Posted by: lucylastic | January 5, 2012

Christmas and New Year TV comes up trumps!

I don’t know about you dear reader, but I think the TV was excellent this festive season……………….. I can’t remember when I last saw so much good stuff. A couple of hours in-depth perusing of the Radio Times at the start of the holidays was well rewarded with a crop of new, one-off dramas that I thought were exceptional – such as ‘Lost Christmas Eve’, with my very favourite Eddie Izzard; ‘Fast Freddie, the Widow and Me’, with another favourite, Laurence Fox and not to be forgotten ‘Lapland’ with Sue Johnston and the family from hell trying to have a good holiday ‘finding Father Christmas’ when they would all much rather have been at home. The latter was a tad caricatured at times, but Sue shines in whatever she’s in and as someone who took her two young sons ‘in search of father Christmas in Lapland’ not long after their father died, it was interesting to see what they made of it. I also enjoyed the re-make of The Borrowers – with Stephen Fry, Victoria Wood and other well known faces……………pure escapism, but nonetheless entertaining for that.

Eddie Izzard popped up again in Treasure Island over New Year – thoroughly enjoyable and quite scary at times, my only criticism is of some well dodgy ‘special effects’ which occasionally (and randomly) sped up sequences for no apparent reason. But what do I know – maybe there was a point to it I missed!!!

The usual suspects appeared of course, The Snowman, (nothing wrong with that, I finally managed to watch it last night in a final couple of hours festive viewing frenzy); The Nativity, a modern remake of the most ancient story, with virtually every slightly swarthy English actor you can imagine, (Art Malik, Vincent Regan) taking key roles, plus a few whose very whiteness, (Peter Capaldi, Andrew Buchan) was hidden under long beards, turbans and other swathed material. But sympathetically acted and not afraid to focus on the Joseph/Mary conflict, (you’re pregnant, by whom? God?? I don’t believe you). The series aired last year for the first time, but I didn’t see it. Well worth a stint on catch-up. Lots of churchy and carolly stuff of course – and very good some of it was- John Rutter’s own take on Christmas and it’s music went down well with LH and me and I am always a sucker for Carols from Kings – even though I also listen to it on the radio on Christmas Eve. I can’t ever hear Once in Royal David’s City without a tear springing from my eye. I know, sorry, just can’t help it!

There was some good, (by which I mean funny) comedy on – Michael McIntyre and guests made me laugh, (though obviously filmed well before the Catherine Jenkins/Gethin Jones split, who were in amongst the ‘celebrity audience’ which seems to pad out these TV shows these days, ‘too much work’ kept them apart apparently………..so did Rhod Gilbert on Live at the Apollo. Sadly, the re-make of AbFab didn’t make me laugh very much – I think it’s had it’s day and they should let it go………….sorry Jennifer, coz I really like you on the radio with Dawn……………

On the miscellaneous front, there can never be enough Strictly for me, so I was happy to see the Christmas special, with some ‘new’ celebrities and the old ones back again for a last gasp of fame and fortune. Downton was decent – especially after the rattling events of the last series which were a bit too much to keep up with at times – and lots of ends were nicely tied up – thank goodness Lady Mary FINALLY made it into the arms of heir presumptive Matthew; it wouldn’t have been bearable to see any other outcome. And good riddance to her nasty fiance, Sir Richard whatever his name was, who knew her ‘dirty secret’ and made her pay over and over again.

Finally, I managed to watch ‘Endeavour’ on catch-up – a prequel to Morse, I was sceptical about what it would do to a much-loved character and heritage – I shouldn’t have worried – VERY enjoyable and young actor Shaun Evans was very convincing as a young Morse – see the photos above – a resemblance more than a likeness, but it was enough – he’s obviously been studying the gestures – maybe even overdid a couple of them – but the link was very much there. Genius casting of a young pathologist Max as well – I can’t find the actor’s name, but he could so easily have been Max in the 1960’s. If you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you to give it a try!!!

I am sure there was much more worth watching – but so many programmes and so little time!!! Thank goodness for recording devices and catch-up!!!

What were your favourites? Do let me know.

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Responses

  1. I seem to have missed a lot of those, darn it! I enjoyed Great Expectations, Downton and the Christmas special of Absolutely Fabulous. Also David Attenborough’s The Bachelor King, about the penguins of the North Pole, was sensational. I thought the Strictly special was a little bit of a let down but it came too soon after the sensational final. And finally I enjoyed Christmas Top of the Pops 1976…..a trip down memory lane!


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