There is no worse episode of television than the ‘holiday episode’ that pops up-while you’re binge watching your favorite show. I’m not a complete Scrooge. I enjoy a good holiday film or a Charlie Brown special as much as the next person. But there’s something about the low-effort, corny half-hearted episodes that I see every year that is off putting.
How many times do I need to see the same old plots rehashed poorly by actors who would rather be doing something else? It’s a Fourth of July barbeque and our protagonist’s father is in conflict with the neighbor. Who has the better lay out this year? Who cares? It’s Christmas and our young protagonist doesn’t have a gift for his girlfriend. I still have a hard time caring. There’s no need to see a half-baked version of any number of superior holiday movies I can see at any time.
Why watch some terrible episode about the Fourth of July when I could watch “Independence Day” or “The Patriot”? Why watch a sitcom mom stress about Thanksgiving when I could watch “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” or “Funny People”? In the age of streaming, the holiday episode is completely pointless. Television shows that produce a holiday episode are creating content that is only relevant once a year. Most of the year I skip every single holiday episode when it comes up on streaming because I have that freedom.
Maybe I’d be more inclined to watch some sitcom dad try to find a doll for his daughter for the 20th time if there was nothing else on TV. Television isn’t just competing against the things in its time slot anymore. Without that restriction, I’m more likely to choose “A Christmas Story” over any nonsense episode of the sitcom of the hour.