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Tag: Holidays (1-10 of 21)

'Blue Christmas,' 'Happy Christmas,' and more of our favorite holiday bummers


Most holiday-themed media likes to tell you that Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. But the occasional movie, song, or episode of TV is a little bit more honest about Christmas: Sometimes it sucks.

From the heartbreaking pilot episode of Six Feet Under, which is set on Christmas Eve, to Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” the pop culture world is full of alternatives for the Scrooges who are tired of hearing again and again how great Dec. 25 is. Here are 10 of the best: READ FULL STORY

A 'New Year's Eve'-esque Hanukkah movie, starring Natalie Portman and Drake? EW can see it now...

Valentine’s DayNew Year’s Eve. Christmas, via Love Actually. Plenty of cold-weather holidays have inspired lighthearted ensemble rom-coms featuring intertwining stories and scads of celebrities. So why not the Jewish Festival of Lights?

That’s where we come in. This year, EW decided to celebrate Hanukkah (which begins tonight at sundown) by imagining our ideal Hanukkah movie—starring a boatload of Jewish celebrities (appearing under their real names!) and directed, of course, by Garry Marshall.

Click below to see our movie’s im-poster, designed as always by Jef Castro—and to learn which boldface names Hillary Busis and Esther Zuckerman decided to pair up in the film. P.S. Mandy Patinkin cameos as the spirit of Judah Maccabee. You’re welcome.


TBS' 24 hours of 'A Christmas Story': What other holiday movies should be mega-marathoned?

TBS’ 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story makes my sister want to shoot her eye out.

I learned this a few years ago when, as we started the present distribution process on Christmas morning, she begged the family for an alternative viewing option. “I can’t watch this movie anymore,” she declared. At the time, I was horrified, appalled, and wanted that ruiner of Christmas joy I once called a sister cast away from the home like the filthy turncoat she was. (Spoiler: We let her stay.)

Flash-forward to last year, when, I hate to admit, I started to understand where she was coming from. After multiple viewings and multiple years of 24-hour marathons, I’m kind of sick of A Christmas Story.

This won’t be the case forever, I hope. Maybe after a few years of avoiding it, I will be able to return and once again be charmed. But until that day comes, I need a break. In fact, I think we all deserve one — it’s time TBS changed up their movie marathon.

I know what you’re probably thinking, why would I be in favor of another movie-ruining marathon? Well, the answer is simple: For a very long time, the Christmas Story marathon wasn’t a bad thing. Actually, it was something of a treasured “Christmas is here” tradition. I just think it’s time for the tradition to evolve — like all of them do.

I asked my family for their thoughts on movies they’d like to see get the 24-hour marathon treatment (on TBS or another network) last night at the dinner table. (Dirty truth: we were all on the couch eating Whataburgers.) Here were some of the alternative options suggested — and some choice commentary:

Throwback Thursday: Ranking every Chrismukkah episode of 'The O.C.'


Around this time 10 years ago, we were introduced to my favorite television holiday of all time (and arguably the greatest thing to come out of The O.C.): Seth Cohen’s “greatest super-holiday known to mankind,” Chrismukkah. Thanks to Seth’s father, “a poor struggling Jew growing up in the Bronx,” and his mother, “Waspy McWasp,” the witty young boy came up with his own holiday by “drawing on the best that Christianity and Judaism have to offer.”

Chrimukkah featured the best of both worlds: Eight days of presents followed by one day of many presents. Its best feature? It was fully equipped for O.C. drama with twice the resistance of any normal holiday. And that was a good thing, because The O.C.‘s Chrismakkuh episodes were some of its most dramatic.

Here’s how they rank in my mind:

Apple's 'Misunderstood' commercial: Have yourself a merry little cry -- VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 10.18.29 PM

Uh oh. You better sack up and secretly edit poignant home movies on your iPhones, pouty teens!

Apple’s new 90-second Christmas commercial just had me sobbing into my own iPhone as I went about my usual antisocial business of splaying out on the couch, ignoring this great big wondrous world around me, and playing with filters on Instagram. Here’s how good Apple commercials are: I didn’t even need to see this one to know I was already obsessed with it — much like your sulky teen won’t ever need to make real eye contact with his relatives to know and eventually show that he loves them (if you’re lucky) (and if you’ve purchased him an iPhone 5S).

Obviously, I did look up at one point… then replayed this commercial again and again. You wanna cry? READ FULL STORY

Celebrity Christmas cards 2013: Kelly Clarkson, Ellen DeGeneres, and more -- PHOTOS

There aren’t many rules when it comes to Christmas cards, particularly for celebrities. They can be funny, glamorous, themed, boring — the list goes on. For example, Leann Rimes and Eddie Cibrian chose to go the semi-creepy route this year with a card full of onesies and annoyed children. Ellen DeGeneres (above), on the other hand, chose to make people laugh with her tribute to Kanye West’s “Bound 2″ video.

