Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why do we still watch Christmas Specials?

(Commercial Sting with American Gladiators first run's final season's ten seconds theme with James Standing alongside a Christmas tree to Holiday Text saying The Last of the Americans. While the sound of Jingling bells and the sight of snow falling are covering the sting and a candy cane with the word Editorial is placed on top of it all and scene cuts to James sitting down changing channels looking around to see endless Christmas Specials being played when he notices the people looking at him.)
Oh Hey, I'm James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and the views I'm about to express are that of my own & some of yours. Since it is December, Duh, we're getting our fair share of Christmas Specials and the networks play the ever-living daylights out of them. (Deck The Halls played by Michael Schiciano) But for me that's no surprise, the real surprise is how many adults who don't have kids watch them. I have nieces so technically I shouldn't count myself but I do and so I ask as an adult Why do we still watch Christmas specials? Partly the answer should be that it's there to remind us of our youth when we could watch cartoons on Prime time around this time of year, right? Well with the advent of the internet and Amazon we can get our Christmas specials fix so easily. Another reason I think might be that we need to be reminded why we like Christmas with all the stores trying to herd us in like cattle for their bottom line we need to know that there's more to the holidays like with the story of "A Christmas Carol" Ebenezer Scrooge lost his way because he got caught up with what was his desires and forgot about who was more important him or the world around him and that's why the three spirits were there to A) remind him of who he once was, B) how he became a miserly old jerk and C) what will happen if he keeps acting the way he was before the spirits gave him a kick in the pants. But for those who might need a spiritual reminder of what the Holidays are about that's where Linus' quoting the Bible passage about the birth of Jesus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas Special" shines the best in my opinion. But are there morals in something like "Rudolph" or "Frosty" ? To be honest they're there but it's subtle like with "Rudolph" it's the one that you think should be shunned for being different will be the one to save the day and as for "Frosty" is to believe in something beyond what we know and believe and it's sort of like having to believe in both Santa & Jesus or something will be better. I know I'm stretching my thoughts on this but for all intent & purposes there is no right answer as to why adults with no children still watch Christmas specials, I don't have that answer. But if you're a parent and you watch them with your kids you get to see the same thing they are through their eyes or to be reminded of what your youth was and you can tell what it was like watching it when you were their age and you pass on your memories of your youth. I hope you enjoyed this editorial, I'll see everyone in 2014, now if you'll excuse me, I've got Christmas Specials & Classics to watch (James picks up remote and turns on "You're A Rotten Dirty Bastard" starring The Nostalgia Critic) Well, this one is NOT for the kids but it's a classic very well retold. I'm James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and that's my opinion.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Yogi" is this a great Christmas Special or what?

(Music from the last seasons of the Original Run of American Gladiators play Speedy shot of James Faraci riding with Santa on his sleigh, throwing snowballs, singing Christmas Carols with The Muppets, baking cookies, Waxing Rudolph’s red nose to add to the brightness and pal around with Frosty before fading away to see a picture of the North Pole Santa Workshop appears in the background as Jesus Christ, Santa Claus and Santa Christ appear in the foreground as all three stand as a Christmas Tree land over them and James Faraci stands alongside the Christmas tree with a smile on his face and in Holiday text the words of The Last Of The Americans stand by his side as Jingling Bells and snow falls in the intro)

TLOTA: I’m James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and the views I’m about to express are CHRISTMAS! ( Scene speeds up but audio stays at normal speed as James says Christmas repeatedly as fast as he can as he decorates his place before getting back into his seat and shout Christmas one last time.) I love this time of year it’s when guys like us give back something to you without snark, sarcasm or anything to be harsh. (Scene cuts to photo montage of Christmas Specials as “We wish you a Merry Christmas” played by Michael Schiciano play in the background)  It’s time to watch those Christmas classics like Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus is coming to town, Muppets Christmas specials and of course the special I’m going to review today “Yogi’s First Christmas”. (Scene cuts to “Yogi’s First Christmas” title card is seen as “It’s that favorite time of the year” instrumental plays and montage of clips from “Yogi’s First Christmas” play) This is one of the first Non Rankin/Bass & Disney classics that I grew up loving and still gets me in the mood for the Holidays. (Cut back to James) Besides I want to review something fun & nostalgic for the holidays. This is “Yogi’s First Christmas” (Cut to opening) So we see Ranger Smith cart with him Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss & Augie Doggy & Doggy Daddy up to Jellystone Lodge as they make it to the lodge the gang talk about how sad it is that Yogi & Boo-Boo won’t be able to join them due to the fact that they’re hibernating and how last year’s festivities were jinxed in some weird way.

