- Directed by Harry Chaskin
- Created by Alexandra Rushfield
- Produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
- December 2, 2021
- HBO Max
- Santa Claus / Saint Nick (his real name)-Seth Rogen
- Candy Smalls-Sarah Silverman
- Cookie the Gingerbread Woman-Leslie Grossman
- Goldie-Gabourey Sidibe
- Junior-Craig Robinson
- Devin the Intern-Nicholas Braun
- Mrs. Claus, Big Candy-Maria Bamford
A female elf working at the North Pole dreams of making it big and becoming Santa Claus.
When it comes to Christmas there is no shortage of material out there. There is plenty that is entertaining. There is so much more that is varying degrees of terrible as well. This has quite possibly taken the crown of worst Christmas themed presentation ever.
Sarah Silverman is Candy Smalls, the very capable elf who is the real brains behind the operation at the North Pole. You pick that up pretty quick but despite her capabilities she is relatively unknown to Santa Claus. He knows squat about her despite her being the number two behind his head elf.
Santa Claus comes off as a clueless figurehead with his underlings doing all the real work and getting none of the glory while he swoops in and takes all the credit. Mrs. Claus is a stripper with issues.
There are tons of Christmas offerings out there that poke fun at or mock Christmas traditions. And when you think about it there are some weird things about Christmas. But the offerings that tend to poke fun or mock Christmas traditions are doing it because whatever it is they are focusing on is a little goofy. What this comes off as is that the creative minds behind it have a serious dislike for the holiday and many things connected to it. This is a diatribe against Santa Claus and Christmas. What exactly irritates someone about a mythical gift giving figure whose goal is to spread joy and Christmas cheer?
And that’s aside from the general message of this limited series. This Christmas limited series takes on sexism and corporate culture and the proverbial glass ceiling and any number of other things.
When it comes to the humor Santa Inc. attempts to answer how many times can you say “fuck” in a Christmas themed anything. Often the F bomb is the joke. They are going off on whatever point they are trying to make and somebody swears. That is the best they can do more often than not for humor. It is just repetitive and boring.
I am not against crass humor. Done right it can be rather funny and it generally is my favorite kind, but this is just crass for the sake of being crass. There is never a real setup or punchline. The punchline is the crassness, and it is also the joke. It is an unappealing two for one sale.
In the world of Santa Inc. being Santa is a title handed down from person to person. What starts off the story is Santa’s next presumed successor decides to go work for Jeff Bezos. Funny! That’s the joke and the punchline. The jokes without profanity are as well handled as one would expect here.
I am not against something with a message-humorous or dramatic. One problem is that this series beats you over the head with its message. The other issue is that it is not funny. The jokes are forced. They hit you like a sledgehammer. The jokes are meant to provoke and not make you laugh.
This HBO Max series is about as entertaining as a lecture. Perhaps because it essentially IS a lecture. They talk at you and not entertain you. The only people that are going to enjoy this are those that made it.
I admit I could not get to the end of this series. I tuned in to see if the negative reviews were warranted and if you cannot tell already I feel that they were. This is just so badly done. While the animation is quality stuff and does capture that old-school Claymation Christmas special vibe, the story and its general execution are just unwatchable.
If you mute this you might be able to get through the bulk of the story because the endorphins released by the nostalgia the visuals will invoke will make it endurable but then you will be curious about what you are watching and when you unmute it you will realize you have wasted so much of your life.
Visually Santa Inc. is great, but a good-looking product does not make something worth watching. I say skip this.