If you have found yourself here and are wondering why everyone keeps talking about dicks, take a travel back to Yu-Gi-Oh! – S1 E1. You will find the rules there (there are none) so with that being said…
It’s time to d-d-d-d-d-duel!
Into the Hornet’s Nest
Yugi has to learn fast when he and his friends arrive on Pegasus’ island, where the rules of the deadly duels are unlike any Yugi has seen before.
“I implore you all to assemble your duelling dicks with care, with creativity and with cunning.”
“Let’s see how you like my Killer Needle.”
Yugi: “I have something else I think you want. My whole Duel Monster’s Dick.”
Weevil: “So you’d risk your Grandpa’s dick? Fine with me.”
Killer Needle (1/4)
Mammoth Graveyard (1/4)
Hercules Beetle (1/4)
Feral Imp (1/4)
Basic Insect (1/4)
Dark Magician (3/4)
Celtic Guardian (1/2)
Summoned Skull (1/2)
Straight off the bat, on seeing the island they are heading for and about to disembark on, Joey can’t help but mention how big the place is and how hard it will be to find Grandpa. A) the man isn’t just wondering around in the wilderness so I imagine there will only be a few logical places for him to be kept and B) you’re looking for the man’s soul. I don’t… I don’t know… I mean I’m not sure… I’ve never possessed one, not even my own, so I don’t think that’s something you just leave lying around waiting for people to trip over. God knows we are all aware imagination isn’t Joey’s strong suit. In fact, it doesn’t appear any suit is Joey’s strong suit.
After a strange scene where Tristan finds it very hard to walk off a boat without acting suspicious we find out Joey has a cold because he almost drowned himself in the sea last episode. On seeing Weevil Joey is adamant he is looking to start trouble, despite the fact he is just standing out on the dock grinning inanely at everything.
The guards invite contestants to ‘follow the stairs’ in order to meet their host which is an interesting way of saying ‘he’s up there’ and everyone is forced to walk along what looks like part of the Great Wall of China.
Again Tea uses her stalking extraordinaire skills to spot ‘Bakura from school’ at a cool distance of 50 feet, hanging out alone in the woods. She ain’t the only one with skills as Bakura appears to have spotted them, too.
Back at the gates to the Great Wall there are a bunch of rumours flying around about how everyone needs to beat Yugi because he beat Kaiba in a terrible dog-eat-dog duelling food chain. We are all kindly interrupted by Pegasus, who has arrived to give a rousing speech to the masses and explain the rules of the game. Wager your star chips in duels in order to win 10 and make your way to the castle where you can duel Pegasus himself and a chance to win £3 mil. He also warns about some state of the art duelling grounds but let’s just gloss over that for now because I’m sure everything will be fine.
I hate to point out Joey does not have a glove at this point so I’m not sure where he’s gonna store his star chips without just getting distracted by the pretty shiny object and trying to shove it up his nose. It might not seem like it but I do actually have a soft spot for this gullible moron.
Heading out on the island Yugi and the gang soon come across Weevil and try to challenge him to a duel before he runs off, cackling, into the woods. Being bombarded with an unnatural amount of moths isn’t enough to put them off and they just run after the little guy until they find him standing, waiting for them, in the middle of the woods.
Cue Yami Yugi, who I have dearly missed. I’m not sure if Weevil is due another eye test anytime soon but he seems completely unfazed by the fact Yugi has just grown 3 feet and gone through puberty in the last two seconds. He’s probably just too smug about the fact he has lead them all into this trap and opened up a duelling arena in the middle of the ground. I’d be impressed by this technology but… this ain’t the 90’s anymore.
Yami Yugi demands this is an all or nothing match and if he wins then Weevil gets the fuck outta dodge because he is taking both his star chips. He is so confident he’s gonna bet his whole deck on it – you know… seeing as he already gave one star chip to Captain Oblivious.
Already drawing a crowd, the pair get to it and materialise their monsters out on the ‘state-of-the-art’ arena. I’m disappointed to say no one else seems too impressed by this, despite the fact only Yugi and Joey saw this kind of technology when they battled Kaiba in the first episode. Weevil also takes the time to kindly (and loudly) explain how he stole the tournament rules beforehand which means he was fully aware the arenas offer field bonuses to monsters depending on the terrain they’re located on. Turns out woods and bugs… well, if you’ve ever had a bug fly straight into your face while taking a hike then, ya know, they love that shit.
Yami Yugi interrupts Weevil’s tirade by mocking the boy because it took him about 0.3 seconds to work all of this out on his own, no stealing required, and he happens to have a patch of wasteland terrain on his side of the arena that’s gonna make it all work out OK.
Things get a bit hairy when it turns out monsters with a field bonus are apparently resistant to magic but everything balances out when Yami Yugi draws, surprise surprise, Dark Magician. Even Weevil can’t help making a dig about this card being Yugi’s favourite and we’re only four episodes in.
I should point out that Yugi’s friends show some sort of awareness that Yugi ‘seems like a totally different person when he’s duelling’, but it’s not enough awareness to… I don’t know… raise any further questions about it.
The episode ends with Yami Yugi destroying every one of Weevil’s cards on the field, saving Dark Magician and cutting Weevil’s life points down dramatically. Unfortunately we can’t escape before Weevil shows us some weird, pulsating egg sack he carelessly left out on the field, making a hideous mess everywhere.
I’m sad this is the first ‘To Be Continued’ episode because it only means we have to listen to Weevil talk some more. See you next episode, folks!
If you have found yourself here and are wondering why everyone keeps talking about dicks, take a travel back to Yu-Gi-Oh! – S1 E1. You will find the rules there (there are none) so with that being said…
It’s time to d-d-d-d-d-duel!
Journey to the Duelist Kingdom
Yugi must travel to the Duelist Kingdom to rescue Solomon, and he is joined by his friends Téa, Tristan and Joey, who wants to save his ill sister.
