Gizmodo Movie Night: A Christmas TV Advent Calendar So You Don't Have To Watch Die Hard 25 Times

As someone who spent years working in retail - I haven't always had an overwhelming sense of Christmas cheer. But I do love it when my great TV shows take on the holiday season. It's fun!

So here are some of my favourite Christmas episodes that are streaming right now. And if you don't agree, definitely come at me with your favourites and arguments in the comments below!

This Gizmodo Movie Night is brought to you by Stan - the leaders in original production of Aussie premium drama. Sign up to Stan today for a free 30-day trial so you can binge your favourite shows over the holiday season!

Stan

Doctor Who - The End of Time

Image: BBC America

I'm named after a Doctor Who character, Tegan Jovanka, because my mum is awesome. So naturally, I grew up on Doctor Who and the Christmas Specials hold a special place in my heart.

As much as I love the more fun, jovial episodes like The Christmas Invasion and A Christmas Carol, I'm going to have to go with The End of Time episodes as my picks here. I always was a sucker for Ten and Rose. And what better time have you heart ripped out of your chest than at Christmas?

Stan: Christmas Eve, and the Doctor is reunited with Wilf, to face the return of an old enemy. Something terrible stalks the wastelands of London, while far away, the Immortality Gate reaches completion.


Community - Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas

Image: Community Wiki

I'm a Community fanatic, so it's difficult for me to choose just one episode here. Particularly because most of them manage to tear apart traditional holiday specials or themes in their own unique way.

But ultimately I'm going to have to go with Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas. Not only is it a deep dive into the complexity of Abed's character, it absolutely nails the stop-motion animation trope.

Stan: The meaning of Christmas is lost and Abed's intense fixation on the holiday concerns the group in this special stop-motion animation episode.


Parks & Recreation - Ron and Diane

Image: YouTube

I'm currently doing a sporadic rewatch of Parks & Rec for for the third or fourth time. That's where I just trawl all of the seasons for weeks on end and watch whatever episode takes my fancy at the time. Full disclosure - it's often one of the Tammy episodes. Hence my Christmas choice.

This show is so, so good. If you still haven't seen it, my advice would be to just push through season one for context. It really doesn't get great until season 2, particularly in regards to character development. From that point on, I really believe it becomes one of the best half hour comedys on television.

Anyway. Christmas!

Stan: Frustrated by how her two week suspension prevents her from working at the Parks Dept., Leslie forms a citizen action group and fights from the outside. Meanwhile, everyone in the office tries to come up with the perfect Christmas gift for Leslie.


The West Wing - Noël

Image: The West Wing Wiki

For a 40 minute political drama that is coming up on 20 years old - it's both surprising and delightful how rewatchable it is.

You know, unless you're a fan of Aaron Sorkin, in which case you say 'duh'. Honestly, it's still one of my favourite shows of all time. The characters are so well written and the themes are still largely pertinent. And it just brings this warmth that you just wouldn't expect from the genre.

I chose 'Noël' because it is such an integral episode for Josh's character development. It really injects an element of seriousness in a Christmas themed episode and it's incredibly refreshing.

Stan: At Christmas time, Leo hires a traumatologist (ADAM ARKIN) to force Josh to confront his unacknowledged stress resulting from when he was shot. Josh initially denies his recent erratic emotions as he recounts the events of the last few weeks.


Honourable Mentions:


Netflix

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Yippie Kayak

Image: Supplied

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of my favourite shows currently airing on TV. The characters are brilliant, it's hilarious and also easily rewatchale.

But even more than that - the show sports a diverse and talented cast and uses both its platform for political and social commentary, under the guise of humour.

What I love most about this Nine-Nine Christmas episode is DIE HARD. That's it. They do Die Hard. It's the best.

Netflix: Jake, Charles and Gina are involved in a real-life “Die Hard” situation while off-duty on Christmas Eve, and Terry must leave his family celebration to try to save his squad. Meanwhile, Amy tries to prove she's just as tough as Holt and Rosa.


Bojack Horseman Christmas Special

Image: YouTube

I have really complicated feelings about Bojack Horseman. Even in an age where a plethora of animated TV shows exist for adults - it still isn't what anyone was expecting.

It's just as likely to destroy you emotionally as it is to make you laugh. Sometimes you may even feel like you're not really looking at a screen, but a dark, twisted mirror of yourself. And you may not like what's staring back at you.

And for that reason it is truly a brilliant piece of television. Humour is used to shine a often-uncomfortable light upon who we are as humans. And for that reason I can only watch a few episodes at a time. But I always comes back for more.

Unsurprisingly, the Bojack Christmas special (which is spliced with the titular character's own fictional show, Horsin' Around) is both funny and a little too real...

"Special holiday episodes are always stupid. Cynical cash grabs, by greedy corporations, looking to squeeze some extra nelson points, from sentimental clap-trap for mush brain idiots, who'd rather spend their Christmas watching a fake family TV, then actually trying to have a conversation with their own dumb families."

Well, damn.

Netflix: Christmas episodes? BoJack Horseman doesn't give a $#!* about Christmas episodes ... or so he claims.


Honourable Mentions: