Hey Dude-Ride She Said
The Weinerville Chanukah Special
Secret World of Alex Mack-The Gift
Adventures of Pete and Pete-Oh Christmas Pete
Kenan and Kel-Merry Christmas Kenan
Journey of Allen Strange-Starwalk
Mystery Files of Shelby Woo-Mystery of the Mice that Roared
100 Deeds of Eddie McDowd-A Very Canine Christmas
Romeo-A Little So’em So’em For Christmas
The Naked Brothers Band Christmas Special
True Jackson VP-Telling Amanda
The Troop-The Good, The Bad, and the Ickie Doll
Big Time Rush-Big Time Christmas
Victorious-A Christmas Tori
Bucket and Skinner’s epic Adventures-Epic Christmjas
How To Rock-How to Rock Christmas-
Nicky Ricky, Dicky and Dawn-Santa’s Little Harpers
The Thundermans-Winter Thunderland
Henry Danger-Christmas Danger
Game Shakers-A Reggae Potatoh Christmas
Well, it is Christmas Eve Eve as I post this, that means it’s time for our now annual TV Holiday reviews. Back in October, I covered the Live Action Nick Halloween Episodes, as I had covered the Disney ones.
Now it’s Christmas’ turn to be Nick-ified. I don’t have much to say before we dive in. The Halloween Episodes gave me a good idea to expect from Live Action Nick, both old and new. Remember, I’m not as familiar with this stuff as others might, even recent stuff.
I got some surprises…both good and bad. Hopefully this will be better, since it’s hard to screw up Christmas. Although sometimes the later shows will find a way. But let’s be optimistic.
This should certainly be a nice trip through Nick land but I think it’s time to shut up and dive in. There really isn’t that much else to say. That and I just want to get the episodes. Let’s see what holiday cheer the live action side of Nick can give us. Hopefully there’s more gems than coal.
This, is A Look at Live Action Nick Christmas Episodes
Ride, She Said [Hey Dude]
Season 4, Episode 2
Writer: Clifford Flagin
Airdate: September 14, 1990
Christmas Cliches: Christmas In July,
Brad learns the true meaning of Christmas from her friendship with a disabled boy.
This episode was alright. I was wondering how this show would do Christmas and I guess I forgot they could pull what Ed, Edd, N Eddy did. I was expecting them to just cheat a bit but what they did was smart enough.
I was also not expecting the…subject matter of the actual plot. Oh boy, this is going to be awkward. To be fair, they treat the subject with as much dignity as they really could, being a Nick show.
You can kind of relate to Brad here as she (Yes, she because Tomboy) first finds it all kind of awkward and accidentally treats him differently while trying not to do just that, while everyone else just acts normal.
There are some issues here and there with how they handle it, but not for lack of trying at least. And in the end it results in some nice moment, even if there’s some awkward-ness early on.
My main issue with this one is that it’s a tad unfocused. It’s about both the disabled kid and the Christmas in July stuff, and they don’t really connect until the end, and even then it’s only tangentially.
There’s stretches where I forget this is a Christmas Episode and there’s stretches where I forget the kid exists. They connect in the end but only then, they could have done a better job at that.
The Christmas stuff is done well enough. They have some fun with it and it’s nice to see everyone together and being happy. It captures that Christmas in July spirit quite nicely. Although I imagine if every episode is full of the characters acting like Comedians to each other, I may sick of this show rather quickly.
I just wish the plot lines connected more and the sort of main story was slightly better. Also, the ending is pretty abrupt and at a certain point the disabled boy (Wish I caught his name…) just kind of vanishes and they only talk about that side of the story when they get connected at the end.
I’m just saying, the writing gets a bit sloppy. But overall, this was kind of nice, even if it wasn’t exactly great. I feel like if you can forgive some sloppy-ness and are not quite easily offended, you will get a lot out of this.
But if you pay more attention to logic and writing, you might still like it, but it’s not a must see. It is better than I thought it would be based on the summary, but it did have it’s problems. It’s in the very least well meaning.
So yeah, an okay start, I think.
The Weinerville Chanukah Special
Writers: Marc Weiner, Sandy Weiner, Scott Fellows
Airdate: December 14, 1995
Christmas Cliches: None
I had to miss out on the Halloween episode, but I was able to find this so let’s see what this show even is.
The Weinerville inhabitants are celebrating Hanukkah at the Weinerville Ski Lodge as Marc is on his way there with his family and friends. Two potato pancake-looking Sectos named Nivek and Sinrek are pursued by the evil alien king Antidorkus of the Kerg Empire and crash-land at the Weinerville Ski Lodge where they receive the help of Boney, Socko, and Fluffy the Dog.
That summary is completely accurate. Yeah, this episode was uh….something. I still have no idea what this show even in. I mean, this did have a plot with a beginning, middle, and end. Heck, there’s even plot points that they bring up and they get proper payoffs!
Yet, it flows like utter insanity. This is kind of a Puppet Show but Humans exist, but here we only see Marc briefly since the plot keeps him away and these kids I don’t know pop up to party at the end.
The Puppets are a mix of properly done puppets and just slightly fancy sock puppet, and one has a human head and is a woman but is clearly a man. It’s…creative, at least.
This thing starts with a guy just telling the story of Hanukkah, but then the main puppet appears and butts in with a different story. When he said “It all started in Outer Space” I knew I was in for a trip.
The story itself is kind of a mess, but still has a structure. There’s no explanation for anything going on and no questions aliens popping up. Also, the connections to Hanukkah are forced in once the aliens appear. The bad guys are kind of like the bad king in the story of Hanukkah, I guess.
Now, did I at least enjoy it? Uh…sort of. Half of it was because it was so weird, and the other half was honestly kind of actually fun. There are some good jokes here and there, and there’s a couple catchy musical numbers.
Although some of the craziness is a bit annoying. I swear all the characters yell all their lines. That may bother others more than I. This was odd because I kind of get, and I also kind of don’t.
Above all else, it’s at least….different. I can safely say I’ve never seen this before. Overall, this was kind of enjoyable kind of annoying, and certainly crazy. Do I Recommend it? Uh…maybe. If you can get it the insanity of it, It could be enjoyed in “WTF am I watching” kind of way.