Ranger Smith: We had enough trouble last year without him.

Doggy Daddy: Ya mean all those scary things that were happening all the time?

Huckleberry Hound: Like that big old Snowball that crashed into the lodge.

Ranger Smith: Yep

Augie Doggy: And stealing the Santa suit from my prize winning Snowman

Ranger Smith: Uh-Huh!

Huckleberry Hound: And like all that howling at night? (Howls) Never did find out who did that.

Ranger Smith:  But if they try any of that scary stuff this year, I’ll know what to do. (Cut to James’ audio over the video)

TLOTA: But we soon meet our villain Herman the Hermit who’s retired from the human world and spills to himself how he’s been doing all the wrong doing and will continue to do so until the mountain is abandoned from other people.

Herman The Hermit: Well this year, I’ll scare them good. (Cut to James’ audio over the video)

TLOTA: We soon meet Chef Otto & the Lodge manager Marty Dingwell who seem to have the weight of the world on their shoulders as Mrs. Throckmorton, the owner of the winter lodge plans to sell the lodge for a freeway because of what Herman did last year and if she is treated well she’ll put the kibosh on the sale. Meanwhile the music finally catches Yogi’s ear and makes his way into the lodge and finds himself in the crosshairs of Chef Otto and the smell of the food makes Yogi hungry. But Chef Otto thinks they’re there to help him in the Kitchen and as you would expect hilarity ensues.

Yogi Bear: One chopped egg coming up! Choppity chop-chop! (Cut to James Faraci)

TLOTA: Well at least he didn’t do it while Chef Gordon Ramsey was there. (Cut to scene of Gordon Ramsey getting angry at Hell’s Kitchen contestant as clip of Yogi saying One Chopped egg coming up! Choppity chop-chop! Then cutting the egg in half splattering the egg everywhere and Gordon Ramsey going after Yogi with a meat cleaver! Scene cuts back to “Yogi’s First Christmas” and James doing audio over video) Eventually Yogi realizes he’s up in time for Christmas and everyone celebrates, except for Ranger Smith & Mr. Dingwell who after this might institutionalize himself after this if he can’t get Yogi & Boo-Boo back into their cave for hibernation. But Yogi & Boo-Boo commandeer a snowplow and the two make a run for it just in time to save Mrs. Throckmorton & her nephew Snively and help them make it to the lodge and to thank Yogi for saving her life she gets the two promoted to bellboys and soon enough the two make more hijinks as they do their job and the activities for a winter carnival. Meanwhile Herman the Hermit tries to salt the ice to ruin the skating but Yogi driving a Zamboni sends the salt on to Herman the Hermit. Meanwhile the ice skating competition is pretty much set in stone as Snively skates circles around the others despite Mrs. Throckmorton’s hopes that he loses all the competitions to learn humility. But fortunately Yogi wins the competition with Mrs. Throckmorton’s ice skates and the next competition is downhill skiing but the competition is not too good and thankfully Yogi’s own hot doggin’ makes Mrs. Throckmorton give Yogi a promotion to Ski instructor and sends Ranger Smith to keep the First Aid station on stand-by. Meanwhile Yogi is given the additional responsibility to help with the Christmas Carol Choir but Mrs. Throckmorton suggest we get more females in there as Boo-Boo gets Cindy Bear to join in the activities. Meanwhile Yogi is teaching Skiing to everyone else just as Ranger Smith and Mrs. Throckmorton make their way to the ski lift Herman sends Ranger Smith on a wild fire goose chase and sabotages the ski lift. But as the lesson goes well as making “Home Alone” 3-5 & yes there is a fifth one, Yogi saves Mrs. Throckmorton yet again. Meanwhile Cindy’s got one thing on her mind, kissing Yogi and something that might make Cindy shout Ho! Ho! Ho! But as Mrs. Throckmorton and the others enjoy Old Faithful Mrs. Throckmorton must make the hardest decision of her life to sell the lodge & promote Yogi to head of security after thwarting another one of Herman’s schemes through the power of COOL RUNNINGS! (Show slightly altered scene as Herman enters the tunnel then a loud crash is heard and the scene of tunnel shake and Audio from Cool Runnings is heard.)

Derice Bannock: Sanka, ya dead?

Sanka Coffie: Yeah mon!

