Why Christmas Sitcom Merry Happy Whatever Is Extra Relatable

Merry Happy Whatever's Dennis Quaid, Ashley Tisdale, Bridgit Mendler, and Brent Morin explain what makes a Christmas sitcom and just how intimidating Dennis Quaid is

By Lauren Piester Nov 27, 2019 9:46 PMTags
Watch: Ashley Tisdale Gushes Over Costar Dennis Quaid

Forget Christmas movies, Netflix is giving us an entire Christmas sitcom. 

Merry Happy Whatever is a whole show focused on the holiday season, centered around Matt (Brent Morin) going home with his girlfriend Emmy (Bridgit Mendler) and discovering just how dysfunctional and just how close the Quinn family is. 

Dennis Quaid plays Emmy's dad, an intimidating guy who Matt tries hard to impress, while Ashley Tisdale plays one of her sisters, Kayla. 

There aren't many Christmas TV shows out there, but the cast says it kind of makes more sense than a movie. 

"It's like the coolest thing, because first of all, the episode in your favorite comedy is always the holiday episode, and it's such a genius idea to take that episode and spread it over a season," Tisdale tells E! News, explaining that every episode is one day leading up until New Years. "So you're like in it with them as they're going through their traditions." 

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"Also, holidays are a marathon," Mendler adds. "They're not just like a one-stop thing, so I think experiencing that as a show, as a longer experience, is pretty realistic. Like there's so much action. You couldn't capture that in a movie, so through a series, we're really able to show more story arcs." 

Brent Morin says the show's relatable in lots of ways, because it shows a family with actual dysfunctions, and it helps to have a new guy to 

"I think they'll also relate to somebody like me coming in that they can either relate to or can't stand, who struggles constantly, puts his foot in his mouth, gets intimidated by him on and off screen," Morin joked, pointing to Dennis Quaid. 

Quaid does play a formidable patriarch on the show, based on guys Quaid says he has known "who have been wearing the same haircut since they were like 25," but the cast says Quaid's a lot more laid back in real life. 

"I mean, I was obsessed with him from like Parent Trap, so I was so excited to work with him," Tisdale says. "And he's just so amazing. He's got that movie star presence when he walks into a room, you're like, 'it's Dennis Quaid.'" 

"But he's also so chill," Mendler adds. "He just like...I think from being a movie star for so long, he just rolls with everything, like he's very low key. He just does what he wants to do." 

Merry Happy Whatever premieres tomorrow, Thanksgiving day, on Netflix.