War on Christmas comes packed as a stop motion series on HBO Max.
It’s that time of the year again when people across the world begin preparations to take part in celebrating the festive season. Whether you are a Christian celebrating Christmas, a pagan celebrating Yule or a non-religious person simply looking forward to joining family and friends in getting together and enjoying the holiday season, this is a time for merrymaking for all. However, as is the case with most cultural events in the 21st century, there are always those who seek to ruin the fun. In 2021, the festive killjoy for this year comes in the form of a new 8-part stop-motion animated TV series that is now streaming on HBO Max, Santa, Inc., created by Alexandra Rushfield.
While the majority of Christmas films are deemed to be highly generic and of relatively mediocre quality, there are some standouts which have gained a strong cult following since their respective releases. Some notable examples are Home Alone, The Grinch and Die Hard (yes, Die Hard IS a Christmas film). Santa, Inc., on the other hand, falls into neither of these categories. As of the writing of this article, with audience ratings of just 3% on Rotten Tomatoes and 1.1/10 on IMDb, Santa, Inc. has already been rated as one of the worst TV shows of all time, mere days after premiering. But why is this show so universally hated by audiences (few critic reviews have been released, as of writing)? Let us begin by looking at the premise of the series, as outlined within the initial trailer – which itself currently has over 133,000 dislikes on YouTube, compared to roughly 3,500 likes.
The trailer begins with a young female elf called Candy Smalls (voiced by Sarah Silverman) providing a seemingly wholesome message about celebrating the festive season. The light-hearted tone suddenly changes with Candy shouting at the other North Pole workers, “So let’s get these f*cking kids some f*cking presents!” As the trailer continues, another female North Pole worker flashes her bare breasts at Santa Claus (voiced by Seth Rogan) as the latter walks by a cheering crowd. It is immediately clear that this series is intended for an adult audience, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a show aimed primarily at adults – even a Christmas-themed one – the real problems become evident very quickly as the trailer continues further. Candy then informs Santa that, according to her own statistics, more children in the United States of America believe in Santa Clause than they do in vaccines or certain events relating to the Second World War (it is explicitly referred to as to which events these are). Santa replies that while the news is “good” for him, it is “disheartening for America”. About 45 seconds into the trailer and already we can see that very basic crude language, sexual imagery and references to current socio-political affairs all make their way into the show and serve as the core basis for the comedy in the show. The real theme of the show, however, is brought up when an elderly elf tells Candy that there have been many previous Santas throughout history, and that the role of Santa has “mostly been a White man’s game”, with another character highlighting that it was problematic that Santa and the North Pole Board of Directors (yes, really) have always been White men. And thus the scene has been set for the rest of the show to tackle the very same theme that we have all had shoved down our throats over the past decade – the vilification of the White male.
The rest of the trailer shows scenes of Candy pursuing her dream of being the first non-White and female Santa Claus, with countless instances of extremely crude language, sex references and childish humour being thrown into the mix, further highlighting the complete lack of genuine comedic creativity or wit that has gone into the writing of this series. Another thematic element of the show is the criticism of “toxic masculinity”, with Candy witnessing and even emulating various stereotypical behaviours of the “typical White male”. Such behaviour includes golfing, heavy drinking, urinating in public, sexual promiscuity, objectifying women sexually, etc. It is implied that Candy witnesses and partakes in said actions in order to improve her chances of becoming the next Santa Claus – a possible message symbolising the common feminist claim that women in Western society are required to “perform like men and to do so to standards upheld by men” in order to reach the same professional levels as them within the workplace. Thus the show inserts themes of feminism into the social justice mix here also.
Arguably, one of the very few “positive” elements of the show is that it does seemingly poke fun at and criticise capitalism and so-called “corporate culture”, as Santa is depicted in the trailer as taking credit for distributing the toys to children worldwide, when it was, in fact, the hard-working elves and other North Pole inhabitants who had hand-crafted each and every toy themselves, apparently symbolising the relationship between the mistreated worker and the highly-paid corporate CEOs. You can view the trailer for yourself below, if you so wish. Also note the disabled dislike button and the disabled comments section.
Despite the disabling of the video’s dislike button and comments section, the public response to the show has been universally negative. Naturally, as one would now come to expect from Hollywood, the creators and stars of the show have not taken the criticism well at all, with star Seth Rogan claiming that the review-bombing and negative feedback was purely down to trolling by “White supremacists”, while co-star Sarah Silverman took to Twitter to criticise White people in general for the immense backlash against the show.
After viewing the trailer multiple times, perhaps the poor response to Santa, Inc. isn’t because of a campaign of hate led by so-called “White supremacists”. Maybe – just maybe – the poor response is largely down to the fact that the show is simply not funny, filled with the most crude jokes that even a pubescent schoolkid would find embarrassing, and that the entire message of the show effectively being written as an attack on the White male is simply not a theme that will resonate positively with a significant portion of HBO Max’s subscriber base. This is all letting alone the fact that the series is set against a Christmas backdrop, a festive cultural occasion that should really be a time of the year when people should be putting aside their political differences and gather together to celebrate the holiday season as one, whether they be religious celebrations or otherwise.
Santa, Inc. is yet another example of something to have emerged out of the media and Hollywood as something designed purely with the intention of outright antagonising an entire demographic for no other purpose than to promote left-wing social justice messages, and we are seeing very similar examples with other forms of media, whether they be other TV shows, films, videos games, etc. Nothing seems to be safe from “wokeness” and the left-wing social justice crowd, and if you even so much as dare to criticise said creative works – even if they have been universally panned and declared as one of the worst things ever put to television by both critics and audiences – then you must, quite simply, be an evil White supremacist.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
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