I gotta give it to Growing Pains. I’ve seen two of their Christmas specials and both of them were unique, for a Christmas special. Whether it was good or not depends on the execution.
This episode starts out with holding, sniffing, and hearing his presents under the tree. From this he can tell what’s in there. He can even tell what color and style it is, if it’s a shirt.
At Ben’s requests, Mike does his. All he’s getting is underwear and socks. Jason comes out of his office and Mike “subtlety” hints that he wants a stereo player for Christmas, that just so happens to be on sale for $150 at Krazy Harry’s Computer and Stereo City. Ben wants toys. Jason then goes into how Christmas is more about giving than getting and how less fortunate kids would love to have just what Mike and Ben have. The usual talk that parents give their kids when they get too materialistic.
Carol and Maggie are making Christmas cookies in the kitchen.
This is where we find out Carol wants a Modem for her computer. This is Christmas Eve, by the way. Jason comes in, from the outside, pointing out how much more it’s snowing. Mike comes in soon pointing out what Jason did and hoping the roads aren’t too bad, so Jason can go to the Christmas Eve Blowout Sale, at that same store, and buy Mike’s stereo. Ben enters from outside, and to cut to the point, he’s invited this girl, who was living in the dumpster behind the Pizza place, to Christmas Eve. Everyone freaks out because she’s a stranger and they know nothing about her.
She could be dangerous. The girl, who calls herself Nancy Reagan, enters and she’s like you’d expect. She does’t talk and she has the whole “I don’t want help from anyone attitude.”
Maggie and Jason are talking to Ben about what he did. He explains he did it because the owner of the Pizza place said they have to leave or he’s calling the Police, so Nancy had no where else to go.
Carol and Mike are in the kitchen. Nancy had gone to use the restroom. Maggie and Jason come in to tell them that she’s both having dinner with them and spending the night. They freak out because of her being a stranger and all. Nancy comes out of the bathroom and Maggie suggests that she should take a shower, which she does.
While Nancy is taking a shower, Maggie goes to wash her smelly clothes. She drops them and what drops out of her clothes is a knife.
Jason comes in and Maggie shows him the knife. Maggie goes downstairs while Jason talks to Nancy about the knife and other things. Nancy gets out of the shower and they start talking. Jason asks her about her past. The knife pretty much played into this. She says she left because no one cared about her and wanted her around. He suggests that she should call her parents and goes downstairs.
Maggie and Mike are setting up Christmas Eve dinner, while Ben comes in looking like a pimp. Jason enters next carrying the turk and putting it on the table. Now they’re just waiting on Carol and Nancy. Carol’s giving Nancy something to wear. They come downstairs and now they’re ready to eat. Before that they each go around saying what they’re thankful for.
It’s the middle of night and Nancy sneaks downstairs to steel all the presents.
She hides as soon as Jason and Maggie come downstairs. They’re putting the stereo and for Mike and Carol. They see that the kids had presents for Nancy, which gets Nancy emotional and she questions if she wants to steal them, after all.
It’s Christmas morning and Ben comes running down the stairs with anticipation and enthusiasm. His whole world is seemingly brought down when he sees that all the presents are gone.
The Seavers know it was Nancy and are going to try and find her and call the Police. They open the front door and discover all the presents, because Nancy couldn’t go through with it.
End scene: Nancy is in a phone-booth surrounded by snow. She calls her father and her name is revealed to be Denise.
I think they missed an opportunity with Denise. How they do it just makes her come as needy for attention more than everything.
And That’s the Point