25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE CLEVELAND SHOW: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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A CLEVELAND BROWN CHRISTMAS

CAST
Mike Henry (Family Guy)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Lilo & Stitch)
Nia Long (Boiler Room)
Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Aseem Batra (Scrubs)
Arianna Huffington (John Q)
Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers)
Reagan Gomez-Preston (Jerry Maguire)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
David Lynch (Twin Peaks)
GUEST CAST
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Stockard Channing (Practical Magic)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
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Cleveland and the family go to pick out a Christmas tree at Lester’s lot. Cleveland has his eye on a nice large tree but Rallo insists on a smaller tree. Cleveland finds out that Donna and the family have been lying to Rallo, telling him the reason Robert can’t come around during the holidays is that he is an FBI agent. When Cleveland fills in as Santa Claus at his office holiday party, he has one too many egg nogs and lets the truth slip about Rallo’s father. Rallo fails to connect that it was Cleveland posing as Santa and takes out his hostility on figures of Santa. With Rallo’s admiration for his dad destroyed, Cleveland tries to reconnect father and son in an attempt to save Rallo’s Christmas spirit. He finds Robert at SKANXXX a strip club. Robert doesn’t care at first but later has a change of heart. He shows up at the house dressed as Santa and tells Rallo another lie…he hasn’t been around because he is the real Santa, making Rallo’s Christmas a happy one.
Meanwhile, Roberta becomes an animal rights activist and tries to save a reindeer. When she sets it free, it goes on a rampage.
The first Xmas episode was a good decent comedy hour, and probably out of all the Cleveland show Christmas episodes it’s the best.

MURRAY CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Edward Asner (Elf)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
While performing in a class choir at the Stoolbend Rest Home, Rallo observes one of the residents not paying attention and gets into a verbal battle of wits with him. When the home supervisor suggests they get to know each other better, Rallo’s teacher forces him to spend the weekend at a retirement home to get to know the senior citizens during the holidays, Murray teaches him about Hanukkah. In an attempt to rekindle Murray’s holiday spirit, Rallo helps him escape, but when his new friend’s health begins to suffer, Rallo has to decide whether or not to bring Murray back to the home.
Meanwhile, Cleveland Jr. sees a picture of his dad with a black eye at Christmas and finds out how his grandfather spends “Boxing Day”, by forcing his son to box with him for his gifts to toughen him up. Donna trains Cleveland for a boxing match against his father, which ends with Cleveland landing a surprise blow that triggers a heart attack in Freight Train. When Donna finds Murray’s teeth in the dishwasher Rallo comes clean, which hurts Murray’s feelings and trust. When Cleveland goes to see his father, Freight Train is forced to admit he is getting old and regrets not spending more time with Cleveland even if in the form of more beatings. Rallo decides to go back to the home and free Murray and the rest of the residents for Christmas with the help of Cleveland Jr. and Cleveland. In addition to Christmas at the Brown home with the rest home residents and Cleveland’s parents, Rallo also treats Murray to the last night of Hanukkah
The second xmas episode shows us how other religions celebrate the holidays which was a nice touch. It also introduces us to Murray who would become a recurring character throughout the shows run.

