Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Top 10 Favorite NC Christmas episodes

  Years ago, I posted a tribute to my favorite internet celebrity Doug Walker and his long running Nostalgia Critic web series. This series revolves around a very funny and over the top movie critic who always takes a comedic stab at reviewing films, but he also celebrates the art of film and even conveys creative criticism when it’s earned. Just this past Halloween I highlighted my favorite of his “Nostalgia-Ween” episodes, so it only figures to follow-up in December on my personal top 10 favorite Nostalgia Critic Christmas episodes.  Ever sense 2008 it’s become a tradition that every month in December will be a series of Nostalgia Critic Christmas episodes, and as of 2017 he’s had almost 40 of them. Some of them funny reviews, other times they’re fascinating editorials and most important of all is that they always put me in the mood for Christmas. So, in celebration of this long-running web-series, here are my personal top 10 favorite Nostalgia Critic Christmas episodes.

10. Nostalgia Critic reviews "Babes in Toyland

      I freely admit that “Babes in Toyland” isn’t exactly the most “Christmas themed” film to review during the season, but it still made for one of his funniest videos. He’s definitely reviewed worse movies then this, but still the 1986 movie version of “Babes in Toyland” is perfect for him as literally every scene leads to a funny reaction. Some of the highlights include the critics reactions to the films cheap set design and Keanu Reeves silly performance. There’s also a hilarious running joke in the video revolving around a character called “The Ghost of Christmas Future” who’s constantly pestering the critic to do some kind of “Christmas Carol” parody, as every comedian dose. The actor playing The Ghost of Christmas Future is hilarious and probably my favorite of the Critics holiday characters, even though he only appears in this one review.   

9. Nostalgia Critic Editorial “Is A Charlie Brown Christmas Overrated?” 

    While I can’t say that “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is one of my absolute favorite holidays specials, it is still something I make a tradition to watch every year. There is just something very magical about its simplicity that it adds so much to the Christmas experience. For the longest time I could never explain it, but after listening to the Critics editorial on weather or not it’s overrated, I think I finally get it and find myself loving it more. In this analysis, he nails every single detail of why it’s so special, why it hasn’t been forgotten and why it will continue to be celebrated in the holiday seasons to come. There are some points brought up in this editorial that I never even thought of before, but make so much sense and it just makes me appreciate it all the more. If you either watch this special annually like I do, or think it gets too much praise, I highly recommend checking out this editorial as it may either change your perspective or build on your fondness of one of the most classic animated Christmas specials of all time.     

8. Nostalgia Critic reviews “Jingle All the Way” 

    Continuing on my countdown is the very first Christmas movie he reviewed in full detail, all the way back in 2007 and surprisingly it still holds up today. This review represented a simpler time in which the Critic did less reviewing and more funny reacting to the zaniness of the film. Well, his videos have definitely come along way sense then, but regardless his “Jingle All the Way” review still holds up, and paved the way for future movie reviews that would revolve around Arnold Schwarzenegger … especially with the classic line “Put that cookie down!” I had no personal connection to “Jingle All the Way” before I saw the Critics review, but it’s just the perfect silly movie for him in which he can make a funny statement for just about every second of the film. The stupidity of the film builds to a hilarious climax in which the Critic loses his mind and has a funny song number in which he just joins in with the silliness of the movie. All the jokes land, and in the long run it was a great start to his on-going series of Christmas reviews. 

7. Nostalgia Critic reviews “A Christmas Story 2” 

   The 1980’s holiday classic “A Christmas Story” is hands down my favorite that I watch every year, it’s direct to video sequel on the other hand is an abomination upon mankind. I was beyond thrilled when the critic reviewed this film, and gave it the proper bashing it deserved. The jokes aimed at the film are very funny, and I especially love this running joke revolving around the movies main character and his perverted nature. This review even has a touching sub-plot revolving around the Critic and his revelations with an annoying ex-girlfriend, leading to a bitter sweet ending. It’s just a solid review of an awful Christmas movie, and oh, so gratifying to wash that bad taste out of my mouth.

6. NC counts down “The Top 12 Best Christmas Commercials” 

   It’s a yearly tradition for the Critic to do a special episode revolved entirely around commercials, and they’re usually a funny treat. Well, it was an even bigger treat to get an episode themed solely around Christmas commercials. There’s a nice variety to this countdown including funny Christmas adds, classic adds, controversial adds, and holiday adds that are just plain sweet to watch. It’s such a odd topic for a Christmas video, but there really are a lot of nice holiday adds that can just warm you up and put you in the Christmas mood. Nothing much else to say about this one other then a countdown of charming holiday adds, and sometimes it’s just the simplest little things that can go a long way during the Christmas season.   

