Miracle on 34th Street Review & MJN’s Christmas Series First Impression: Kicking Off Christmas With a Bang
Ah, the Christmas season! A time for giving, family, and festivity. And part of that festivity, at least for me, is Christmas movies, specials, and — this year — web shows! And since I started watching this web show the same day that I re-watched Miracle on 34th Street, I figured I may as well talk about them together, in my first Medium double review!
Miracle on 34th Street
This movie is in no way as much of a classic for me as many others, nor is it nostalgic for me, though I completely understand why others have such a strong love for it.
Mrs. Walker always raised her daughter to live in the real world, barring her from fantasies. But when a man claiming to be Santa Claus shows up in their town, both her and her daughter are forced to re-examine what actually is real.
This is such a feel-good story with a ton of elements to appreciate, such as the fact that they never actually confirm or deny Kris’s identity specifically until the final seconds. And the fact that the very common Christmas movie theme of faith is explicitly tied to a real-life situation.
Now, normally, I call slow pacing a mark against a movie, but I don’t think that’s the case here. I like that this movie took time to let us get to know the characters through their interactions and build up the plot over time. It’s not molasses with little to no plot advancements like some other slower movies (cough, Riding Faith) tend to be. Granted, I remember it being faster, but I wouldn’t change a thing about the pace or structure.
All in all, Miracle, in all the best ways, is the textbook definition of “warm holiday saccharine.” Absolutely check it out on Disney+ if you’re interested!
MJN’s Christmas Series
From any other writer, this series may come across as insane. But for web show writer McJuggerNuggets, this is fairly typical.
When Jesse returns from vacation, he expects to have a fun, relaxing Christmas season, with his family, best friend, and girlfriend all by his side. But he soon realizes that something is very wrong when everything and everyone around him starts to change — and not for the better.
Or, at least, that’s what the plot seems like now. But one thing about MJN’s work is that there is always something hidden beneath the surface that doesn’t reveal itself until later on. But, I’ve only seen the first three episodes so far, so I don’t know what that is yet.
That is also what makes his stuff so difficult to predict; although, I did notice that the series description lists several Christmas movies that inspired elements of it. The whole Elseworlds plotline seems right out of It’s a Wonderful Life. One of the changes is that Jesse’s cousin, Tom, is now on crutches, like the kid from A Christmas Carol. Now, admittedly, I don’t know much about Mr. Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. However, I do know that a major plot thread in that movie is the Christmas bonus one character is waiting for, which does also exist as a plot thread here. This one may be a stretch, but Jesse’s mother’s arch could be inspired by Buddy’s dad’s in Elf. If this is the case, that means we’re only missing a thread from A Christmas Story to complete the list.
As is right now, I am absolutely looking forward to seeing the rest of this series! As per usual with MJN, he does a great job at building up intrigue and mystery. Actually, I’d argue this is one of his best openings because The Spirit of Ursula’s and the one for his currently ongoing untitled series were incredibly slow. I like openings like this one’s and The Devil Inside’s because they build suspense right off the bat. I could not for the life of me tell you what other changes may have happened, what may have caused them, or how Jesse is going to fix them, and that’s a mark in this series’s favor!
I highly recommend checking this out on YouTube. This is gonna be a Christmas mystery I won’t forget any time soon!