DIE SEMI-HARD

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GUEST CAST
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
John Slattery (Ant-Man)
To help pass time while posing in a holiday nativity scene, Cleveland tells his family his own version of one of his favorite holiday stories, “Die Hard”. After detective Cleveland Brown flies into Los Angeles to meet his wife at her job at Waterman International, he tells his limo driver Rallo about some of his marriage troubles while he hopes to reconcile during the office Christmas party. Meeting with his wife, he takes off his shoes and tries to be romantic but Donna resists his charms and returns to the party alone. Meanwhile, a group of thieves led by Tim posing as terrorists take the party guests hostage and separate Mr. Waterman in order to gain access to the Waterman International vault.
Cleveland tosses his shoes out the window over a nearby poser line when he hears gunshots and arrives as Mr. Waterman is killed. Hearing noise from Cleveland, Tim sends Kendra out to investigate where she is killed by Cleveland. As the terrorists discover Kendra’s body, they hear Cleveland trying to use his radio to call for police and start shooting. Police dispatcher Roberta sends officer Cleveland Brown, Jr. to investigate. As Cleveland dispatches another of the terrorists and escapes into an air shaft, Jr. arrives but is told by a guy that looks like Huey Lewis but is really one of the terrorists that all is well and starts to leave. To get his attention, Cleveland throws a janitor out the window onto Jr. squad car. Jr. frantically backs away as the terrorists fire on his car. As police surround the building, Cleveland taunts the terrorists but slips and gives away his location. As Robert Tubbs struggle to crack the vault, the gift exchange at the party hostages goes on. But when Donny’s gift turns out to be a small package of golf balls in a large box he is shot too. As Cleveland and Jr. exchange banter over the radio, Tim arrives but is taken by surprise. Tim manages to come up with a name on the office list and fools Cleveland who gives him a gun which her turns of Cleveland. Cleveland manages to distract him momentarily and takes out another of the henchmen as he escapes. As Cleveland hides behind a wall of glass and keeps Tim and Lester pinned down, Tim orders Lester to shoot out the glass after noticing Cleveland’s bare feet. Cleveland is forced to retreat through the glass picking up several shards in the process. Despite picking out much of the glass, Cleveland leaves bloody footprints behind him.
Two FBI agents arrive and order the building power to be cut off which results in the vault opening. The terrorists take Cleveland’s friend Holt hostage but kill him after they learn that they also hold Cleveland’s wife Donna. As Cleveland ponders his next move, Lester manages to sneak up on him but is hung from a chain by Cleveland after telling him that the hostages have been moved to the roof with explosives. Arriving on the roof, Cleveland orders everyone off but the FBI agents in a helicopter mistake Cleveland for one of the terrorists and open fire on him. Tim orders the roof blow as Cleveland ties a fire hose around his waist and jumps from the rooftop. The blast engulfs the helicopter as Cleveland shoots his way back into the building. As Cleveland catches Tim and his last henchman, Tim grams Donna and holds her at gunpoint forcing Cleveland to drop his gun. As Tim thinks he’s won, Cleveland draws a second gun taped to his back and shoots Tim and the henchman, forcing Tim through the window. Tim grabs Donna’s wig and holds her by the hair. Cleveland makes Donna undo her wig as Tim falls to his death. Outside as the surviving hostages are freed, Donna and Cleveland reconcile. Lester springs up shooting at the two to be killed by Jr. who also shoots Walt noting that he shoots kids.The scene returns to the nativity scene as only Jr. and Roberta remain awake. Jr. enthusiastically asks about a sequel to be told they will see what the internet has to say first.
Not a huge fan of this special as its just Cleveland doing Die hard, it has some fun moments but as a Christmas special it fails.

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE SORRY

GUEST CAST

David Costabile (Lincoln)

 Nick Offerman (Sing)

When the kids make their Christmas lists, Donna insists that they help by donating old goods. Roberta refuses and insists on getting a job to buy her own gifts. While helping out at the mission, Cleveland finds that the residents eat better food than he gets at home and decides to pass himself off as homeless, telling Donna that he is volunteering at the shelter. He succeeds despite being recognized by Tim and makes the acquaintance of several of the residents where he spins a wild yarn about how he got into his predicament. They help him out and take him under their wings. Cleveland finds that Donna nominated his as a special angel due to his work at the shelter and his con job is exposed on television. Cleveland becomes a pariah in town and tries to publicly apologize but makes things worse. As he wanders back to the shelter, he finds that the residents still accept him but the food has returned to the usual low standards. He sets off with the residents to make others aware of the situation at Grundle’s.
At Grundle’s Department Store, Roberta gets hired as a skimply-dressed elf and Kendra demands to get upgraded from Mrs. Claus to the role of Santa but is passed over in favor of Arch. Kendra finds a sympathetic ear in Roberta but when she points her to a job as Santa at a laundromat, Kendra turns her down, wanting the job at Grundle’s. Arch uses his regular charm as Santa, telling the kids what they’ll get regardless of what they want. Kendra recalls a special present Roberta once wanted and Roberta makes Kendra a special sleigh out of her scooter. But due to being depressed over not getting her dream job, Kendra gives up on Christmas.
When Arch bails on the job and the kids are left without gifts, Kendra gets back her Christmas spirit and takes on the challenge of providing Christmas although she has trouble getting to the store, sliding backwards into the snow and losing the Christmas gifts in the process. Cleveland and the homeless find Kendra frozen in the snow and help her get to the store. Roberta and her co-workers complain about continuing to have to wear their costumes and quit, tossing Mr. Grundle their shorts. Without the presents, Kendra tells the kids at the store to help themselves to the store goods, figuring that they can’t all be arrested. Cleveland tries to apologize again but points out that everyone ignores the homeless after the holidays and strikes a chord, making Donna happy.
A much better special than season 3’s with a funny story merges some good heart warming stuff too. Cleveland song of I’ll be Homeless this Christmas was a funny song. This would be the last Christmas episode for the show as Season 4 became the final season.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE CLEVELAND SHOW: HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Mike Henry (Family Guy)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Reagan Gomez-Preston (That 70s Show)
Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn)
Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Aseem Batra (Scrubs)
Glenn Howerton (Crank)
David Lynch (Twin Peaks)

