Gift-wrapping the Black Box: “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” (The O.C.)

Merry December, everyone! The Black Box usually looks at failed television pilots, but all month long, I’m gonna be checking out something different: The time honored trend of the Holiday special! Most folks just do a Christmas edition of their columns at the end of the month, but not I! Here, we’re hitting the quartet of holidays. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years. And at the end of each review, I’ll tell you what the holiday is truly about according to the episode. So get your holiday sweaters on, light that menorah, pop a bottle of champagne, and something something Kwanzaa something. Let’s go, ’cause I hear those sleigh bells jingling!

This week, we’re down a holiday and we’re movin’ on to Hanukkah up in the O.C.

California, here we co– oh, shit, I’m already here.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.28.22 PM

Quick note this week, we’re unfortunately doing it old school. That means no screenshots or pics from the episode. Sorry. Also, while last week we tackled a show I like, this week we look at one I have absolutely no experience with.

“The O.C.” was a teen drama about Ryan Atwood, a troubled teenager taken in by the Cohen family of Newport Beach, California. The series aired on FOX from 2003 to 2007, lasting a total of four seasons. Wait, FOX? Are you serious? Because this is the CW-iest show that has ever been made. It’s SO CW-y that I’m pretty sure the CW logo spontaneously appeared in the bottom corner of the screen halfway through the episode.

This episode is their Hanukkah special, but it’s mostly a Christmas special. Goddammit, television! Can we get literally ONE holiday special that Christmas doesn’t get it’s damn mitts in? The episode focuses around Ryan’s foster brother Seth and his invention of the megaholiday “Chrismukkah”

I ALREADY hate the term. I’m personally in favor of the all-inclusive “Chrisma-hannu-kwanzzi-kah”. Much more fun to say. The concept of Chrismukkah comes from the fact that Seth wanted to appease his jewish father and his christian mother. But here’s the thing: I personally am in a similar position. My mom’s family is jewish and my dad’s family is catholic and do you know what we do?




There we go, ENTIRE PREMISE OF EPISODE: REFUTED. But I guess we should talk about the characters or some other horseshit. Ryan, who is the show’s protagonist, isn’t really the focus of this episode, instead we get three stories, one about Seth, one about his mom, and one about girl-next-door Marissa Cooper. Ok, let’s start with Seth’s story, as it’s the only even remotely Hanukkah-related one of the bunch.

Seth Cohen, originator of the term Chrismukkah, has two girls who both want to date him, Summer and Anna. So, instead of just picking one like a fucking adult, he decides to “Archie” them by trying to date both at the same time! Hilarity ensues… except it doesn’t. Towards the end of the episode, both girls decide to give him their christmas presents. Anna gives Seth a homemade comic book (Seth is a geek) while Summer dresses like Wonder Woman and tries to fuck him (see previous footnote). While these are both great presents, both girls see each others’ present and feel guilty about their own. They tell Seth to choose between them, but he can’t and looses his shot with both. Just like with chrismukkah, Seth can’t decide.

If you thought this was a clever metaphor, good for you, you didn’t watch this episode where they beat it to death like a horse with a broken leg.

Story 2 is about Marissa and Ryan, but mostly Marissa. The two go on a romantic shopping excursion which can just go fuck itself straight to hell. At the end of it, security stops Marissa, and it’s revealed she shoplifted a lipstick. Scandalous. Her parents make her see a therapist, not just because of the shoplifting but also because of something that apparently happened in Tijuana in a previous episode. She goes to the therapist and stuff happens I guess, I didn’t care.

Story 3 was EVEN LESS interesting. It involved Seth’s mom and some law stuff with her father. I don’t know, I don’t watch the show.

The True Meaning Of Hanukkah According To This Episode:

Hanukkah on its own is about the concept of being jewish on a surface level but with no actual religious attachment. But it is never celebrated on its own like Christmas is, only as megaholiday Chrismukkah.

Well, that’s two wintertime holidays down, two to go. And next week we got the big one. Oh, and side note: there won’t be a “Why 2K?!” this week. Finals are a pain.

Next week: Christmas.



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