What we’re watching during the holidays
Does the thought of impending finals fill your heart with doom and gloom? Do you need a little jolt to get you in the holiday spirit? Never fear, The California Aggie Arts and Culture Desk is here to help! We’ve compiled our favorite movies and shows to watch during the holidays. Just pick something from the list, curl up in your favorite blanket and enjoy.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
My favorite holiday is Christmas — it is one of the only times of the year where I can appropriately revert to my five-year old self, surround myself in colorful decorations and overwhelm myself with warm and fuzzy feelings. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the one Christmas movie that I have watched every year since childhood, so for the sake of nostalgia, I have to name this as my favorite Christmas movie. The songs are some of the best — my personal favorites include “There’s Always Tomorrow” and “The Island of Misfit Toys” — and the adorable animation captures the spirit of Christmas that I love so much.
Dan in Real Life (2007)
While my family and I bake holiday treats (large-scale, factory-style production), we have a list of must-see films. Oddly enough, few of them have anything to do with the holidays. But among our list — When Harry Met Sally, Sweet Home Alabama, Family Stone, and a slew of other Hallmark reject films — is my personal favorite: Dan in Real Life. Whether it’s the incredible performances by Steve Carrell, Juliette Binoche and Emily Blunt, or the hysterics of “But you, are, a murderer, of love!” — the film is a classic (at least during the Overbay family biscotti production line).
Love Actually (2003)
Love Actually is one for the hopeless romantics. The movie follows the stories of multiple couples and families during the holiday season, switching between many intersecting narratives throughout the film. And did I mention British accents? Yes, this movie has it all. Although it’s an overall feel-good movie, I recommend tissues and hot cocoa for the tender moments. Warning: extremely addicting movie that you will want to watch approximately 50 times during the holiday season.
I’m not sure what kid would ever call Gremlins their favorite Christmas film, but it remains mine to this day. This movie is the perfect combination of thriller, black comedy and holiday charm. It’ll have you cracking up at one moment and covering your eyes the next. If you like cheesy ’80s films like Ghostbusters and The Goonies with a dark twist on holiday films, watch Gremlins.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
I have started a tradition of watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York every year, because it includes everything that you could possibly need in a Christmas movie: New York City in the snow, ’90s nostalgia, childish mischief and the suspended belief that a family would, once again, “accidentally” abandon their child. To this day, Kevin McCallister is my hero (which explains why my diet consists of the junk foods he feverishly scarfs down the instant he realizes that his family has left) and I always look forward to watching his antics play out around the holiday season.
The Crown (2016)
The Crown, released on Netflix on Nov. 4, is a television series about the early life of Queen Elizabeth II. The show follows the Queen, played by Claire Foy, as she succeeds her father and faces challenges and questions from her family and the British government. The show creates a compelling illustration of Queen Elizabeth’s poise, elegance and perseverance as a woman in a leadership position. The Crown is educational, entertaining and very British — my kind of holiday watching.
Love Actually (2003)
This is my favorite holiday movie because it always puts a smile on my face. Watching all the different storylines intertwine and the happy endings is exactly what I like to see during the holidays. I am not ashamed to say that I have cried tears of joy more than a few times while watching this (and the same goes for my dad) — it’s become a family tradition to blubber at this film every year.
“Benihana Christmas” — The Office, Season 3, Episode 10
I am a huge fan of The Office — the poor writers at the arts desk can attest to this, as I subject them to my Office memes regularly. So it should come as no surprise that my pick is the “Benihana Christmas” episode of The Office. This is a classic episode, filled with all the dysfunction that makes the show great: tension between the will-they-or-won’t-they duo Pam and Jim, Michael Scott sending a wildly inappropriate Christmas card to his girlfriend and Dwight explaining to a Benihana waitress how to properly butcher a goose. If talk of goose butchering doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I’m not sure what will.
Written by: The California Aggie Arts and Culture Desk — email@example.com