On the Fourth Day of Christmas, Blister Gave to Me: 3 Diverse Films and a Classic TV Seerieeees
The period between Christmas and New Year is notorious for its time-bending properties, all props to anyone who knows which day or date it is. 2020's festive period is the time warp to end all time warps, going on so long that Brexit has actually happened. If you finished all your jigsaws in July, and have run out of Corona conspiracies to argue with your Grandparents about, part two of our Winter Warmer recommendations (that don't center White people) is here for you!
Jingle Jangle (2020)
Netflix’s Jingle Jangle is their stand-out new family film of the festive season. It comes with all the trimmings of a Christmas classic: a young child full of belief, an old scrooge who learns to be joyous once more, and the glowing embers of family togetherness coaxed back from the ashes. The musical numbers are as modern as a musical set in the nondescript past can make them, and the costume design is second to none. The cast is almost entirely Black, boasting fantastic actors such as Forest Whitaker and Keegan-Michael Key, as well as Madalen Mills in her breakout role as Journey - watch this space, she will be big. This film will enchant your children and warm the cockles of your cold adult heart; we would not be surprised if this was added to your family's list of festive favorites.
Cool Runnings (1993)
Cool Runnings is warm, funny and lighthearted, and what’s more, it's a Christmas film your grumpier male relatives are less likely to complain about (I guess because, *sports*). The storyline is loosely based on a true one, which only makes this film all the more loveable, following a group of ambitious young Jamaican men, keen to be celebrated as Olympic athletes (at whatever cost) after an unfortunate twist in the athletic tryouts. This leads them to form a bobsled team - to the amusement and mockery of all friends and family on their tropical island - despite no team member ever having seen snow before. It’s sweet-natured, cheesy and will definitely provide inspo for your next collection of wavey garms.
Are We There Yet? (2005)
Starring Ice Cube as Nick - the disgruntled bachelor and owner of a shiny new SUV, whose eye is caught by Suzanne (Nia Long) - Are We There Yet has always been a festive favorite in my family. In an effort to impress Suzanne, Nick offers to accompany her two children, Lindsey and Kevin, on a flight to Canada. After some shenanigans caused mostly by the meddling kids, they miss their flight and are forced to embark on the long drive in Nick’s precious car, so they can be reunited with their mother just in time for Christmas. This film’s 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is scandalous - it rivals Home Alone for its perfect combination of slapstick humour and overall heartwarming message, and quite frankly surpasses it during fourteen-year-old Aleisha Allen’s stunning karaoke cover of Aretha Franklin’s Respect (see below!). This film sidesteps the picture-perfect family image of many Christmas films, choosing instead to bond the three protagonists, across generations, in their shared experience of divorce and parental abandonment.
See iconic Karaoke moment here:
The Jefferson's (1975-85)
Staying inside long enough that one film is not quite gonna cut it? Need something with room for an impressive time commitment? Tier 4ers, we got you covered! The Jeffersons can offer you no less than 11 seasons and 236 episodes - only the second-longest-running American series in history. The Jeffersons centers around Louise and George Jefferson, a couple who move from a working-class area of Queens to a luxurious high-rise complex in Manhattan after George’s dry-cleaning business takes off. Unfortunately (but not really unexpectedly) the age of this sitcom means it ought to come with a few trigger warnings, and the language use hardly stands up to modern expectations of daytime television. Nonetheless, the series deals with many relevant social issues, employing laughter to draw attention to awareness and change, and using politically incorrect clichés and stereotypes simply to have the chance to undermine them. There’s something about Christmas which welcomes a healthy dose of the old-school, and The Jeffersons certainly provides this.
Sending you love, hugs and solidarity, wherever and however you are spending this shitty time,
The Blister Team xx