Thanksgiving Prep – TV Time

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, Y’all! Since tomorrow, despite the holiday, is still going to be Crisis Management and Marina day, (Have you noticed The Marina Chronicle is back! Because it is! Hooray for beating writers block!) I decided today would be when I chronicle my favorite pre Thanksgiving tradition.

I watch my favorite Thanksgving episodes of TV shows that I love.

The West Wing – “Shibboleth”

This is the single greatest 45 minutes of Thanksgiving content to ever air on TV. Ever. President Bartlett has to pardon a Turkey, but also a bunch of Chinese refugees who fled claiming they are persecuted Christians.  It’s stunningly good TV, and I watch it every year. (I also usually watch the Season 3 Thanksgiving episode “The Indians In the Lobby,” but it’s less essential and this list has gotten long.) (I did watch it though)

Friends – “The One With All The Thanksgivings”

The episode where they flashback to those college Thanksgiving in the Gellar household that point towards the inevitability of Chandler and Monica. Aside from being hilarious and featuring several characters putting a Turkey on their head, I’ll never love Friends more than these seasons, where Chandler and Monica were falling in love.

Gossip Girl – “Blair Waldorf Must Pie”

This episode is Gossip Girl’s greatest hits all in one. Revelations of secrets in the past. Blair having angnst about her parents, and Chuck, and Nate. Nate and Serena looking at each other longingly. Dan and Jenny trying to preserve their bohemian Brooklyn roots while fitting in with their new friends. Lily and Rufus drama. Everything. It was also the first episode I ever watched, so it holds a special place in my heart.

The OC – “The Homecoming”

Ryan goes back to Chino for Thanksgiving to visit Trey in jail. Trey asks him to return a stolen car. He and Marissa get in a car chase and we meet Theresa! Meanwhile, back in Newport, Sandy and Seth try to keep Kirsten from cooking, Kirsten tries to set Jimmy up with Sandy’s coworker. It’s a fun episode that again, like the Gossip Girl on this list is everything the show does well. (It’s not the top Holiday episode of Season 1, which is of course “Chrismakkuh”)

New Girl – “Parents”

Jess “Parent Traps” her parents, played by Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis. It works, in that they definitely bang but do not get back together. Meanwhile, Nick and Jess’s dad bond, Scmidt and Cece do some stuff, and Winston continues his march into total madness.

Crazy Ex Girlfriend – “My First Thanksgiving With Josh”

Oh boy, I love this episode. It’s not my favorite Crazy Ex, but it’s up there. Including all time great songs, “I Give Good Parent” and “What’ll It Be” plus some excellent bathroom humor and Valencia realness.

Brooklyn 99 – “Two Turkeys”

There are a few great Brooklyn 99 Thanksgiving episodes, but this is my favorite, when Jake and Amy try to bring their parents together for the Holiday. It doesn’t go well, but it’s really fun anyway. Plus it’s a low level West Wing reunion. (Bradley Witford and Jimmy Smits) and a low level Sons Of Anarchy reunion (Katey Sagal and Jimmy Smits) Also, you know, Jimmy Smits!

How I Met Your Mother – “Slapsgiving”

“Slapsgiving” is not only on my list of great Thanksgiving episodes. It’s also on my list of perfect episodes of television and probably my second favorite “HIMYM” episodes (after “The Pineapple Incident”) it uses the show’s conceit about storytelling and unreliable narrators perfectly and introduces the “General Knowledge” bit, includes the Slap Bet and the song “You Just Got Slapped”enters the proceedings.

Happy Turkey Day, dear friends. I love you and am Thankful for each and every one of you. We’ve got a crowded December. (Last burst of movie season! Favorites Lists! The Fangirl Airing of Grievances!)

A Time of Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Most of my blog friends have been listing some sort of “favorite Thanksgiving episodes” of things and I was going to do the same and then I realized that there was absolutely nothing like the greatest Thanksgiving episode of anything ever.

The West Wing “Shibboleth”

This is the best, best, best, Thanksgiving episode of anything ever, and is in the top 2 of my favorite West Wing episodes. (And Surely It’s To Their Credit is #1) It’s full of moments of greatness. Some worth mentioning:

  • Sam trying to convince Toby that they should procrastinate on writing the President’s Thanksgiving Proclamation by writing an action adventure series about Pilgrim Detectives. “With the big hats.”
  • C.J. and The Turkeys. This whole subplot. It’s pure Sorkin Greatness
CJ and Turkeys

CJ and Turkeys

  • The President gives Charlie the carving knife that Paul Revere made for the Bartlett family. Because Charlie is his son. It’s time to cry.
  • “I’m going to begin the singing and lute playing!” “Whatever.”
  • “We’ve been working really hard and we’d rather watch football than listen to a lecture about the yam in Latin.”
  • “Oh the President could give a damn what you guys are doing tomorrow Toby!”
  • “Did my sister put you up to this?” “No” “I’m shocked.” “It was my idea.” “I’m less shocked.”
  • Donna being completely baffled that CJ doesn’t know all of the Thanksgiving Traditions so CJ just starts shouting all of her various academic achievements
  • “We do not strut ever!” Leo’s speech to his sister is one of his absolute best and possibly the best that isn’t to the President himself.
  • Oh right, all of this happens as everyone is trying to figure out how to keep a bunch of Chinese refugees from being sent back to China, in a nice little parallel to the first Thanksgiving.

