Hurst Hot Take: Review of Santa Inc.


Emma Coppolo, A&E Editor

* Warning: Spoilers ahead! **

HBO Max released a new holiday series this week starring big names such as Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen. Although it is embarrassing to admit, I can vouch for this show’s excellence as I finished it twice this weekend. This show is perfect for you if you enjoy irreverent adult car-toons (think “Bojack Horseman,” but with Christmas, claymation and civil liberties issues).

Candy Smalls (Sarah Silver-man) is a coal miner’s daughter that has worked her way up to the third-highest ranking position at Santa Inc., the corporation that pulls off Christmas. She is a female, Jewish elf, which proves to be somewhat of an obstacle as she tries to professionally advance in a systemically sexist and racist work environment.

Her mentor, Brent, is chosen to be Santa’s successor when he retires, meaning that Candy will be promoted. On the delivery route, though, Brent is approached by Jeff Bezos and offered a position at Amazon, which he accepts on the condition that he does not have to use an Amazon Fire Phone. Candy feels betrayed by her friend, and Santa is pushed to find a new successor.

Candy realizes that her lifelong dream of becoming the first female Santa is now a possibility. Her proposal leaves Santa stunned and intrigued. Santa makes it clear that he is interested in the optics of having chosen the company’s first Jewish woman successor after having chosen the first Black successor. He explains to Candy that he can not technically call himself an ally, but others have done so.

Even while Santa acts as though he’ll consider Candy’s offer, it is constantly reinforced that she will never be taken seriously. Her rage manifests into the determination to become Santa, no matter what it takes. I do not want to spoil the series in its entirety for those who choose to watch it, so these are a few of my favorite moments from the show.

One of Candy’s best friends, Goldie, is a reindeer on the B-team to fly Santa’s sleigh. The B-team, also known as the women’s team, is never given the opportunity to fly on Christmas night. Goldie steals a box of Christmas Spirit Bars, which are given to the A-team before they take off. She eats one and starts behaving erratically to say the least. A strange series of events reveals that the “nutrition bars” are filled with crystal meth to push the reindeer to maximum productivity. This horrifies Candy, and it in-spires her even further to make change at Santa Inc.

Mrs. Claus is probably my favorite character, and the show did exactly what I hoped they would with her story arc. While she once longed to be a progressive activist, she is now Santa’s doting wife stuck in a boring life of repetition. In episode four, a group of characters drill through the center of the planet to vacation at their resort in the South Pole. Mrs. Claus is stuck in dull conversations with her friends, so Candy’s friends save her and decide it’s time for a change of pace. The three become gal pals, and Mrs. Claus is finally able to let loose. One of the funniest parts of this episode is the reveal of Mrs. Claus’s first name, which I will not include to leave some mystery. Throughout the series, she becomes such a fun and wild character, and it’s really something you just have to see to believe.

I will warn you: this show is very political and explicit; keep this in mind if you choose to watch it. That being said, I think that it expresses a lot of serious workplace problems in a lighthearted way. The show hits you over the head with its messages, but it also proves its points. I would not recommend watching this with your family unless you are incredibly comfortable with each other, but it is a perfect quick watch if you need something to distract you from finals week.