This one was kinda depressing. Charlie is a Data Analyst for a failing toy company, Big Teddy Toy Company. First off, no wonder they are failing. Their name makes it seem like they only sell Teddy Bears. And their stores don’t have any toys in them, just gaily wrapped boxes piled all over the place and a ton of Christmas decorations. In a big meeting, she learns that they will be closing all of their locations and selling their toys online only. Charlie is horrified and saddened over all of the people who will be losing their jobs right before Christmas. Also, as we learn later, she had a very tough childhood with her single mother having to work 3 jobs and her spending a lot of time being babysat in a toy store which provided her with a safe, wholesome, and fun atmosphere in her depressing life. But hold on. Being the ace data analyst that she is, she points out that there is one small town location a short trip from New York City that is logging steady sales increases month after month, year after year. What is their secret? Charlie will go to that location, learn their mysterious ways, and hopefully replicate what they are doing and save their brick-and-mortar stores. She is promised that she will have until Christmas Eve to present a plan of action to save the stores, much to the displeasure of her rival, the rat fink evil Dave.
There is a heavy doom and gloom feel to this one despite its relentless surface cheeriness, We know in our hearts that despite what she learns from the little store that could, The already in motion plans of the corporate bureaucratic suits will not be stopped. Winter is Coming. Especially when we find out that despite their promise to Charlie, all of the west coast stores are closed a week before Christmas. But Charlie forges on despite the betrayal. She becomes close to the little store’s employees and especially its unconventional manager, Grant. She proposes that corporate make the shop its flagship store and save the east coast stores by using Grant’s successful methods as their model. To that end, she throws a Christmas Eve party there and invites all of the bigwigs. The whole town pitches in, and all of the big city businessmen have a great time. They are wowed by Charlie’s idea of the flagship store, but they ignore her advice and go with Evil Dave’s proposal of building it in Las Vegas! Sin City! And close all of the remaining locations throwing everyone out of work! I told you this was depressing! And apparently, the suits don’t understand you can’t have a “flagship store” unless you have other stores to go with it! Idiots.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the bad guys winning and hundreds of nice people losing their jobs at Christmas time, it turns out that Charlie didn’t want to be a data analyst anyway, she wanted to be a toy designer. And Grant did not want to be a store manager, he wanted to re-open his Grandfather’s old toy store, Tinker Town. So they decide to do that and they kiss.
This show sorely needed an epilogue. We hope that Charlie and Grant will be successful in realizing their dreams but don’t know that and we don’t see it. We hope that Grant’s own store will actually have toys in it instead of just a ton of red and green boxes and Christmas decorations. We also needed Dave and the other corporate bureaucrats to get what was coming to them for their bad behavior and stupidity. We needed some Gosh Darn good triumphing over evil! Especially at Christmas in July time.
July 31, 2022