I don’t think any of the new Christmas TV specials of 2010 have me more excited than that of ‘Community’, as the show takes an even larger leap from reality by going all Rankin/Bass on its viewers. HitFix has a photo up of what the ‘Community’ characters will look like in the upcoming Christmas TV special, and while the cast might look even creepier than the ‘Team America: World Police’ puppets, I still cannot wait for this sure-to-be Christmas classic.
Some detractors might say that turning the characters into Rankin/Bass puppets is a little too far out in left field, but we’re talking about the show that temporarily turned characters into zombies; created a whole city underneath blankets; and had its characters spend a whole episode inside a study room searching for a pen (that was stolen by a monkey living in the college’s vents). And so I say, the more outrageous the Christmas episode of ‘Community’, the better.
But why will the study group be turned into puppets? Well, the episode is entitled “Abed’s Unstoppable Christmas”, so, since Abed is such a pop culture encyclopedia, I’m sure he’s seen every stop motion animation Christmas classic. Creator Dan Harmon (who says he identifies most with Abed) describes the episode as Abed’s search for the true meaning of Christmas, and he promises that there will be lost of “fantastic holiday things” happening in it. So will his pals take part in a TV Christmas special created in his mind, or will Abed simply be imagining them as Rankin/Bass-style characters as they go about their business (which will likely involve some holiday arguments, considering how every member of the study group seems to be of a different religion or non-religion)?
Well, in a short clip from the episode, puppet Abed tells his friends that, while he is Muslim, he’s always been a fan of Christmas. And then he proceeds to tell them that this Christmas must be the most important one of all, since he and his pals are all stop motion animated (something they obviously are not aware of from their response to his statement). You can check out the clip here, and here’s another photo of the cast on Collider, where they’ve obviously been turned into misfit toys (including a Jeff-in-the-Box and a Britta-Bot) straight from one of our favorite Rankin/Bass Christmas TV specials.
Whatever happens, I’m really digging how puppet Pierce is still in his wheelchair (‘Community’ has to be concerned with continuity, after all), and puppet Jeff is really creeping me out with his alien head (he’s not so handsome when that forehead of his is caricaturized). I’m also hoping that this unique twist will draw in more viewers looking for new 2010 Christmas TV specials; it’s a real shame that ‘Community’ isn’t more watched than it is. So when this Christmas special airs on December 9, 2010, please come for the puppetry, and stay for more pageantry as this brilliant show and its Prince of Pop Culture makes every day that it’s on feel like a Rankin/Bass Christmas.