The Remote: ‘Tis the season for Holiday episodes

Ryan Pait

If you’re looking to do something a little different with your celebrations this year, here are some great TV episodes to watch this holiday season.

“Bob’s Burgers” – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins”

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins” tackles Christmas in a way only “Bob’s Burgers” can.

The Belcher family inherits a storage unit where they find a squatter (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) who claims to be a mannequin brought to life.

What follows is wild, weird and uproariously funny.

And as is the case with “Bob’s Burgers,” there’s also a dash of genuine sweetness.

“Community” – “Regional Holiday Music”

A sharp skewering of “Glee” and a perfect Christmas story all rolled into one?

That’s exactly what “Community” has to offer with “Regional Holiday Music.”

As is the norm with this show, “Regional Holiday Music” mixes sentiment with satire and is successful on both fronts.

It also features some of the catchiest fake songs ever — I will freely admit to having “Teach Me How to Understand Christmas” and “Baby Boomer Santa” on my iPod.

“Downton Abbey” – “Christmas at Downton Abbey”

The Christmas specials for “Downton Abbey” — aired outside the regular season on Christmas Day in the U.K. — show the best of what this show has to offer.

“Christmas at Downton Abbey” features storylines that wouldn’t look out of place in the headlines of old yellow journalism-era newspapers.

Fiancé jilting! Murder (maybe)! Blackmail! Clandestine marriage! Pregnancy! Outdoor marriage proposals!

Silly?  Absolutely. 

Wonderful? You bet your tea and crumpets.

“Friends” – Every Thanksgiving episode

Thanksgiving is the “thing” on “Friends.” Over the course of its fantastic 10-year run, “Friends” turned out a ton of quality Thanksgiving episodes.

Filled with iconic imagery (Monica with the turkey on her head! Rachel’s beef trifle!), great guest appearances (Brad Pitt as an old classmate and Christina Applegate as Rachel’s mean sister) and some of the series’ biggest laughs, each Thanksgiving episode of “Friends” is one to be treasured.

With the show’s 20-year anniversary happening next year—it premiered in 1994 — it’s a better time than ever to revisit this classic show.

“Mad Men” – “Christmas Comes but Once a Year” and “Christmas Waltz”

These two Christmas-themed episodes show “Mad Men” doing what it does best: confronting issues (here, materialism and consumerism) under the guise of Christmas celebration.

“Christmas Comes but Once a Year” sees Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s Christmas party interrupted by a client, forcing Joan, played by Christina Hendricks, and Roger, played by John Slattery, to step up.

“Christmas Waltz,” on the other hand, sees Don, played by John Hamm, and Joan going out to lunch after Joan receives a nasty surprise at work.

It may sound boring, but a lunch date between two of the best-looking people on TV is anything but.

“The Office” – “Christmas Party”

The original “Office” Christmas episode is also its best.

When Dunder Mifflin’s Secret Santa exchange goes awry due to Michael’s implementation of Yankee Swap, hilarity ensues.

“Christmas Party” is filled with brilliantly-observed character moments and genuine laughs — exactly what made “The Office” one of the best shows in its heyday.