|Grady goes to great lengths to retrieve a stuffed lamb, Nick tries to find out why Mike passed up a great job opportunity, and Mark attempts to live his life in the best way he can.
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Written By: Shadowpaw
What I imagine everyone noticed first about the episode was the wonderful Christmas treatment given to the opening theme song. Nothing says Christmas like jingle bells and tambourines... they make the notes in the music sound like they are falling snow flakes! I've always been a sucker for episodes featuring my favorite holiday and it immediately warms my heart to think about the season. The sound of snow crunching under a character's boots, the cold and silent winter air, and the tear-jerking selfless acts that define the spirit of the season. Unfortunately, "A Lamb's Tale" is a wolf in sheep's clothing... despite the musical interludes and mention of Whit's "Christmas Closet", there's nothing in this episode that indicates to me that it should actually be a Christmas tale. However, it's still a good show that just so happens to be pretending to be something it's not.
I mean if we were to replace the "Christmas Closet" with some other charity organization, the episode would still play out in the same way. Grady would once again chase after his sister's doll, Nick would continue to investigate the Universal Press' offer to his uncle, and Mark would still want to speak to the father of the man who saved his life. A 'Christmas Episode' shouldn't be called that because it takes place at that time of year, it should be considered a Christmas episode because everything about it is filled with the joy and spirit of the season. I noticed the heavy influence Christ's death had on all three of the different stories: Grady risking his life for his sister, Mike giving up his job for his nephew, and Ron giving his own life for a fellow soldier. But where are the parallels to Christ's birth? No, I don't think every Christmas episode needs to feature the birth of a new baby or an Imagination Station episode in Bethlehem, but it should be about the holiday itself... and not just use the holiday as a gimmick.
But again, as mentioned in my introduction, I do think this was a good show on it's own merit. We learn more about the Mulligan family, find out how Mark Horton is doing, and get introduced to some cute kids named Grady and Sam. Not to mention that Rodney gets into some mischief and Tamika somewhat redeems herself from "And That's the Truth". It's also interesting that there are three main stories being told during the course of the show, which perhaps is what caused the episode to be so strong. So much happened in such a short period of time that I never felt like any of the plots wore out their welcome. In my last review for "And That's the Truth", I noted how much I disliked Tamika's plot. Here, I wasn't a big fan of the Mark plot, but because there was plenty of other stuff going on and not a lot of attention devoted to it, I accepted it. I'm also looking forward to hearing more from Grady and his sister Sam. Their voices were both distinctive and young enough that they could be on the series for the next several years and I thought the young actor playing Grady was just terrific. And kudos to the writers for not over exposing us to them. This way I'm left wanting more!
So was the show a Christmas classic? No. But it was a pretty nice episode regardless. However, this year was a free pass. Next year I'm demanding that the characters drink hot chocolate, sing Christmas carols, decorate a Christmas tree, and give gifts to one another! The last great Christmas show aired seven years ago... considering this is a Christian series, you'd think that this time of year would be celebrated with a little more effort!
This is the first Christmas episode to air since 2001's The Popsicle Kid.
This is the first episode with Grady and Samantha McKay.
- Jared DeWhite
Liz calls John Whittaker 'Whit" but then a few moments later she calls him "MR.Whittaker
- Jared DeWhite
Rodney: Lamb to the moon take four...
- Jared DeWhite