Oh, snow. You crafty bastard. Always using your wiles in the most inconvenient ways. You show yourself at the most inopportune times, blanketing our fake towns in fluffy white mush (that is CLEARLY not real snow), stranding our favorite fictional characters in cars and cabins and forcing dramatic, and sometimes hilarious, confrontations. You are cold, you are ruthless, you are unforgiving.
Keep up the good work.
5. My Boys “Madder of Degrees” (2009)
Ok, so TECHNICALLY this episode of the cable series is about what happens when a heatwave hits during a typically brutal Chicago winter but, in this case, I think it works since the absence of snow, really, is the device used here. Also, it’s -5 in Chicago right now and the very notion of a day when it’s suddenly warm enough to wear SHORTS and eat ICE CREAM makes me want to recite all of the episode’s lines by memory. I mean, it’s so cold that you actually have a moment, while walking outside, where you wonder if maybe you should just give up, if you should just lie down on the snowy sidewalk and let the cold take you. You wish for death, basically. I’m not even kidding. That’s how cold it is right now.
So yes, when PJ states that a warm day during a Chicago winter leads to 24 hours of temporary INSANITY, believe her. It’s the truth. Chicago winter will make you do insane things. Like spontaneously getting a super-nice condo with the guy you’ve only been dating for three months. Or getting a dog. And a Jeep. With no windows.
4. How I Met Your Mother “Three Days of Snow” (2009)
I just re-read the description of what happens in this episode and am amazed, once more, by how much plot HIMYM can cram into 22 minutes of air time. Basically, it boils down to Ted and Barney getting to man the bar in a blizzard (which goes great, “it’s THE DREAM”, until it’s overrun by college kids), Lily having a bunch of hilarious run-ins with her old car service driver Rajit at the airport, and Robin and Marshall stuck in the classic “It’s snowing really hard so of course let’s get stuck in our car” device. Does this ever actually happen in real life? Or is this a result of all these television episodes being written in Los Angeles, where a dude in a Hawaiian shirt sits at his desk, trying to guess how snow must feel and what it’s like when it actually falls from the sky. “People must get trapped in their cars ALL THE TIME,” he mutters to himself and reaches for another Corona Light. Yeah, I thought so.
3. Gilmore Girls “Love and War and Snow” (2000)
It’s hard to imagine a list about snow without mentioning Lorelai Gilmore. Lorelai loves snow, to the point that she can SENSE when the first snowfall of the season is coming, dragging everyone (her daughter, her boyfriend at the time) out into the middle of Stars Hollow to enjoy the first flakes. She’s crazy. About SNOW. (God, I’m tired.)
Anyway. Though there is a lovely episode in later seasons where Lorelai and Luke battle over whether snow is the most magical thing on Earth or just a royal pain in the ass (culminating in Lorelai getting all grumpy about her former BFF snow and Luke feeling bad so he builds her an ICE RINK on her front lawn. He really would’ve gotten the prize for Best Boyfriend Over 35 Ever if he hadn’t, you know, hid a secret daughter from his girlfriend for two months.) I prefer the Season 1 episode, where a snowstorm forces Rory’s adorable teacher/would-be boyfriend of Lorelai to stay the night with the Gilmores. If only for Rory, who gets to display a LOT of awkward small-talk with her TEACHER who woke up IN HER HOUSE the next morning.
2. Alias “Cipher” 2002
Let’s all agree to pretend that 1) the last season of Alias didn’t exist and 2) Season 2 of JJ Abrams’ spy show is seriously fantastic. “Cipher” is one of my favorites, with Sid’s near-death experience once of her most harrowing, involving Siberia, some thin ice, an ICE CAVE and a creepy music box. The ending succeeds with a nasty cliffhanger. Just watch.
1. Taxi “Scenskees From a Marriage (Parts 1 & 2)” 1982
Back to the old “car stranded in the snow” routine! This time there’s SEX involved. Hol-ler! Latka is sent out to rescue a female cabbie who’s trapped in the snow. Unfortunately, he gets trapped with her and that whole “body heat” thing comes into play. So, yeah, Latka gets lucky, his wife Simca is pissed and their only solution (clearly) is for Simca to now have sex with one of Latka’s friends. Alex. Resulting in one of the show’s best lines ever- “Now peel me like a grape so I can get out of here.”