“You’re either a champ or a chump. Cut this guy loose, he’s clearly fashion-challenged and deserves to be crushed in the games.”
“With these new magic cards, combined with your monsters, you’ll have a real strong dick.”
“Here, add this to your dick. It can be helpful in a tight spot.”
Mai: “OK, time to cut the cards.”
Rex: “Playing with your dick, huh?”
Exodia, briefly, as he sails over the ship’s railings (2/3)
We find out in this episode that Joey has a younger sister, Serenity, who sends him a videotape of her conveniently explaining how they haven’t seen each other for 6 years and she was dragged off somewhere to live with their Mom. Serenity felt compelled to send this video tape over to her brother because her death is apparently impending and she just wanted something fun for Joey to remember her by.
Meanwhile Yugi has received an invite to Pegasus’ Duelling Kingdom on some island and Joey just happens to comment that’s where Yugi’s Grandpa is being held. Now… I distinctly remember the lifeless husk of Grandpa’s soulless body toppling over on the floor last episode, so I’m kind of concerned at this point what these teenage children have done with the husk. Do they know he still needs feeding and watering? Even without a soul?
Tristan is the only one having a hard time believing any of this… until he sees part of the invite specifying the winner could walk away with £3 mil. Despite not having his own invite to this competition Joey can’t help thinking about his sister’s medical bills and just keeps repeating the phrase ‘three million’ over and over again.
During a flashback we get to see how Yugi and Joey even met, which started when Grandpa dared Yugi to solve this random, Egyptian puzzle because ‘yolo, let’s sacrifice the grandkids’. Yugi made a wish for some real friends because, quite frankly, he was probably fed up of Grandpa trying to sacrifice him to the god’s and up turned Joey and Tristan. Although… their version of friendship appears to be somewhat warped and Joe insists they were only bullying Yugi in order to toughen him up for when the real bullies showed up. Apparently they did too good of a job because Yugi almost gets his face smashed in defending them from a bully who is about 10 foot tall and should definitely be serving time in prison rather than finishing high school. Yugi tries to balance all the shit Joey and Tristan dealt to him by reminding Joey if he hadn’t found the last, missing piece of the millennium puzzle Yugi would never have been able to solve it! Despite the fact Joey is the one who threw this puzzle piece out of a 3rd floor window in the first place… Just thought I’d give you the opportunity to contemplate this friendship thing too, it took up like half of the episode.
At some bizarre night hour all of the contestants, who from the panning shot all look overweight and lacking in vitamin D, are welcomed on board a giant ship and warned they better not be shit or they’ll be going home. Yugi is surprised to see Joey trying to sneak onto the ship for some reason – I mean… the boy literally told Yugi they would be doing this together during their bonding time on the roof – and gives up one of his own starting star chips in order to get his friend on board. Meanwhile Tristan and Tea are sneaking on as cargo. These kids must not have parents; at least Yugi’s Grandpa has no soul and doesn’t give a shit, what’s everyone else’s excuse?
Joey loudly announces on board the ship that now they only have one star chip each they are pretty much sitting ducks for the rest of the competitors. After over hearing their conversation a woman turns up and both Yugi and Joey lose their tiny minds like they have never seen a pair of boobs before. Rightly, in my opinion, she calls Joey out on his bullshit and introduces herself as Mai before walking off. Weirder still is the fact Tea and Tristan are sneaking around on board and following Yugi and Joey like some weird stalkers.
Never mind his friends are technically cargo right now, Joey is complaining about the shoddy accommodation and the fact everyone is sleeping on the floors. Except the finalists from the regional championships who get private rooms… ya know, like Weevil, who has just shown up with Rex so Yugi can be starstruck and Joey can brag about how great he is despite the fact I have never seen him play or win a single duel.
It’s at this point I realise how incredibly annoying and screechy Weevil’s voice is as I, unfortunately, have to listen to him join the long line of people who are impressed by how Yugi beat Kaiba. Poor Kaiba. The last we saw of him his brain was still melting out of his ears.
Paying no attention to Weevil’s sinister undertones and weird tip of his glasses, Yugi continues to be super friendly and polite and worries he may be taking part in cheating when Weevil tries to give him the vaguest tip about duels on the island. Pro tip: you might need more strategy.
Wow, buddy. Thanks. Maybe go and tell that to Joey.
Weevil continues to cast a very discerning eye over the other competitors and is amused to see the commoners still trading cards at this late in the game. Fuck their happy faces and relaxed boat journey, he’s gonna retire to his rooms and probably screech at his own reflection in the mirror some more.
Meanwhile Mai is complaining about the lack of showers in the commoner quarters but never fear! Rex walks by just in time to offer her the shower in his luxury room. I’m sure that has no connotations attached to it whatsoever… And up on deck it’s a good job we still have Tea and Tristan sneaking around and spying on people, otherwise how would we have ever known that ‘Bakura from school’ is on the ship too, unbeknownst to anyone who isn’t a stalker.
Joey has been trading hard but still needs some extra help from Yugi who happily hands over Time Wizard. Better believe we’ll be seeing that guy again soon…
Still completely naive to life Yugi hands his rare cards over to Weevil to examine, when the little bug-eyed psycho turns up on deck and starts harping on about how great his win against Kaiba was. I mean… I don’t remember Yugi and Kaiba’s duel being televised or anything but everyone sure as shit seems to know exactly what went down there.
Yugi happily hands over the entire Exodia set to which Weevil confesses he has been trying to come up with some way to combat the most powerful cards in existence since hearing about them. Inspiration strikes, however, and Weevil’s strategy is to just throw the damn things overboard. Joey shortly follows them on some misguided idea that if he drowns in the sea trying to save cards then he will be able to save Serenity too. He only manages to retrieve two cards before Yugi is forced to jump in after him to save his ass. I don’t know, I’d say not drowning would be a better approach to helping your sister…
Luckily Tristan and Tea were stalking out on deck and were at hand to haul them both back onto the ship. The guards sure are conveniently missing at this point. Joey coughs up half the sea and the truth about his sister on deck.