But I can also someone be annoyed by how it never calms down for a second. It’ll depend on who you are. In general, I do suggest you try it out because it’s just odd, but just know it’s…crazy.
But if you want an actually good Nick Hanukkah Special, I’d stick with Rugrats. But if you want something different…this might do it for ya. Let’s hope our next episode is more…normal.
The Gift [The Secret World of Alex Mack]
Season 2, Episode 10
Writers: Ken Lipman and Thomas W Lynch
Airdate: December 23, 1995
Christmas Cliches: Finding the right Gift
It’s Christmas, and Alex and her dad are learning that all the glitz and glamour doesn’t make the holiday. Meanwhile, Dave tries to give Vince a chimpanzee as a gift, but chaos ensues when it ingests a vial of GC-161.
This episode was pretty decent. It’s our first pleasant surprise of this marathon. It was different in the right spots, while being pretty heartwarming. I was not expecting a super powered Chimp, that’s for sure.
At first the pacing seemed a bit odd, since time was split between the parents, Alex, and the Chimp stuff but eventually they came together rather nicely. The Chimp thing gives us an external conflict and leads to Alex not having enough time to get a gift, which helps the ending.
It’s not really perfect, but the stuff that works, works. You know it’s going to work to a “real gifts come from the heart” kind of message but in context it’s pretty sweet. Alex is likable from the start, so it’s rewarding when she learns the message.
You may recall that I found the Halloween episode to be mixed, but this was a lot more even. It seemed slightly sloppy at first, but everything comes together nicely. The characters are likable and get amusing moments, and the plot manages to be interesting enough.
It may seem like I’m talking this up a lot, but it’s not like my favorite or anything. It just happens to one I quite enjoyed. It’s the first one that managed to warm my heart a bit, which is very nice.
The Chimp does kind of help this one, by making it feel like more like this belongs in this show. It is there to do that but fits into the story well enough. Overall, I’m not sure this will blow anyone’s mind but it was surprisingly enjoyable.
It was pretty heartwarming, and had a decently solid plot that combined it’s main elements well. This got me more interested in the show than the Halloween episode, it seems rather interesting at least.
I’d recommend this. We’ll see if it stacks up as a favorite, but it is worth checking out if you wanna watch it. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Oh Christmas Pete [The Adventures of Pete and Pete]
Season 3. Episode 11
Writers: Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali
Airdate: December 14, 1996
Christmas Cliches: Christmas Scrooge
Little Pete prolongs Christmas for as long as possible after the holiday’s end, in an attempt to keep the neighborhood in a constant aura of yuletide joy. His efforts are threatened by a bitter garbage man who enjoys destroying Christmas trees and the holiday spirit they represent. Big Pete is forced to choose either to help his brother prolong Christmas or put an end to it.
…A Christmas Episode all about Garbage. …It’s like they want me to make the obvious reference. Anyway, this episode was good. It had the same qualities as the Halloween episodes, capturing the spirit of the Holiday while keeping the shows quirky-ness.
I mean, we have an actual villainous Garbage Man who prides himself on being the crusher of dreams. It’s a tad on the nose, but in this context it works. The concept itself is interesting, with them trying to keep the Christmas Spirit going long after Christmas is over.
While I was kind of expecting them to learn that you don’t need decorations or the like to keep the spirit going, what they go for still works. Big Pete even says they can’t quite keep Christmas going all year along but it’s important to keep the Spirit in tact.
Speaking of Spirit, despite being a Post Christmas Episode, it has that Christmas feeling done perfectly. This is another show that gets atmosphere down really well and these Holidays Episodes show that.
You can’t help but get sucked into their cheer as all this is going on. Which does make things more intense as they wonder if it’s worth it, with the Garbage Man refusing to pick up their trash until he gets their Christmas Tree.
Of course they manage to turn this around in a nice way. It does go in the direction you’d expect, but that’s not bad since the result is very heartwarming. They even use music well here, especially in the credits.
I wouldn’t call this the best written episode ever, since it does end up being a bit more traditional than I would have liked, but the crazy stuff in the middle makes up for it. Garbage Man is delightfully evil and he even comes with a kind of catchy song about how evil he is.
Overall, this is another one I enjoyed. When my only complaints are just kind of personal, you know this is a solid one. It does a good job at capturing the Christmas Spirit, and is pretty fun. Gumball would do something like this way later but that’s for next year. (Spoilers, it’s also good).
So yeah, I’d recommend this pretty easily especially for after Christmas, oddly enough.
Merry Christmas Kenan [Kenan and Kel]
Season 1, Episode 11
Writer: Dan Schneider (Oh this is gonna be fun)
Airdate: December 14, 1996
Christmas Cliches: Santa Ex Machina
Kenan has been saving up all year to buy a Christmas present for himself: the world’s coolest mountain bike. To get the last few dollars he needs, he accepts a job filling in as a department store Santa after the other Santa meets with an unfortunate accident.
This episode was good. I kind of talked about this before in that very first Blogger Post which never happened and I still like 6 years later. I’ll get my complaints out of the way: Some of the jokes don’t land, like the running gag of this fake Santa hurting Chris.
Yep, this was written by Dan Schneider alright.
But otherwise, most of this works. It’s mostly a Comedic Episode, but it has the expected sweet moments and while it is cheesy, it works due to the heart and how it’s not the complete focus. But even it not being the focus works since it’s more of the pay off then the actual plot.
The main situation is releatable, with Kenan having to save up to get a present and the ways he does so. While he can be dick-ish about it, it’s kept funny and what happens in the end has him kind of learning a lesson.
There’s a nice mix of fun Hijinkx throughout the episode, especially the stuff at the store. I like how this show can mix it up with Kel sometimes being the crazy one that Kenan bounces off of, and the other way around, while still making them different characters.
But of course, the highlight is the ending where Ken gives up the money he saved up for the bike and spends it on a family on need. I like it because it’s sweet without being overblown. Well, except for the audience D’awwing at it but even in the 90’s, that’s to be expected.
