Last Call: It’s time to watch It’s A Wonderful Life again

Illustration for article titled Last Call: It’s time to watch It’s A Wonderful Life again
Photo: RKO Radio Picture (Getty Images)

When’s the last time you watched It’s A Wonderful Life?

It’s probably been a while. Time to remedy this! When I was a kid, my parents would let me stay up every Christmas Eve to watch It’s A Wonderful Life on the local PBS station at midnight, resulting in my own, very personal holiday tradition. Lucky for me, awesome local movie theater the Music Box here in Chicago now runs a bunch of holiday movies, including It’s A Wonderful Life on weekends in December. My daughter started going with me a few years ago and it’s one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions. It holds up so well, it even made my daughter a black-and-white movie fan. For some reason this year I started crying when Mr. Gower started beating on George’s ear and didn’t stop crying until the end; it still moves me that much. The initial box-office flop remains inspirational decades later: each person’s life can matter so much, and it’s up to us to make sure that we make a difference. It’s never a bad time to watch It’s A Wonderful Life, but it delivers a particularly perfect message for this time of year. [Gwen Ihnat]


Machine-learning algorithms are bad at naming cookies

Illustration for article titled Last Call: It’s time to watch It’s A Wonderful Life again
Photo: Oleksii Polishchuk (iStock)

Machine-learning algorithms are good at certain tasks. In fact, they write baseball news stories that are indistinguishable from human ones. But naming cookies still eludes them, as researcher Janelle Shane points out in this humorous post about how her artificial neural networks named cookie recipes, after the computer programs were given the recipes and ingredients. Anyone for a Brown Cheesey Cookie? Maybe an Apricot Dream Mole? [Kate Bernot]

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.


Not Enough Day Drinking

I think it’s time to remake it’s a wonderful life for the modern times. Instead of George running a mom and pop saving’s and loan, he’s the CEO of a ‘too big to fail’ bank. And instead of everyone in town giving a little to help him keep his business afloat, he forecloses on everyone’s houses when they’re late on payments due to mass layoffs caused by unnecessary tariffs, and then when he has no more customers because they’ve all died due to exposure, he goes to the government and gets a tax payer funded bailout.

The end cut is George smoking an expensive cigar on his mega-yacht surrounded by bikini models and he looks at the camera wishes everyone a merry Christmas.