She’s not dying. She’s just going blind. She wasn’t even wearing glasses in that videotape she sent over, she might find that improves things a little… Anyway, there is an operation to save her eyesight but I presume it’s probably around £3 mil or so. Seeing as Yugi only cares about his Grandpa’s soul and Joey only cares about cold hard cash I can only guess that money is coming to Joey either way.
Yugi sure is a good friend to have around, these days…
No duels in this episode and only some terrible back story about Serenity’s need for a pair of glasses. I’m sure Weevil could show her a few more tips.
Hopefully see you and Grandad’s soul next episode, folks!
Mom – “I bought Matt some canisters to store his tea and coffee in and they range in size. So the biggest one has apples on it and that’s where his tea goes. Then the next is pears and that’s where his coffee goes.”
Me – “You already have this planned out for him, I see…”
Matt – “Apples for your tea, pears for your coffee; that’s how the old saying goes isn’t it?”
Our company made us travel down to London to take part in some awful training session where they collected 80 people in one tiny apartment (called an anomalous space because… London) and ultimately tried to nicely shoehorn everyone into one of four personality categories.
After reading some random statements and scoring them 1-4 based on how accurate they were about ourselves we put our scores into a turn of the century excel doc and out popped our answers. You were either a Thinker, Mover, Connector or Planner.
Either way this has absolutely no bearing on our lives other than to perhaps help the company understand in how many ways people could really despise their jobs and ultimately never feel any type of joy.
CW3: “I can’t be bothered with these calls…. that’s because I’m a ‘Mover’.”
CW1: “Fucking Mover… CW4, what were you? I bet you were a Connector.”
CW4: “Actually I was a Planner, but I think the spreadsheet was broke.”
CW2: “Yeah, my team was getting really angry about their results.”
CW1: “Wow…. Hayley, what were you? I bet you were a Thinker.”
Me: “Yep, and I can’t help thinking you are all absolute pricks.”
Now, I’m hoping unlike Now TV that this film isn’t lying to me and has given it’s real identity. Let’s jump straight in and make this short and sweet because I have food to prepare.
Already we have some intrigue as this guy is late to what looks like his own wedding. Everyone stands up and a guy even starts playing the organ when this man bursts into the church but it turns out that isn’t the groom after all. Who I presume is the maid of honour goes to break the news to the bride, who is having a small, quiet breakdown in another room.
Bride: “He’s not coming….”
Maid of Honour: “Maybe he’s stuck in traffic?”
Me: “Yeah, in a different state, maybe.”
The bride is going to resort to plan B which appears to be openly crying and looking around in wonder. I don’t think this woman ever wanted to get married at all!
At a primary school we see a young handsome guy (who I know was far more handsome in any of the other things I have seen him in when he didn’t have such stupid hair) waiting outside the principal’s office with a young relative. The guy is called in because a large concern for the school is that Holly, the young girl, is still turning in incomplete homework assignments and this man appears to have been completing homework for her, ie. colouring in a flower.
Man: “Come on, this is first grade and her mother died 3 months ago.”
Me: “Fucking hell! And they’re concerned about the fact she doesn’t want to colour in their damn flowers!”
Apparently Holly hasn’t spoken since the incident which… the school probably should have led with, rather than the whole flower thing. Due to the fact she has withdrawn into this introverted shell the school want to put her back into kindergarten for a year… because that will help with her feeling displaced in the world.
Mark, this girl’s Uncle, appears to be packing up the entire house into the back of his van and just wants to go back home to escape from the hideous school systems in Seattle. Calling in a favour with a friend he sets Holly up in a new school to start after Thanksgiving, just like that! A woman, Shelby, appears at the door who appears to be dating Mark and is not too impressed he is moving 6 hours away to Friday Harbour, an island, to be with his family. Prediction #1 – Shelby is being dropped for the jilted bride the second he lays eyes on her…. wherever she is. They convince themselves unconvincingly it will all work out and Shelby presumes it will be OK for her to drop by in a few days once they are settled.
Speaking of our jilted bride, Maggie, here she is! On the same boat as Mark with her maid of honour and her dog, Olive or… Oliver, that remains to be seen. Holly has just dropped her bear when Maggie comes along and returns it to her where it turns out both herself and the child are wearing the same pink converse. Still no word from Holly.
Turns out Olive will a) eat anything and b) is maid of honour’s old flatmates dog, who pawned her off on this woman whilst she went travelling. I hope this flatmate doesn’t expect Olive to be waiting for her when she gets home because her friend is trying to convince this dog to become an island canine.
Apparently Mark owns a coffee store in town which is good to know because Maggie owns one now, too! She has moved her ‘Magic Toyshop’ from Seattle to this island and inside there appears to be some woman who is ignoring everything Maggie wanted for the store and is doing her own thing. I have no idea who this woman is but she’s annoying as all hell and I think Maggie should slap her into a different postcode. Just like that Maggie has booted her out of the store with what looks like a cheque whilst outside MOH battles with Olive who has decided to lie down in the middle of the street as sad dogs at Christmas are prone to doing.
Turns out that woman was a store manager and Katie, the MOH, is now being roped in to helping with the shop instead. Maggie is convinced Black Friday is as big on the island as in the city and sends Katie off to find teenagers who are willing to work it. At some point she has also agreed to take on Olive, which is nice for the dog.
Mark has just bought Holly home where she is unresponsive to Uncle Scott’s secret handshake. You will be pleased to know, however, that Uncle Scott is renovating a house!! Uncle Alex is knocking around the house in his underwear making himself some breakfast and appears to be some sort of health freak/hippy. Living in half renovated houses appears to be the thing to do around Christmas because fuck heating and properly insulated walls. Now it turns out all of the brothers will be living in the renovation site and helping patch the place up.