This episode was followed up by the equally delightful but not quite as high quality Indians in The Lobby, which does have the subplot of The President calling the butterball hotline while pretending to be a regular Joe from Fargo, North Dakota and shouting, “J’accuse ma petite fromage,” at the first lady, but it’s just not as strong an episode all around.

And there are no turkeys.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Thanksgiving Conversations

A lot of people look forward to different things on Thanksgiving. They look forward to the food, the parade, the football. I look forward to those and a few more specific things. The classic rock radio station in the New York area, Q104.3, counts down the top 1,043 rock songs over Thanksgiving weekend, and we always listen. It’s a lot of fun. After Thursday dinner with my mom’s side of the family, we head up to Connecticut with my dad’s side, hike up a mountain and cut down our Christmas tree. (This is followed by more eating. But the first part is very LL Bean.)

But my favorite part of Thanksgiving is that the wine flows, and I wind up having circuitous and deep and very important conversations with my cousins.

For example, a few years ago, my cousin DJ and I planned our double wedding to Diana Agron and Mark Saling. (It was Glee’s first season. Puck and Quinn were very important to us at the time.)

Once someone picked up the Rolling Stone Top 100 guitar players issue and hours were spent trying to decide if Clapton should have been number one.

Very important things get discussed, is the point.

This year, it went to my cousin Tommy. He walked in and hugged me. We haven’t really spoken in a while, since he’s just started Notre Dame. As the day went on we spent what felt like half the night discussing the upcoming Justice League movie attempts.

Tommy: But who’s the villain in Justice League going to be?
Me: I don’t know, Darkseid probably. I mean, no one else is really strong enough.
Tommy: Yeah, but wouldn’t it be great if well, I mean, if it was someone like Starro?
Me: Yeah, except for that Starro sucks.
Tommy: But that’s why it would be great!

Me: I’m just curious as to who The Flash villain is going to be. I mean, I guess it has to be Captain Cold. He’s the only one who isn’t completely ridiculous.
Tommy: Yeah, I mean, it could be Captain Boomerang.
Me: Being Australian isn’t a power! I know you’re just supposed to name a characteristic and like robbing banks and then boom, you’ve got a Flash Rogue, but still.
Tommy: They did sort of skip a step there.

Me: I am disappointed that Green Lantern isn’t going to count, because Ryan Reynolds is such a good choice for Hal Jordan.
Tommy: True, but now it doesn’t have to be Hal. It could be John Stewart!
Me: Or Guy Gardner.
Tommy: No. Not Guy. Guy is terrible. We can see Guy, but he can’t be the Lantern on the team.
Me: Kyle Rainer would be interesting too.
Tommy: I just want it to be the Justice League cartoon. So then it has to be John.
Me: Tommy, you can’t put Hawkgirl in a movie.
Tommy: True, so you can sub her out with Aquaman, it’s fine.

Then Bobby, Tommy’s younger brother joined in. We’d left the potential DCFU and were talking about Batman.

Me: Well, I mean, there’s Battle For The Cowl, and Batman and Robin: Batman Reborn, which are my favorites.
Bobby: What happens there?
Me: Um, well, in Final Crisis Darkseid kills Bruce, but not really, he just sends him back in time. Then, well, Dick and Tim decide there won’t be a Batman, and Jason decides he’s going to be Batman, but he also starts just killing people, like all the time. So then the three of them all put on Batman suits, and fight. It’s ridiculously awesome.
Tommy: But Dick wins right?
Me: Yeah, well, kind of by default, because Tim doesn’t actually want to be Batman. But then Damian Wayne becomes Robin.
Bobby: Wait? That’s Bruce’s son.
Me: With Talia…I’m not doing it justice. But it’s amazing.
Mary (My sister): Why did Batman name is his kid “Damian?”
Me: He didn’t, Talia did. Ra’s Al Ghul means “The Demon’s Head” so, Damian, Demon.
Tommy: Comics, man. Comics.

Me: I just want a Wonder Woman movie out of this deal. But now that Whedon can’t do it, I’m worried.
Tommy: Haha, could you imagine Zack Snyder’s Wonder Woman?
Me: I’d really rather not. They really just need to rip off Thor. This isn’t that difficult.

Tommy: I mean, we know it’s Luthor right? For the next movie? We know that?
Me: We know it, but we don’t know it. I’m excited. Any time there’s Bruce and Lex interaction, I just love it.
Tommy: Well, it’s just a pissing contest. “I am good looking, brilliant and wealthy!” “No, I am good looking, brilliant and wealthy!” It doesn’t get better than that.

Me: It’s going to be called, Man of Steel : Knightfall or something else stupid.
Tommy: They have the opportunity to name this movie Batman VS. Superman, they should be calling it that.

This final statement is the main reason why 19 year old boys should not be allowed to make any decisions that actually effect reality…or possibly why they should make all of the decisions.

Either way, this prolonged conversation had become one of my all time favorite Thanksgiving memories.