29 February 2012

The Long Halloween Special: LEAP DAY

I never really knew of much to do with the extra day we get every four years. Leap Day is a fun time. Not really, there's nothing really special except celebrating Black History for an extra day of the year. That is, until I saw last week's episode of 30 Rock, "Leap Day" (S6;E9). Watch it now:

There are so many things to do on Leap Day! Nothing counts on Leap Day - it's time to go for your dreams. The episode brilliantly sums up so many holiday tropes it's tough to know where to start. From donning blue and yellow like St. Patty's Day, to the honouring of the fictitious Leap Day William like Santa Claus to the commercialization through candy like Halloween and Valentine's Day, Leap Day is every Holiday mashed into one singular brilliant event. Even exchanging tears for candy is like the Tooth Fairy also giving treats for items children do not need. There's even a little Leap Day Carol with Jack Donaghy.

This episode was directed by Steve Buscemi somehow, which is actually his second 30 Rock ep after "Retreat to Move Forward" (S3;E9). He has also directed a few episodes of The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie, but he did a noticeably competent job with "Leap Day," mastering both the craziness going on in the lives of the ensemble cast but also masterfully administering the Holiday Film spoof Leap Dave Williams (2009).

Leap Dave Williams stars Jim Carrey and Angie MacDowell. While it is an obvious parody of the ordinary man turning into a Holiday Figure and learning a holiday lesson similar to The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), there's some more here. Angie MacDowell has already starred in the definitive movie for its holiday, Groundhog Day (1993), which is played on its eponymous day. The fact that Leap Dave Williams plays all day on USA is similar to TBS' 24-hour running of A Christmas Story (1983) or the fact that USA does play Elf (2003) at a furious pace from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Jim Carrey's comic cameo appearances in just about anything these days tends to be legendary. He hasn't been in all that much lately that wasn't crap, and when he shows up like this it's as if we've forgotten how sick of his schtick we got during all of his films in the past decade that weren't Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind (2004) and Bruce Almighty (2003). He's done this pretty well in the past year showing up in The Office or SNL, handing the latter its best moments in years. It's been long enough that our nostalgia kicks in. The shock is also not dissimilar from suddenly seeing Will Ferrell: Bitch Hunter on 30 Rock.

So according to 30 Rock rules, here are 10 ways to celebrate Leap Day:

1) Wear Blue and Yellow
2) Attend the Leap Day Parade
3) Someone dress up as Leap Day William, who lives in the Marianas Trench and gives candy to children in exchange for their tears
4) Eat rhubarb, but careful of the leaves!
5) Celebrate the miracle of having an extra day of the year to either do business or extend gift card offers
6) Don't cross icy rivers while holding your brick collection
7) Eat Japanese Food
8) Watch the Leap Dave Williams marathon on USA
9) Take the time to enjoy friends, family, and the less fortunate
10) Take a leap! Do something you would never do! Nothing counts on Leap Day!

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