Kenan getting what he wanted is perhaps a bit too much of an ideal ending, but I like to think of it his reward for being so selfless here. It’s nice development for him. This episode mixes Comedy and Sweet-ness surprisingly well, even with all the craziness going on.
While I like this show, it can get too much sometimes but episodes like this strike a good balance. Overall this is everything you want in a Christmas episode like this. Good Comedy and some Good Heart to Balance it out.
I’d recommend it. I could someone liking the comedy less than I did it but I think the ending is enough to make it worth watching. It’s just a nice episode, surprisingly. It’s a classic worth checking out,.
The next one is an episode of Journey of Allen Strange…but I couldn’t find it. I found the Horror one easily but the Christmas one eludes me. Wrap your head around that. Sorry. Instead next up is…
Mystery of the Mice that Roared [Mystery Files of Shelby Woo]
Writer: John Boni
Airdate: December 20, 1998
Christmas Cliches: Finding the right gift
Christmas is right around the corner, but it’s not very merry at Simple Pleasures. First, someone switches a dinner of salisbury steak with mice, then the restaurant is closed for health violations, and once it’s reopened, some of the customers’ food is spiked with crushed chilies. Meanwhile, it’s Secret Santa time at the police station, and Detective Delancey has set it up so Vince and Shelby will get each other, but neither one knows what to get the other.
This episode was decent. The main plot didn’t have too much to do with Christmas, but in general this was enjoyable and put in Christmas elements when needed. The main mystery was a bit more interesting than the one in the Halloween episode…mostly because the actual payoff surprised me.
Yeah, I actually didn’t see it coming. Maybe I’m just stupid but it surprised me and actual made sense in context. The motivations were clear although it does get slightly rushed after that. I won’t spoil it because it is fun to see how it plays.
The Christmas stuff is in the subject, which is basic, but nice. I think this episode would be better if the main plot was more Christmas-y because it does kind of feel like a typical episode, with a few Christmas references thrown in rather than a full blown Christmas Episode.
But on it’s own, it’s done well enough. Plus, we have Pat Moriata dressed up as Santa which makes everything worth it. This episode is far from ambitious but at least it doesn’t bite off more than it can chew.
It’s simple but it works. Nothing will blow you away but they don’t all need to do that. I do wish there was more to it because I imagine this isn’t a huge stand out episode of this show. I think this is one of those cases where they just wrote a normal episode and slapped Christmas on it because the Network wanted it.
But at least it manages to work on it’s own. There’s not too much wrong with the episode itself. It’s not something that’ll be at the top of anyone’s lists. Some will appreciate this kind of episode, but I do perfer the big ones.
But hey, on it’s own, it works. I guess I recommend it to an extent, just not insanely highly. It’s another that’s not too crazy special but it’s fine.
A Very Canine Christmas [100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd]
Season 1, Episode 20
Writer: Andrew Gottlieb
Airdate: December 5, 2000
Christmas Cliches: A Christmas Carol
When Eddie displays a lack of Christmas cheer, the Drifter takes him on a visit to his past.
This episode was decent, although I do think it could have been better. It’s pretty much your typical Christmas Carol plot, but really trimmed down. I’ll say now that it does work and is nice, but it is hurt by minor things.
There’s this minor subplot with the family that doesn’t really go anywhere and just takes time away from the real story. I also think they could have explored the past further. They show that Eddie was nice at one point but they don’t explain how he got bad.
That’s a bit important. And they only show the past here, there’s no Future. There is the present though and that is the most effective part, where Eddie sees that his family does miss him after he walked out, even if he’s a bit of a jerk..
By the way, where is Eddie’s actual original family? Something tells me the pilot explains it but whatever. The episode hits the notes well enough, but I do think the small issues build up to an extent,.
It is in the lighter side of decent, but there’s nothing too crazy wrong here, and it has enough heart. It just needed better pacing in a few places in order to be truly special. Still, it’s not bad. There’s not a whole more to say.
It’s fairly straight forward. It’s a typical Christmas Carol with the usual Nice moments but it is dragged down but some small issues. I wouldn’t really recommend it too highly, but if you’re curious, it’s not bad,
So yeah, both holiday episodes were just kind of fine. Maybe the rest of the show is better, but this one was at least nice enough.
And once again our next episode must be skipped due to lack of availability. This time it’s an episode of Romeo. You know, the show starring that kid Nick had for awhile. Yeah, I can why I can’t find this one. Oddly, MTV rerun this show recently but not this episode. So unless they do, I won’t talk about this one. Sorry. So instead, next is..
Season 2, Episode 9
Writer: Dan Schneider
Airdate: December 13, 2008
Christmas Cliches: It’s a Wonderful Life
When Carly wishes for Spencer to be normal, a guardian angel shows her a world where this is so.
This episode was decent . It was a solid plallet cleanser for that crummy episode I reviewed recently. There actually isn’t too much wrong here, at least compared to what you might expect. It does what you might expect to see in a Wonderful life episode, but it does it pretty well. The changes in the AU are interesting and are nice mix of making sense and being funny. For example, Sam is in Juvie due to not having Carly to balance her out…and Carly is dating Nevel.
It’s interesting to see how different is, and in the main story, the joke are mixed in well. There is some cruel stuff early on that fades fairly quickly, thankfully. There’s some amusing stuff here, like everything with the Angel, played by that Crash and Bernstein guy I see everywhere.
The set up does kind of have an issue as the thing that makes Carly wants Spencer to be normal is that he makes a tree which catches on fire, burning the presents. I don’t know, I think anyone would be angry about that.
But to be fair, it was a mistake and in general him being “Normal” doesn’t quite sutie him. Still, the set up could have been slightly better. This episode is pretty much a Christmas version of Spongebob’s Not Normal and while not as good, I still like it.
The highlight for me is when Carly snaps, as it’s actual a bit heartbreaking. It’s pulled off rather well and it’s when the plots becomes fairly strong. And of course, there’s a heartwarming ending a Peanuts Homage to close things out.
