In a world afflicted by plagues and devoid of autonomy, the ancient Israelites enslaved in Egypt longed for little more than fundamental safety and freedom from suffering. Today, whether you have lost your job, feel unsafe in your home or are eating Matzah of your own volition, your pain is also valid. What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers? For one, many seders have saved a seat for a special new guest (and no, I’m not talking about Elijah). This year, Zoom joined the party, enabling extended families to safely come together from across the street or across the globe.
This past June, I took a weekend road trip to visit a friend who had stayed at Dartmouth for summer session — a popular option there given New Hampshire is one of the few places with worse winters than Ithaca. At some point in the weekend, we found ourselves at a “Christmas in June”-themed party, which is the only thing more gloriously tacky than actual Christmas parties. Ugly sweaters, Santa costumes and hot chocolate were out in full force, but the real holiday cheer came from the soundtrack. The usual suspects were all present and accounted for, as Mariah Carey’s legacy-defining “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tore the house down on multiple occasions. After a certain point, though, even holiday music lovers such as myself began to grow tired of monotonous commercial cheer — anyone who has listened to the radio in December knows that there’s only so much you can handle.
The first time I came home the 3,000 miles from boarding school for Thanksgiving in 2001, I couldn’t hold in my glee. My mom parents drove me straight to In-N-Out Burger, then one of my best friends surprised me in my living room with several movies and an impromptu sleepover. I missed her so much and I couldn’t wait to duke it out with pillows at the jammie jam while we gossiped about old flames and Justin Timberlake. It was such a relief to be home and out of the grind. Everything was looking up.
And then our family’s dishwasher exploded.
There’s no better time to celebrate television than around the holidays. But you don’t have to wait until December, because the television-watching community celebrates literally any special day, from Chinese New Year to Kwanza, and especially Halloween. [img_assist|nid=33115|title=Zeke the Plumber without a nose.|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]
The Halloween Special is a delicate art that has been poked and prodded for longer than TV executives would like you to believe. To pay tribute to their hard work, I have compiled a list of my Top Four Halloween Specials. Get your candy corn ready because this could get messy.