Sunday, November 27, 2016

Franklin Gets Raw Deal, Yet Rises Above, with an Assist from Grandma

#HappyHallowThanksmas Charlie Brown Power Rankings for November 27, 2016

Franklin Armstrong has a smaller role among the Peanuts characters, and maybe we're getting a little insight into this during the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. Is it part of the pastiche of subtle institutional racism? A few things show up in this show related to Franklin, summed up in this screen shot:

Charlie Brown has a hard time watching what has happened to Franklin. Armstrong is the only one sitting on one side of the table, and he gets the bad chair (is it the infamous mutant dog eating chair?). Raw deal. Not to mention Linus gets smug about American gratitude and gives far too much glory to Myles Standish. Charlie Brown makes the best of things, fending off the holiday stress of Linus, Peppermint Patty, Sally, and he can't seem to speak up about Franklin. Maybe this is all about growing up and trying to manage gratitude with the baggage we all carry--historical, familial, personal, and friendship. Maybe prayer was in order, even if that one was rooted in imperialism.

Lost in the midst of this challenging (though sometimes poorly executed story) is probably the most underrated (if not the best), soundtrack of the HappyHallowThanksmas trilogy. If you haven't paid close attention, ignore the story and check out the songs.

On a side note--the election has weighed on my mind this November, and what was good intent on CharlieBrownThanksgiving regular analysis has turned into a solo effort at the end of Thanksgiving weekend. We shall see what Christmas brings. But...Thanksgiving brings a significant Power Ranking shakeup.

1. Vince Guaraldi  (Last Poll: 2)
Charlie's Blues, Little Birdie, Thanksgiving Theme. Great tunes to jazz your November. It's sad when they're put away at the end of the month.

2. Franklin Armstrong (Last Poll: Not Rated)
Personifies grace under pressure, in damn cool trousers.

3. Charlie Brown's Grandma (Last Poll: NR)
Just come to dinner. We'll make it better, anyone can come.

4. The Brown Family Roadster (Last Poll: NR)
The rear-facing classic social mobile. Are these not manufactured anymore because they're deathtraps?

5. Woodstock (Last Poll: NR)
This bird a great partner to Snoopy in the midst of hoarders and furniture attacks. Woodstock gets rewarded with a nice Thanksgiving dinner and a dedicated Guaraldi tune. But... is Woodstock a cannibal? Discuss...

Also receiving votes: Marcie Carlin (peace maker? doormat?), Mutant MMA Lawn Chair, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, vintage toasters, Over the River and through the Woods song surviving the butcher job by the Peanuts kids.

Dropped from the rankings: Sally Brown (poor performance), Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Schroeder.

May you have all had a blessed Thanksgiving.

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