It’s not quite an amazing episode, but it was an enjoyable one with some nice moments and a plot that works. It’s actually a fine take on this plot as the spin they make fits the show. It is has the odd small issue, but I enjoyed this a bit more than I expected.
I suppose I’ll recommend it. If you can tolerate the show enough, you’ll enjoy it as it has enough to like. I understand if you aren’t too interested in it though. Still, I liked it enough.
The Naked Brothers Band Christmas Special
Season 3, Episode 6
Writer: Polly Draper
Airdate: December 13, 2008
Christmas Cliches: Wanting Snow on Christmas
Nat has the holiday blues since Rosalina’s letters from abroad have a steadily decreasing number of X’s and O’s. If Nat doesn’t find something to give him the Christmas spirit, it could ruin a benefit the band is holding for “Save the Children”, which is hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. Meanwhile, Alex is in a competition with the adorable Timmerman Brothers to create the world’s worst online Christmas video.
This episode was…alright. Better than the Halloween Episode, but it still wasn’t my thing. My main problem would be the conflicts. First, the concept of intentionally making a bad video is amusing but there’s no explanation for why the Timmerman Brothers are happy to have a hated video.
I get that Alex sees the views of the video despite the hate and sees that crappy-ness sells, but I don’t get why the people who made it the video see this as a good thing. Also, they don’t take advantage of this to pull a Springtime for Hitler/Wacky Deli.
In the end, Alex just kind of…stops wanting to do this do learning the Christmas spirit or whatever. There’s not much of a resolution. Then there’s the main conflict of…Rosalinda putting two X’s instead of 3 on her postcard.
….And this matters…why? Seriously, why does it matter? I know that’s the point but they never explain why it matters to him. It’s just so stupid! Why is a kid this young involved in deep romance anyway?
The main conflicts are not that interesting. However, things turn around near the end with Nat’s other conflict of being sick of Christmas and needing to write a song. I kind of liked the pay off for that, as it had a nice message.
Although I don’t think a Nick show made to sell a band gets to do a Anti Consumerism message…
I suppose there’s amusing moments from the bad video. Also, the black guy from Victorious appears here, two whole years before that show was a thing. Neat! He even plays an okay role in the plot.
I suppose this one is kind of mixed. Some parts are stupid, but it has it’s hearts in the right place. Plus, the Mockumentry thing is toned down here. It doesn’t quite pull too far in either direction. Not too good, not too bad, but has it’s moments I suppose.
I don’t know, there’s something about this show I don’t like it. Maybe it’s the style or the plots. Maybe If I watched more I would like it, but these Holiday episodes just didn’t do a lot for more. This one was better but it wasn’t anything too special.
They tried I suppose, but eh, it was just okay. I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re curious, maybe you can watch it but I would skip it if you don’t have the time. It’s okay but fairly middle of the road.
Telling Amanda [True Jackson VP]
Season 1, Episode 5
Writer: Andy Gordon
Airdate: December 13, 2008
Christmas Cliches: None
Here’s a show I do remember watching back when it was on, but I don’t remember too much about it. It did kind of start Nick’s trend of doing Disney Channel-ish things with their Sitcoms, but I don’t recall if it was any good. Let’s find out!
Ryan sees Amanda’s boyfriend going out with another woman. So he and True decide to follow them only to discover he’s cheating on her. True decides it’s best to tell Amanda, which only makes Amanda mad at her. Meanwhile, Max enlists Lulu to help his accountant with an audit, and Lulu thinks he may be Santa Claus after observing his striking resemblance to Kris Kringle.
There are two things to note about this episode: It starts with someone saying “True Jackson VP was filmed in front of a live studio audience”. Man, when was the last time you heard that? Also, the credits are the kind that have pictures of what you just watched.
I thought this was from 2008, not 1998!
The other thing is that this isn’t actually a Christmas. It doesn’t take place around the time, and the only connection is Santa in the subplot. I only put this on the list because it aired in December.
I’m not sure why they had a Santa plot in a Non-Christmas Episode but here we are. On it’s own, I did enjoy this but as a Christmas Episode…it isn’t one, so it fails. The Santa plot wasn’t even that good.
Mostly because no much comes of it. Oscar finds out he might be Santa but he wasn’t even involved with that plot until that plot! It’s a nice moment but the plot itself isn’t much of a plot. This is just a waste of a Christmas Episode.
But the main plot is actually decent enough. It is a cliché plot but there are nice moments near the end with Amanda facing the truth, and the way she gets sort of revenge on him is amusing. Amanda is basically the Alpha Bitch of the show so of course I quite liked her here.
Comedy Wise, there’s some groaners, but there’s some amusing moments too. I like the running gag of Ryan saying he hated a certain movie then saying he’s seen it many times. It’s funny because I can relate.
Despite some weak bits, the main plot is not too bad on it’s own. It’s nothing I would seek it, but it’s for what it is. However, this was billed as a Christmas Episode, which is why it’s one of the few I distinctly remember watching.
So I kind of have to judge it harshly. Plus, the writers decided to throw Santa in a Non Christmas episode for reasons I’ll never understand. As I said, it’s fine on it’s own but it’s not even a Christmas Episode, which means you can skip it.
I can’t recommend it for that fact alone. On it’s own, it’s fine enough but I doubt anyone would go crazy for it. So yeah, this was a waste of my time, even if it was decent. Once again, this was fine but for this marathon, it can be skipped because of the baffling decision to market it the way it was.
…Yeah, bit of a disappointment.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ickie Doll [The Troop]
Season 1, Episode 11
Writer: Jonas E Agin
Airdate: December 12, 2009
Christmas Cliches: An Ass Kicking Christmas
Jake and Hayley discover that the hot Christmas toy, the “Ickie Doll”, has been invaded by a Vapor Monster, turning the dolls into nasty, violent, living creatures.
This episode was alright. It was actually on the verge of Decent but certain things held it back…mostly the ending but we’ll get to that. The premise is a fun enough one and there’s some decent humor here.
The actors are actually pretty good and have some funny reactions, especially the head guy who name I keep forgetting. In the end, they have to play the accordion to calm down the monsters.
