Thanksgiving TV that makes me happy as pie


Thanksgiving is the perfect
lesbian holiday. It involves a potluck (with vegetarian options, of
course), eating too much and then sitting around with friends pretending
to watch football while we talk about the people who aren’t there. And
we have pie. I love pie.

T-Day also provides plenty
of fodder for seasonal episodes of television series, usually centered
on a chaotic family dinner or the Macy’s parade or turkeys that
aren’t done on time. (See TV writer Ken Levine‘s blog for his summary of Thanksgiving
.) Sounds
like a good excuse for a list — and some food for discussion. And so,
submitted for your approval, my five favorite Thanksgiving episodes.

5. Roseanne, “Home
Is Where the Afghan Is”


I’m not especially a Roseanne
fan, but this episode deserves mention because of its double dose of
gayness. Leon (Martin Mull) and Scott (Fred Willard) announce
that they are planning to adopt a child, leading to the revelation by
Roseanne’s mom
Bev (Estelle Parsons), that she is a lesbian. In 1996, no less.

4. The West Wing, “Indians
in the Lobby”


Although “Shibboleth”
is classic West Wing and on many Thanksgiving “best”
lists, I like this one better, mainly because of the interaction between
President Bartlett and his staff about how he will prepare the turkey
and stuffing. His call to the Butterball
is priceless,
but my favorite exchange is in the Oval Office with C.J. (of
course) after Bartlett has expounded on his basting style.

C.J.: When I came in here,
back in the late ’50s, there was a purpose to it, but then one thing
led to another and I blacked out. I mean, I can hang in there with the
best of them, Sir, but somewhere in the discussion of anise and coriander
and the other 15 spices you like to use to baste a turkey, I just lost

Bartlett: [scowling] You know that line you’re
not supposed to cross with the President?
C.J. I’m coming up on it?
Bartlett: No, no. Look behind you.

Damn, I miss that show.

3. WKRP in Cincinnati, “Turkeys

TV Squad names this “Best. Thanksgiving.
Sitcom. Scene. Ever.” In my book, it’s not necessarily the best,
but certainly is a classic. As a Thanksgiving promotion, station manager
Mr. Carlson decides to have turkeys dropped from a helicopter above
a shopping mall, not realizing that turkeys aren’t exactly world-class
fliers. You’ll find the video of Les Nessman reporting live from the
scene here. My favorite scene comes at the end
of the episode:



2. The Bob Newhart Show,
“Over the River and Through the Woods”

This is one of the best
of one
of the best shows ever. Emily goes to visit family for Thanksgiving,
leaving Bob to fend for himself. Jerry, Howard and Mr. Carlin come over
and get drunker and drunker as they watch football and try to cook a
turkey. The episode ends with a classic Newhart bit on the phone ordering
Chinese food (“Moo Goo Goo Goo”). I can’t describe how funny
it is; just watch it if you get the chance.

1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Although this is not technically a series
episode, I could not in good conscience leave out the ultimate Thanksgiving
classic. Especially since Peppermint Patty takes center stage. Rather
than describe it, though, I refer you to another Thanksgiving classic,
scribegrrrl’s post from last year, “Peppermint
Patty’s Personal Pilgrimage.”
Patty + Marcie forever!

On a related note, reported Tuesday that, based on a recent survey,
31 percent of adults want Clair Huxtable to cook their Thanksgiving dinner.
I suspect that 100 percent of lesbians agree.

To spend part of your Turkey
Day cookin’ with Clair, catch the Thanksgiving episode of The Cosby
Thursday at 12:30 ET on the CW.

What shows do you look forward
to this time of year? Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving episode? And
what kind of pie gives your holiday the happiest ending?

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