Friday, December 21, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Movies 2012 - Day 21: A Christmas Carol in Reverse

We all know the familiar story of Scrooge and his change from a bad man into a good one, so I'll spend no more time going over that here...however today I will be discussing a Christmas Carol that works in reverse for the sake of satire.  I don't know about any of you, but while I love and adore Scrooge's transformation, I always thought Scrooge's rampent overspending and charity was going to bankrupt him really fast if he didn't do some massive rebudgeting really fast.  I suppose that is why I have chosen tonight's Television special for your consideration.  It is a satire of the ideals and themes of "A Christmas Carol" put through a somewhat extreme lens, but it's all in good fun.  So I present to you, Blackadder's Christmas Carol.

Ebenezer Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson), the Victorian proprietor of a "moustache shop", is the nicest man in England. He is everything that Ebenezer Scrooge was by the end of the original story; generous and kind to everybody, and sensitive to the misery of others. As a result, everybody takes advantage of his kindness, and all but Mr. Baldrick (Tony Robinson) view him as a victim, although even he is slightly more cynical than his ancestors. His business turns no profit, all his earnings going to charity and to con artists, and he lives a lonely, miserable life.  One Christmas Eve, Blackadder's destiny changes when the Spirit of Christmas (Robbie Coltrane) makes the mistake of calling round to congratulate him for his ways. The spirit lets him see shades of the past: his ancestors Lord Blackadder and Mr. E. Blackadder, Esq., the butler of the Prince Regent (Hugh Laurie). Instead of being convinced that he is better than them, he grows to admire them and their wit and asks the spirit to show him what could happen if he became like them.

This is the kind of program that makes people love British comedy.  I love how the show lampoons the wealthy, the leeches of society, the dumb, and yes, even the good people of the world.  Like "The Simpsons" no one is spared in the satire.  The Blackadder version of the Carol is nothing short of comic genius.  The way Ebenezer Blackadder comes to the realization that "Bad Guys Have All The Fun" is so wonderfully inspired that it made me wonder why someone hadn't done a film or tv program like this one earlier than the late 80s.  The actors are also something of a rouge's gallery of famous brits including Robbie Coltrane, Miranda Richardsom, Rowan Atkinson, and many others.  In fact, I was surprised at what a who's who of British thespians (and ironically, Harry Potter alums) the piece was.  If you want a good laugh and an answer to all the sentimentality of the usual Christmas Carol, give this one a will laugh.  I swear.

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