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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Wednesday, December 22

my one Grinch opinion

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Hello, all!

I haven’t received an email from Tom Holland yet asking me to stop writing about him, so I will quickly drop a two second video before I move onto the ramble because Tottenham seems to have an endless supply of Holland content.

Ramble of the Day

I am a full-fledged enjoyer of the holiday season, but my one Grinch take is this: I can’t really get hyped for the barrage of Christmas movies.

I have tried, believe me. How could I not? Christmas movies are everywhere the moment Thanksgiving ends and folks who live in my part of the world are spoiled for choice — the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime dedicate so much airtime to their unoriginally original Christmas movies, Netflix is doing the same on a bigger budget, the film industry always churns out a few new ones each year, and all the other tv channels load the schedule with older classics. It’s a purposefully oversaturated market, which is not my complaint. My complaint is that there are very few Christmas movies I find enjoyable.

Most of the original holiday movies that are made for television or streaming are meant to be horrible, which I obviously have no problem with. (After all, I have a well-documented interest in horrible things.) The problem is that they slowly become boring. The joke about the Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas movie template is this: a woman living in a city begrudgingly goes back to the extremely small town she’s from, has to save it from something, and falls in love with a local man who is seemingly her opposite. This is a formula that goes stale after a while, even if you’re looking for something bad. I watched one a few years ago (do not ask the name, I do not remember it) and I was struck by how dull the whole thing was — the screenplay obviously sucked, but the acting was one-note and even the set and costume design felt drab. If anything, it makes you realize the type of effort that goes into making a good film.

I think these movies almost never try to be enjoyably bad — the cheap thrills are never fun enough, the plot convoluted without being fun. I think there really is an art to the enjoyably bad movie or television show — something has to be going right from a production standpoint because it’s the only way to snap the viewer out of reality. It is a hard thing to accomplish, and I think a lot of people do it by accident. Almost no Christmas movie is like this, though; outside of the Lifetime/Hallmark/Netflix films, they try to be good in a traditional sense, and either hit the mark or miss the mark in an insignificant fashion.

There are some Christmas movies I do like — I take no issue with Elf and never mind watching Arthur Christmas. It’s just that Christmas movies do not hit the spot for me in any way — they don’t help me get in the holiday spirit, and I don’t find them fun. I have no issue with other people enjoying them, and I will probably not stop watching at least one a season. As a whole, though, they are just not for me.

tl;dr: I like the holiday season quite a bit, but my one Grinch opinion is that I do not care much for Christmas movies.

Stay informed, read this: Haroon Siddique on the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which said the racism that took place at Yorkshire County Cricket Club was unlawful for the Guardian

Links of the Day

Real Madrid’s David Alaba and Isco tested positive for COVID-19.

Gabonese manager Patrick Assoumou Eyi was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse.

Fulham’s Neeskens Kebano was racially abused on Instagram following the team’s Monday loss.

Scotland will mandate social distancing at all events, including football matches, in response to rising COVID-19 cases.

Italian officials raided Inter Milan’s offices in relation to an investigation of false accounting.

A longer read: Ben Fisher on Bristol City’s efforts to protect players and staff against COVID-19, including the club’s Monday trip to get everyone their boosters for the Guardian