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'The Awesomes' recap: Christmas creep

Season 2 | Episode 7 | “Secret Santa” | Aired Sept 8, 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s already Christmas on Awesome Mountain, isn’t it? Why, it seems like only a few weeks ago the team was packing up their things and heading back to school for the fall. But now here we are, in the depths of winter, and Prock has ruined yet another perfectly good opportunity for people to enjoy themselves. Against the protest of the group, Prock has decreed that there will be no in-office holiday cheer, mostly because he had an awful childhood.

Out of the office, however, things are heating up for Prock and Jacqueline. Given how quickly time is moving along in this show, it’s impossible to tell how long the two have been dating. But however long it has been, Jacqueline has decided it’s time for Prock to pack his bag and head to Albany to meet her parents (too soon! finally! exactly on time!—one of those). Prock is against the idea at first, since he generally hates fun, but his moral obligation to make his girlfriend happy eventually wins out, and he books a ridiculously pricey flight to Albany instead of using the company jet for personal reasons. YOLO, Prock.

Across town, a series of toy-store robberies is in progress and the only hero in sight is Metal Fella, whom longtime viewers will remember is secretly Prock’s presumed-dead former girlfriend Hotwire in disguise. When Hotwire arrives on the scene and runs the armed-child bandits off, she becomes emotional at the sight of a happy family at the holidays, remembering all the not-so-great holidays she had being raised by a man who would eventually become the greatest supervillain in the world, and the wonderful times she had with her brother, who would be come a much less impressive villain himself. Hotwire heads towards the door to be alone with her thoughts, but on the way out, she finds a map with several locations from around the city marked.

Upon hearing the news about the juvenile crime spree, the Awesomes cancel their Christmas break to team up with Metal Fella and save the city. And while Jacqueline is none too pleased about Prock canceling on her family plans, the team takes the cancellation news better than expected. And Hotwire, who is buckling under the stress of living a life of complete solitude and anonymity, seems glad to have the opportunity to reconnect with her former team in some way.

Using the map, Concierge begins to seek out possible villains who could be in league with the kids who have been running rampant around town. She comes up with a list of several suspects, but most of them are out of town for the holidays, so the Awesomes find themselves without a single lead. And while they struggle to come up with a possible naughty list, one portly, bearded man, clad all in red, who lives at the North Pole, is preparing his army for war.

The team heads off the child army to try to score some intel about their work. Hiding out in an alley, the team watches as Tim tries to infiltrate the bad-guy group. The bad news is that Tim, who is 11, comes off as far too old for the group. The good news, if you want to call it that, is that the 7-year-old criminals decide that Prock should join their gang, mostly based on his lack of physical size or social awareness.

While Hotwire continues to mourn her lost friendship with her brother, Perfect Man and the group take advantage of Prock’s absence to decorate Awesome Mountain in full-blown Christmas grandeur. Evidently, though, Concierge pulled the short straw, as she continues having to search for the villain behind the mayhem this week. She hones in on a Christmas-themed baddie named Animal Control, who can control the minds of animals, as well as give animals the power to fly, and has slight persuasion over the minds of humans. Given his theme, Animal Control dresses up like Santa Claus, but hasn’t been active for 80 years.

After making contact with Awesome Mountain, Prock decides to gather more intel on the villain before taking superheroic action he may regret. While poking around the warehouse, he finds candycanes, gingerbread houses and a plan to drop bombs from a reindeer-drawn sled. This, he decides, is the definitive evidence he needs to condemn the man he was just coming to love.

While the Awesomes prepare to launch their attack on the St. Nicholas imposter, Hotwire heads home to reignite her friendship with her brother, who, she has convinced herself, is not really evil. But while she prepares to reveal herself, she overhears his evil scheming and realizes that she has assumed too much and that Malocchio Junior is indeed as bad as he seems.

When the Awesomes arrive, Prock reveals himself to be a 33-year-old superhero instead of a 4-year-old boy. The team, in full force, storms the sleigh and faces off against Animal Control and his child army. When the good guys win, they force Animal Control to send his child slaves home and free them all from mind control. And, after saving the day and accidentally crushing a fake Santa Claus with a rocket-powered sleigh, Prock finally arrives at Jacqueline’s parents’ house to find his whole team ready to share the holidays with him.

The P.R.I.C.K.s, somewhat predictably, recruit Animal Control to join their team. In a terrifying twist of fate, though, they are forced to connect his head to robotic spider legs to bring him back to life. And as their number grows one stronger, Rudolph frees the real Santa from a dungeon far beneath the North Pole. It seems all is well with the world—at least, for now.

The Awesomes can be seen on Hulu.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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