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Fox’s “A Christmas Story Live!”, which aired on Sunday night, updated an infamous Chinese restaurant scene from both the original film and Broadway musical to the delight — and relief — of many fans.
In the 1983 movie, a group of Asian waiters from Chop Suey Inn sang “Deck the Halls” for the Parker family on Christmas Day. That scene was supposedly “funny” because they sang “Fa la la la la” as “Fa ra ra ra ra.”
But the TV remake, directed by Scott Ellis, opted for an alternate reality and had the waiters (played by Los Angeles group Filharmonic) sing that refrain flawlessly.
Even better, the scene ended with Mr. Parker (Chris Diamantopoulos) declaring that he “wasn’t expecting that” and the restaurant owner (Ken Jeong) asking, “What were you expecting?”
Pleased viewers took their joy to Twitter:
Others, however, were disappointed about it:
Speaking to Vulture, Jeong explained how the update came to be.
“We wanted to do something that realistically felt like it took place in the 1940s, but also asked, what if this was a progressive town?” he said.
“So, it wasn’t about transplanting a 2017 Asian-American into the 1940s; it was about creating a new world in which this could all actually happen.”
“A Christmas Story Live!” didn’t exactly please reviewers, but as Eater pointed out, it succeeded in “taking an ignorant, racist joke and turning it into a joke about ignorant racists.”
Have you seen “A Christmas Story Live!”? What do you think about the change? Let us know in the comments!
Try not to cringe at the original Chinese restaurant scene below: