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A Different World Christmas!

23 December 2008 2 Comments

I love, love, LOVE Christmas episodes of sitcoms, but A Different World‘s “The Twelve Steps of Christmas,” from Season 5 (1991) is my absolute favorite. Sit back and get settled, we’re about to watch some TV together.

Ok, the set-up is that Dwayne and Whitley recently broke off their engagement, and both are trying (in vain, of course) to move on. To help out, Jaleesa invites Whitley to Christmas dinner, but so does Colonel Taylor. Whoops! To prove how “over it” they are, they both go anyway (I’ve been in similar situations before, it’s so holiday). All of this action occurs during a particularly misguided period on ADW plotwise (Jaleesa and the Colonel are pregnant, Ron and Kim are dating), but during a time where director Debbie Allen really nails it and the writing is impeccable. Take note of Bebe Drake as Mrs. Gaines and Debbie Allen as Dr. Langhorne in a cone bra and silly wig.

Before I start this next half may I please point out the ridiculous positioning of Kwanzaa through Terence and his ambiguously African garb and dancing? I really think that black consciousness was stumbling during the early nineties, and Terence’s buffoonery exemplifies that dark time in our modern history. Anyway, when the Dr. Langhorne character shows up Debbie Allen steals the entire episode with her spot-on delivery and physical comedy. It is truly hilarious and cements “Relax, Relate, Release!” as an effective coping technique.

Merry Christmas!!!


  • (fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said:

    I’m going to need them to bring this back into syndication! I loved this episode, and “Relax, Relate, Release” is definitely a phrase I use on an ongoing basis!

  • blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said:


    I remember that show and too bad that no one in that cast seemed to have gotten another hit sitcom after that show!


    Merry Christmas!

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