Derice Bannock: Good, You can pee now.

Sanka Coffie: Um, Too late. (Scene cuts back to James Faraci)

TLOTA: What? I found it funny. (Cut to James’ audio over the video) At the last competition of the carnival which just so happens to be an ice fishing contest. Doggy Daddy and Snively seem to be in the lead however I think trying to drown your competition could’ve gotten Snively disqualified had Yogi not saved Doggy Daddy who was warming up in an ice fishing shed and Snively walking into an open ice fishing hole. Snively tried to blame Yogi for nearly freezing to death. But Yogi tells Mrs. Throckmorton what Snively did that makes Mrs. Throckmorton punish Snively but he runs away. Yogi & the gang form a search party while Snively finds himself in Herman the Hermit’s cave and then we get this. (The “Mean, Nasty, Rotten & Cruel” song plays as scenes cuts to James reacting with fear as the scenes in which the fire burns and Herman shouts BAH! And scene cuts to James jump back in his seat. Scene cuts back to Snively as a devil and devils dance in a line and scene cuts to James ducking under his desk as scene returns to the cave and scene cuts to James as he pops up as the song ends and Herman & Snively come for a close up at the end of the song scene cuts to James as the camera zooms to his face which is terrified as the scene with Snively and Herman has an angry look on their face scene cuts to James scared stupid) Okay, This holiday fruitcake is about 12 seconds away from dropping a WHOLE LOTTA COAL into my White Christmas underwear! I’m going to take a break. I’ll be back! (James runs away in fear and Diarrheic sounds from “Dumb & Dumber play in the distant background)

(Commercial Sting with American Gladiators first run's final season's ten seconds theme with James Standing alongside a Christmas tree to Holiday Text saying The Last of the Americans. While the sound of Jingling bells and the sight of snow falling are covering the sting. Cutting away from the review) (Cut to black background and “Merry Christmas to you” intro plays on a Piano and Todd In The Shadows do a voice over as Comic Strip Critic steps into a spotlight)

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): His music has made prisoners at Guantanamo Bay commit suicide! (Cut to Comic Strip Critic in the spotlight with a microphone)

Comic Strip Critic (Lip-synching as James Faraci sings loudly and way out of tune): Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. (Piano Music changes to O Holy Night)

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): Going to his concerts is a violation of the Geneva Convention on Cruel & Unusual punishment (Cut to Comic Strip Critic in the spotlight with a microphone)

Comic Strip Critic (Lip-synching as James Faraci sings loudly and way out of tune): O Holy Night the stars are brightly shining. (Music volume diminishes 95% as voiceover continues)

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): He is Michael Bolton & now we’re doomed as he butchers Christmas classics in Michael Bolton sings Christmas classics. (Piano Music changes to Silent Night, Holy Night)

Comic Strip Critic (Lip-synching as James Faraci sings loudly and way out of tune): Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm all is bright (Piano Music changes to The First Noel)

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): You’ll hear such classic Christmas songs be put through a meat grinder like Jingle Bells, All I want for Christmas is you, Jingle Bell Rock & The First Noel!

Comic Strip Critic (Lip-synching as James Faraci sings loudly and way out of tune): The first noel, the angels did sing. (Cut to cover of CD with Comic Strip Critic and a Microphone and the words Michael Bolton sings Christmas Classics)

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): And if you order this, not only will we provide you with enough Jack Daniels Whiskey to kill an elephant so you don’t have to live with the shame of buying this musical abomination in addition we’ll throw in Michael McDonald sings Christmas Novelty Songs (Piano plays Grandma got run over by a reindeer as James Faraci looking like Michael McDonald)

James Faraci (sounding like he’s crying as he’s singing like Michael McDonald): Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas Eve. You can say that there’s no such thing as Santa, but as for me and Grandpa we believe! (Piano plays The Night Santa went crazy)

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): You’ll hear him put enough pain in a Christmas Novelty song to make Darwinists to take a trip off the Empire State Building with his renditions of The Chipmunks Christmas song, Christmas at Ground Zero, I want a hippopotamus for Christmas & The Night Santa went crazy

 James Faraci (sounding like he’s crying as he’s singing like Michael McDonald): The night Santa went crazy. The Night St. Nick went insane! Realized he’d been getting the raw deal, something finally must have snapped in his brain!  (Scene cuts to CD covers of James with the Words Michael McDonald’s Christmas Novelty Songs & Comic Strip Critic and a Microphone and the words Michael Bolton sings Christmas Classics)

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): You’ll get both CDs and the eternal shame knowing you bought them and you can’t return them along with enough Jack Daniels Whiskey to kill an elephant for the low, low, low price of ten easy payments of Nineteen dollars & ninety nine cents. (Scene cuts to the two doing a duet to Let It Snow)

James Faraci (sounding like he’s crying as he’s singing like Michael McDonald): Oh! The weather outside is frightful!