Here are a few others that caught our eye this holiday season:

'The Christmas Song': You pick the best version, in our Twelve Days of Christmas Classics -- POLL

The Twelve Days of Christmas Classics is on! Starting with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” EW is putting the best versions of the most-covered Christmas songs up to a daily vote to compile the ultimate holiday playlist. If your favorite singer isn’t in the list below, you better not pout: Each artist will only appear once throughout the next 12 days. Listen to our top six, vote for your favorite, and let us know why you made your pick in the comments below.

UPDATE: The polls are closed, and we have our winners! Listen to YOUR ultimate holiday playlist here.

Our Twelve Days of Christmas Classics continues with the most-performed Christmas song of all time, simply titled “The Christmas Song” — but you might know it better by its first line: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”

The song’s toasty lyrics — invoking the holiday imagery of mistletoe, flying reindeer, and bundling up like Eskimos — were written by crooner Mel Tormé and composer Robert Wells back in 1944. Tormé’s 1954 version is included in our top six below, but is it the ultimate “Christmas Song”? Kids from 1 to 92 (and beyond) can make their pick below:

'Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular' react: Cross-promotional cheer for one and all

Let’s be real: the Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular is a cross-promotional commercial. Gaga gets to perform songs from her new album ARTPOP, and the Muppets remind us why we love them long enough to get excited for this spring’s big-screen Muppets Most Wanted. That doesn’t mean the special is boring — on the contrary, it’s delightful! Yet it’s still a commercial, making me feel the way I feel after watching a charming Black Friday ad: equal parts warm, fuzzy, cynical, and depressed by consumerism overtaking the so-called “holiday spirit.” But why fret? It’s Lady Gaga and the Muppets!

The “spectacular” kicks off with an introduction from Pepe the King Prawn, who thinks he’s starting his own special. Silly King Prawn, this isn’t your special — or even The Muppets Show that I desperately want back on TV — it’s a Gaga/Disney 90-minute promotional feature! In the real introduction, Gaga shares that the first time she fell in love was during the holidays. That’s sweet until she reveals that her first love was Kermit, which, sorry, is just weird. Sprinkled throughout the showcase are various sketches featuring the Muppets and special guests such as Kristen Bell and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But the spectacle of this spectacular comes from the musical performances. Here’s a run-down on the night’s extravagant productions:


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013: EW's minute-by-minute rundown

It’s that time of year, PopWatchers — when otherwise responsible parents camp out and expose their children to threateningly low temperatures in order to see questionable lip synching and larger-than-life icons on puppet strings. No, I’m not talking about a Today show performance by One Direction… but close! It’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Like any good spectacular, there was no shortage of 11th-hour drama: High winds in New York City nearly scuttled this year’s march through Manhattan (for only the second time in 87 years), but justice — and giant balloons! — prevailed. So buckle in, turkeys, because you’re about to get three consecutive hours of more B-grade performers, “color” commentary (this year with 200 percent more Matt Lauer and Al Roker beards!), and random acts of Richard Simmons than you can shake a stick at.

While I process a deep well of emotion regarding this year’s holiday hurrah, please head Mr. Lauer’s advice and “get this party started” in the comments section below. I’ll be back with a full reaction soon!

UPDATE: The parade is through (at least on the East Coast), and I’ve now been through a soul-stirring spiritual upheaval that can only be pacified by mountains of turkey and mashed potatoes. While I eat my emotions, click through to survey the highs (cloggers, jump ropers, and drill teams, oh my!), the lows (why, Joan Jett? Johnny Rzeznik, is that you?) of this year’s parade.

Obvious SPOILER ALERT for West Coasters; that is, assuming you can get spoiled on an already announced, pre-recorded performance by Disney teen sensation Debby Ryan. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: 'Frozen,' 'Dancing with the Stars' finale, Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and more

What’s worthy of PopWatching this week? A well-balanced plate of live music, criminal dramas, and holiday cheer. All eyes are on Miley Cyrus as she performs at the AMA’s Sunday night. If she does something crazy, at least it’ll give Grandma something else to talk about at your turkey dinner, instead of asking about your employment and relationship status. Just pass the herbed mashed potatoes already! The next course is a scheming James Spader apéritif, followed by an undoubtedly sequin-garnished DWTS finale, and end with some winter wonderland-themed cinema.

All times listed are Eastern.

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