Excitable Edgar wins hearts

Harriet Metcalfe reviews the most-anticipated Christmas advert of the year, the John Lewis ad.

Harriet Metcalfe
1st December 2019
Credit: John Lewis & Partners, Youtube
It’s that time of year again. The lights are on, the market is out, I’m ready to break an ankle ice-skating for the first time, and before you’ve even had the chance to cry over the multitude of so-bad-they’re-good Christmas films on Netflix, John Lewis unveil their latest Christmas ad. 

It’s that time of year again. The lights are on, the market is out, I’m ready to break an ankle ice-skating for the first time, and before you’ve even had the chance to cry over the multitude of so-bad-they’re-good Christmas films on Netflix, John Lewis unveil their latest Christmas ad. 

And my God. 

It’s not often I get a text message from my dad at 8:30am in the morning that throws me out of bed but – him knowing me to be a Bastille fan of seven years now – this one did. Dan Smith [lead singer] singing on the John Lewis Christmas advert – what’s going on. Precisely father, what is going on? 

Dan’s glorious voice is set to the misadventures of Edgar, an adorable green dragon, (if not, unintentionally, a bit of an arsonist)

Behind the backs of us all, Dan had been recording his cover of REO Speedwagon’s Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore, with the London Contemporary Orchestra. And for the first time at uni, I was crying at a time when no student should be up… and not because I had four hours of lectures ahead of me. 

Dan’s glorious voice is set to the misadventures of Edgar, an adorable green dragon, (if not, unintentionally, a bit of an arsonist) who’s taken to breathing fire whenever he gets excited, much to the displeasure of the villagers around him. 

Credit: John Lewis & Partners

As always, there’s drama about this online: parents complained to the company that it made their kids cry (they should’ve seen me), and one Huffington post article even went so far to describe it as “The Game of Thrones Prequel Fans Deserve”. I can’t see Emilia Clarke commenting on this one any time soon. Just search on Twitter and I promise you hours of procrastination-worthy content. 

It’s so easy to look at this from a capitalist, money-making stance. It’s an advert, it’s supposed to make you a) panic that it’s December next week and b) panic-buy all your presents at John Lewis. Yet there’s something of a resonance in little Edgar and this weird world we live in today. He doesn’t know where he fits in, because the community sees him as a nuisance. But at the end of the day, it’s the little things he does that make a difference. Because why wouldn’t you forgive someone if they brought you food?

We can debate all day about the best of the best Christmas adverts – Aldi’s Leafy Blinders holds a special place in my heart for the pun alone – but Edgar has well and truly won the Internet over. Bastille’s cover for Christmas number one? Get buying and streaming, people… 

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AUTHOR: Harriet Metcalfe
English Literature BA student. Loves film, TV, books and coffee. Thinks "Thor: The Dark World" gets too much hate. Twitter: @hattiemetcalfe

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