I’m going to say something that, I know, will be regarded as blasphemy to many who read it, but I want to say it anyway.
I don’t like “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”
This isn’t to put down all the other “Peanuts” specials. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and others deserve their status as classics. (Although I’ve always had trouble with the decision to not let the viewers in on Snoopy’s thoughts. Snoopy often has some of the best lines.)
“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” not so much.
My problem with it is that, as (I think) the late Roger Ebert put it, it has an idiot plot. That is, if so many of the characters in it didn’t act like idiots, they wouldn’t have a plot.
Think about it. Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends to have Thanksgiving at Charlie Brown’s house. She don’t ask if Charlie Brown can have company for Thanksgiving, she just declares that she and her gang are coming over. And then, when Charlie Brown doesn’t have what she considers a traditional Thanksgiving meal, she gets angry at him and is almost ready to end her friendship with him. It isn’t until Marcie asks what should’ve been asked before this all started, namely did Charlie Brown invite them for Thanksgiving dinner or did Peppermint Patty invite herself? If Peppermint Patty had just behaved the way anyone would be expected to behave in this situation, there would not have been a show. Yes, Peppermint Patty isn’t familiar with some social rules, but unfamiliarity is one things, obliviousness is something else.
And am I the only one who finds it creepy how happy Woodstock is to be eating another bird? Or is he just supposed to be happy not to be on the menu himself.
There. I’ve said it. Maybe I’m a Thanksgiving Grinch. But that’s been in my head for decades now.