Netflix's Christmas Angel Is Just The Right Amount Of Over It
And Lorraine Bracco proves there are still great roles for older women!
Am I really writing about another Christmas commercial already? Yes. What else would Christmas nerd write about on a TV site in the month of December?
Here's our subject today: a holiday ad for Netflix, narrated by a family's Christmas tree topper.
If you spent that whole ad waiting for the angel to tell you that Janice Rossi is a whore, there's a reason: she's voiced by the great Lorraine Bracco, and God, I wish we could hear outtakes of that recording session as the director put Bracco in the right frame of mind: "Okay, so you're a Christmas angel, you've been with this family for thirty-four years, they keep almost wrecking you, and you are exhausted." "No problem — hold on, just let me scream for five minutes so I can get real good and hoarse." "Perfect!"
Thirty-four years is a long time to do anything, including hanging out with a family during the holidays — or, as this spot styles it, especially hanging out with a family during the holidays. More so than at other times of year, the intense togetherness can be hard to take, and given the "Christmas cheer" (booze), a tree topper might also find herself imperiled in various ways. That bowling ball just missed her!
The holidays are a time when people of all ages, some of whom rarely spend time with each other at all, find themselves trapped inside by inclement weather/time off work or school/egg nog-induced paralysis and challenged to get through it without resorting to murder-suicide. A board game can be tough because the little kids need help keeping up and the old people don't take it seriously enough or just keep pitching Monopoly. A jigsaw puzzle can occupy, at most, four people at a time before two end up with their hands pinned to the table with steak knives. And forget car pooling to a movie theatre, unless you're prepared to hear Grandpa complain about the price of M&Ms until the Feast of the Epiphany (and bring it up every subsequent year until one of you dies).
So hats off to this spot for doing what all great commercials do. It creates a problem: you, trapped with people with whom you may only be able to enjoy five minutes' conversation, desperate for salvation. And then it solves that problem: NETFLIX. Park everyone in front of Forrest Gump, count on everyone to enjoy it, and trust that those who don't (and even some who do) will at least fall asleep. When it's over, pick another title from the "More Like This" selections on the Gump landing page. Repeat until it's time to go back to work.
What we'd buy for various game show hosts if we (a) pulled their names for Secret Santa, and (b) had a budget of $10 or less!
- Wayne Brady: karaoke CD of the top hits of 2013
- Steve Harvey: moustache grooming set
- Bob Saget: Mad Libs
- Meredith Vieira: at-home nail art kit
- Alex Trebek: liqueur-filled chocolates