Alonso Duralde, author of Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas, sat down for a chat about the Best of Christmas TV with Gazelle Emami and Matt Zoller Seitz on the Vulture TV Podcast. The interview covered the quintessential episodes and classics fused with snippets. Take a listen below.
Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas will point you and your rental queue in the right direction. Whether your idea of a holiday classic is White Christmas, Bad Santa, Die Hard, Eyes Wide Shut, or Gremlins, you’ll find the right film for you, as well as an exhaustively entertaining breakdown of the various screen Scrooges, from Alistair Sim to Jim Carrey to Tori Spelling.
Building on the characters that Alonso covers in the book, The Vulture TV podcast covered the formula of what TV shows go for such as sitcoms focusing on togetherness and communities while dramas focus mores on drama. Shows mentioned with a few snippets and further discussion of the episodes included: South Park, Seinfeld, Futurama, Golden Girls, The Simpsons, and more.
Christmas allows for big, splash decor and also maybe a little more sentimentality than they might get away with the rest of the year.
What else make for classic TV? Let’s not forget Hallmark which has the traditional family business theme in their movies. There are also Netflix specials and of course the cult classic, animated series which were referred to as the “backbone of Christmas.” Let’s not forget the trifecta: Charlie Brown, Rudolph and The Grinch.
The two tropes that keep coming up, especially in the 70s and 80s. It’s either the Christmas Carol knock off episode where a mean character is visited by ghosts who are played by the co-stars and learns to love Christmas. Or, the ‘no one is coming to my Christmas party’ / ‘oh no, everyone is coming to my Christmas party.
In Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas you’ll encounter movies you may never have heard of from the gritty noir Christmas Holiday, starring 1930s singing ingénue Deanna Durbin in her first hard-bitten adult role, to the loony Santa Claus, a Mexican kiddie movie in which St. Nick teams up with Merlin to fight the devil! Plot synopses, video availability, and fun facts – did you know the actor cast as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life was also in the running to play mean old Mr. Potter? – make this a stocking stuffed with information you’ll turn to every Christmas season.