3. Have A Very Murray Christmas with Bill and his buddies (Netflix)
The New Yorker recently featured a Mike O’Brien piece about “how to live an alternative comedy life style.” All you have to do is get an ordinary job, marry a normal person, have lovable kids, and die happy … but secretly know that you’re doing it all ironically. Netflix’s Bill Murray Christmas special is kind of like O’Brien’s essay come to life. Co-written by the comedian, Mitch Glazer, and Sofia Coppola —who also directed — A Very Murray Christmas tries to come across as the opposite of every old TV variety extravaganza. The depressed star is stuck in a snowbound hotel with no power, passing the time by asking other mopes — everyone from Jenny Lewis to Maya Rudolph and the band Phoenix — to sing songs with him. Belting out a few carols, however, doesn’t change everyone’s melancholy mood.
In fact, there’s a fair amount of tongue-in-cheek yuletide cheer here, especially when Bill dreams himself onto a blindingly white soundstage with George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, and dozens of foxy dancers. But when everyone’s gathering around the piano to sing The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” (with Lewis handling the Kirsty MacColl parts!), or when Coppola’s filming Murray looking out over a beautifully chilly city on Christmas morning, well — that sweetness ain’t artificial.