Alex: “You know I had a bear growing up. His name was Frankie bear. He was the coolest bear… but Scott poured chocolate syrup on his head…”
Alex: “Then the cat ate him.”
Mark: “The cat was never the same after that.”
Me: “Because it was dead.”
Both Alex and Scott are alarmed by the amount of pink going on in Holly’s new room and she probably just wants them all to piss off while she organises her multi-coloured pipe cleaners. At bed time Uncle Mark does a strange impression of crickets during the bed time story but at least Holly appears to be enjoying it and humours the man.
When Mark wakes up in the morning, where I am starting to become a fan of his hairstyle, he finds Holly sleeping on the floor with him in a spare room instead of the bed he carted all the way from Seattle for her. Looks like Holly starts her new job in the coffee shop today because no one else will take her and leaves her with his employee Carrie… Carol…. Kara…. Either way she is far too enthusiastic. Outside the shop Mark runs into Maggie, who is walking Olive, when he gets a call from Shelby. Making Maggie stand there awkwardly, while he takes this call, we establish we’re probably already bored of Shelby and afterwards continue to discuss Olive, until he gets another call which terminates this pointless conversation about how Olive is basically Maggie’s dog now and she might as well just come to terms with it.
Now, not being a man I am unsure how this works, but it appears to take all three brother’s to figure out how to throw a Thanksgiving dinner for Holly which is not what they usually do but they’re gonna take a crack at it.
Scott thinks a good way to wake his younger sibling is to start hammering down bits of foundation in the room he is sleeping in. They are making all of this far more complicated than it needs to be and Alex is deep frying a turkey outside in a vat. Inside Scott has forgotten all about the sweet potatoes topped with marshmellows and is about to start a legitimate fire. Mark drops the turkey into the oil which starts an oil fire, but luckily that’s outside and next to the ocean.
Holly gets sick of these grown ass men arguing with each other and takes the entire pie they have given her off to her room to wallow in food pity. Mark is hanging around on a bridge feeling similarly sorry for himself when Maggie comes jogging by. These guys don’t celebrate Thanksgiving anymore because one year their Dad never returned from a business trip. Figures.
Maggie is boring the shit out of her new employees for the grand opening whilst Olive looks on with the face of reality – ain’t no one interested in Black Friday weekend on an island. Shelby has turned up though and this kid might not be talking but she sure as shit ain’t impressed by this woman. It doesn’t help any when Shelby is trying to dress the child like a small doll. Walking down the high street Holly is in that toy shop like a shot, despite the fact Shelby wants to do some of her own shopping and is hating this child more and more by the second. Olive appears to have remembered Holly and runs right up to the kid to lick her.
Awkward introductions done, Maggie offers the shop up to Holly whenever she feels like visiting the resident dog. Shelby gets mightily fed up of this woman and carts them all out of the shop bu Katie saves the day by pointing out neither of them were wearing wedding or an engagement ring. Christmas lesson incoming – it’s OK to break up relationships as long as you’re doing it out of the kindness of your heart….
Holly’s first day at school is underway and I hope Mark explained that she isn’t speaking because a lot of the other kids are already looking at her like she’s sprouted tentacles. Maggie is seeing her sister/friend off the island and despite the fact she said she is not keeping Olive, Olive is staying on the island with her. Mark decides he will try and join Holly for lunch, under the guise of bringing her her forgotten lunch, and he just makes the entire thing weird and awkward with the other kids.
All of the brothers are waiting for updates on Holly and how she’s doing on her first day. Alex, who was never popular and always concentrated on school work, is now making Scott paranoid that the other kids are making fun of her. One day in this school and the teachers are already recommended doctors and therapists for the girl. Shelby is trying to get Mark off the island for the weekend when he realises Holly is missing so puts the phone down on her. The man is running around the streets wildly when really there is only one place to look. Maggie apparently wasn’t too fussed that this kid wondered in one her ones and was just showing her around some very alternative doll’s/fairy house.
Scott is having doubts about letting Holly live with them at this renovation site and probably could have referred to her as something other than a ‘burden’ which just leads to another argument. It seems bad but really, this is the closest any of these Christmas films have been to real sibling relationships. Sub-plot, back home Katie saw Tim, who was apparently Maggie’s runaway groom, and he’s engaged again! It’s been 6 months though so, whatever.
Over at the bar everything is cleared up when Maggie meets Scott and… Cara…. Carol…. something…. and they reveal Holly is just their niece so she can feel even less guilt about breaking up this man’s relationship.
At the beach Alex is trying to get Holly to check out the rock pools and explaining why he will be moving to Maine soon to research lobsters. I’m presuming Holly will speak at any moment just to ask him to shut up but she does crack a smile when he gives her a star fish to hold. That qualifies as serious bonding with this child. Maggie only drops in to the sandwich store to pick up donuts when Mark is following her off down the street trying to convince her to drink coffee. Maggie thinks now will be a good time to show off her river dance skills and ends up flat on her face before limping off to the shop.
Alex has just received a call to inform him he has lost his grant to head up to Maine and study lobster. Never fear, though, his food is amazing and Holly has left a shopping list on the fridge for them which consists of cookies, chocolate milk, mac n cheese and carrots. I am all for that except for the blaringly obvious. That evening Mark receives a call from the island, during his dinner date out with Shelby in Seattle, that Holly has got a fever. Realising that Shelby hates children, Mark decides he’d rather just leave after a strange conversation where he seems to have forgotten this child is not actually his.
Back on the island… which is 6 hours away if I remember correctly… Holly looks fine, if you ask me. Maggie has made a new friend in… Carol…. and meets her at the bar, where her new friend is trying to set her up with any member of the band her step-brother is in. In a tenuous link between Maggie and the island it turns out she always wanted to open a store here and almost gave up on that dream when she almost got married. Unfortunately she just told Carol about her river dance that went wrong, and Carol immediately asks her brother to play something ‘Irish’ which is apparently in every band’s repertoire.
