'A Very Murray Christmas' Post-Credits Scene With Maya Rudolph Points Out How Lonely The Holidays Can Be
Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola have joined forces to create the Netflix holiday special, A Very Murray Christmas — and I will most definitely be adding this quirky musical to my seasonal "must watch" list. It provided fun, edgy renditions of classic Christmas tunes, and a killer cast that included George Clooney, Michael Cera, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, and Miley Cyrus. The show had plenty of funny moments — but it also showcased the feelings of gloom and loneliness that can be evoked and exacerbated when the holidays roll around. This theme was best exemplified in the final scene of A Very Murray Christmas, which showed Maya Rudolph sitting alone at the Carlyle's bar, sipping a cocktail and looking exhausted and sad.
Maya Rudolph's scene wasn't the show's first reference to loneliness — but it packed the biggest punch. Earlier in the special Bill Murray told his producers that he felt "so alone," and the Carlyle's pastry chef also expressed his feelings of loneliness. Although being snowed in at one of the most luxurious hotels in the country doesn't sound so bad in theory, the characters were a fairly sad bunch. As Amy Poehler dryly noted, everything fun is "always hard." Although she was referring to Murray's reluctance to complete his TV special, her words also applied to the holiday season. It's frequently described as "the most wonderful time of the year" — but, boy, can it be a lot of effort to have fun during the Christmas season.
Many Christmas classics feature protagonists who aren't exactly wild about the holidays — but they tend to end on an obligatory happy note with the revelation that Christmas is all about joy and community. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, the title character expresses that the holiday emphasizes the fact that "nobody likes him" and he's berated for his choice of a Christmas tree — until his peers come to their senses and serenade him with "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." How the Grinch Stole Christmas is all about a curmudgeon who detests the holiday until he finds a sense of community with his new friends down in Whoville. For the record, I adore these classics — and I wish the holidays were that simple.
A Very Murray Christmas does not have a happy ending — and the strategic placement of Maya Rudolph's final scene really drives that point home. The closing credits begin to roll, then they're interrupted by the image of her sitting in the bar. She's smack in the center of a round booth, all alone with her drink. An unseen, unidentified man says, "Merry Christmas, young lady." She responds with an unenthusiastic "Merry Christmas," before muttering, "young lady, my ass" under her breath. Then it's time for the closing credits to conclude for good.
Christmas is often depicted as solely about holiday cheer, community, and happiness — and those aspects certainly exist and are something to be grateful for. But nothing reminds us of our loneliness more than a holiday that's all about community. A Very Murray Christmas provided one of the most painfully realistic endings of any Christmas special I've seen, because it made an important point that is seldom discussed — the holiday season can be lonely and there's no getting around it. Cheers, Maya Rudolph.
Images: Netflix; Giphy