Christmas just isn't Christmas without Christmas on TV. Whether it's the made-for-television specials of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, a M*A*S*H* Christmas in Korea, Kramer playing Santa on Seinfeld, or the annual holiday disaster on The Simpsons or South Park, television's many representations of this beloved holiday have become as essential a part of our holiday season as lights, gifts, or mistletoe. In this entertaining chronicle of television and the Christmas season, former Television Critics Association President Diane Werts weaves discussion of the many programs that have appeared during the holiday season throughout the years with interviews with writers, producers, and stars. Not only are readers given a chance to re-live their favorite holiday moments on TV, but also to gain illuminating cultural insights into the increasingly strong bond that unites these two American traditions.
Diane Werts's book is the first to cover the entire history of the depiction of Christmas on television, and includes a discussion of programs that celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the winter solstice. An introductory overview helps readers to understand the basis on which television's success with the holidays is based, and chronological chapters go on to consider the many different ways in which the season has been celebrated in variety shows, sitcoms, specials, and dramas of the past six decades.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm
[I]ndispensable for anyone--viewer, fan, or fanatic--who wants a complete catalogue of the medium's yuletide output over the past sixty years or so.
For those who think the best holiday shows were the ones they watched as a kid.
Bing Crosby and David Bowie sang duets in a 1977 Christmas show. Collie star Lassie may have outdone them for weirdness nearly 20 years earlier munching fake candy canes. Bony actors have donned the red suit with varying results, most series with more than 13 episodes in the can have cranked out a Christmas project, and the sensitive can rejoice in that both Kwanzaa and Hanukkah have had their time on the tube, with Hanukkah celebrants including an armadillo. Journalist Werts treats all this with the appropriate seriousness, covering early television, alternate holidays (Festivus for the rest of us!) and tips on how to create a holiday show. Particularly interesting are her comments on Christmas specials, ranging from family warmth, revered traditions, perverse Santas, miracles, social statements, dance numbers, cartoons, impressions of Dickens and lots and lots of people wishing they had never been born.
The line between obsession and expertise can be a fine one, but thanks to Werts' new book, Christmas on Television, the Newsday TV columnist has made it safely over to the expert side, with a detail-rich exploration of television's long love affair with Christmas….With commentary on everything from The Sopranos' Christmas episode _ remember the Big Mouth Billy Bass Meadow gave Tony? _ to South Park she's also kept faith with the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Newsday TV critic and friend Diane Werts is onto something with her new book, Christmas on Television, which explores the nakedly visceral emotions stirred by Christmas shows. She also looks back at how television began to acknowledge Christmas with specials in the 1960s and then followed with series episodes in the 1970s and after.
It revisits classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas while, invaluably, offering a critical reading of themes in Christmas episodes from sitcoms to Westerns up to The O.C.'s 'Chrismukkah.
Werts, a full-blown Christmas fanatic, covers most of the heights and depths of TV's love affair with holiday fare….[i]t's a yeoman effort.