Search for Xmas’ true meaning

Posted on 07 Dec 2006 at 6:05pm

Can a Queer Eye and Dr. Laura get along this holiday season?



SANTA, YOU ARE SO LAST YEAR: John Goodman, left, plays St. Nick, and Carson Kressley plays his bitchy pointy-eared stylist who insists that Santa undergo gastric bypass.

That old chestnut, “A Year Without a Santa Claus” gets a makeover this year.

NBC unites quite a cast for the holiday special: Delta Burke as Mrs. Claus, Harvey Fierstein as Heat Miser, John Goodman as Santa and Dr. Laura Schlessinger as herself.

You know the story. Santa has had it. He’s decided to take the year off because the stress has gotten to him: all the holiday hype, the consumerism and fighting over must-have toys.

Plus, he’s fat. His doctor is nagging him about his health. So is Carson Kressley. The Queer Eye maven has a cameo as a pointy-eared fashion stylist who’s sick of trying to stuff St. Nick into his costume each year. He recommends that Santa undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Two jingle-jangle elves don’t want to give up hope this year. Flouncing a particularly bad hairdo, a Schlessinger broadcast convinces the elves to help Santa in his time of crisis.

Oh yeah, this is a musical, too.

Cast in those scene-stealing roles, Heat Miser (Harvey Fierstein) and Snow Miser (Michael McKean) revive their “I’m Too Much” big numbers. The production looks like Squirrel Nut Zippers meets Busby Berkeley.

Somewhere in the refreshed plot, the issue of “family values” sneaks in. But this revamped holiday classic is fun and funny.

Daniel A. Kusner

Grade: B-

Airs Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. on NBC.



CHRISTMAS WITH JANICE

This should give the holidays a twist. On Monday, super-freak-model Janice Dickinson bestows TV land with “Christmas with the Dickinsons.” On this special reality episode, the fashion-agency harridan climbs on a float to headline the annual Hollywood Holiday parade. And her stable of male mannequins have to audition for the a promotion title the Beverly Hills Hunky Santa. Janice also throws a holiday wingding and tries to prepare a tradition meal.

Tune in for the Christmas craziness.

Dec. 13 at 9 p.m. on Oxygen.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 20, 2006.

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