Saturday, December 8, 2012

Yuletide TV Day 8: X-Men

Series: X-Men

Episode: S4E10 "Have Yourself a Morlock Little X-mas"

Original airdate: December 23, 1995

Santa? Nope

Other holidays mentioned: None

Availability: Netflix and YouTube

Unique Christmas Story:
After doing this for a week, it is easy to pick up on some patterns that are beginning to emerge in these Christmas episodes. Two main themes, helping the less fortunate and rekindling ones Christmas spirit, have been present in many of the past week's episodes. Each has pulled those ideas off pretty successfully, but "Merry Little X-mas" does not.

This episode shows what happens when a show forces its characters into the holiday spirit whether they want to or not. I think it is very possible to do a good Christmas episode featuring the X-Men, but this particular episode is pretty awful. It's a terrible hodgepodge of boring story lines and weak attempts at physical humor.

Perhaps the best character to focus on in this episode is Wolverine (Surprise!). Similar to Batman in yesterday's episode, Wolverine is lacking in the Christmas spirit. It's not that he's lost it, he just never had any to begin with, and has no interest in getting any now. But then his fellow X-men start judging him for it, and this is, I believe, becomes the first episode on my list to rely too heavily on the "but it's Christmas!" argument.

The main plot of this episode is that a young mutant boy ( a member of the sewer dwelling Morlocks, mutants whose physical mutations have left them shunned by society) has fallen ill. The Morlocks reach out to Storm, Jubilee and Wolverine to help, and ask Wolverine if he would transfer his blood to the boy in the hopes it would heal him. Wolverine is reluctant to help though since he unsure whether or not his the power in his blood will help the boy.

His friends think it's simply because he doesn't want to help others on Christmas, but Wolverine points out that he wants to help the boy, he just doesn't want to make his condition worse. Trying to make Wolverine the bad guy just doesn't work. Is the audience really supposed to believe that his closest friends would doubt his willingness to hep the boy? It doesn't make any sense.

That being said, the episode shows why sometimes it's best for a series to steer clear of Christmas. This episode feels more like a mandate from an executive than a strong original idea from the creative team.

Watch the entire episode below and let me know if it's as bad as I say it is in the comments.

Unique Christmas Message:
Just because someone doesn't celebrate the season, doesn't make them a bad person.

I take a look at what Christmas is like 1,000 years from now.

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