Back at the shop Maggie is explaining how the fairy living in the house needs to be given a name in order for her to stay when Uncle Mark is there to drag her off to her job at the coffee shop. She has barely left the shop when she runs back in and announces she would like to call the fairy Victoria. This is huge, guys, The kid is speaking!
At home her mass of Uncles bombard her by asking who her favourite uncle is, which Alex wins presumably because he a) didn’t call her a burden, b) doesn’t make her work in a coffee shop and c) gave her a star fish to hold. Mark brings over a gift box of coffee and food to Maggie, in order to thank her for talking about fairies incessantly to his niece, and invites her out on a date which brings a tear to her eye.
Over this dinner they share sob stories and discuss how depressing and scary the entire world is. Unfortunately Kieran’s aunt decided to drop by with his birthday cards and I have no idea why their date just went horribly wrong and why Mark is walking off looking so disappointed. Either way, Mark is doing a terrible job of decorating the tree and instead decides to break the news to Holly that her Mother is dead. And god knows what happened to her Dad, which is something I have only just thought of, as it has not been mentioned once this entire time.
CONFIRMED! Katie and Maggie are sisters, only an hour and a half in to the film. She also nicely wraps up the fact Mark was interested in her but she totally shot him down after their first date. Katie shouts at her a bunch to inform her she’s a friggin’ idiot and Maggie goes out to look at the sea for a bit with Olive and contemplate life. Elsewhere on the beach, Alex is looking after Holly and celebrating his new grant whilst Mark and Scott are grabbing Holly’s Christmas decorations from their deceased sibling’s house.
At a giant Friday Harbour boat parade, which actually looks pretty cool and all the boats are lit up and sailing around. Holly weirdly and creepily asks if Uncle Mark can be her Dad, because that’s not worrying at all, when Maggie shows up, hopefully to apologise for being a moron.
I’m hungry, I’m wrapping this up. Everything ends wonderfully, Mark forgives this laughing weirdo and we OH HOLY LIGHTBULBS they have covered the house in Christmas lights…. renovations are always good for fire hazards. Around Christmas dinner all these brothers decide they will continue to live together and all be one giant, happy family. Cue Olive who is dressed for Christmas and Maggie has bought Holly the fairy doll house as a Christmas present.
Happy ending. Everyone’s feeling warm and fuzzy. I’m hungry. Off we go.
Right guys, I owe you. There was no blog post yesterday because me and Kieran were busy busting my Mom out of our house. She had been stranded with us since Friday because of the snow. This resulted in getting to Mom’s house then needing to be dug out of the snow all over again once we got to her street.
It was also Kieran’s birthday, but that’s sort of secondary to the great escape of 2017.
So, because I owe you big time and 2 posts today, I am gonna make our missed Day #11 film major. Seriously. Who would have thought, while trawling through Now TV movies I would come across the one, the only, the motherfucking sequel to Finding Father Christmas, our day #4 movie! (Looking back I have just found out that WordPress never updated and published the final version of this old review and so an incomplete bunch of gibberish has been up since the 4th instead. Way to go, internet!) Yes. It exists. And we are going in.
Welcome back Miranda! Who, as we remember, originally came from the city and she appears to be packing up all of her clothes to head back up to Vermont, where Ian is being manly and planing some wood. I hope Miranda isn’t leaving that Christmas tree plugged in while she travels across the country with her mahoosive suitcases packed with presents…
Back in the office she is handing out gift bags to everyone because she was injected with the Christmas spirit last year and has carried it on into this film. Annie, her PA, gets an extra special present that she can’t open until Christmas. As usual, all PA’s are just obsessed with their bosses getting engaged and married off… probably so they will leave work to start a family and at least stop harassing them whilst they’re on maternity leave.
Back at the inn, which I am happy to report is still a fire hazard, even Ian’s Mom is hinting that he should propose to the woman.
Catherine: “You never know, if all goes well, she might not want to leave this time.”
Me: “Yeah Ian, just throw an engagement ring at the problem.”
We all remember Ian’s tactics from the last film; every time Miranda hinted at leaving Carlton Heath he would throw something at her to delay her. Not literally, although that would have been hilarious.
In the busy airport where Ian should be picking Miranda up – but is stuck in traffic – some guy she hasn’t seen for at least 2 years, because after that fateful Christmas they decided they should take a break, shows up. I can see why they decided to take a break. Josh looks like he’s melting. Miranda straight up tells the man what happened in her last movie and how she found her father, despite the fact this is a huge family secret and she promised she would never tell another living soul.
Miranda: “Josh, I really wanna tell you something but promise me you won’t tell anyone.”
Me: “Fucking. Idiot.”
She tells Josh who her father was, who immediately shouts loudly that her father is James Whitcomb because he is apparently hard of fucking hearing.
Miranda: “My family trusts me not to tell this secret.”
Me: “Well, they gone done fucked up then, didn’t they?”
There is a bizarre moment when a guy bumps into them at their table and we see him just long enough I feel this is an important scene. Prediction #1 – he heard everything and he’s gonna run off and report this to someone.
Prediction #2 – for good measure, Josh is back to try and ruin Miranda’s relationship.
Ian turns up just as Josh is leaving and rightly comments that he’s an hour late and she’s already busy trying to run off with other men. Because Miranda just loves the sound of her own voice she commences to spend the entire journey back to town telling Ian about this ancient boyfriend and now, presumably, Ian knows more about Josh than his own parents do.
God help us all, Ian is playing Scrooge again in the play this town hosts every year to commemorate James Whitcomb. Up at Ellie and Peter’s house the Children of the Damned are back too. The devil boy has grown and appears to be the same kid but the girl is apparently suffering from some Benjamin Button syndrome and actually looks younger than before. Almost as if she were a completely different child… For some reason Miranda is staying with Ellie and not up at the inn with Ian, which would frankly make more sense.
