As Seen on TV: Glee

Of the nearly 1000 songs over six seasons (1/10 of those were ‘Don’t Stop Believin”), this show covered most standard top 40 carols. Not too much novelty for me.

But i will include “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” despite its pop uptempo unrelenting froth. I’m going to need some insulin.

As Seen on TV: Community

Rick and Morty‘s creator’s earlier brilliant-but-what’s-the-demographic? sitcom was not known for breakout songs, but attention must be paid to these study group misfits during the holidays.

The 2010 stop motion episode ‘Abed’s Uncontollable Christmas’ brings it.

The “Intro Song” is a takeoff of The 88’s series opening music this time with Xmas.

The characters turn into Christmas claymation tropes and have a couple memorable 3-line songs for characterization, including “Brittabot” and “Christmas Douche.”

The meaning of Christmas is put together in the show stopper “That’s What Christmas is For.” John Oliver! Christmas pterodactyl!

The next year is about singing Xmas for Glee club. To win over the surly main character, the Jewish nerd girl sings “Annie’s Christmas Song.” Brother, that’s jazz striptease junk with Betty Boop botheration.

The overlooked housewife gets a big gospel (half) number with “Happy B-Day, Jesus.” Go tell it on the lafftrack.

The actual “Community Glee Club” performance is a sad throwaway about how the hot blonde is tone deaf.

Troy & Abed’s Christmas Rap Battle,” however, convinces the Asperger’s kid and the conflicted cool athlete to celebrate a holiday they would otherwise disdain. Much prettier, or at least much faster.

Comedy gold from those boys finally in order to convince the geriatric in “Baby Boomer Santa,” an addictive song  about the evolution of St. Nick through musical genres. An American Pearl.

As Seen on TV: Family Guy/American Dad

The anti-Simpsons barfed and farted briefly, before it was taken up as a cause célèbre by the slacker generation and became to big to fail, despite the best efforts of boy-men writers.

Comedy Christmas bits include the “Peter Griffin Christmas Album” full of mumbly, nonsensible parodies. Hee hee. Oh, and an ironic take on “Jesus Child” as brainwashed braying of the brethren. Bazinga!

Rerun: the best are the big musical numbers like “Christmas Time is Killing Us” (black humor), and “All I Really Want for Christmas” (naughty).

The later series leans on more groovy music. “The Steve and Krampus Duet” is an R+B jewel in a sad ‘Beauty and Beast’ takeoff. Not much Christmas here, but it’s got Slavic tradition.

As Seen on TV: The Fairly Odd Parents

Although cancelled by Nickelodeon, this popular toon was resuscitated and is now the 2nd longest running cartoon series on that network (behind SpongeBob).

Musical numbers tend to be classy, rather than silly (perhaps due to the aged magical helpers).

Timmy apparently never watched that Elmo special and wishes for “Christmas Everyday” in an early episode, much to all’s dismay. Jazzy.

More comical, “Not on the List” is a symphonic tribute to all the kids’ regrets the day after. Frantic.

As Seen on TV: Lazy Town

This Icelanidic people-wearing-puppet-outfits oddity made its way to Nick Toons for a while, but creeped out kids with a hero who looks like the Captain America villain Batroc, and a bad guy handsome as Bruce Campbell.

Stephanie, the irrepressible eight-year-old never seen without a smile, sings “Jolly Holidays” and “I Love Christmas.” Believe (in exercise)!

As Seen on TV: Grey’s Anatomy

Slushy, sudsy, and saccharine, this replacement for human life weathers on yet today. The background music is brilliant at telegraphing the ‘complex’ emotions the scenes wreak within you. Some of it is well worth sharing, i will admit. Music from Grey’s Anatomy is nearly an industry in itself, despite the season often breaks around Xmas without addressing the holidays much.

SEASON 2: “This Christmastime” by Mascott is charming folk pop.

Any excuse for The LeeVees, please! “Latke Clan” bounces in that same realm.

Christmas After All” by Maria Taylor is that self indulgent grown up pop that sounds better than it is.

SEASON 6: “A Magical Season” by Tim Myers is also adult bubblegum. YAWN.

All I Want for Christmas (Is to Give My Love  Away)” by The Rescues is late nite FM porn. So sweet.

Ingrid Michaelson restores a tiny bit of integrity with authentic folk in “Snowfall.” Still too weepy by half.

SEASON 7: “It’s Christmastime” by Jules Larson is upbeat altpop. Something danceable at last.

Back to melancholia from Boy Least Likely To with “First Snowflake.” So thoughtful… snore.

“Nun Gimmel Heh Shin” by The LeeVees recites the dreidel faces with much ponderous portent.

As Seen on TV: Dawson’s Creek

Ah yes, teens. The conscience of the world, but the solution as well (think canon fodder). This ’90s melodrama needed insta-mood for establishing its quick scene settings. So, maestro! (Thanks to as a reference so i don’t have to watch this classic televised bildungsroman.)

Not a lot of cool undiscovered songs here, so let’s go with best of from the only two Xmas episodes.

Season 4’s “Christmastime” by Smashing Pumpkins. Soulful alt.

Season 6’s “Wild Christmastime” by Chris Trousdale. Playful pop.

As Seen on TV: Scrubs/30 Rock/How I Met Your Mother

While the hilarious show was often stuffed with musical bits (including a musical episode), most were pop songs from the charts. Nothing original for Christmas… unless we count this angry ’12 Days’ parody. Thank you, very much.

Hyperventilating comedy nearly as jam packed with schtick and ideas as a live action The Simpsons, this show did include a slight bit about Tracy Jordan’s ill advised holiday album and a sliver of his big hit “It’s a Jordan Christmas.” Just improv? you ask. Why would that matter?

While a few standout songs peppered the perfectly cast series, not much in the way of Xmas tunes. So Neil Patrick Harris murders a few carols insinuating how much he’d like to have sex with Ted’s sister. Let’s watch the entire “Barney Stinson Christmas Songs” bit, shall we?

As Seen on TV: The O.C.

Time for prime time networks to sell albums. I mean, movies do it. Fox begins this trend with the soapy young troubles kind of shows (The WB/CW perfects it later). Background montage soundtrack might cover only a minute or so of the song, but stars are made from excited fans who want to recreate their lives from their special fictional friends’ lives.

Maybe This Christmas” by Ron Sexsmith from season 1’s ep. ‘The Best Chrismukkah Ever.’

Christmas with You is the Best” by The Long Winters appears in that episode and also season 2’s ‘The Chrismukkah that Almost Wasn’t.’

In the latter is “Christmas” by Leona Naess. Slow funky alt folk. Moody.

Season 3’s ‘The Chrismukkah Bar-Mitzvahkkah’ has “Christmas Day in the Sun” by Hot Hot Heat. A banger.

One song that was a character’s favorite, but was not a mood setter was “Just Like Christmas” by Low. Alt pop, but bach pad good.


As Seen on TV: South Park BLUE ALERT

Trey Parker and Matt Stone didn’t just change television cartoons… okay, they actually haven’t done much else (maybe a B’way musical hit–but that’s it).

The 1999 holiday album was a great boon for us in the novelty fan base, so let’s visit the few songs i haven’t mentioned over and over.

Christmas Time in Hell” revisits Satan, a family favorite, name-dropping the disfavored. The song, nevertheless, is showtune heaven.

Given our current political climate, let’s celebrate “Merry Fucking Christmas” to fight the war on equity.