The Day After Christmas Is Always Dull
2020-12-26, 7:24 p.m.
Vacation, Day 8. Can't believe it's halfway over.
Poor Christine's life is up shit creek: (a) can't pay her rent, getting evicted, (b) loses her job because she stopped to help a woman who had a heart attack, (c) loses her compass necklaces while helping the heart attack lady, and (d) the husband who left her is now suing for custody of the kids. Life sucks for Christine.
Meet Jason: recently fired "through no fault of his own," job hunting, staying with grandpa while he works on some computer program for grandpa's toy store.
"I have to nearly croak before I hear the gooey, mushy stuff out of you!" Heart Attack Lady says to her husband, Jason's grandpa. HAL (which I will refer to her as until I get her name) did get Christine's name and (former) place of employment and wants to find her, so Jason goes to find her. Her former boss claims there's no Christine here, what a fucking shithead. (Even after Jason confirms the heart attack story.) Christine wanders into a bakery and the owner agrees that the former boss is an asshole, and immediately gives her a new job. AWWWWWWWW.
Note that Christine's given first name is Angela. I'm sure there' s point to mentioning that in a Christmas movie. (Spoiler: it never comes up again.) She notes to the uh....social worker/lawyer lady?...that her husband hasn't paid child support even after she took him to court. And yet he wants custody because he found out the kids were alone after the babysitter flaked?
Jason is sent over to the bakery for food. Christine borrows a name apron from someone else until hers is made, billing her as "Rosemary." Having seen Jason around a few times in town, Christine is suspicious that her ex hired him and refuses to give him cinnamon rolls--"tell you-know-who to go get them himself." To be fair, seeing this guy around a bunch of times while she's having bad moments does seem a bit fishy.
HAL is pissed off that all she can eat is yogurt, and "if that's all I can eat, I might as well check out right now." She demands that her husband Marshall ask for some toast. HAL asks Jason if he can work in the family store while she's out. Given how amusingly cranky and Type A this lady is, well.... Christine runs into Jason and he calls her Rosemary, which she does NOT call him out on. Yeah, I see how this movie is gonna go for 2 hours. Jason grumbles to his grandpa that Rosemary is "mysterious" and Grandpa, knowing the actual Rosemary, does not buy it. Jason plays with Christine's kids, unknowingly, telling them that his baseball nickname was "Clutch." Christine mentions to her boss that her supposed dad (she doesn't even know his name) was from here, which is why she moved here. Shall we place bets now that Christine turns out to be Betty's granddaughter?
This show is "The Ballad of Clutch and Rosemary," or Nobody Knows Anyone's Name Here.
Betty's daycare-owning friend Glory comes in, Christine asks if her kids could go there for break. Glory says they are full and while Christine politely takes no for an answer, Betty is all 'YOU'RE GONNA TAKE HER KIDS." The lady from the court says that her ex said he hasn't hired anyone to stalk her, which is why Christine apologizes to Jason after her car dies and he offers to help. Really, I'm just here for the cinnamon rolls. "Wow, when things go wrong, they go wrong all at once," Christine says. Christine is totally being TOWERED. Jason thinks she's out of gas. They go out for coffee.
While the kids are being babysat, the little one takes a header down the stairs. LIKE CHRISTINE NEEDED MORE EFFING PROBLEMS. The neighbor lady takes her to the hospital. She says she's been trying to keep an eye on them, which is why people call her "the bat lady." Oh no, here comes the shitty ex. "You screwed up, Christine, big time." SHE CAN'T BE HOME BEING A MOTHER BECAUSE YOU LEFT HER AND SHE HAS TO HAVE A JOB SO THEY CAN EAT AND HAVE A HOME, YOU FUCKING ASSHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE. YOU DON'T PAY CHILD SUPPORT EITHER. He says he's reporting her to Family Services and she's all, what about YOU? Court lady is already in the hospital, as Christine got there first. Little Zach (her son) points out that "Dad used to get mad ALL. THE. TIME." This movie is giving me the heebie-jeebies.
HAL is wandering through the halls and comes across little Hayley. Is that a compass I see around her neck? HAL is thinking of escaping and boy, is she encouraging a kid to get into trouble. HAL notes that her mysterious necklace is a locket with no key and maybe an angel (Angela?) gave it to her. HAL passes it on to Hayley and tells her to pass it on to someone else who needs help.
Betty and Christine talk about her dead son Dennis, who died in a shipwreck. Gee, you think there's a resemblance? He had a plan to tell her a surprise in person and then...well, y'know. Betty announces that the kids are going to Glory's, scholarship included.
I guess HAL's name is Judy? On a related note, Jason has an interview and a date, which shall he do? The interview, Jason decides (well, hopefully a date can be rescheduled). Oh, btw, can you go to Glory's for a delivery? Zach and "Clutch" end up throwing a ball around. Zach calls the bakery and tells Betty to tell "Rosemary" (uh, ACTUAL ROSEMARY is now back) that her date canceled. Actual Rosemary is all, what? SEE, THIS IS WHERE JUST NOT FESSING UP WITH YOUR DAMN NAME GETS YOU INTO TROUBLE.