Whilst unpacking, Miranda receives a call from an unknown number that she declines because, quite rightly, you should never answer those damn things. After ignoring that, she is off to the theatre where she stares longingly at the outside plaque with her father’s name on it. Apparently we are over our fear of theatres and she going around looking at all of the James Whitcomb memorabilia. Up pops Margaret, who definitely wasn’t this invested in the town or play last year but is required to make more of an appearance this time around.
Margaret: “Here we are again. Christmas.”
Miranda: “Here we are…”
Me: “With my husband’s illegitimate child!”
Of course, this is when ol’ Marge thanks Miranda for her discretion with the family’s secret and believes people out in the big, wide world would use the secret to their advantage, making them all fodder for the tabloid. Miranda straight up lies to Margaret, but when she comments she’s glad Miranda never told anyone, the look on Miranda’s face should give the whole game away. Woman needs to play more poker.
This doesn’t appear to weight too much on her mind though, until Miranda gets a message from an unknown number with an attachment – a picture of James Whitcomb hanging a wreath up. When she asks who this mystery person is they claim they are the ghost of Christmas past.
Unbelievably, she tells Ian because people are usually much sneakier about this shit and it gets them into a world of trouble. Ian is claiming this is one of their relatives and in some weird secret Santa-esque tradition, someone has pulled her name out of a hat in order to pick who will harass her this winter. It’s at this point when his parents show up and I realise the Christmas movie circuit is small and the same people keep popping up. His Dad is also the Dad of Mary in the Christmas Lodge. This man loves lodges. His face must just scream ‘hey, I wanna be involved in anything to do with wooden buildings that cater for people over the holidays!’.
Out in the car, Ian is checking he hasn’t lost the engagement ring he’s been carting around for all of our benefits at home and takes Miranda off to some house, because he needs her opinion on it. I say house, it’s out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees and it’s no wonder it’s his favourite place in town; there is no one around and plenty of trees to chop down for wood.
Ian: “It’s called the Rose Cottage.”
Miranda: “How did you find this!? Oh, Ian…. this isn’t yours is it?”
Ian: “No, I’m just working on it. The cottage belongs to Margaret.”
Miranda: “Really? I don’t remember the family saying anything about this place.”
Me: “Good job, you’d have told Josh he could crash there while you tell him more of your family secrets.”
Ian is renovating the place for Margaret because Christmas isn’t complete without a good renovation. Prediction #3 – Margaret will give them the house as long as she hasn’t killed Miranda by then.
Ian is about to propose when Ellie and the kids suddenly show up. Bad timing. Ellie is inviting Miranda to go Christmas shopping with these kids and as we all remember they will be off their faces on sugar from hot chocolate and candy canes. After Ian’s babbling to cover up what just happened, Miranda looks at him like he’s clinically insane and thinks shopping with hyperactive children might be better.
They are out trying to find a present for their Dad, Pete, when they walk past a shop and his son randomly points out a life-sized, wooden duck carving.
Devil Child #1: “What about that for Dad?”
Miranda: “….. Does he like ducks?”
Me: “Doesn’t matter, he will learn to love it.”
He’d better because now he’s got one for Christmas. Miranda is now showing Ellie this mystery text and message, but she is also clueless about the entire thing. They have just rocked up to the inn, where they have now changed tradition in order to include Miranda, and are going for hot chocolate after shopping. She is about to go in when Annie calls from the office about some guy hounding her.
Annie: “When I told him you were gone he started asking questions.”
Miranda: “What kind of questions?”
Annie: “About you and your family?”
Miranda: “So what did you say?”
Annie: “Nothing. It’s nobody’s business.”
Me: “Correct answer, Annie! Thank God you were there to take that call and not Miranda.”
We are about to settle down for hot chocolate when josh shows up. For fuck’s sake, will this woman ever get this damn drink? Ellie and the kids don’t look particularly bothered by this man that has just stolen away Miranda to another table. Apparently, Josh was inspired by Miranda’s story of this town and decided to just fly up here. He is again loudly announcing the news about her father and the man just needs to shut up and leave. When Catherine sees Josh she looks less concerned that their future daughter-in-law is talking to this mystery man and more interested in Josh herself.
Josh: “This town, as lovely as it is, it’s not the only reason I drove up here.”
Josh: “I wanted to see you. To ask if you were seeing anybody else?”
Me: “It would have been easier and cheaper to just find her on Facebook and…. whatever. Whatever.”
Despite the fact she breaks the news that she is definitely seeing someone and sends him awkwardly on his way I’m calling Prediction #2 as complete. She is trying to get back to her hot chocolate when he says he needs to talk to her some more outside. Josh apparently wants to get Danny, his lawyer brother, involved in case she needs representing in a law case against the family to make sure she gets her inheritance. He is sure James would have left her a hefty estate…. despite the fact the man didn’t know she existed. She probably should have blabbed that little fact along with the rest of the story, too.
Ian rocks up and the devil children tell him where Miranda is. He sees them out on the porch, having a heated debate about how much Josh didn’t tell anyone about her father, before he hands her his number and email address. You know, in case she needs to talk about things because her family who fully understand what is happening wouldn’t be any good at that job.
Miranda finally makes it back to the table when the devil children mention that Ian had to go and rush off to the theatre. The irony, she’s just got her hot chocolate and now she wants to neck it, running the risk of burning her mouth, and rush off to the theatre also.
There she finds Peter, who introduces Natalie – she is up from the city doing research on James Whitcomb. It’s the 30th anniversary of him saving the theatre and the 30th anniversary of the play, to boot.
