By Shannon Watts, Staff Writer
Are you freaking out during pre-finals madness? Are you living in a state of denial? No matter your mental state, I can provide you with the perfect source of procrastination.
Everyone has their weird fixations, and ever since I got a Netflix account at the tender young age of 14, mine has been themed episodes—most notably, holiday episodes. Television is art, and holiday episodes are the most artful of them all.
So, to conveniently help distract you from your own terrible fate, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite holiday episodes. Of course, I haven’t seen every show on TV, but these ones are guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit and hopefully warm your cold, jaded college heart at least a little.
#1 and #2: “The West Wing” — In Excelsis Deo and Bartlet for America
“The West Wing” is probably one of the best shows to ever have aired. As a political science major, the show’s relentless optimism has always inspired me. The show has a few Christmas episodes, the other notable one called “Noel,” but these two stand out the most because of the use of flashbacks (in Bartlet for America) and for the small moments between characters. If I had to subsist only on “The West Wing” for the rest of my life, these two episodes would be more than enough.
#3 and #4: “House” — It’s A Wonderful Lie and Joy to the World
House is my all-time favorite TV shows, and the Christmas episodes are some of my favorites because they maintain the show’s snappy, cynical attitude (see the episode titles) while also including a bit of the “Christmas miracle” theme. It’s always nice when the patients on the show don’t die, and these two holiday episodes do that and some more.
#5: “Scrubs” — My Own Personal Jesus
Scrubs was one of the first shows I marathoned on Netflix, and it will forever be special in my heart. This episode contains learning experiences, character growth, and best of all, Christmas-themed comedy. I tend to watch more heavy dramas, so if you’re looking for something at least a little bit lighter, this one’s for you.
#6: “Gilmore Girls” — Forgiveness and Stuff
“Gilmore Girls” has a few episodes that are a bit heavier on the sentimental Christmas cheer, but I’ve always liked this one for its realistic portrayal of the feelings you have about your family around Christmas. It has a happy ending, as “Gilmore Girls” episodes often do, but it has a bit more substance than, say, “The Bracebridge Dinner.” Plus, Dean has a comparatively minimal presence, and that’s all I asked for from the first few seasons.
#7: “The O.C.” — The Best Chrismukkah Ever
“The O.C.” is a teen drama gift that I discovered very late in the game. I love the show’s annual holiday episodes because they always revolve around one of my favorite themes: the found family. Ryan’s first Chrismukkah with Seth, Kirsten and Sandy is really cute, and the show knows how to make a kitschy holiday episodes without getting too caught up in the seasonal gimmicks.
Bonus Round: Movie
Anytime you’re looking for cozy, nostalgic holiday feelings that don’t actually come in the form of an intended Christmas movie, “Harry Potter” is always a safe bet. My favorite is the first one. I cry every time Harry gets that sweater from Mrs. Weasley. Plus, you can use this movie to delay your studying another two hours!
Happy holidays, and try not to put off preparing for finals forever!