole, is the condescending Caroline Bingley.

The film opens in present day London. Amanda Price is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice and finds her current boyfriend desperately lacking in comparison to Mr. Darcy. One evening, she hears a noise in her bathroom and discovers that Elizabeth Bennet has tumbled out of a crawl space and into her world. Of course they agree to switch lifestyles for a bit. Elizabeth stays behind in Amanda’s apartment while Amanda ventures into Elizabeth’s home.

You can imagine the stir Amanda’s prescence creates and she soon has the household aflutter with her odd behaviors. Amanda’s antics unfortunately begin to unravel the plot of the book in disasterous ways and she must struggle to right the story with the aid of an unlikely ally, Lieutenant Wickham. Surprised? I told you there were crazy twists.