‘Santa Inc.’ Review

Rankin/Bass Christmas Stopover Special, dating back to 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeeris ingrained enough in holiday traditions that an entire generation has grown up either blindly accepting or happily ignoring the way many of them really are messy and restrictive for children.

Are from Jack Frost arrive Nestor Long-eared Christmas Donkey arrive The Life and Adventures of Santa Clausspecials are filled with traumatic deaths, thinly veiled drug trips, and whatever the Heat Miser and Snow Miser are supposed to be.

Key point

Silly and silly, if not enough to subvert.

So when some spectator more specifically consider Santa Inc.HBO Max pays an adult homage to those Rankin-Bass specials (some are “classic”, some are definitely not), the question that must be asked is: Arthur Rankin, Jr. . and does Jules Bass dodge the goblin’s nipples? exploits oral sex with Mrs. Claus and the deeply murderous level of Santa’s rivalry with the Easter Bunny because they don’t believe it’s seasonally appropriate or because they simply know that audiences are decades away from being ready?

Creator Alexandra Rushfield, takes a delightful detour from her work about Shrildefinitely hope the answer is a later answer or at least she doesn’t care if it is a previous answer, because Santa Inc. prides itself on being raw and immature without completely abandoning the holiday spirit. Often that immaturity comes at the cost of Santa Inc. used to be almost as subversive as one might think, but I’m not sure anyone involved here can fulfill my wish that the series is a bit smarter and maybe a more subtle haircut seriously.

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A Christmas series with more Jewish hosts than Apple TV+’s Semitic show The Next Door Narrows, Santa Inc. focuses on Candy Smalls (Sarah Silverman), the number two executive vice president at Santa Inc., the Arctic-based corporation behind everything Christmas-y. Candy is content with her position working under Brent Robbins (Tim Meadows), the designated successor to Santa Claus (Seth Rogen). When Brent shocks everyone by taking a new job, Santa is left without an heir and Candy decides it’s time for Santa Inc. had the first female (and Jewish) Santa. While the current Santa loves to brag about picking his first Black successor and proudly proclaims himself “a real agent of change,” it’s hard for companies to try to capture progress.

As a corporate satire, Santa Inc. sometimes quite savvy, and it’s here that you can see the connection between the workplace elements of Rushfield’s hit Hulu comedy and this holiday deal. Santa Inc. has a long tradition of being a boys’ club and the series is admirably impressive for its catchphrases and barricades aimed at the women who are perched on the glass ceiling for whether they’re looking for a spot in the boardroom or the White House. An episode in which Candy joins Santa and the Board for a getaway includes golf, cigars, and dirty jokes while the various wives, including Mrs. Bamford) disappointment, opting out of spa-based activities is a snapshot of the institutionalized deviance and business hierarchy one might want from a special Christmas.

Candy’s best friends are Cookie (Leslie Grossman), rushing back to the office after getting pregnant, and Goldie (Gabourey Sidibe), stuck on the Christmas Eve reindeer squad, who have similar struggles and complement each other in a show that illustrates that behind the public-facing interest of even the most beloved of companies being a company.

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Through four episodes, Santa Inc. focused mainly on Candy’s struggles as a woman in this masculine space and the Jewish part was mostly an afterthought – an initial disappointment for me and had probably dozens of other viewers.

By the same lines, though, I’m guessing that my favorite #MeToo test of sexism here will probably be the least appealing to audiences more eager for stories. laughs about reindeer, elves taverns, and tit-for-tat Santa Claus. “As is the case in Sausage Partyalso from Rogen and Goldberg’s Point Gray Image, the funniest and most confusing aspect of Santa Inc. unfortunately it is the most repetitive and also self-satisfied. There’s so much pride in what creators and directors Harry Chaskin can get when depicting in the animated space – so often it’s just accepted that the mere image of Mrs. his mate is inherently hilarious, without actually doing anything funny with the concept or the image.

I’ll just go to the “A Very Big Mouth Christmas” episode from the current fifth season of Big mouth as a much more successful example of exploiting shock value from the conventions of special animated holidays. Nothing in the four episodes of Santa Inc. makes me feel even the slightest shock or even very uncomfortable – not in a world saturated with South Park and Chicken robot permutations and exclusions. Heck, nothing here feels as weird as Nestor Long-eared Christmas Donkey.

Still, Santa Inc. operates on some level of tradition, especially when it comes to its populations. Silverman’s Candy even looks like her Muscled man character and she’s right into the kind of enthusiastic, high-energy person that has always been the hallmark of a comedian. Rogen’s Santa prides himself on the actor’s believable, well-intentioned forgery, and Nicholas Braun’s Devin, a guy best friend who interns at Santa Inc., has a more indebted humiliation. a little HeirCousin Greg. Grossman and Sidibe are perhaps the show’s most consistent sources of laughs, while the TV geek in me enjoys cameos from previous Rushfield collaborators like Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, and John Cameron Mitchell, all from Shriland Love and cherish star Paul Rust.

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The love for those Rankin/Bass specials’ visual style is over Santa Inc. and if this new comedy works better as a nostalgic stimulus for those unique things (or a palate cleanser if you’re already indulged) than an annual holiday classic new, then maybe there’s a place for such a thing.

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