thirtysomething

Season 1 Episode 9

I'll Be Home for Christmas

0
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 15, 1987 on ABC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
15 votes
1

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Episode Summary

EDIT
Michael and Hope argue about whether their infant's first holiday should be Christmas or Hanukkah. A famous photographer shows interest in Melissa's work.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Michael\'s first Christmas as a father raises questions about his faith while he also has to question his faith in Melissa.

    9.5
    This is an episode that is pretty much all about Michael\'s faith. Michael\'s faith, as a Jew, is a plot thread that recurs many times throughout the years, and this is probably the first time it was addressed with any kind of real story. Michael always celebrated Christmas with Hope in the years before and loved it, as he tells Gary. But this year, suddenly, he has a child. And he is suddenly faced with what is he supposed to be teaching that child and what do those lessons say about him. While it is very rare these days (and in the 80\'s) for eye brows to be raised over marriages of mixed faith, it doesn\'t mean that questions/challenges/issues didn\'t arise and that is really what this episode is about. Also, Michael has this insatiable need to take care of people. While it usually comes from a place of love and caring, it can also really bug people and will several times throughout the series because these are all adults and at times, you just want to figure it out for yourself. Hope spent the series just trying to figure out what was best for her family, in terms of faith. As she would say about 3 years later during a faith based fight to Michael...\"If our son is going to be Jewish, if we are going to raise our children as Jews I want to know what it means for them and for me and for you...\" and I think it also seems to make it worse that Michael did celebrate Christmas in the past and suddenly he\'s wanting to celebrate Hannukah (probably spelled wrong) and Hope wants to know his feelings about faith and their family. This is an episode where Hope is really trying to do the best thing and doesn\'t come across as a witch which she will in later episodes.

    Also, it\'s about Michael\'s faith in Melissa. Melissa isn\'t just a friend Michael feels responsible for, like Gary or Elliot, Melissa is his cousin. His younger, formerly fat, unpopular cousin whom he has known since the day she was born and Michael and Melissa may as well have been brother and sister, for all the issues they had and as close as they were. But Melissa, who would pretty much be an obscure photographer for the whole series, meets a famous photographer at an event and begins showing him her work. He seems very interested and wants to help her get noticed by others in the industry. Michael is skeptical, pretty much saying that the guy is just hitting on her. Add this to the fact that Melissa is doing a photography job for one of Michael\'s accounts and he shoots down the photos as too \"artistic\", it\'s a bad time between Michael & Melissa.

    The show\'s ending is probably one of my favorite of thirtysomething. Michael takes Melissa\'s photos to an art gallery & whiel they are rejected, she\'s so thrilled to at least have had themsubmitted & thinks the famous artist did it, but Gary tells her it was Michael. Also, it turns out famous photographer guy really was hitting on Melissa, so Michael was right about that. So Michael shows up at his house and it\'s snowing & he has a tree for his family, because marriage & family is about compromise and the greater good. So he walks in to surprise them & there\'s his wife & baby daughter lighting a mennorah in the dark. (sorry about spelling! I\'m not Jewish!) He just looks so touched and so happy. As a family they light teh candles together and that would be a great place to end. But he asks Hope where she got the mennorah and Hope smiles and looks in the corner of the room where Melissa is standing. Michael begins to sob & they hug and all is wonderful.

    Michael is a crier. That\'s just a given. Throug the whole show, Michael would cry alot. Maybe that\'s what gave rise to some of the ridicule the show endured all those years about being \"new age\" or \"whiney\" or \"touchy feely\" and the word \"yuppie\" was coming into fashion then, but I always enjoyed the fact that Michael\'s emotions were so close to the surface and he would cry at the drop of a hat. But I liked that. You didn\'t see a lot of shows with men willing to express that kind of emotion and it made it seem that much more real to me. This was a very well written episode & I felt set up a lot of good issues that would be addressed later, Michael\'s faith and his relationship with Melissa.moreless
Timothy Busfield

Timothy Busfield

Elliot Francis Weston

Polly Draper

Polly Draper

Ellyn Warren

Mel Harris

Mel Harris

Hope Murdoch Steadman

Peter Horton

Peter Horton

Gary Sheperd

Melanie Mayron

Melanie Mayron

Melissa Steadman

Ken Olin

Ken Olin

Michael Steadman

Paul Sand

Paul Sand

Andy Aronson

Guest Star

Estelle Busch

Estelle Busch

Grandmother

Guest Star

Frank DiElsi

Frank DiElsi

Tree Salesman

Guest Star

Brittany Craven

Brittany Craven

Janey Steadman

Recurring Role

Lacey Craven

Lacey Craven

Janey Steadman

Recurring Role

Luke Rossi

Luke Rossi

Ethan Weston

Recurring Role

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