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Dear Writers of Holiday TV Movies…

19 Dec 2014 (Fri)

Seriously, guys… we need to rethink these storylines before I go fucking apeshit.

I get it: the holidays are a great time to capitalize on schmaltz and twinkling lights and happy couples for your viewing audience. I myself have been known to binge watch your ridiculous holiday tripe because apparently, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas until Melissa Joan Hart drags a handcuffed Mario Lopez off to a cabin in the woods. (Which now that I’ve written it out sounds suspiciously like a seasonal slasher film, and I think someone should get on that.) But over the last few years, I’ve noticed some troubling clichés throughout this ever-growing collection of holiday — clichés which threaten to end my occasional dalliance with this modern holiday tradition. So, on the off chance anyone gives a shit, here are my top 5 requests:

  1. Please, for the love of secret Santa, stop portraying all workaholic women as ladder-climbing narcissists. Some of us are workaholics not because of an obsession with getting that high-rise corner office, but because of an obsession with somehow paying our rent. That shit’s expensive and merely keeping our jobs often means working overtime.
  2. Can these “sad” single women please be over the age of 30? Speaking as a 36-year-old single woman, the insistence that these 20-somethings are somehow past their prime is both insulting and horribly, horribly depressing. You might as well film 90 minutes of Alicia Witt pointing at the screen and laughing, because that’s how watching that bullshit feels. Though I can’t speak for all 30-something single women, I know that for some of us, the holidays are depressing enough. We don’t need that pinch of salt in the wound.
  3. Please never make another movie where a successful working woman discovers her life would mean more if she’d married her high school sweetheart and had four kids. It insinuates that working women without husbands and children are living empty, meaningless lives, and that’s an amazingly shitty aspersion to cast on an entire subsection of modern society. Especially during the holidays, when marketing ploys and family get-togethers are already doing quite well casting this aspersion without your help.
  4. Let’s stop acting like finding seasonal employment is the fast track to holiday peace and joy. Because you know what sucks far worse than a shitty holiday season? That rapid descent into a shitty January living in your car because your seasonal employment ended and you still can’t find a goddamn job.
  5. Can we please stop featuring female elves, angels and daughters of Santa? Portraying human men repeatedly falling for these fantastical creatures is not really helping the whole “Men, let’s be more realistic about our expections of women” cause. (Hell, Summer Glau is an unrealistically fantastical creature even without elf ears…)

I know there’s a reasonable argument to be made for simply not ever watching any of these holiday schmaltz-fests ever again, and really, I would do that — if not for my inexplicable penchant for seasonal everything. I love the idea of holiday movies… in theory. I just wish that, as long as they’re going to churn these out by the score every year, they’d maybe stop perpetuating the worst of our societal stereotypes, leaving some of us wanting to stab everyone we meet with a sharpened candy cane.

…If anyone needs me, I’ll be looking up those seasonal slasher films.

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