GUEST CAST

Fred Tatasciore (Hulk )
Will Forte (MacGruber)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)

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IT’S A GREAT PANCAKE, JUNIOR BROWN

Cleveland crushes Cleveland Jr.’s spirit when he forbids him from trick-or-treating because he thinks he is too old. Depressed when he sees everyone else in the family dressing up and left with passing out the candy. Cleveland Jr. decides to dress up anyways but is harassed and egged by kids from school. After getting chewed out by Cleveland, Cleveland Jr. decides to pack up his childish things and become one of the cool kids. Jr. decides to attend Oliver Wilkerson’s party where he finds himself still teased and tormented. Cleveland follows and sees some of the torment but wants Cleveland Jr. to tough it out. Donna convinces him to let Jr. be himself. Cleveland leads the guys with Jr. to go back to the party where they return some of the previous eggings.
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Rallo is told by Donna that he can only have one piece of his Halloween candy per day, so he decides to roll it into one giant piece. Finishing one last stray bite, one of Rallo’s teeth come out causing him to panic. After trying to hide the missing tooth from his mother, he decides to hide it under his pillow. When he awakes the next morning, he finds the tooth has been replaced with a quarter. Yelling with fright, he causes Donna to come rushing in and explains what happened. She admits she knows and tells him about the Tooth Fairy.
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Some nice moments, like Cleveland and his friends dressing up like breakfast foods to help out his son. The story about Rallo losing his tooth after eating too much candy had alot of laughs  and I did like Roberta as a slutty ghost.

NIGHTMARE ON GRACE STREET

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After an introduction by Gus while he retrieves ingredients for his hairy turkey sandwiches, Donny stops by the guy’s table at The Broken Stool where he annoys them with his sense of humor. Back at the house, Rallo is preparing for his first sleepover at his friend Walt’s house but Cleveland Brown Jr. is disappointed as he isn’t allowed to come. At school, Roberta is taking a break from Federline Jones while he takes his SATs prep classes when she catches a glimpse of Edwin Mullins, a new student. Noticing his pale, dark looks and a trickle of pizza sauce dribbling from his lips, Roberta gets the idea that Edwin could be a vampire. Introducing herself, Roberta ignores hints from Edwin that he isn’t interested in her.
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At the sleepover, Rallo gets frightened and calls up Cleveland to come get him. Cleveland tries to pass the task off to Donna but she orders him out to get Rallo himself. Cleveland teases Rallo about being scared and picks up a hitch-hiker to scare Rallo further. But kicks the hitch-hiker out of the car when he tickles Rallo without paying any attention to Cleveland. Later at The Stool, the guys win a jack-o-lantern contest by being the only ones Gus knows and Terry Kimple invites everyone except Donny back to his house. At the house, Cleveland gets scared by being in a strange place and calls Donna. When she picks him up, she makes him get in the back of the car where he gets frightened by Rallo and they continue to argue over who is the bigger chicken. The arguing continues into trick-or-treat where, thanks to Donny’s annoying jokes, they fail to get candy from Wally’s house. When the kids get on to Cleveland for Donny ruining their fun, Cleveland tells him to take a hike. The arguing over who is braver starts again with Cleveland and Rallo darting into traffic until Donna grabs them and forces them to call it a night.
Roberta tries to attract Edwin by jumping off of a cliff into a lake like she saw in the movies, but is rescued by a moonlight swimmer named Caleb. Roberta gets the idea that he is a werewolf and has to think over who she wants to be with. Donna drives Rallo and Cleveland to the abandoned McCafferty House and forces them to be brave by spending the night in the house together. As they try to settle in for the night, Cleveland and Rallo hear noises and investigate, discovering spooky surprises that Donna and Jr. planted as traps while they watch on a web cam at home, unaware that Donny is slipping into the house with an ax to extract revenge for being snubbed. When Donna gets up for some snacks, Donny bursts in looking for Cleveland. When they tell him that Cleveland isn’t there, Donny decides to start by killing Donna and Jr. instead. Back at the McCafferty house, Cleveland and Rallo decide to call a truce and leave together. Pausing briefly at a driving range while stalling for time, Cleveland and Rallo decide to face the music together and head for home.
At a Halloween party, while trying to decide if either Caleb or Edwin should become her lover, she has them go into a room to fight it out over her. Nervous about what is going on, Roberta has her friend Anna look in on them and finds out that the two of them are having sex together. Back at the house, Cleveland and Rallo arrive to find Donny disguised as Donna who he has tied up with Jr. Donny attacks Cleveland with his ax. While they struggle, Rallo sprays the fluid from Cleveland Jr.’s “WD-40” costume onto the floor, enabling Cleveland to force Donny out the window to his death as he screams about hating black people. Cleveland ends by noting that they were pretty brave after all. Things come to a close with a musical number as Gus hauls away Donny’s body
another great Halloween instalment to the show, the costumes were funny and the shining moments were hilarious.