That’s the kind of silly thing this show does and here it works. There’s some fun stuff, and the main conflict is one that works for this kind of show. But then there’s the stuff that drags it down.
Jake wants an Ickie Doll because his bitchy sister wants one and she’ll get him a bad gift on purpose if he doesn’t get her one. Her acting isn’t too good and with how it plays out, it’s just kind of lame.
And from his POV it’s kind of a good excuse for him to need one, since he’s pretty much being threatened. Hayley wants one because her Mom collects them. Now that I say that her reason makes more sense and is nicer, but in context Jake only comes across as dick-ish…because he’s a dick about it.
Yeah, he gets the last one and has to shove it in her face for some reason. If he learned any kind of lesson this would be fine, but he doesn’t. Spoilers, in the end he dos get her the doll once they get them back to normal, and she’s happy.
…But she gives him something bad by accident and Dad gets the good gift. It’s a total accident and she could just set it straight..but it ends here. Yeah, that’s the ending. It’s a rather harsh note that just doesn’t work. Again, she can set it straight so it’s not even as bad as the episode seems to think.
Oh and typing this made me realize Hayley’s deal wasn’t resolved! Once the plot really gets going, they drop it. We never find out if she gets it for her mother, as Jake gets what he wants and no one really seems to learn anything.
It seemed to be building to some kind of message but nope. In the very least, you just resolve the main charecter-based conflict in this thing. Speaking of not going into things, they never explain exactly WHY the dolls become monsters. They kind of hint at it but never go deeper. Is the company evil? What’s their motivation? I don’t know, any explanation that exists is rather rushed.
And I haven’t gotten to the subplot. The head guy and his wife/girlfriend (don’t know which but I’m thinking the latter) bump into a scarecrow monster thing on the rode, and she gets pissed at him because he…screamed like a little girl.
Yeah, a bit of an embarrassing moment is enough for her to not only be mad, but act like a bitch to him. It’s really stupid. Yeah, it’s a bit stupid for him to scream so much but come on, is it THAT big of a deal?
And in the end they resolve that like that…only for her to get him a Ickie Doll which makes him scream due to what happened with them.
“Don’t call me”?
And now that subplot was entirely pointless and harsh. Yay! …Wow, I said a lot more than I thought I would. My feelings are very mixed. It’s almost decent due to some enjoyable moments, it’s almost alright due to it’s small issues, and it’s amost meh due to the ending making everything pointless.
I can’t call this bad…but it’s oddly the weakest one so far. It has better moments than some but that ending, man. It makes everything cruel and pointless, and certain things are not resolved or make no sense.
It’s too bad because I almost enjoyed this but stuff like that dragged it down. As such, I can’t recommend it. This show in general could be fun but this episode seems like a weaker one. Most people will be too turned off by the issues to enjoy it.
It’s a skip, unfortunately. But hey, there might be worse ones at least. This however, still didn’t quite do it for me.
Big Time Christmas [Big Time Rush]
Season 2, Epsiode 8/9
Writers: Mark Fellows, Keith Wagner, and Scott Fellows
Airdate: December 4, 2010
Christmas Cliches: Rhyming Narration, Christmas Scrooge
The boys are excited about their holiday trip to Minnesota, but hours before their flight, Griffin insists that they record a Christmas EP, and will not let them leave until it is done. Mrs. Knight attempts to avoid a luggage fee by packing presents and clothes, and Katie tries to give a Scrooge-esque Mr. Bitters some holiday cheer.
This episode was pretty decent. The main thing to note about it is that it’s 45 minutes long rather than 22 and that does play into my one real criticism. While it does handle the time well, there is some obvious padding.
The 3rd segment of the plot is basically split into 2 conflicts for the sake of reaching that time limit It’s not too bad since it stays enjoyable, but it’s something to keep in mind. Perhaps it could have been shorter, but it works as it is.
The plot is split into 4 pieces. They need to get 3 Christmas songs, each giving is a different section of the plot, and Katie’s plot gives our final piece. It’s a smart way to split things up to reach the 45 minute mark while not having too much pointless stuff.
There isn’t too much about each “segment”, really. There’s some amusing shenanigans with them trying to get the songs written and such. The final 2 feature celebrity guests, Miranda Cosgrove and Snoop Dogg.
Huh, Snoop must have some deal with Nick.
The song they do with him as a Discount Alvin and the Chipmunks, with the video having animation by Butch Hartman’s people. Weird, but neat. Although this is still not as good of an Alvin Centric appearance for him as the epic fanfic “Alvan An The Chipmunks 3 The Second Squeakuel”.
Anyway, this captured Christmas better than I expected. They use it for humor by making fun of Live Celebrity Christmas shows and there’s Christmas stuff all over the place. And of course there’s plenty of heart.
The ending, where the two big plots come together, is very heartwarming. More so than I was expecting from this kind of show and I already liked it. Things just work out nicely and it feels somewhat natural.
Despite the length, this was a nice watch. I think it was shorter I would enjoy it just a tad more, but I do like as it is. It’s decently amusing, and captures the Christmas Spirit well, with a nice amount of heart.
There’s even rhyming narration from Ton Kane, who I think really likes narrating. He is good at it.
While this is no masterpeice, I did enjoy it. If you have the time and can tolerate the show, I recommend it. It’s better written than you might expected. The structure works an the ending is quite nice.
I got something out of it, so I’d say it’s worth a look, surprisingly. (Almost makes up for not being a Christmas episode for the other Scott Fellows live action shows…)
A Christmas Tori [Victorious]
Season 2, Episode 12 (Season 3 Episode 1 in production order. Yes, this seriously exists in two seasons somehow)
Writers: Dan Schneider and Warren Bell
Airdate: December 3, 2011
Christmas Cliches: Finding the right gift
It is Christmas time at Hollywood Arts and Sikowitz assigns the gang as Secret Santas to one another in order to get them into the Christmas Spirit. The person who gives the worst gift will be forced to go “Christmas Yodeling” with Sikowitz on Christmas Eve. Tori struggles to find the perfect gift for Andre after finding out she is his Secret Santa. Meanwhile, Trina enlists Robbie’s help to decorate her giant Christmas tree, and Beck loses sleep due to a pesky cricket in his RV. Also Andre becomes a Christmas “Scrooge” after getting a D on a song he wrote for his creative music class.
