Welcome, class. Please take out a number two pencil, because it's time for this week's "Holiday TV Pop Quiz," and... OH DON'T YOU GROAN AT ME, YOUNG MISTER AND MISSY! You knew what you were getting into when you signed up to read this column, so stifle that back-sass and let's get to work!
Today's quiz will be about the animated holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas (ABC, Mon Dec 2, 8 pm). Please provide complete answers for each, and ABSOLUTELY NO CHEATING OR WISENHEIMERY. You have one hour. Begin.
1) It's Christmastime, and Charlie Brown claims to enjoy "getting presents, sending Christmas cards, and decorating trees"—so why is he not happy? Is he ever happy? Name a few possible causes for his depression, besides holiday malaise and pre-pubescent-onset baldness.
2) At one point Charlie says, "I know nobody likes me—why do we have to have a holiday to emphasize it?" Is Charlie's self-loathing a contributing factor to his general unlikability? Would you classify him more as a "manic depressive" or "textbook narcissist"?
3) Which of the following responses is the most acceptable reaction to the phrase, "Charlie Brown is directing our Christmas play."
a) "Oh no, we're doomed."
b) "This will be the worst Christmas play ever."
c) Dance around the stage while Schroeder plays a tiny piano.
d) All of the above.
4) When Lucy threatens to physically assault Linus, he responds, "Christmas is not only getting too commercial, it's getting too dangerous." Do you agree, and if so, why? Is there a better holiday for beating up loved ones? Why do you think domestic violence is funny, you monster? Supply three legitimate reasons why I shouldn't have you arrested right now.
5) Lucy says, "We all know Christmas is a big commercial racket. It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know." What "eastern syndicate" is Lucy talking about?
e) All of the above
6) When Charlie is asked to choose a tree for the Christmas play, he picks a real tree over an aluminum one. Were the others correct in saying, "Boy, are you stupid, Charlie Brown." "Can't you tell a good tree from a poor tree?" "You're hopeless, Charlie Brown"? Isn't it more environmentally friendly to choose an aluminum tree, because it can be used repeatedly? Does it further the "commercialization of Christmas" to buy a tree once, or again and again? Aluminum trees are the best. This is not a question. This is a statement of fact.
7) Linus explains the "true meaning of Christmas" by quoting the Bible's version of the birth of Christ ("a babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger"). Was Linus saying that those who do not subscribe to the Judeo-Christian mindset cannot possibly understand the "true meaning of Christmas"? If so, isn't Linus defying the words of Christ, who preached the values of inclusiveness? Could it be that Linus actually doesn't know what the shit he's talking about?
This Week on Television
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27
8:00 NBC THE MAKING OF THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE!
Most of you don't care... but some of you care very much.
10:00 COM SOUTH PARK
The boys learn something new about extraterrestrials when they watch "A History Channel Thanksgiving."
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28
8:00 ABC A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING
Why do you think Charlie neglects to mention our wholesale slaughter of Native Americans? Discuss.
9:30 ABC LADY GAGA & THE MUPPETS' HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
Also starring Elton John, RuPaul, and Kristen Bell. WOW.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29
8:00 ABC HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
Can someone's heart swell "three sizes" in one day without resulting in death? Discuss.
10:00 IFC COMEDY BANG! BANG!
Featuring Agents of SHIELD leader Clark Gregg! Nerd alerrrrrrrt!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30
7:00 am FAM HARRY POTTER ALL-DAY MARATHON
Nearly every single goddamn flick starring that bespectacled, magical nerd.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1
8:30 E! KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Do stomach-churning non-celebrities deserve their own Christmas special? Discuss.
10:00 SHO MASTERS OF SEX
A civil defense drill makes Masters and Johnson's sex study even more sexier!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2
8:00 ABC A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Is selling ad time during A Charlie Brown Christmas promoting "Christmas commercialism"? Discuss.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3
8:30 FOX BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Holt's getting death threats, which is really putting a damper on organizing the squad's Christmas photo!
9:30 FOX THE MINDY PROJECT
Mindy throws a "Christmas Party Sex Trap" to lure in a boy she likes. Aren't "sex traps" the best? Discuss.