ESCAPE FROM GOOCHLAND

After Donna forbids the older kids to buy costumes for Halloween, Roberta tells Federline who thinks he can get on Cleveland’s good side. When Cleveland finds out that its his turn to be the designated driver when he and the gang visit their rival high school in Goochland for the annual football game, he sets out to find an alternate driver and Federline signs up. When Donna sets out to return Roberta’s slutty costume, Cleveland admits he finds it sexy and they set up a rendezvous at a motel after the game. To get even with her mother, Roberta plots to play a prank disguised as her mother and enlists Cleveland Jr. to come along dressed as his dad. At the game, the guys get riled by Cleveland’s rival Chet Butler. During halftime, Goochland puts on a halftime show presenting Stoolbend in a negative light and the wooden wife of President Harrison said to be given to the town. After the game, Federline accidentally backs the guy’s car into another that belongs to Chet Butler, forcing the guys to flee for their lives, blending in by donning Halloween costumes until Federline nearly gives away the game. onna meanwhile gets arrested for prostitution while spending time in a bar waiting for Cleveland and Roberta and Jr. nearly get caught by Principal Wally when they plant thousands of toothpicks in the school field.
As the guys find safety in the woods, Cleveland berates Federline for his attitude, pointing out he isn’t the gangster he thinks he is. Federline takes off. After the guys hop a train to Stoolbend, Federline catches up, having stolen the wooden statue of Eunice. Hot on his heels is a mob from Goochland which proceeds to tear apart Stoolbend. Taking shelter at The Broken Stool, Cleveland decides to use Stoolbend’s deficiencies to their advantage as Gus reveals that the statue originally belonged to Stoolbend until “borrowed” by Goochland. Leading a group to face off with the mob, a rolling blackout leaves the Goochland group in the dark while those from Stoolbend reveal themselves to have developed mole eyes in the dark. As Cleveland notes that the Goochland people are taken off to be eaten, Donna is freed when the police wagon is overturned. Chet pursues Cleveland to the river but is confused when he mistakes Jr. for Cleveland. Cleveland ignites the river, burning the bridge but Chet makes it to the other side and holds a knife at Jr. throat. As Chet laughs at Cleveland apparently failed ploy to burn him, Cleveland note he only set the river on fire to catch the attention of a giant monster which proceeds to devour Chet. Cleveland and Donna bump into each other later when Cleveland propositions Donna and Donna accepts as they laugh it off and proceed to their rendezvous.
Meanwhile, Rallo enjoys the fact that he still gets to participate in Halloween until he accidentally cuts himself badly with a knife. As he periodically calls for help and leaving a large puddle of blood, he appears as a ghost in the end noting he dies but laughs it off reporting he’ll be back the next episode.
Sadly the last Halloween episode of the show as after season 4 the show was cancelled. There was much that I really enjoyed here. From things like the War of Northern Aggression Memorial Stadium, to Tim dressed as He-Man and Hoult dressed as Katy Perry, all the way to our heroes praying to Tim Teabow for salvation and the extreme weirdness of Gus (voiced by David Lynch, btw). There were plenty of moments and gags that had me really laughing out loud (especially Roberta and Cleveland, Jr, dressing up as their parents).