Merry Christmas in July! It is Day #11 of the month-long celebration of Christmas entertainment. As announced before, each day this month I will be sharing brief reminisces about Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a IT'S A WONDERFUL SUMMER attitude. Yes--this month I'm sharing brief essays about TV adaptations of the 1946 movie "It's a Wonderful Life" along with TV programs with significant references to the movie. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released soon).
Today's discussion is on the 1982 Afterschool Special entitled "Amy and the Angel." In this story, a guardian angel named Oliver is sent to help Amy who feels overcome by the feeling that her life is meaningless. Oliver demonstrates to Amy how important she is to those around her by showing her what life would be like if she were never born. This story aimed at teen viewers confronts the serious issue of suicide head-on. Although this hour-long installment was originally broadcast in September, this story is an adaptation of the 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
To watch the trailer, click HERE.
This Afterschool Special also distinguishes itself with its outstanding supporting cast. The cast includes Albert Macklin as Oliver, Helen Slater as Amy, Meg Ryan as Denise, Matthew Modine as Amy’s lab partner Randy, Alexa Kenin as Amy’s best friend Janet, Concetta Tomei as Janet’s mother, David Huddleston as Amy’s grandfather, Gail Strickland as Amy’s mother, Hermione Gingold as the angel Pincus, and James Earl Jones as the angel Gabriel.
Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing
in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can
be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare:
Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story"
was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the
encyclopedia for an upcoming release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website:
*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com