There was caroling (with AutoTune) and presents in tonight's Christmas episode, but for much of the show it was the parents who were obsessed with what they wanted. For Rainbow it was about getting the praise and adoration of her kids and not sharing it with mother-in-law Ruby. For Dre it was about being the first Black Santa at his company's office party once the long-time Santa passed away. Of course, everyone learns a lesson by the end and the jokes just keep coming.
In order for Dre to get what he wanted he had to elbow out the woman who would have been the first Mexican (at least Latina), female Santa, who also happened to be in charge of the company's HR, Angelica (Anna Ortiz, Devious Maids). While Rainbow was horrified by what she saw as Dre's casual racism when talking about his dilemma, the conversation that ensued between Dre and his mother reinforced their view that Black people can't be racist. They felt that Blacks had been waiting longer and Mexicans had to wait behind Blacks for certain things (like being Santa or being president) and behind that would be gay people, except not for the role of Santa. We'd all have to go to the Thunderdome first. (That's not going to help with the show's perceived gay problem).
Turned out that Angelica didn't take getting bumped so easily. She sabotaged Dre by not letting him know he needed to organize the toy drive that would have provided presents for the kids at the party, something Dre hadn't even thought about. His solve was to take his kids (his Christmas elves) to a toy store, load up and then distribute the toys to the children he'd disappointed at the party earlier. Feel-Good Montage #1.
For much of the show Rainbow and Ruby's old rivalry played out, with Rainbow angling to take over Ruby's usual (and much-lauded) Christmas Eve dinner, just so, as she said, everyone could praise her instead. The takeover encompassed the kids trying some of her traditions, including singing. Which none of her kids were good at. But as Tracee Ellis Ross tweeted, they TPained it. They all had fun but the kids' disappointment with the dinner plan broke Rainbow's heart (Andre to a crying Jack: "Christmas isn't about getting everything you want or anything you want. It's about mom."). So Ruby agreed to step in and save the day at the last minute. Rainbow soon found out that Ruby was not working her fingers to the bone making that meal, and instead was having it catered by a Mexican catering company and had been doing so for 10 years. So Ruby went from claiming Mexicans had stolen Black jobs "with sneaky tricks like working harder for less money" to saying "Mexicans are dependable, affordable and the backbone of the American workforce" so who else would she trust with her authentic Southern meal? The only way for them to go was to get into cahoots together and work really hard to perfect the lie that they had exhausted themselves making that last-minute meal. Right up to the gravy on the ceiling. Feel-Good Montage #2.
All in all, not bad for the show's first Christmas episode, which could set the tone for years to come.
--Rainbow's party outfit was amazing. Tracee Ellis Ross gave us the deets on Twitter.
--Good luck finding a toy store on Christmas Eve not completely packed with frantic parents.
--Yes, Dennis Haysbert's turn as the president on 24 did give a lot of people hope and even he believes he helped pave the way for President Obama.
--I just realized how quickly Josh went from being a nemesis to being a sidekick oaf.
--I still miss Pops. Can't wait until we see him and Ruby together. I know it was explained that they can't stand to be around each other, hence one on and not the other. But a girl can hope, right?
--"Let's get a Black James Bond first," said Ruby. "Hennessy. Shaken. Not Stirred," said Rainbow.
--"SantaSantaSantaSanta? SantaSanta SantaSantaSantaSanta"
--"Go, Jesus! Go, Jesus!"
Your moment of husband and wife realness:
Bow’s retort to Dre after he asked about the empty catering boxes in the garage, “I don’t know, Dre. What are all those websites on your search history?”
What did you think of the show's first Christmas episode?