Christmas is under attack. No, it’s not what you think. It has nothing to do with the current state of the world nor the design pattern on Starbucks’ newest coffee cups. The culprit is a new series on HBO max entitled “Santa, Inc.”
The series is produced by and stars Seth Rogen as the titular jolly man in the red suit. The other main cast member is Sarah Silverman, who plays a surly elf named Candy. Other cast members include many comedians and actors with whom Rogen has worked over the course of his career, like Craig Robinson and Evan Goldberg.
What superficially looks like a fun, irreverent poke at Christmas tropes quickly devolves into 190 minutes of foul-mouthed vitriol aimed at the very nature of the holiday with the woke anti-everything agenda at its rotten, molten core.
The plot — which should be condensed into at most a four-minute animated short — centers on a disgruntled and disenfranchised Candy hating her job and wanting to replace the current Santa because she’s tired of seeing a straight white male in the role.
Candy comes off as a resentful sociopath with an aggressive violent streak, often making wild threats of stabbing or cutting someone she doesn’t like and then just brushing it off with “just kidding."
There are other side plots in this program, but this is the plot thread that actually matters — at least for the overarching theme of the series.
The show tries to subvert expectations and be deliberately offensive; the problem is this format, namely irreverent adult animation, has been done to death. Modern programming is over-saturated — with more mainstream staples including “The Simpsons“ and “South Park.“
What makes those examples stand out is that not only did they do this juxtaposition of animation and crude satire first, they did it smarter and better. Take “South Park” for example; the creators of that series don’t just poke fun at one side of a topic — nobody is left unscathed or avoids insult.
While crass and vulgar, "South Park" has been on TV as long as it has because the creators and writers made a point of using their episodes to actually bring up a legitimate discussion around certain hot-button issues.
Ironically enough, it is the audiences and potential fans that have been the most alienated by "Santa Inc." While critic score aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has become less trustworthy over the years, the website has proven an interesting read.
Rotten tomatoes gives both an average critic score as well as an average audience score. There weren’t enough critic scores to warrant an aggregated average while the aggregated audience score ranges from 3-4%.
These scores or lack thereof prompted Rogen and Silverman to jump on social media to insult every potential audience member, chiefly accusing them of supporting white supremacy. Such fragile egos!
Artistic people, whether they be actors, singers, or writers should have a much tougher skin because the work that they produce will always be subject to criticism. This holiday season, just don’t subject yourself to this piece of garbage — there are so many better things to watch on TV.