Sunday, December 2, 2012

Yuletide TV Day 2: Clone High

Series: Clone High

Episode: S1E11 "Snowflake Day: A Very Special Holiday Episode"

Original airdate: April 13, 2003

Santa? Claymation Santa

Other holidays mentioned: Snowflake Day, Kwanza, Hannukah

Availability: YouTube

Unique Christmas Story:
What? Never heard of Clone High? Ok, let me get you up to speed.

Good, let's continue.

If you break this episode down to its core components there are many elements that reflect yesterday's Saved by the Bell episode. "Snowflake Day" has teens hanging out at the mall and encountering the homeless to gain a bigger perspective on the holidays, but that's pretty much where the similarities end.

In the world of Clone High, Snowflake Day is a new secular holiday put in place by the U.N. after banning all religious holidays for being too exclusive. The episode makes a lot of solid digs at the overreaction to secularize the holidays or abolish them all together.

So, if there is no Christmas, what does Snowflake day celebrate? The episode does an impressive job of throwing in tons of small little details to help flesh out the made-up holiday. The food of choice is lamb tacos, the holiday mascot is a pirate named Snowflake Jake, the tradition garb is a flaming sombrero and the traditional dance is the cabbage-patch. All of which, to be honest, sounds like a pretty awesome holiday.

While Clone High features five regular characters, two of them (JFK and Cleopatra) are put on the wayside to focus on Joan of Arc losing her Snowflake Day spirit and the get-rich-quick scheme of best buds Gandhi and Abe Lincoln. Although, it is worth mentioning that JFK puts out his own Snowflake Day themed album titled "JFK Sings Er, Ah, Snowflake Day Hits."

Joan's story is the first, but not the last, this blog will cover that sees a character lose their holiday spirit. A secular made-up holiday is, almost at its core, commercial, and it is this aspect that Joan struggles with. Of course part of the irony is how do does someone really understand the true spirit of made-up holiday. She is sick of everyone's holiday spirit and takes it upon herself to ruin everyone else's celebration. That is, until she meets an attractive homeless person who may or may not be Mandy Moore living in a dumpster.

Meanwhile, Abe goes to work in mall restaurant to make some money so he can buy a present for his girlfriend Cleo. Joined by Gandhi, the two quickly ditch working in favor of trying to market a combination knife/fork, a device of their own design powered by coal, in an effort to get rich quick.

Abe and Gandhi show the pratfalls of trying to take shortcuts during Christmas. Their scheme ultimately fails and Abe has nothing to show for it but a repeatedly cut up mouth. Most of the time it is just easier to stick to stick to getting people what the say they want rather than trying to a cheap alternative.

Joan, meanwhile, has to learn from not-Mandy Moore that she can find her Snowflake Spirit by spending time with those she cares about. The same goes for Christmas. Things may get overwhelming with buying gifts, planning parties and travel, but what really matters is cherishing the time spent with family and friends.

Watch the entire episode below, the hit the comments with your thoughts.

Unique Christmas message:
The harmless celebration of our religions is offensive.

I go back in time to visit another group of teens celebrating Christmas.

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