This episode was decent. As you can tell from the summary, there’s a lot going on here which is both a pro and con. It’s a pro since it means every character gets something to do and it leads to some good bits, but it’s a con because it means the plot is rather cluttered.
I couldn’t even tell what the main plot was until they started fusing Tori’s side of the Secret Santa Plot and the whole Andre song plot. They do mix well enough and it makes for a fitting end to the episode, at least.
The subplots don’t add to much though. Someone catches Beck’s Cricket off screen and that’s the end of that. Although it does tie into the Secret Santa thing in an odd way so at least it’s relevant.
The plots at least actually come together In the end, a bit nicely. There is one problem with Andre’s side of the plot though: It’s never explained WHY he got a D. All they say is the teacher says he got it cuz he deserved. Okay, but why?
While we’re on this, Jade says she went from an A to a D in 8th grade. …………….No comment.
At the end, Tori, Jade, and Cat perform his song, to resolve this and the Secret Santa plot, and boom, this convinces him to give an Andre an A. I don’t get it, the song hasn’t changed from what we know. Maybe it’s the extent Tori went to convince him that made him change it?
I mean, I mean the only difference in the song is that it’s performed by 3 pretty girls in Santa outfit-i think I just found my answer.
…Moving on. Despite some of the issues, I did enjoy this. There’s some amusing moments like when Sikowitz tells them to stop their “ablibed complaining”.. The structure leaves plenty of room for some nice bits, and there’s something about this that I enjoyed.
There weren’t even too many harsh bits, at least none that hugely bothered me for the most part. I wouldn’t say there’s any huge stand out moments Although the song is nice) but there is something about this I liked.
Things wrap up nicely enough, and it did have a bit of spirit without having any huge cheesy moments. It would be nice to have a bunch of sweet moments but what they do for Andrew is good enough.
Overall, this was nothing great but I did some enjoyment due to some amusing moments and a nice enough ending. There might be too much going on, and there’s no big heavy hitting moments but for what it is, it works.
It’s not quite good enough for me to hugely recommend it, but if you’re interested based on what I’ve said, go ahead. It is one of those “you gotta tolerate the show things”, but that goes without saying.
Epic Christmas [Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures]
Writers: Boyce Bugliari & Jamie McLaughlin
Airdate: December 22, 2012
Christmas Cliches: A Christmas Carol
Bucket is upset because this Christmas in Pacific Bluffs it won’t have any snow, but after a Christmas Carol parody, he learns the true meaning of Christmas. (That’s the summary Wikipedia gives. They just get the point, don’t they?)
This episode was…kind of…decent? Yes, seriously. I actually kind of sort enjoyed this one. It’s not great but it actually did some things right, including fixing some of my issues with the show I had in the Halloween Episode.
The main conflict leads to Bucket being a bit of a grump, with Skinner trying to cheer him up and being rather silly. In other words, Bucket is a proper straight man to Skinner’s goofy-ness instead of them feeling like the same characters.
There’s bits of that, but they feel pretty distinct here for the most part. The main reason this worked was that it’s really hard to mess up A Christmas Carol, no matter how bad your show is.
It’s just a nice story and they spin they put on it actually works. Bucket is grumpy due to not having a “tradiotnal” Christmas and he doesn’t get that the Holiday is about being together and not silly traditions.
It’s an okay reason for him to be upset, and thus a good excuse for a Christmas Carol plot. It’s interesting to see how this affects the others. And yes, there are some actually nice moment s here with how he learns his lesson and all that.
There’s even some amusing moments, most of them being with Kelly and Piper. (Hey, a little girl named Piper that I actually like!). They are the only consistently amusing characters so of course they’ll steal the show.
As I said, this episode certainly isn’t great. There’s still some dumb humor, like any joke with Bucket’s no so subtle crush on Kelly. I’ve seen these jokes before and they were never funny. Also, the future could have been worse and we never even see Bucket in the Future.
But for what it is…it’s actually done kind of well. I can’t believe it, but there you go. I guess this story is just that good, even this show can pull it off. It’s far from a classic but it has it’s heart in the right in the place and the ending was kind of nice.
I didn’t think I would like this but I kind of did. Look. I don’t highly recommend this is you’re that agains the show, but if you give it chance…you might find it decent like I did. I’m not gonna act like it’s amazing, but for what they did..it’s fine.
So yeah, it’s a Christmas Miracle. Bucket and Skinner had a decent episode. Guess I’ll have to look more into the show someday, I don’t know. Either way…yeah, I got a solid surprise with this one.
How to Rock Christmas [How to Rock]
Writers: Sam Littenberg-Weisberg & Erica Spates
Airdate: December 8, 2012
Christmas Cliches: None
The gang gets stuck in the mall during the Christmas holiday. They try crawling through the vents to get out, and they end up in a department store. However, things soon get wild when they discover the Perfs are there too.
This episode was decent. Yep, another show that got me more in it’s Christmas Episode than in the Halloween one. This had it’s wonky moments but it managed to be rather nice, especially att the end.
It didn’t start out too great, with Kacey being kind of a bitch and some lame jokes with the side characters, but once the plot kicks in, it becomes more interesting. Kacey wants this necklace to complete her collection, but the Alpha Bitch gets it first, which causes them to fight.
It gets so annoying that the others lock them in a closet until they can settle their differences. Yes, that cliché but it works here in the way that the cliche usually works. Eventually they do start to talk and find out why the Alpha Bitch is the way she is, and it’s done in a way that develops them both kind of nicely.
They actually point out that Kacey is kind of bitch-y sometimes and they address it and kind of fix it. That’s rather impressive. Granted the “Main character is the reason the Alpha Bitch is like this’ thing has been done a lot but it can work, and I think it works here.
It leads to a decently sweet ending that actually managed to capture the Christmas Spirit well. I was not expecting anything too nice here, but there you go. This does some dumb stuff in the joke apartment, like almost anything with the two male friends but the good things kind of make up for it.