Pete seems absolutely unconcerned by the fact he introduces Miranda as ‘a family friend visiting from Seattle’ and Miranda runs off out of the theatre because that is all too much for her to cope with. Later on, Ian finds her on bench, but it’s dark now so she’s been out there for quite some time. Ian doesn’t seem too bothered by Josh being there and, in fact, sort of made his own Christmas prediction.
Ian: “I had a feeling he’d show up.”
Miranda: “You did?”
Ian: “I saw him at the airport. That look on his face?”
Me: “What? That ‘ooh, here’s an opportunity to stalk my ex-girlfriend’ look?”
Apparently it’s all cool because Ian does not see this man as a threat and is all ready to challenge him to a duel in case he doesn’t leave town. Skimming over that, Ian leads her off somewhere…. I’m not sure what building this is but Miranda wants to know why they are here when he opens the doors again and there is that one-horse open sleigh he was so patronising about the first time around.
Catherine and Andrew rush off to plug in some lights, which light up all of the trees down the avenue as Ian rushes them off down there. They don’t go too far when they’re out again and heading to a lit up gazebo.
Ian: “I’ve been trying to find the right moment since you got here but we keep being interrupted.”
Me: “You were interrupted once. ONCE.”
Miranda almost ruins the entire proposal by getting ahead of herself and even pisses off Prancer with her city ways. Ian waffles on before he finally gets around to proposing and makes her a wear a god awful ring. Prediction #4 – the engagement gets called off at least once.
Now everyone’s proposing and Andrew is proposing a toast back at the house. Even Natalie, the reporter woman, is there at this time of family togetherness.
Andrew: “The only thing I have to say is… what took you so long?”
Me: “It’s been a year! Jesus Christ!”
Margaret is discussing the reporter with Miranda and it feels a lot like a fishing expedition into checking she didn’t spill any more beans. Back to the forward children, devil child #2 runs up and asks to be a flower girl at this future wedding.
Whilst peeling wallpaper off the walls, Ian is reciting his lines. He is shit at both of the jobs he is doing right now. Miranda is too distracted by finding the perfect spot for a Christmas tree in this renovation project that doesn’t even belong to her. Yet.
I missed something here because suddenly Ian and Miranda have taken on the mantle of being Father Christmas and his wife at the grand Christmas tree lighting. I was too busy checking how to look after my Christmas tree to make sure it doesn’t die too quickly indoors.
Miranda catches sight of devil child #1 looking morose by the log burner and heads over there to check what’s going on. After a heart felt conversation where he reveals he likes to eavesdrop on conversations and knows exactly who Miranda is, apparently witnessing a hug between Miranda and this child is reason enough for everyone to stop and watch with joy. Miranda receives another message, this time it’s a picture of herself with Josh in the background, asking if she really is James’ daughter. Fuck knows when that was taken, it makes no sense. Again, she doesn’t seem too weighed down by the guilt and continues on with her life.
Again, I got a bit distracted because my lounge bottoms tucked into my thermal socks make it look like I have tumours in my ankles. This bought me hilarious joy for a few minutes before I managed to get back to the film.
Natalie is in the study with Margaret and is letting James take credit for Miranda’s mother’s poetry, right in front of Miranda. Marge and Miranda are just spinning web after web of lies here to cover Natalie’s questions and she doesn’t look like she is quite buying this whole family friend bollocks.
Miranda shows Ian the second message and reveals that she told Josh the very thing she shouldn’t have told anyone. Apparently because he was supportive two years ago this means she could tell him everything now and oh! apparently Josh is also a psychologist, so patient confidentiality is his bag. Miranda feels the need to zoom in on Josh in the picture, despite the fact it is very clear who he is, and they come to the conclusion he couldn’t possibly have taken the picture from that far away because he is not Stretch Armstrong.
Ian confirms they should contact Josh and see if he saw anything when she gets an unknown call from Natalie. As a class A reporter she doesn’t think the story she was here for is the real money-maker and she thinks there is something she is missing. Miranda doesn’t really give much away, for once, but does ascertain it was not Natalie who called her all those other times.
Outside the town’s border, up pops a suspicious looking man who looks a lot like that guy from the airport. Hmmmm. Margaret is checking out the cottage Ian is working on and manages to peel wallpaper much better than he does in 2 seconds flat, uncovering some sort of writing on the wall which makes her look kinda hesitant about life. We catch Ian doing his favourite thing in the world, chopping wood, when Miranda brings him some cider because axes and alcohol are a legit sensible combination. I’m starting to feel American cider is not quite like English cider.
Ian vows not to let this mystery messenger ruin Christmas and off they go to pick a tree and put it up at the renovation site because fire hazards are life. Miranda spots some of the lettering beneath the lifted wallpaper and on uncovering it reveals the words ‘May Truth and Grace Reside Here’. I, personally, wouldn’t want that hanging around in my house but each to their own.
Back at the inn a Mr. Decker, the shady guy, is complimenting everything he can find. between compliments he starts grilling Catherine on everything James Whitcomb and she invites him to the play that night as the whole family will be there. Well done, Catherine, you still haven’t fucked up as much as Miranda.
Apparently, back at the house, Marge covered up the words as it used to be her first home. I’m calling she originally had twins called Truth and Grace and something terrible happened. Prediction #5.
The show is about to go on, and I wonder if we will see more of it this time than last film, when Miranda takes her seat with Ian’s parents. Shady, shady Decker is also in the audience, keeping a beady eye on the entire proceedings. OOh, looks like we are going to see more of the play this year….. and I kind of wish we weren’t. DEATH IS BACK THOUGH!
Sorry, guys. It’s at this point I realised, whilst looking for the actor who played Death fabulouslythat… Sky movies is lying to me. This film isn’t called Winter Wedding at all. It’s called Engaging Father Christmas! (And Death still doesn’t get any credit on IMDB.)
Ian acts the entire play without really turning away from the audience like a bizarre, front facing version of Egyptian paintings, and I hope there is not a third instalment of this franchise where we have to sit through the entire thing.
