“Merry Crap-mas” :: Season 1, Episode 9
Directed by Luke Greenfield
A Little History
The Neighbors is an American television science fiction sitcom, airing on ABC on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central in the 2012–2013 television season. The story line revolves around a family of humans living in a community of extraterrestrials. The series was created by Dan Fogelman, who also serves as Executive Producer. Chris Koch, Jeffrey Morton, and Aaron Kaplan serve as co-producers, and the first season was produced by ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment.
The series, set in New Jersey, revolves around a family that has relocated to a gated townhouse community called “Hidden Hills“. Upon their arrival, they discover that the entire community is populated by residents from another planet. Amongst their myriad quirks, these aliens identify themselves by the names of sports celebrities, patrol the community in golf carts, receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books rather than eating, and cry green goo from out their ears. Since the aliens have assumed human form, they can also revert to their original appearances by clapping their hands above their heads. They have been stuck on Earth for 10 years, still awaiting instructions to return home.
Merry Crap-mas, the 9th episode in Season 1, begins with The Weavers asking their “neighbors” the Bird-Kersees to hide the Christmas gifts they have purchased for their three kids, Amber, Max and Abby. The Weavers, Marty and Debbie, later find themselves disenchanted with their children’s attitude and sense of entitlement about gifts and decide to turn Christmas on its head this year by returning all the children’s presents and using the money to pay for a family vacation to Hawaii instead.
The Weavers’ plan for a Christmas twist is thwarted when the neighbors, Larry Bird and family, open all the gifts out of curiosity, which starts a frenzy among the aliens who try to “use” said gifts, mostly inappropriately, leaving the gifts damaged, and the Weavers with no gifts and no way to pay for the trip.
Will the Bird-Kersees (the “aliens“) be able to save Christmas for the Weavers, and repair the mishap? Will they find a way to enjoy the holiday, as well? Will the Weavers find a way to teach their children about giving over getting? And what further hilarity will ensue?
My husband is an avid sitcom fan, whereas I am not. I am more of the hour-long dramedy, procedural or drama type of viewer, though there has been a few exceptions here and there. The one thing about him being a fan, though, is I get exposed to shows I may have never bothered with before, and with this I get to experience holiday episodes that may have been missed.
I have a soft spot for holiday episodes, so some of the daily posts to come will include television holiday episodes, both current and from the past.
As silly, and somewhat contrived, a “fish out of water“, or in this case “aliens out of their own universe“, are, they do often have a way of portraying heartwarming scenarios that make one stop and reconsider the human condition. In this episode I found myself relating with Debbie Weaver (Jami Gertz, who honestly is forever a cross between Star from Lost Boys and Blair from Less Than Zero), especially when she spoke about the fleeting look of joy on her daughter’s face that was so often replaced by one of distance and disdain.
The episode also made me appreciate the fact that my own kids, at least the two oldest, get more joy out of giving, and experiencing the expression and reaction of those they give to, than receiving holiday gifts. Hopefully my youngest gets to that point sometime soon, as well.
If you get a chance to check out this episode (I’m pretty sure it’s on Hulu), give it a shot. It has quite a lot of laughs, pop culture references, and a few “warm the heart” holiday moments.