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"Home Improvement" Yule Better Watch Out (1991)

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Santa Claus is Coming to Detroit.

8/10
Author: ExplorerDS6789 from United States
24 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's yule time on Tool Time, and expect that line to be a recurring joke in years to come. Tim grunts along to Jingle Bells and then demonstrates how he rigged a turntable to properly rotate a Christmas tree. Naturally, he wired it incorrectly and the tree spins out of the control, tossing ornaments everywhere. At home, Mark continues to write an overly long list for Santa, while Tim gets into the spirit of competition with neighbor Doc Johnson. It seems every year they try to outdo each other in the neighborhood lighting competition and every year, the good doctor has won. Tim intends to break that record. Brad and Randy will be in the church pageant, as a shepherd and the inn keeper respectively, which they find just cause to complain about and take it out on Mark by telling him there was no Santa Claus. Or rather, they go one better and tell him that there was a Santa, but he died when Blitzen fell on him. The two jerks walk away and leave Mark with a crisis of faith, just as a Santa sleigh model defies physics.

So while Jill makes Randy try on an embarrassing inn keeper costume, Tim hits the roof (literally) to fight Doc Johnson tooth and nail. He sets up a rotating Santa on a turntable, only this time he wired it correctly. However, he gets a hammer frozen to his tongue (musta been a triple dog dare) and the rotating Santa repeatedly pounds him into submission. Fire fighters rescue him and admit they're both Tool Time fans, but they prefer Al over Tim. So they leave and Jill makes Tim promise to cut out this competition. He promises, but then calls the electric company, pretending to be Doc Johnson and requests his power be shut off... didn't work last year either. But he and Jill now have another problem on their hands: what to do about Mark and Santa Claus. Do they tell him he doesn't exist... or does he? The following night, after the pageant in which Randy gets demoted to sheep, the Taylors receive a visit from a jolly man in a red suit, who looks and sounds remarkably like Wilson. He came just in the "Nick" of time, as Tim and Jill were just about tell Mark the perceived truth about Santa. Reaching into his pack, Santa gives Mark the gift he wanted, apparently, a remote controlled Godzilla, and unlike with the toy companies, with Santa, batteries are included. For Brad and Randy, a rubber band and a button respectively. He gives Tim and Jill some mistletoe and bids them adieu, just as Jill happens to see Wilson from behind the fence, so that means... yup, it was the big guy himself. Mark's faith had been restored, and hopefully the Taylors' power will as well after Tim starts up his lights.

The first Home Improvement Christmas episode, and it indeed captures the spirit of the season. It is also the first of many times Tim will try to compete with Doc Johnson in the lighting contest, as this premise is repeated in every season, except Season 6. And in Season 7, he's competing with Al of all people. However, the lighting contest is mentioned in the sixth season Thanksgiving episode, but that's another story. Wonderfully acted, directed, written and shot, I recommend this episode for fans of Home Improvement, first time fans, and even those looking for some holiday cheer. Merry Christmas and more power...to you.

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Home Improvement's First Christmas!

10/10
Author: shawnlaib-1 from Washington, United States
22 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Christmas episodes were always one of Home Improvement's specialties and this first one is no different. There are three different, hilarious, plots in this episode. I'll start with the most minor one: Randy has to prepare for a Christmas play at school and Jill buys him a ridiculous, but hysterical, costume to wear. The second storyline that is in between is the storyline of Tim competing in the yearly Christmas lighting contest against Doc Johnson. The third, best, and most focused on storyline was that Brad and Randy tell Mark that Santa Claus is dead, and Mark then has many doubts about Santa's existence, leading to many laughs.

Home Improvement's first Christmas episode isn't the best of all of them, but it is a remarkable episode that will get you into the holiday spirit with lots of laughs and joy. Great "introduction" to some of the series' future Christmas masterpieces, and one of Season 1's best episodes for sure! 10/10 easily!

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