Back Home Again in Alaska
|"Back Home Again in Alaska"|
|Queen of the Willis episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
|Directed by||Alexandra Moffitt|
|Original air date||November 27, 2020|
"Back Home Again in Alaska" is the ninth episode of the ninth season of the animated comedy-drama series Queen of the Willis. Directed by Alexandra Moffitt and co-written by Moffitt, Andrea Coolranch, Jacqui Fountaine and Cathryn Swaringen, the episode originally aired on first-run syndication in the United States on November 27, 2020. In "Back Home Again in Alaska", Tabby, Shushu, Brynn and Heather go on an adventure to Alaska so that Tabby can kill Santa Claus. They discover a dreary, polluting factory full of disease-ridden elves and carnivorous, feral reindeer, along with a sickly, exhausted and suicidal Santa. Tabby, Shushu, Brynn and Heather take pity on him and decide to fulfill Christmas by delivering gifts to the entire globe, albeit unsuccessfully.
The "Back Home Again in" episodes which have aired throughout various seasons of Queen of the Willis were inspired by the Back Home Again in Indiana song though this episode was not originally conceived as a "Back Home Again in" show. The episode is the fifth Queen of the Willis Christmas special after the season two episode, "The Unbearable Homophobia of Laying"; season three episode, "A Quillsville Christmas"; and season five episodes, "A Melissa-ful of Christmas"/"Twas the Quillsville Before Christmas".
Critical responses to the episode were mostly positive; critics praised its storyline and its numerous cultural references, although it also received criticism. The episode featured guest performances, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series. It is narrated by longtme ABC24 Indianapolis news anchorwoman Karly Ryder, Karly Jameson's mother.
Heather takes Tabby, Shushu, and Brynn to Quillsville's Westgate Mall, only to get a rude brush-off from the Santa who works there when he leaves for the night. As a result, Tabby vows to kill Santa for blowing her off, forcing Heather along with Shushu and Brynn to take her to Alaska. Attempting to trick Tabby, she brings her to a Santa's Village amusement park. Soon discovering the charade, Tabby threatens to shoot Heather if she does not take her to Alaska.
Tabby and Shushu hitches a ride with a trucker and so Heather and Brynn follows them all the way to Canada. On the way, Tabby and Shushu accidentally causes a traffic pileup by discharging a flare pistol in the cab of the truck, which catches fire and explodes. Crashing her car in a chain reaction, Heather becomes angry and tells Tabby that Santa does not exist. Tabby becomes frustrated and continues to attempt to hitchhike, coercing Shushu, Brynn, and Heather to join her. The four then encounter a Canadian who gives them his snowmobile.
Continuing north, they soon run out of gas, but receive help from the Aurora Boreanaz, who instructs them to stay at a nearby cabin. The four survive the night in the cabin and set out on foot the next morning. They finally make it to Santa's workshop in Alaska, only to find a dark, gloomy factory in a dreary, polluted, lifeless wasteland; Santa a sickly and depressed old man, the elves all horribly mutated and inbred due to Santa's attempts to keep up with the increasing gift demands year after year, and the reindeer are carnivorous, feral monsters that eat the elves who wander out into the snow to die of exhaustion. Santa suddenly collapses and is too sick to deliver the presents. Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu agree to do it, but end up wasting an hour and a half at their first house after their presence is discovered by a family whom they attack, bind and gag with duct tape, upon discovering they were in the wrong house. Realizing that they will not be able to complete the delivery in time, and understanding firsthand the impossibility of Santa's job, Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu abandon the delivery in lieu of another plan.
On Christmas morning, everybody wakes up without any presents under their trees. They turn on the news, which is broadcasting the same story. Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu appear on the broadcast and bring the dying Santa out in a wheelchair, explaining that humanity's greed is killing him and if they don't shorten their demands to one Christmas present a year, they may have to give up Christmas altogether. Chastened, everyone agrees and by one year later, Santa has recovered, the workshop is once again a lively, colorful cottage and the elves and reindeer are all rejuvenated.