The interesting thing about this episode is that thanks to Nick pulling the plug, it was the series finale. And honestly, with Kacey and the Alhpa Bitch getting along, it kind of works as a finale. It wasn’t planned to be, and wasn’t in production order, but it works.
So while it’s far from great, I did kind of enjoyment with it’s character development and nice ending. Would I recommend it? Well, if you want to watch it and it sounds appealing, sure. But I imagine most won’t be able to ignore the dumber moments.
But if you can, go ahead. Like Bucket and Skinner, it was just more enjoyable than I expected. Yet another Christmas Miracle.
Santa’s Little Harpers (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn]
Season 1, Episode 10
Writers: Tim Brenner, and Natalie Barbrie.
Airdate: November 29, 2014
Christmas Cliches: None
During winter break, the children compete against each other for tips to buy a video game console after their parents force them to work at the store as punishment due to snooping for Christmas presents. Meanwhile, Tom and Ann switch positions of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus to see who has the harder job.
This episode was …roughly inbetween Alright and Decent. Most of it is Alright, but the ending is Decent enough, and there is decent stuff inbetween. Yeah, I say off the bat that I liked the Halloween episode more.
That one was somehow sweeter.
I know that the point is for them to learn to not be selfish and stuff, but they still come across as too annoying early on with how they snoop for their presents, which starts this whole plot. They don’t get too much better until the very end.
While the ending was nice, it felt kind of rushed. I suppose they learned their lesson by going through all that chaos but it could have been conveyed better. But to be fair, the nice ending with them learning their lesson is quite nice.
It also connects the subplots which was fairly amusing. Then again I’ve learned anything involving the parents on this show is going to be fair more enjoyable than the main story. Although I don’t kno h ow his cookies turned out well even though he scrwed them up while making them.
Most of the episode has the kids running around trying to fix various messes they made, like when they lose this kid. Some of it amusing, but some of is just kind of annoying. I don’t know, I just couldn’t get into it even though they start acting better by the halfway point.
In the very least, there a nice messaging at the end, so I know this had some heart put into it. I just didn’t find most of it that funny and the ending wasn’t too rewarding since I didn’t’ care as much.
The Halloween Episode showed me that this show can do certain things right, so this episode being just okay is kind of disappointing. Didn’t think this show would disappoint me but here you go.
But there you go. It is well meaning, but just wasn’t totally my thing. I wouldn’t recommend it, even with the nice ending. Most people will find it too annoying to get annoying, and I can’t quite blame them.
It’s kinda nice and is fine-ish, but it’s another one that falls short, and I won’t go back to watch again. Eh.
Winter Thunderland [The Thundermans]
Season 2, Episode 10
Writers: Wesley Jermaine Johnson & Scott Taylor
Airdate: November 29, 2014
Christmas Cliches: Stealing Christmas, A Christmas Carol
After Max is a big grump, he is put into A Christmas Carol parody to show him the error of his ways. See, I can get to the point too.
This episode was decent. It has an off element or two, but in general it is enjoyable and nice. I’ll get the issues out of the way. Of course the episode is about Max learning his lesson but it takes too long for the lesson to really hit him.
He’s seeing how him trying to ruin Christmas but he reacts with happiness the whole time until basically the last minute of the future segment. Thus, his change of heart does feel a tad rushed.
I get that he can’t change right away but perhaps a change over time like in most takes on this story would work better than what happens. He actually seems to get worse in his attempts to steal, Christmas, until the Future Segment.
This kind of effects the pacing and such. This isn’t that big of a big deal because everything else works fine. Like in any take on this story, it’s interesting to see how this plays out, and how this affects others.
Max has always tried to ruin Christmas and they’ve always put a happy spin on it. When he gave them coal, Hank used his powers to turn into Diamonds, which made them rich enough to retire and move to Hiddenville.
Yeah, this is now a prequel explaining how the series got started. That’s kind of neat. I like how each Ghost is just a different version of Phobe. Yeah it would make more sense to have each ghost be a different character, but the different Phoebes are funny.
There’s a lot of Phoebe in this actually. Normal Phoebe, Valley Girl Phoebe, Present Phoebe (as in, she’s dressed as a present), Emo Phoebe and Evil Phoebe. It gives Kira Kosarin plenty of work at least.
And of course, the ending is rather nice. The Bad Future is pretty cool with how everyone is evil except for Nora who is lonely and got kicked out. It does a good job of making Max realize the error of his ways.
Yes, it’s rushed the heart pulls it through. This could have been better but for what it is, it works decently. There’s some amusing moments and the Christmas spirits shines through decently.
It’s another that is fairly simple and while I can my issue bothering people more than I, I think it has enough to make up for that. It’s a decent take on A Christmas Carol that turns it into it’s own thing with some nice heart.
It could have been better, but with how the show is, I’m just glad it’s decent. It’s not a high recommendation due to it’s issues, but I think it has it’s charms at least. …That’s all I got for this one.
Christmas Danger [Henry Danger]
Season 2, Episode 9
Writers: Dan Schneider & Christoper J Novak
Airdate: November 28, 2015
Christmas Cliches: None
When Captain Man gets arrested for committing a petty crime, he is forced to spend Christmas in jail.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFrZdmSVvw0&list=PL8J90yu5IMkv52JP7IhyqQ0kNBp8nxz7i&index=10 )
Well, this is interesting, because PieguyRulz featured this on Bottom of the Bakery and went into great detail on it’s problems. That leaves me with not much to say except…yeah, it’s meh. I mean, I don’t hate it like he says, but it’s not very good.
I’ll say the positives first: Piper gets a funny line. That’s a miracle in itself. The ending with them singing a song is nice in concept, and there’s other minor amusing bits here and there. I also like the basic idea of Captain Man being in jail.
The rest though, is a bit messy. Pieguy went into a lot of the issues, but here’s the two that bother me the most. The episode is making fun of dumb laws that make no sense but here’s the thing;
He is arrested for not wearing a hair net while serving food. That’s…not a dumb law. It’s right to not want hair going in your food. There’s a reason most food servers in general wear hair nets.
