Writer’s note: This is a repost from 2012, yes. But as far as I’m concerned, this is the only Christmas video in my heart.
You knew this was coming.
So I made a deal with myself back at Thanksgiving: I would post Last Christmas as the Friday Morning Video on either December 21, or after I heard it on the radio, whichever came first. Well, folks: Christmas came early!
I first saw this video when I was, I’m guessing, nine years old. That was around the time that Wham! Video Hits was released on VHS, and subsequently viewed infinity times by my sister and I. (Jamie and Jenny Stowinsky, too. We used to take turns playing the four roles in Careless Whisper, but that’s a different Friday post.)
Many of Wham!’s videos tell a story, but this one tells a very particular narrative. It goes like this:
- Boy meets girl.
- Boy falls in love.
- Boy gives girl a lapel pin.
- Girl dumps boy the day after Christmas because she’s the only woman in the 80s without lapels.
I’m breaking the outline format here, because this part deserves full-on prose. The next year–one year, only twelve months after he’s so in love that he gifts her a brooch–he and his friends all decide to rent a house in the Alps (I’m guessing French, but it could be Swiss) to have a great Christmas away from home. He agrees, one would imagine, because his last Christmas sucked so much. After all, he cared about a girl enough to give her a gift, and her repayment was to promptly dump him. Hello, tacky? Miss Frizz is on line one.
(Although, in fairness, maybe she was waiting to see if the contents of the jewelbox was round instead of flower-shaped. When she saw a pin instead of a ring, well…?)
Anyway, they all hop on a plane and a train and a tramway, and then–here’s the kicker–his BFF shows up with her! Did no one talk about this before leaving London? “Oh, hey, yeah, George, we’ve got the house and everything’s just brilliant, and Andrew’s bringing that chippie of yours from last year, and did you drop your share of the rent in the post, chap?” So not only is Andrew Ridgeley clearly a jackass for bringing George’s ex to a ski chalet from whence they will have no escape, but she was OK with it, too. Especially given the little dinnertime bomb they drop later in the video.
Moving on: everyone’s trimming the tree, Pepsi and Shirlie are on the couch, looking adorable like they always do (did those two sweeties ever get together? I was pulling for them!), and George drops some tinsel, and BOOM! There they are, face-to-face, and here’s the nutty thing: Miss Frizz pretends she doesn’t recognize him. According to the lyrics, anyway. And also according to the lyrics: this doesn’t surprise him.
People, I may not remember the names of every dude I’ve dated, or other stuffed, but I remember their faces. And I definitely remember the faces, and mostly names, of every guy I dated who gave me a present. And I definitely would’ve remembered him a year later, especially if he’s, you know, the BFF OF THE GUY I’M CURRENTLY DATING.
(Note: This is where I diverge from my she-wanted-a-ring theory, and I begin to wonder if perhaps they only went out on one date. And he gave her the pin and said he loved her. And she was all, “Bangers and mash, are you barmy? We just met last week and you’re dropping clams on lapel jewelry? Mind the gap and beat your elbows!”)
Then there’s a bit where he looks really sad while his friends romp in the snow, because he just found out that someone trimmed his parka with his pet keeshond.
So now it’s dinner time, and they break out the Christmas crackers, and, hair feathered perfectly, wine sipped seductively, George stalks Last Year’s Girl, who is totally snogging the BFF. Gag me. And her.
And then! AND THEN! In a move so tacky it makes Molly Ringwald’s prom dress look like Jackie O’s anything, we see that she actually regifted the flower pin! Not only did she dump him like right after he gave it to her, but then she handed it off to Andrew at some point in the last year, and he wore it to their ski chalet, as if George wouldn’t recognize it. Filth!
Of course, what follows is happy romping in the snow, and a flashback of her getting her lapel pin and wearing it on her blouse, and then we flash forward to the whole passel of friends heading back to the tramway. And I think they’re friends again, because he leaves the tram with the cute blonde with whom he arrived, and everyone’s OK with having suffered through the single most awkward Christmas ever.
(Here’s a third theory: she’s a demon who trapped his soul in the pin. So he means it literally when he says he gave her his heart, and she gave it away, and so now Andrew owns his heart, which, really, explains a great deal about the trajectory of Wham! and George Michael’s life. So if anyone knows the whereabouts of the soul-capturing flower pin, please send it back to him. Or to me.)
If I had a nickel for every time a bad date told me to Mind the gap and beat my elbows, I’d be able to buy and sell that soul-stealing flower pin.