Like a certain deity popular this time of year, the internet giveth, and the internet taketh away. In the case of Hulu’s “Puppies Crash Christmas,” the thing being forced on us, before being magically dissolved, is stress. Released just before the holiday weekend, the hypnotic, wordless movie(?) is a half-hour of wholesome carnage, to be enjoyed by even the Grinchiest among us (but only those with Hulu accounts). Simple footage of five to 10 dogs ripping apart all the presents and lightly destroying the furniture in a tastefully appointed upper-middle-class living room, it brings together our purest instincts: to coo at adorable creatures, and to watch the world burn.
There’s nearly a different type of a puppy for each of the 12 days of Christmas: a husky, a beagle, a bloodhound, a labrador retriever, a Pomeranian, and probably whatever breed you like to make memes out of. As a waltz plays, the doggos chew up the boxes under the tree, rip apart the wrapping paper, play tug-of-war with the presents, eat Santa’s cookies, and spill a pitcher of milk on a fabric armchair. (Don’t worry, they lick it up from the carpet!) A basset hound gets so wiped out from wrecking stuff that he plotzes on top of a couple of unopened gift boxes. I’m actually a little sorry I spoiled that for you, because when it happens, it feels like the only good thing that happened this entire, miserable year.
There’s several ways to ideologically dissect this alternative to the Yule Log. For one, it’s a canny Hulu ad, filled with at least a half-dozen Easter eggs referencing the streaming site’s various offerings. One of the presents is a “Funcooker,” while a bottle of “Snake Juice” sits in a corner of the room. You can also read it as an excellent PSA against giving a dog as a holiday gift. If you’re environmentally minded, you might enjoy the spectacle of animals wreaking havoc in a human home, the way nature inevitably razes civilization through entropy. Puppies Crash Christmas is also a subversive tonic to the unrealistic, Pinterest-inspired, and fanatically consumerist expectations we’ve come to have about what the holidays should look like. I personally choose to take it as welcome propaganda for class warfare; it’s exceedingly satisfying to watch a home I can’t imagine affording being annihilated in the cutest way imaginable.
Look, I went to grad school, so I can probably write a thesis on the forces of eros and thanatos at play in Puppies Crash Christmas if I had to. But in the spirit of the movie, I’m just going to turn my brain off and enjoy it. Hulu has given us the perfect destresser with these puppies, along with other similar videos in its Streaming Wonderland collection, like an hour-long movie of a snowman melting or a lamb crown roasting in the oven. The holidays are trying enough already. Take this opportunity to zonk out into the most calm you’ve had all year.