Christmas Challenge: The Wonder Years

THE WONDER YEARS: 2.03 “Christmas”

I feel like I cheated a little bit on this Christmas review. I just looked through and found the first Christmas-themed episode of The Wonder Years. Really, I should have gone with the one I remembered, namely, the one where Kevin discovers that mean ol’ Coach Cutlip has a side job playing Santa at the mall.

But instead, I watched this one. In fact, the only thing that I remembered about this episode was Winnie Cooper’s gift to Kevin that he opens at the end of the episode. I remembered his drama over finding just the right gift (in fact, it reminded me a bit of Sheldon’s analytical dilemma in The Big Bang Theory), but I forgot how adorable his dilemma really was. I mean, I was probably about 10 when I first saw this episode, so perhaps adorable-ness wasn’t really comprehended unless it had a picture on it’s butt or stomach (My Little Ponies or CareBears were my generation). Anyway, Kevin’s infatuation with Winnie Cooper is just adorable, and seeing him so desperately find her perfume only to find it and buy the snowglobe anyway was great.

And in other news, we had the family’s desperate attempt to get their father to buy them a color TV. Now, growing up watching this series, I remember Kevin’s dad as tough as nails, almost mean. I remember him angry a lot. But this episode was particularly interesting. Now that I’m older, I could actually see the struggle on his face. Of course, he wanted to make his family happy, but that TV was $469 in the 1960s! That’s pretty damn pricy. He’d be spending a ton of money — money used to support his family — just to get that TV, which they don’t need.

And his wife’s comments didn’t help, even if she was hoping that they would. Offering to eat hot dogs for a month, basically sacrificing just to buy one thing, just was icing on the cake. It was against what he worked so hard to do every day.

And Wayne just wouldn’t shut up! Man, even I was yelling at the TV for him to shut up. At least Kevin tried to do the begging delicately. Uggh.

But hey, at least there was a happy ending. There may not have been a color TV in the living room, but in the end, the man of stone finally laughed. The pouring rain did it. And we got to see the family happily enjoying Christmas, just as other shows of yore used to do.


2 thoughts on “Christmas Challenge: The Wonder Years

  1. I don’t think you cheated in choosing this one. You do have 22 more episodes to review, after all. As a Christmas episode, would you rank it as an episode worth seeking out, an episode worth watching if you stumble across it, or an episode unworthy of your time? (I think this rating system should be used with each ep.)

    I’m not sure it’s one of the ultimate Christmas episodes, but what I like about it most is that it seems to almost nail the true-to-life Christmas dynamic of the suburban family, which few sitcoms legitimately attempt. And despite being pretty realistic, managed to pull out a bit of Christmas sweetness in the end.

  2. Ooh, a rating system. Good idea. I’ll keep that in mind going forward. Maybe a “Recommendation” note or something.

    I enjoyed it. It’s not going to stand out as one of the best Christmas episodes of all time, but it was good to watch and much better than some of the stuff aired now. And you’re points are definitely true. It’s very true to life, which is what makes it stand out.

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