Comic Strip Critic (Lip-synching as James Faraci sings loudly and way out of tune): But the fire is so delightful and since we’ve got no place to go!

Comic Strip Critic (Lip-synching as James Faraci sings loudly and way out of tune) & James Faraci (sounding like he’s crying as he’s singing like Michael McDonald):  Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it Snow! 

Todd In The Shadows (V.O.): Ugh, Just buy the damned music so they’ll stop torturing me!

(Commercial Sting with American Gladiators first run's final season's ten seconds theme with James Standing alongside a Christmas tree to Holiday Text saying The Last of the Americans. While the sound of Jingling bells and the sight of snow falling are covering the sting returns to the review)

TLOTA: (Audio over video): So after that nightmare fuel haunts you for the rest your days, Snively discovers that Herman was the guy who has been sabotaging the Jellystone Winter Lodge’s Christmas Carnival for the past few years.  (Scene cuts to James Faraci visually) But if I can interject logic into what Herman considers his master plan. If Mrs. Throckmorton sells the Lodge and the land you believe you’re entitled to due to squatter’s rights, they’re going to put a freeway into that area. So you’ll have to deal construction workers paving eight lanes of cement from one point to another through the land you think you’re going to have when you think you’ll have your victory by shutting down the lodge but it’ll last for a micro-fraction of the time you think the victory will be! (Cut back to Audio over video)But I digress, so Augie Doggy & Doggy Daddy find a reindeer even though they’re supposed to be looking for Snively when they stumble upon Snively looking like an elf and Herman the Hermit as Santa and I kid you not Augie Doggy & Doggy Daddy cannot tell it’s Snively even though he sounds like his usual bratty self in that costume! But Augie Doggy & Doggy Daddy direct the duo to the Lodge so the duo can fulfil their plan to take the ornaments and fully ruin the Winter Lodge’s carnival and holiday party. (Clip from “Naked Gun 33& 1/3” in which they all slap themselves on the forehead then returns to the Audio over the video) But THANKFULLY Mr. Dingwell and Ranger Smith aren’t rock stupid, the two recognizes the elf as Snively, alert everyone about what’s going on. Snively & Herman get the ornaments hijack Ranger Smith’s helicopter but as that’s happening Cindy & Boo-Boo who are asleep in the cart find themselves in danger as the cart they’re in while the two are catching 40 winks is over the geyser which by coincidence is when Yogi gets to them but can’t get the cart to move just in time to have Ranger Smith’s stolen helicopter come by for Yogi to grab the helicopter and since the two can’t shake Yogi, Boo-Boo & Cindy off the weight sends them back to the lodge where the three land in a pile of straw and the Helicopter crashes and the ornaments are safe and it appears that Herman is going away for a long time. But for some reason Mrs. Throckmorton decides not to press charges on Herman & again promote Yogi this time to Lodge Manager(Scene cuts to James Faraci visually) You know, I’ve tried to keep the snark to a minimum but Mrs. Throckmorton YOU ARE DUMB! You are making Dixie Carter of TNA Impact Wrestling look competent in comparison and if the stories of how Financially screwed up that company is, I am not surprised that Hulk Hogan quit your company Dixie Carter, there was NO Shock AJ Styles left the company with the Championship because you refused to re-sign him to a real deal Dixie Carter and if you are paying your wrestlers in real American currency, I’ll be the first person to call Ripley’s Believe It Or Not because if you are paying your wrestlers it’s probably in Pesos! (Takes a deep cleansing breath in & out) Now that I got that out of my system, let’s get back to the review. (Cut back to Audio over video) So the night of the party is upon them and Mrs. Throckmorton has Yogi bring in underprivileged kids to the party and has an announcement. She isn’t selling the Lodge but instead donating the Lodge for the housing and caring of the underprivileged. Then amazingly Yogi comes in as Santa and Boo Boo as his helper and as Snively and Herman enjoy such delights as Dried Catfish and berries, Yogi sees the two freezing their butts off and invites them in for food and gives them each presents and the two realize they’ve been going around things the wrong way.