After the show, Peter runs into Mr. Shady, aka. Steve, who reveals the fact he is aware this man has a sister. Shady Steve is a writer, which puts Peter on the warpath and, sure enough, he heads right for Miranda at the after party. Peter makes the big reveal in front of Margaret and Miranda finally has to come clean that she told everyone that could listen about her family. Miranda shows them the messages and photos she has been receiving and they’re off to hunt down Shady Steve to see if she recognises him from the airport.
Miranda: “I can go over there first thing tomorrow and try to explain.”
Me: “Explain what? More of the truth?”
Ian walks in just as Peter is suggesting a lawyer could help because Marge is piiiiissed. Rightly so.
That makes Prediction #1 correct! When Steve leaves the inn the next day Miranda is waiting for him outside, like a crazy stalker, before she leads them off to….. I think this is the church but I’m not sure.
Steve: “This place is like one big Christmas card!”
Me: “2D and… papery.”
Miranda pleads with the man that he doesn’t write his article because the feelings and relationships of a woman he doesn’t know outweighs his next pay cheque greatly.
Steve appears to be attempting blackmail and if Miranda doesn’t give him an interview he will write whatever the hell he likes about her father and her family. Isn’t this just going swimmingly? She has been given a 24 hour deadline to see the man before he leaves for Christmas eve. Miranda’s favourite past time is now sitting outside the inn and waiting for people because she is sitting there when Ian pops out.
Miranda: “I think I need to go back to Seattle…”
Ian: “We’re doing this again?”
Me: “Even Ian is sick of this shit.”
Apparently Ian has ran out of gifts to throw at the woman to stall her, but Miranda thinks if she is back in Seattle when the story comes out she will be less of an embarrassment to everyone. Ian DOES have a trick up his sleeve though and asks to show her something before she makes up her mind. Back at the Rose Cottage he reveals that Margaret is ready to sell the place (despite it not being finished) and Ian is ready to buy (despite living on a wood cutters wage). We are privy to an argument about how running away and leaving this very second are two totally different things in Miranda’s mind and Ian keeps waffling on about how he will always love her even if no one else will.
Miranda walks off, still with this engagement ring on her finger, and to combat his woes Ian decides to work on the house in the middle of the night. Apparently ol’ Marge also walks around in the middle of the night with no coat on because she drops in when she saw the lights on.
Margaret does not appear to be surprised when she hears Miranda is leaving (again) and sees they have uncovered the words on the wall. Again it is snowing at a convenient time, which makes Miranda pause long enough to stop packing and contemplate her life over hot cider, which begins her downward slope into alcoholism. She has passed out on the chair, probably from the cider, and wakes up to a text from Margaret asking to meet her at the cottage.
Margaret: “This is where we always put our Christmas tree, too.”
Me: “In the middle of the room, where it is the most inconvenient to everyone.”
Even Margaret is jumping down Miranda’s throat to inform her that her plan is bullshit and she needs to stay in the town so Margaret can look at her with bitter disappointment for the rest of her life. Margaret begins telling the story of how they ended up living there, which appears to end with the line ‘how we ended up in Carlton Heath I’ll never know’. Truly enlightening, Marge.
Turns out Truth and Grace are not dead twins but just two qualities in life that James thought were important. Clearly when he told Margaret about his affair she covered up the words because the entire thing was just a massive lie, as are most lessons in life. Seeing those words again, however, she has had a change of heart and believes everyone should know the truth and they will tackle it with grace. Awwwwww.
Margaret looks like she is gonna put a spin on this breaking news story and make some of her own capital off it. Smart business woman 101. She phones Natalie and decides she will let her run with the news instead of Shady Steve.
Ian is out collecting more wood when Miranda shows back up because this woman is flaky and unreliable as all hell and he is signing himself up for a life of this nonsense.
Natalie, predictably, is finding this whole story unbelievable to say the least when Margaret and Miranda are recounting the entire thing to her. She’s probably worried her editors will throw the entire thing out as fanciful festive fiction. Marge is now setting Natalie deadlines to get her story written because business woman is everyone’s boss and they will follow her god damn orders if they don’t want to be fired. From life.
Finally! at the end of the film! we have our first Christmas montage! where everyone we have met so far is reading and reacting to the article, including Shady Steve who has just lost the ability to pay his bills for the month. Again, Miranda is waiting outside the inn for him, so she can rub it into his face some more.
Around the Christmas tree Marge and Peter give Miranda the key to the Rose Cottage as her present.
Devil Child #1: “Grandma said we can call you Aunt Miranda.”
Me: “Get the fuck away from me kid!”
The entire family and Ian’s parents get together for a big speech and it appears that Miranda is going to be forced to stay in Vermont because fuck Seattle and her job there. Ian is clearly making enough as a wood cutter for her to retire early and become a house wife.
We end the film with Miranda deciding that their new house would be the perfect place to get married next Christmas and god help us all if there will not be another of these films.
And so it ends… less of a Winter Wedding, which Sky lied to us about, and entirely a Christmas engagement (although she isn’t engaged to Father Christmas so I still feel as though we have been lied to here). You can watch the film here, although they appear to have cut out the part with the duck for some reason…
Now… to go back and painstakingly relive the first film while I fix the unedited review….
Prediction Board – 2.5/5
Prediction #1 – the man who bumped into Miranda at the airport was up to no good – CORRECT
Prediction #2 – Josh was only present to try and ruin her relationship – Technically correct but he really wasn’t very good at it
Prediction #3 – Margaret would give Miranda and Ian the Rose Cottage – CORRECT
Prediction #4 – the engagement gets called off – again, sort of correct, but as Miranda didn’t give the ring back when she walked off, and never even managed to leave town thank to that cider, I’ll give up this point
Prediction #5 – Truth and Grace are dead twins – totally not correct