Jason decided to work for Grandpa instead and calls "Rosemary" at work again. Just to let you know, Rosemary is married, Betty says. "She used to be, but that guy's a real jerk," Jason says, and hangs up. Later, Brad the awful ex shows up to abduct the kids from daycare and Glory calls Jason for backup. Police and Christine are called. "The judge will never grant him custody after this," says Court Lady.
Christine and Jason are finally introduced....by their actual names, 1 hour and 41 minutes. Oh riiiiiiight, I forgot to tell you my actual name, "because I didn't know if I could trust you--" "I have been looking all over town for a woman named Christine...." Jason just TACKLE KISSES HER, damn. "Well, got that off my mind!" She seems to have enjoyed it and says, "Oh, what a Christmas!"
"An anonymous sender from Wilson's" sends Christine stuff. Like a fancy doll the daughter wanted, and some Benjamins. Christine goes down to the store and Marshall says he and his wife sent it, and re-introduces her to Judy. AWWWWWWW. Later, Christine recounts it all to Betty, who says Jason's dad was her son's bet friend. THEN BETTY SPOTS THE LOCKET. She gave her son that locket...which was given to her mother by her father.... Betty has the key but no locket. The inside says "Follow Your Dreams," alas, no photo. But clearly,
YES, CHRISTINE IS BETTY'S GRANDDAUGHTER. AAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Also, the kids got what they wanted from their great-grandma. I like this one, but boy, is the roundaboutness that takes forever to figure out ridiculous at times. (*cough*Rosemary*cough*).
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas:
Once upon a time, there was the town of Riverton, which always won the decorating competitions. Then somehow the town split into East and West Riverton, and now there's a decorating rivalry. Is it a great idea to cause an entire brownout with your Christmas lights? "Well, I saw what Sarah got for the East Riverton town hall...." Sarah and Liam are rival mayors, I guess. Their assistants are...playing "Set It Up," apparently. They are meeting in a coffee shop that straddles the border and is Switzerland. Har. There are 28 entries in the New Hampshire Xmas Spirit competition. They have to decorate the mayor's residence, narrow it down to 10 towns, and then do a round 2, and then the top 3 have to put on a festival. The winner gets a cash prize, bragging rights, and a fancy candle. Both mayors try to bribe the judge with cookies, to which he is all "I can eat both."
Mmm, Christmas tree pizza! The mayors and their families run into each other again at a restaurant. They end up having to all sit together. Liam is... pouty. They have been rivals forever, apparently. And yet somehow, her kid will be helping him decorate his house? They have a "neutral" meeting the next day to discuss that. HEY, LET'S MAKE A BET ON THIS.
Why don't we have a spy at Liam's house, Sarah says. She doesn't want to put up her kid for it, but.... "It's not spying, it's motherly concern." Why are we behind this fence with binoculars, says Liam to his assistant....then they run off to catch Sarah and co. in the act. "See any interesting birds in the trees at MY house?"
"You'd be surprised at how much gets decided with a flip of a coin around here," Liam says on how everyone fights over snowplowing a shared road.
Off-topic: "Why didn't the Magi just give them a nice sweater or something?"
You will be unshocked to find out that both Rivertons make it to round two. The mayors get into a bit of a feud over a string quartet, and "Switzerland" locks them in a room together with no cell reception. All night. I hope nobody has to pee. They end up decking a tree together. Maureen lets them out long before bathroom is an issue, apparently. "A couple hours isn't going to make up for decades of you disliking each other." "We don't DISlike each other..." "Can you imagine what you could have accomplished over the last two decades if you worked with each other instead of against each other?"
OH HEYYYYYYYYY WE COULD SPY ON OTHER TOWNS, Liam says. Heh heh heh.
I'm amused that when Liam needs to talk to a bro, he talks to...Sarah's ex-husband. Who is totally kewl if, y'know anything happens. Maybe Sarah's your missing piece of the puzzle, ex says.
You will be unshocked to find out that both Rivertons make it to the final three, along with Dover Lake, a previous winner. Everyone wants to spy on everyone and DL is gonna do fireworks.
Kendall and Yale are their assistants, and suggested that they contact each other...You think they're trying to get us together? No, no. No....
"You can't BOTH do Christmas dinners?" "Why can't we?" They decide to unite the towns at the end, "as it should be." I'm not sure how that works for "competition?"
Awww, the smile on her face when he says "I need you." AWWWWWWWWWW. "You took my idea," she says. Meanwhile, both towns have decided to party together in the shared town square. Maybe you shouldn't out that each mayor argued for the other to win, in front of everyone....The tiebreaker voted for both of them, DUH.
I will note that Sarah is wanting to quit being mayor so she can go be happy elsewhere or something....this kind of bums me out. Why don't we let the town decide, Liam says.