Snively: They’re not Dumb-Dumbs, we are.

TLOTA: (Audio over video): As a matter of fact Cindy gets her Christmas wish come true by getting a kiss from Yogi and as things can’t get more better for everyone. Heeere’s SANTA!  But as the real Santa arrives to give Yogi a Picnic Basket filled with goodies Yogi, Boo-Boo & Cindy fall asleep and what’s the best thing to do take them back to their caves so that they can get back to hibernating and Yogi can enjoy his Christmas gift in April and all ends well. (Scene cuts to James Faraci visually) So that’s “Yogi’s First Christmas” and WOW it is still great to watch. (“It’s that favorite time of the year” instrumental plays and montage of clips from “Yogi’s First Christmas” play) and despite my blow-up over the stupidity the good DEFINITLY outweighs the bad. The story is good, the voice acting in this is amazing, the animation is average Hanna-Barbera 1980’s but surprisingly holds up I can honestly say, this is something everyone should watch. Now if my timing is right, The Rowdy Reviewer and The Comic Strip Critic should be receiving their early Christmas presents right about now. (Scene cuts to the outside of The Rowdy Reviewer’s apartment to see Rowdy open the door to find a package marked “To Rowdy from James”)

Rowdy: Well, this is nice, I wonder what it is? Hopefully not another reminder for that Superman Review. (Rowdy opens the package and reads aloud James’ note & instructions) If you’ve opened this that means you really, REALLY want to do this. Just lift the trigger guard press the button under the guard and hold the button on top for five seconds. Okay. (Rowdy does as the instructions tell him) Now what. (Scene cuts to Cecil Felicitus on Rowdy’s laptop)

Cecil: Hey Rowdy, remember that Asalieri guy who slammed you? (Scene cuts to Rowdy)

Rowdy: He made valid points about me. Yeah, why? (Scene cuts to Cecil)

Cecil: Well I just heard online his place went Kablamo with him inside five seconds ago. (Scene cutting to rowdy looking at the device James got him, seeing the news about Asalieri and putting two & two together)

Rowdy: Thanks James, see you next year! (Scene cuts to The Comic Strip Critic’s place where a package from James with his name on it)

The Comic Strip Critic: Hmm, what’s this and who is this “James Faraci The Last Of The Americans”? (The Comic Strip Critic goes on to and sees the intros & teasers to James’ reviews) Oh that guy, wonder what he got me? (Opens package to see the ultimate Calvin & Hobbes collection) Wow, this guy is a man after my own heart. Thanks James, see ya next year! (Scene cuts back to James Faraci)

TLOTA: There’s nothing like giving your loved ones something they want. What? You guys think I’m going to give my fellow site members these (Right hand goes out of frame to grab the Michael Bolton Christmas Classics & Michael McDonald Christmas Novelty songs CDs), I’ve got these for someone special in mind. I’m James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and Happy Holidays.  (Time cuts to a few hours later where James is whistling “Cannonball” by Lea Michele.)

TLOTA: That song is catchy, might just become the song of 2014. Okay, so what’s happening for the next few months? Okay January through March I’ve got Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Don’t know why I’m doing it, but I’d better get a few editorials writ before I do something this epic. (Skype ring) Hello? (Scene cuts to Lea Michele in her trailer)

Lea Michele: Hey James. (Scene cuts James)

TLOTA: Hey, It’s the best looking lady on “Glee” and again I want to apologize for Chris, who knew after five Coca-Colas and a bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Apple Cider he’d be hitting on anything in a skirt. Next thing I know Derek Hough is running after Chris with a guitar in hand then Dianna Agron is prepping to Mace him in the eyes and putting a Taser to his pooper and it’s a miracle Dot didn’t body slam him into a trash can. (Scene cuts to Lea Michele in her trailer)

Lea Michele: Look, everything is okay I did damage control and just so you know your friend Chris is one bad incident away from never being allowed anywhere near any of our parties again, but I digress, the reason I called is because there’s a New Year’s Eve soiree and I’d like for you to be my plus one (Scene cuts James)

TLOTA: I’ve got an editorial coming out the 21st and my schedule is clear for the rest of the month. So sure, yeah I’d like to come. (Scene cuts to Lea Michele in her trailer)

Lea Michele: See you on New Year’s Eve, Happy Holidays. (Scene cuts James)

TLOTA: Oh by the way I think “Cannonball” will be the song of 2014 and “Louder” will be the album of 2014. See you then good looking & Happy Holidays.