Christmas in July 2017: Mitchell Hadley, from It's About TV!
1) Who's your favorite Santa Claus?
Easy answer here - Edmund Gwenn from Miracle on 34th Street. He convinces you that Santa Claus not only has a British accent, but should have one. His interaction with children is marvelous. Runner-up: Fred Astaire in The Man in the Santa Claus Suit. Santa should be omniscient, don't you think?
|from 1967's Christmas episode of Dragnet.|
2) What's your favorite Christmas episode from a TV series?
Tough one, because most of the series television I've watched doesn't really offer a Christmas episode, per se. (I don't think I've ever seen "a very special episode of The Fugitive, for example). But I'll go along with "The Big Little Jesus" on the classic Dragnet because it avoids excess sentimentality, and gives us a chance to see Friday and Smith working this job just like any other. Until you get to the end, you really fear for the criminal who has to explain his actions to Friday!
3) Do you enjoy watching Christmas entertainment year round or do you only like watching it during the holidays? And, why?
Only during the holidays. For me, Christmas is a time of great anticipation, and it's always been inextricably intertwined with sensations - the weather turning cooler, the sun setting earlier, snow on the ground (at least in Minnesota), decorations going up (even though that seems to happen earlier every year), Thanksgiving. Personal opinion only, but for me if the anticipation is drawn out too far, it loses its appeal. Besides, Advent doesn't start until the end of November!
4) This is the 21st century--how do you watch TV and/or Christmas entertainment?
A combination of my own DVDs and streaming services such as YouTube and Amazon prime. I like to think I've got a pretty good collection of classic movies and television shows, but it's always fun to find more and more obscure specials from the '50s and '60s online. It's nice to have something new to look forward to each year, and we've been fortunate enough in that respect that we don't even try and watch everything every year - if you feel like you have to force it in, it just isn't as much fun.
5) If you were to be stranded on an island (maybe Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean!), what three Christmas movies, specials, or episodes would you like to have with you?
Wonderful question! I'll say (1) Amahl and the Night Visitors, because I've written enough about it that I have a reputation to defend, (2) the "Christmas Through the Ages" episodes of The Bell Telephone Hour, because they remind you of what Christmas really did feel like once, and (3) a tie between We're No Angels, because it's a terrific Bogart comedy and there's great interaction between the "angels," and Miracle on 34th Street, which is such a good satire on so many levels, from the law to psychiatry to child development. It's really a very sharp commentary on our times, which makes it more than just a Christmas movie.