Plot: Jenny has taken over for Santa for Christmas this year when he experiences a debilitating ‘accident’. She does a great job, but finds that she may have missed one sad child named Todd Sweeney who claims he never gets anything he wants for Christmas. Feeling guilty and sympathetic towards the boy, Jenny agrees to basically be his robot slave/living robot action figure for a day. However, when she’s brought to his mansion, she not only finds his house loaded with toys, but Todd reveals that he never gets what he truly wants for Christmas; weapons. He overrides Jenny’s systems and controls her mind.
She wakes up a year later in what seems like a post-apocalyptic universe where she appears to be enemy number one. All of her friends and everyone in town are scared to death of her, except Sheldon. He reveals that the reason everyone’s been scared of her is that, for the past year, she’s been arriving at everyone major holiday celebration and completely ruining it, destroying property and attacking people. He, however, has never once believed she had gone bad. Enraged at what has happened over the year, Jenny confronts Todd to ensure that he won’t destroy Christmas. But it’s not going to be so easy.
Breakdown: My Life as a Teenage Robot was a show that I definitely watched when it was on, but was also one of those shows that I don’t miss too much. I enjoyed it. It had a decent concept, nice characters and some pretty funny writing, but I never got too much into it.
This Christmas special is almost bookended by Christmas special with typical action plot taking up the middle. First of all, Todd Sweeney. I get the reference, but A) Kids wouldn’t, which I guess is for the best, and B) what the hell does Sweeney Todd have to do with Christmas? He’s a serial killer….
The plot is a tad bit overdone, and the abuse Jenny suffers during Christmas no less when she’s done nothing to deserve it kinda taints the Christmas spirit. I will admit that there’s enough done to the plot to not make it seem terribly cliché, but it’s still cliché.
How did Jenny break out of her mind control anyway? Sheldon theorized that she was under the control of someone else and did have the technology to break the signal, but he didn’t know where she was. I also find it horribly depressing that Sheldon was the one who had to do this. Her own mother, who created her, didn’t think of this possibility and tried to help Sheldon with that device. Hell, the first scene we see her in after the time skip is her trying to design an XJ-10 as a replacement for Jenny. Not even Brad and Tuck believe Jenny can be saved even if the little kid who obviously kidnapped her and did something to her…obviously kidnapped her and did something to her. Nice loyalty, guys.
The action of this episode is spot on, even if Jenny did ruin a bunch of presents during a battle with Santa when she wasn’t under Todd’s control. Speaking of the battle with Santa, Jenny combats many of the citizens of the North Pole, including Santa, and while there were some great moments there, I feel like it fell short.
The main weakness of this episode is really the Christmas parts. Jenny being Santa was fine, and her trying to be a living robot action figure for Todd was a kind gesture, but she was a little too stupid to fall into that trap. Todd’s story is also kinda stupid. Why does he keep getting toys every year by Santa and stay on the Nice list if all he wants is weapons and to destroy all holidays? And Todd’s parents really ditched him for like six or seven years because they just wanted a longer vacation? They never even came back on holidays to spend time with him? What dicks. Apparently they never even spoke with him on the phone or anything because them coming back was a total surprise and they have to fill him in on them being on vacation not retiring.
And the whole ‘it’s the joy of giving, not getting that is best’ lesson was whiplashed to Todd in the end. His face literally crumbles due to smiling from giving a gift. It was just way too drastic of a change in too short of a time frame to me. I do like how they decided to use all of his toys to replace the destroyed gifts for the kids of the town, though.
All in all, this Christmas special was very enjoyable. It has some great action, funny lines and plenty of fun, but there are some glaring flaws. It’s not a must-see Christmas special to me, but it’s great for a few viewings.
Final notes: There’s one Christmas song in this special that was specially written for the episode. It’s really forgettable, but they do manage to revive saying ‘gay’ for ‘happy’ without raising a fuss.