5. Nostalgia Critic reviews “Grandma Got Run-Over by a Reindeer” 

   I distinctly remember seeing the animated special “Grandma Got Run-Over by a Reindeer” as a kid back when it premiered in 2000, and I was never able to wash that awful taste out of my mouth after that. In short, there’s a very special appeal that comes from seeing the Critic rip apart an awful Christmas special you had to put up with as a kid. As you’d expect, his jokes and critiques aimed at this special are all perfect, and pack some good laughs. I can’t even begin to recap how many of the Critics jokes hit bulls-eyes in this review, but a particular favorite are his reactions to the specials sudden song numbers. Now reviewing this awful special alone is enough to put this episode among my top 5 favorites, but the critic then goes the extra mile with his own over the top Christmas musical number … which is one of the most unforgettable moments in the shows run.

4. NC counts down “The Top 12 Best Santa’s” 

    In yet another fantastic holiday countdown, the Critic lists the best Santa’s featured in movies and specials. Basically, I agreed with the whole list, especially having the Santa from “Ernest Saves Christmas” at #1. I also loved that he included the Santa from “The Twilight Zone” episode titled “Night of the Meek”, as that’s always been a favorite of mine and one that I don’t think gets enough attention. There were even some surprise Santa’s from specials I’d never herd of before. Throw in a very funny opening in which the Critic announces to the universe that he loves Christmas, and it’s just another solid Christmas countdown episode that puts me in the yuletide mood every time I watch it.

3. Nostalgia Critic reviews “The Star Wars Holiday Special” 

   I’m one of those supper devoted Star Wars fans that has to watch everything in the series, so I’m probably one of the few people to actually sit down and watch the infamously awful “Star Wars Holiday Special”. I can safely say it’s one of the worst things ever made by human hand, and I was overjoyed when the Critic gave this stinker the hilarious thrashing that it deserved. In fact, if you’re the slightest bit curious about this special, I’d just recommend watching this review, as you’ll get your fill and actually have fun thanks to the critic. This was also one of his early Christmas reviews from back in 2008, and it still makes me laugh to this day. His reactions to just how unbelievably bad this special gets are downright side splitting at times. One of my favorite jokes from this review revolves around him gradually losing his intelligence during an especially boring part of the special. The only thing keeping this review at #3 on my list is that it admittedly doesn’t put me in the mood for Christmas, unlike the next two.  

2. NC counts down “The Top 12 Greatest Christmas Specials” 

   This was the Critics very first Christmas video, and to this day no other has got me more in the mood for the holiday then this one. It’s a strait forward countdown of what he believes are the greatest Christmas specials of all time, and for the most part I completely agree with every special mentioned on this list and their respected arrangements. The only thing I didn’t like was his inclusion of “South Park: A Woodland Critter Christmas”, which is personally my least favorite Christmas special I’ve ever seen, but that’s just me. Aside from that, everything else on his list is perfect. The 1983 film “A Christmas Story” has always been my personal favorite Christmas movie, so I was very happy to see it at #1 on his countdown. Some of the specials on his countdown I’d actually never heard of before, and have sense become favorites of mine that I watch every year. Two in particular are “The Small One” and “Disney’s The Little Match Girl”, which were very welcome discoveries for me. I also loved seeing the Critics bland and boring set all covered in Christmas decorations. There’s also a funny running joke with a dancing Christmas tree which helps supply the episode with the comedy we usually associate with the character. In general, I’m an addict for watching Christmas specials around the holiday season, and if you’re the same, I highly recommend checking out the Critics countdown to see if you may even discover something new to watch for the holiday season.  

Before I reveal my #1 favorite, here are some Honorable Mentions … 

What you never knew about “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Critic reviews “The Ninja Turtles Christmas

Critic counts down The Top 11 Next Best Christmas Specials

Critic reviews “Christmas with the Kranks

Critic reviews “Ernest Saves Christmas

1. Nostalgia Critic reviews “The Grinch” 

    I went into this review with caution because I actually have some fondness reserved for the live action 2000 film “The Grinch”, but I was still open to what the Critic might have to say about the film. The result is one of the most soiled reviews the Critic has ever done, and to this day I think it’s his best Christmas video. Despite my fondness for the film, every criticism he brought up was perfectly valid, and he had some really funny jokes aimed at the film too. He also acknowledges why some may still like this film, and delivers a subtly touching message at the end for all viewers that either like or dislike it. However, the main reason this review makes it at number one on my countdown over all the others is for how the Critic in the review comedically recreates scenes from the original TV cartoon. The way he tweaks certain lines, camera angles and scenes from the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” special are every bit as funny as they are a loving homage. Best of all is that through the entire review the critic says everything through rhyme, and honestly it makes this review feel more faithful to the source material then the actual movie. It’s actually become a tradition for me to watch the Critics review every season after I watch the animated special, as I feel the two played back to back complete each other. In short, I highly recommend checking out any of these funny Christmas reviews even if you’re not familiar with the Nostalgia Critic himself, and maybe you’ll have discovered a new favorite internet comedy series. All his episodes are on YouTube or his website "Chanel Awesome". I love looking forward to the critics Christmas reviews every year, and I’m excited to see what he delivers next season.    

The End

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