Production and development
"Back Home Again in Alaska" is the seventh episode of the "Back Home Again in" episodes of the series which air through various seasons of the show and the second since being resurrected in 2019. It was directed by Queen of the Willis veteran Alexandra Moffitt, this being the second "Back Home Again in" episode after "Back Home Again in Kevin's Arms Again". The episode was written by Alexandra Moffitt, Andrea Coolranch, Jacqui Fountaine and Cathryn Swaringen. It is an hour-long special with three musical numbers. Karly Ryder, Karly Jameson's mother, served as the episode's narrator. This is also the first "Back Home Again in" episode to be composed by Stephen Arnold.
This episode as well as the entire "Back Home Again in" series in Queen of the Willis is a pun of the song Back Home Again in Indiana. The opening credits show images with Brynn, Heather, Shushu and Tabby referencing other Christmas specials such as The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman and Home Alone. The credits also show Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu performing winter activities, such as snowball fights, making snow angels and putting coal in the (Deanna's) Christmas socks instead of gifts. Karly Ryder, who narrated part of the episode, mentioned that Crystal Gayle was supposed to be there.
The episode opens with a musical number in which the members of Quillsville sing about what they want for Christmas. Angie wishes to have actors Haley Joel Osment and Jonathan Lipnicki. She also wishes to have lunch with Whiteney Houston's ghost and wants twelve kegs of beer. Ava wishes to visit the Spanish coasts, and "Mexico, with two Latina chicks and some pot". Mandy wishes for a Dodge Viper. The neighbors of Quillsville also wish for gifts: Mayor Nicole Pence wishes for a tinkertoy, Melissa wishes for one day when kids don't stare at her, Stephanie wants platinum-plated silverware, Pamhouser wants "Japanese boys of no restraint" to choke her and then whip her and Maribel Sabo (who is Jewish) says she will sue if they put a Christmas tree in the airport.
Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu go to the mall so they can meet Santa, but Angie is asking Santa for gifts (she asks for a game of Uno, and a Happy Days lunchbox.) When the mall Santa leaves for the night and Heather demands that he let Tabby sit in his lap, Santa mentions he will be at Robyn & Holly's Vegetarian Buffet. Tabby says that Santa leaving before she got a chance to sit in his lap felt like a bigger betrayal than the betrayal of Katie Kadan finishing third on the seventeenth season of The Voice.
Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu decide to go to Alaska to kill Santa, but Heather does not want Tabby to get disappointed if Santa is not what everybody thinks he is; to this Tabby responds that Heather is as negative as Odie on Garfield and Friends. To prevent Tabby from going to Alaska he tells him that Santa is not real; Tabby questions this, also asking if Big Bird, SpongeBob SquarePants, Bart Simpson and Stewie Griffin aren't real. On their way to Alaska, Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu find themselves in Canada, where they meet a man with a thick Canadian accent; they also see the Aurora borealis and the Aurora Boreanaz (an aurora with David Boreanaz's face).
When they finally get to Alaska and find it polluted and lifeless, Tabby compares it to Marion, Indiana; thus resulting in a scene to a Marion resident writing an angry letter to the Queen of the Willis writer staff about Tabby's comment. When Santa Claus is near death, he shocks Tabby by saying "I'll be in Hell soon". When Brynn, Heather, Tabby and Shushu decide to deliver the presents for Santa, in their travel the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen. Unfortunately, they are not able to deliver the presents, and the next morning the residents of Quillsville are upset because they have no presents, but Maribel Sabo says she got eight mediocre gifts.
"Back Home Again in Alaska" will be broadcast in Fort Wayne at 8:00 pm on November 27, 2020. In Fort Wayne, the show is slated to compete against Friday Night SmackDown! on Fox-owned WINO ("Fox 7"), Shark Tank on ABC-owned WMRI ("9abc"), MacGyver on NoSirGifts-owned CBS affiliate WTOR (CBS 41), Charmed on CW affiliate WGOM ("CW 27") and Dateline on NBC affiliate WFTW ("NBC 6").
- "Exclusive: "Souzas," "Queen of the Willis" Land Holiday Specials".
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