HBO may have faith in God, but everyone else is paying cash.
HBO will debut their most recent attempt to turn A Christmas Story into a sequel, establishing another holiday tradition. However, the awkwardly titled A Christmas Story Christmas does have one unique selling point: Peter Billingsley’s nearsightedness. In actuality, based on the teaser that was posted earlier today, that is all it has going for it.
The teaser includes images of Ralphie Parker’s Cleveland house, where the young child fantasizes about killing someone in his front yard. So, this fervent supporter of the second amendment rights and children’s right to bear arms is back for another round of rocking the Christmas tree. But, other than nostalgia, there is no hint of the narrative or emotion.
The one-minute commercial stays in the Parkers’ home, highlighting the radio Ralphie uses to listen to Little Orphan Annie, the lampshade that once muffled the warm glow of electric sex coming from the Parker window, and an A Christmas Story set photo. The entire affair is a reunion-themed television special or even a promotional video for the Parker house set, now a museum open to the public.
Until our fictional Batman dons his cape and cowl, that is. Yes, Ralphie is back.
We have, of course, had holidays forced upon us by the Parker family in the past. The Phantom of the Open Hearth, a 1976 TV movie, came first. Next, Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss, a 1988 TV movie written by Jean Shepherd, with Sheperd resuming his narrator role, followed by the pre-Christmas Story Ralphie TV movie.
Later on, Mary Steenburgen, Kieran Culkin, and Charles Grodin were featured in My Summer Story. Leigh Brown also played the obnoxious elf that terrorizes Ralphie and Randy at the mall in the original Christmas Story, and director Bob Clark returned for that one. Who could forget A Christmas Story 2 from 2012, which starred Daniel Stern and was released solely on video? Finally, in 2017, A Christmas Story Live! was released, serving as a reminder to the rights holders that specific lanes in the Ralphie Parker Universe remain undiscovered.
They will investigate as well. The movie, which was directed by Clay Katis (The Christmas Chronicles) and written by Nick Schenk (The Mule, Gran Torino, Cry Macho), starred Billingsley as well as Scott Schwartz as Flick and Zack Ward as Scut Farkus, er, Office Scut Farkus, as well as other members of the original cast. But, of course, we all learned that Scott Farkus’ name was actually “Scut” when we were little.
An Advent Story: On November 17, Christmas will premiere on HBO Max just in time for the holidays.