The joy of the season

I haven’t had a chance to watch Sense8 on Netflix yet, but someone posted a trailer to the show’s Season 2 premiere, which in Sense8’s case, will be a Christmas special. (Thank you, Lana Nieves, for sharing.)

I’m not familiar with the Wachowskis’ work – I know they did The Matrix movies and several other films and shows.

But I was struck by what Lana Wachowski says in the first few seconds of this video. She talks about “the intersection of my life with these fictional characters.” I love her explanation of stories with a viewer’s life, just as a fictional book can sometimes intersect and resonate in a reader’s life.

Lana lists a few TV shows with holiday specials that she remembers – and lo and behold, All My Children is on that list.

I loved what she said here. The holidays are special, and it was perhaps one of the times I loved most about any of the shows I watched.

As Lana Wachowski says in the video, the holidays can deliver a sense of togetherness for some, and underscore isolation for others.

And while the holidays are “special episodes,” they can be great ways to take the temperature of where all the characters are in any story.

Another World and As The World Turns certainly had memorable holiday shows – ATWT started at Thanksgiving with the Hubbard Squash, of course!

But I have to admit, I have the softest spot for Guiding Light and its holiday shows. Especially during the Pam Long years, where the story had a lot of unabashed heart (and, let’s be real, a bit of welcome cheese, too).

I mean, Saint Nick was a character. HELLO!

In 1988, Holly had just returned to town, and Phillip was trying to help Harley with Alan-Michael.

(The Phillip/Harley scenes were among several from that year where many of us saw chemistry between the characters and actors, a decade or so before they were actually paired.)

And then there’s the episode from the following year. Pay close attention to the end of the episode (from around 53:30).

Times change, styles change, and people change, and that’s undeniable. It’s been a rough year, and an angry one.

I wish we were telling more stories that didn’t turn to violence or ugliness as a default setting. I wish we had more stories with vulnerability and heart. Even if it’s a little cheesy.

At the holidays, we could all use a little cheese, and a lot of warmth.

Happy holidays, everyone!

POSTSCRIPT: For more holiday clips, check out this blog post from Alina Adams. Adams was a part of the P&G team for years, and wrote the Oakdale Confidential book, as well as several other P&G show-related titles.

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