Monday, December 07, 2020

Out In the Sunshine

Kicked off the morning with breakfast and Doc McStuffins. "The Doc McStuffins Christmas Special" is from the final season of the show set in McStuffinsville, a land of toys. Doc and her crew are horrified to come downstairs on Christmas morning and discover no toys under the tree. She uses her magic stethoscope to go back in time with the toys and talk to Santa at the North Pole. Turns out Santa's workshop lost electricity, and Santa himself is stranded up in the air. Doc recruits her toys to find him, make more toys for the kids, and see to it that one lonely little girl gets a special doll.

Betty White and Jamie Farr were the ones "showing that they can dance" on Body Language. Jamie Farr's tumble to illustrate "gymnast" was awesome! And from his big smile afterwards, he clearly enjoyed himself. Betty White, however, knows game shows better than anybody. Not only did she lead her gentleman to the final round, they won with time to spare, too. 

Blockbusters started as I got dressed. The mother-daughter team continues to defeat all comers. They'd just won the Gold Run round again as I called Uber, and were working on their next challenger as I grabbed my coat and headed outside.

No problems with Uber today - not even with the guy who was late picking me up last week. Both rides to and from work were smooth as can be. I got into work literally with no time to spare.

Today was the first of two days in a row I'm bagging. The young woman who's been working with the head bagger has today and tomorrow off. While I did sweep, round up trash and recycling, and clean up a few messes, I mainly spent the afternoon outside with the carts. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. While it's cold, in the 40's, it was also sunny and breezy. I'm surprised at how busy we were! I had a hard time keeping up with the carts for most of the day. I figured most people would be at the malls or shopping at home and avoiding the malls.

When I got in, I called Rose. She tried calling me around 4, but I was out with the carts. She wants me to call the bike shop in Cherry Hill tomorrow and see if they're appointment only, or if they can bring the bike around normally. I'll have to call them tomorrow, then call Rose.

Worked on writing after I got off with her. Tom Kennedy isn't the only captain on The Golden Medley. Captain Allen Ludden and his wife Betty White are also aboard, having been rescued from their lost ship The All Star. Ludden also lost treasure and his crew, and he too is looking for revenge...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '75 while eating leftovers. Kate Jackson, later of Charlie's Angels and The Scarecrow and Mrs. King, appeared on the show as the designated ingĂ©nue this week. She avoided Gene and his breath spray, but did watch Richard help a contestant with a lovely smile and a pregnant wife win the Head-to-Head Round. Match Game PM went to the dogs when Gene brought his daughter Lynne's sweet old pooch Trotter on stage. Charles may have been leery of her, but that dog behaved better than most of the panelists. Animal-loving Betty White took good care of her.

Made pumpkin muffins while Sale of the Century was on. The champ kept jumping in fast early in the question, prompting the other two contestants to do this as well...often before Jim read the clues that would allow them to answer the question. Thanks to the too-early responses, this wasn't one of the higher-scoring games. The champ just barely won in the Speed Round and picked up his and hers fur coats on the Match the Prizes board. 

Finished the night online with Santa Claus: The Movie on The Roku Channel. Santa (David Huddleston) and his wife Anya (Judy Cornwell) were once a loving couple with no children who made toys for the children of their village in the 14th century. After getting lost in the snow, they find themselves at the North Pole. The elves who live there believe Santa to be the one said in a prophecy to deliver their toys to children all over the world. 

Santa does this just fine for seven centuries...until the 20th century brings a population explosion that wears him out so much, he agrees to take an assistant. Patch (Dudley Moore) is an elf who's eager to show off his machinery and bring Santa's workshop into the digital age. Trouble is, Patch's machines may work fast, but they also make shoddy toys that damage Santa's reputation. Patch leaves the North Pole and finds himself in New York, where he meets a sleazy toy executive named BZ (John Lithgow). BZ also got into trouble for peddling shoddy merchandise, and he thinks Patch and his North Pole magic are his ticket back to children's good graces. Santa, however, has befriended an orphan and BZ's neglected niece, who are more than willing to help him and restore his reputation with children everywhere.

I loved this movie as a child in the mid-80's, and there's still some things I enjoy to this day. The colorful costumes and lavish sets do equally well representing Santa's old-fashioned workshop and the gray world of New York in the 1980's. Huddleston isn't a bad Santa, but it's Lithgow and Moore who walk away with the movie as the cartoonishly villainous businessman and the innocent elf who wants nothing more than to make Santa happy. Gorgeous score by Henry Mancini, too, with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. 

Wish they'd thrown as much attention on the plot and script. You can tell this was made by the same producers who did Supergirl and Superman III. The dialogue is wooden, the orphan kids' stories are dull and cliche, and while the special effects were much-touted at the time, all that green screen going behind Santa when he's in the air looks a little too obvious today. The emphasis on Santa as a "chosen one" makes this feel more like a Christmas comic book than your usual holiday fare. 

I have enough fond memories for me to have enjoyed seeing this again, but I'm going to say your mileage may vary. If you prefer your holiday stories on the campy side or are looking for a different Santa tale for your older elementary school-age kids, this is worth flying over to check out. 

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