RTBN 25 Days of Christmas: Day Fifteen
Day Fifteen: 30 Rock, "Ludachristmas"
RTBN 25 Days of Christmas is the RTBN staff's irreverent exploration of our collective holiday pop culture traditions.

No show in modern television has a better track record for Christmas episodes than 30 Rock. Somehow, the show finds the perfect balance of cynicism and well earned emotions to capture the greatest things about Christmas with just enough irony for the sentiment-averse modern audience. While there are many potential episodes from which to choose, it seemed appropriate to select the original, season two's "Ludachristmas," to track what the show does so well.

The episode centers around family, a standard Holiday theme, but warps it thoroughly so it fits the 30 Rock sensibility. Liz's family (Anita Gilette and Buck Henry as her parents, and Andy Richter as her brother who, due to a head injury, still believes it is 1985) has come to visit, and Liz is ready to bask in the glory of her parents' support. Jack, shocked that Liz enjoys her family, teams up with his mother (Elaine Stritch, one of the greatest recurring characters in the show's run) to take the Lemon's optimism down a few notches.

Meanwhile, Kenneth tries to teach the TGS staff the "true" meaning of Christmas by destroying their alcohol fueled shenanigans and forcing them to accept the holiday for what Kenneth believes. In short, "Ludachristmas" is a near perfect Christmas episode--it celebrates the importance of family while undercutting the image that anyone's is flawless, and it honors the meaning of Christmas by pointing out that Christmas can mean different things to different people. 30 Rock has had a phenomenal run of Christmas episodes, but its first is a television classic, and set the template for all of its subsequent triumphs. In other words, "that's a filthy Christmas miracle!"

Tomorrow on RTBN 25 Days of Christmas:

Rachel looks in on A Flinstones Christmas Carol.
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