So he kind of deserves to be arrested ….especially because he knows about the law but refuses to follow it. Yes, he breaks the law on PURPOSE. I don’t know about you, but that’s very deserving of an arrest.
So the entire plot doesn’t work because it’s not a dumb law and he did it to himself. Then there’s my other problem, with PieGuy did go into. The parents hear about Henry being in jail, so he do they get themselves in there like Jasper did?
They assault an officer by taking his walkie talkie than pantsing him. ….Uh….that’s a legit crime, dumbasses. That’s not stupid at all. Again, you deserve to be in jail after that!
These two event single handlely sink this episode because of how stupid they are. The rest is flawed too but if the plot got started by you know, him not knowing of the law he’s breaking, it would at least be okay.
Also, Henry’s Dad Obsessions with Hand Bells is annoying. And of curse Piper is the only one not arrested. Infact, when she finds out the parents got arrested, she throws a party instead of being worried.
She even supposedly gives them the idea to assault they offer, which they follow because they are idiots. Ugh, Screw you Piper.
I feel like the main reason these problems really hurt is that the episode is simple. There’s no subplot or really anything else that happens. It’s just his story of him being in jail and them trying to get him out.
That’s fine but means I must be more critical, and there’s no shortage of things to dislike here. But as I said, I don’t hate it. It sometimes has breaks from being dumb and at least the characters are tolerable-ish. Captain Man is unlikable and Piper is…Piper, but I’ve seen worse.
There are some okay moments, and I’ve seen these problems be done worse. But that’s still not exactly an endorsement. With very little Christmas Spirit and a badly executed plot, there’s not much reason to watch this.
Just because it’s not horrible, doesn’t mean it’s worth watching. It’s not very good .It’s sad because I’ve managed to like the Schindeer Christmas Episodes up to this point, and the D&J Christmas Movie.
I’m just glad Sam and Cat had no Christmas Episode. #YayDay is the closest they get.
I don’t have much to say. I’ve seen worse, but this just fails as a Christmas Episode, and as an episode in general. Skip it.
A Reggae Potato Christmas [Game Shakers]
Season 1, Episode 10
Writers: Dan Schneider, Sean Gill, and Jana Petrosini
Airdate: November 28, 2015
Christmas Cliches: None
Double G is hosting a Christmas special as Reggae Potato, and the producers invite the Game Shakers to participate in it. However, it all goes wrong when Double G’s head catches on fire during the opening number. In order to keep the show going, the children do in the sketches Double G was supposed to appear in.
This episode was…eh. I mean, it’s far from the worst of the show, and it’s sort of better than the Henry Denger one, but by the end, I just couldn’t get into this. The usual problems of the show are toned down slightly, and the premise isn’t a bad one, but it just kind of…meanders.
I will say there were some chuckles, usually coming from some of the actors reactions. Kel gets amusing moments, more so than usual at least. Hell, Hudson actually has a role for once.
I think I know what my problem is: There’s not much of a conflict. Yes, Double G is out of commission, but for one, that bit is kind of dumb. His head is put on fire and him running around prevents anyone from getting to it.
That’s kind of contrived. I think just having him break his leg or something would have been more effective. But then you wouldn’t have the amazing gag of him screaming his off, that was so worth it.
You think the kids putting on the show would lead to conflict, like perhaps they can’t get things quite right or something,. But nope, things go off withotu a hitch and there’s no conflict. Maybe when Kel gets the fire off, he’ll get mad that the kids are stealing his spotlight.
Nope he just joins with no issues. Then he gets caught on fire again and…then it just kind of ends. Yeah, not much of a real ending. I’ll cut them some slack as this was clearly meant to be a simpler episode, but there still needs to be more conflict.
There’s so much you could have done to make this simpler or more interesting, instead it just kind of meanders and ends on a whimper. I did kind of enjoy small bits of this but it was mostly just kind of dull, and the ending makes the writing fairly weak.
I was just kind of…eh on this one. It wasn’t awful, and it was Christmas-y episode, but it just didn’t have much going for it. It has it’s moments and there are worse Game Shakers episodes, but the problems make it just kind of pointless.
At least it had no pretenses of telling a story, which is why the Henry episode was slightly worse. Still, this is a skip, which isn’t shocking at all but still. This is a big fat…meh 22 minutes. A great note to end, on right?
And those were the live action Nick Christmas Episodes. But wait, what about the 2016 ones? Well…there arne’t any. No, really. Nick Aired no new Christmas Episodes for it’s live action shows this year. A few animated shows got them but no live action ones.
I’m glad Animation was treated better for once…what the hell, Nick? You’ve been on thin ice ice after the whole CH Greenblat thing and while that is clearly worse, this is not helping at all. Now I had to end this thing with Game Shakers. I hope you are happy.
That aside, these were better than the Halloween ones, for obvious reasons. I got the usual pleasant surprises and some shows continued to impress. There weren’t too many bad ones, although a couple slipped in.
My least favorites were the The Troop and Henry Danger ones. The former is surprising but it has…shrunken on me. On the flip side, my favorites include Kenan and Kel, Pete and Pete, Christmas, and Big Time Christmas. Those stick out of me the most, but there were a fair amount I’m glad I saw.
It was about the par for the course, I guess. With that, we’re done with Live Action Nick. I will hopefully cover next years offerings if they actually have any. It will kind of tie into next years Holiday review plans.
But I’ll go into more detail elsewhere. Next year, we’ll go back to animation and look at Cartoon Network’s Holiday Episodes. Should be fun. I have a couple other surprises in store too but again, more detail then.
I think I’m starting to enjoy doing these a little too much. I already have ideas for what to do in 2018 and 2019 if I’m even around then. I’m going insane. But while I’m still sane, we’ll close this out.
It’s fun doing these and I hope you enjoyed my look into live action Nick stuff. My official Christmas Special Thing goes up tomorrow so look forward to that. I the mean time, hope you enjoy your Christmas over there, or whatever Holiday you celebrate. I don’t judge.
…I’m padding this out so I think we’re done here. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year or whatever. I’m done.