Vanguard reporters’ favorite TV Christmas specials


Gabriel Pantoja

World’s best boss, Michael Scott, and his Dunder Mifflin crew throw their annual Christmas party, and it does not disappoint. This is the first Christmas episode of the series, and it set the bar high for the future specials that followed. Now, it would not be a true episode of “The Office” if Michael did not make comments that are rude, disrespectful and offensive. This was the episode where less of that behavior would be expected, but the audience received what felt like two times more of it. For those finished with the series, it gives a good feeling of nostalgia. Jim attempts to reveal his feelings for Pam, Angela feels neglected and Meredith ends up nude. It is a classic episode that reveals the true meaning of Christmas in the most Michael Scott way possible: with 15 bottles of vodka.

Dylan Powell

I have discovered the Christmas special to end all Christmas specials. The final episode of season six of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” may just be about as perfect of a special as you can get. Of course, the show takes the usual holiday conventions and sets them through the lens of the deplorable main characters of the show. Not only does the episode contain some of the most laugh out loud funny moments of the series (Charlie in the mall … if you’ve seen it, you know), but it also carries the same spirit and charm necessary for a Christmas special to be effective.

If you haven’t seen the show, I probably wouldn’t recommend starting here, but if you have, make sure to give this gem another run this holiday season.

Kaitlyn Farley

The “Psych” movie was probably the best (early) Christmas gift I have ever received. Although a Christmas movie in the sense that “Gremlins” is a Christmas movie, “Psych” certainly did bring tidings of comfort and joy (and pineapples and Pluto – you will always be our ninth planet, buddy). Finally, after three years, Psycho-s got to see Shawn and Jules marry, Gus find true love, Mary play a sport other than racquet ball and The Chief a happy-ish ever after with a family. While Lassitor’s absence (because of Timothy Omundson’s stroke) certainly did bring down the holiday mood, John Cena, Zachary Levi, Charlotte Flair and whoever played the Black Gentleman Ninja certainly did help fill the Lassie void. Seeing the cast back together after three years certainly was a nice present, and all the Psych-isms and inside jokes sprinkled throughout the “holiday” special tied it all together with a bow that had me tap-dancing.

Maria Ranger

In the “30 Rock” Christmas special, Liz Lemon tries to get her co-workers to read poor children’s letters to Santa and buy them the presents they want.

Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy deals with a surprise visit from his demanding mother and accidentally hits her with his car.
Later, Liz thinks the presents she bought for the kids were a scam when two grown adults pick them up; however, they were just the kids’ fathers, and they were going to have “Santa” give their kids the gifts.
There’s plenty of odd jokes and “did that really just happen?” moments. Although the episode had several weird and funny moments, it still has a happy ending, which is one of the reasons why I love this show so much.

Aran Singh

I like the U.S. version of “The Office” as much as the next person, but there’s just something about the British version – a bit more pessimistic in outlook, a bit bleaker in tone – that I respond to more.
The two-part Christmas special takes place after the initial two-season run of the show and serves as the series capper. The documentary crew has returned to Wernham Hogg to catch up with participants. Obnoxious narcissist David Brent, relatively famous now, tries to capitalize off that with local celebrity appearances. They don’t go well.
Brent’s more humiliating moments are definitely tough to watch (he dresses up and talks like Austin Powers in public). It’s the type of humor that sometimes forces you to look away from the screen because of its excruciating awkwardness.
But the emotional center of the show is the “will-they-won’t-they” dynamic of Dawn and Tim, which ultimately gets resolved at the office Christmas party.
For you yanks who haven’t seen this version yet, do yourselves a favor and binge the bloody thing already. Filled with wicked humor and subtle poignancy, it’s still one of the greatest TV comedies ever.