Christmas TV Review 2011

I remember back in the day when I’d cuddle up on the couch
with my Dad on Christmas night to watch the Only Fools & Horses
Christmas Special – definitely the highlight of Christmas TV past.

This year, there were loads of programmes I was looking forward to.

The main ones being: Lapland (BBC1 on Christmas Eve), Absolutely
Fabulous (BBC1 on Christmas Night), Downton Abbey (ITV1 on Christmas
Night), Great Expectations (BBC1 27th, 28th, 29th).

I have watched plenty of other shows as well, but these were on my “must watch” list (The pink highlighter in the Radio Times)!

I have to say, I have been bitterly disappointed for the most part so far.

Lapland on Christmas Eve has put me off the idea of taking the kids
to visit Santa in a few years time. It also reminded me how painfully
awful some actors are. The kids by far outshone Jingle Jill and
miserable Mandy.
Seriously, I was left wanting to top myself by the end of the show.
(Actually – 15 minutes from the end of the show if I’m being honest). It
was miserable, self pitying drivel. What happened to “Merry Christmas”?

YES the head of the family had passed away that year & he loved
Christmas. Yes, I know first hand that Christmas without your loved ones
(and Father) are bleaker than Christmases past, but I did not need to
be reminded of this on Christmas Eve. Total Fail in my opinion!

On Christmas Night, Absolutely Fabulous was put head to head in a
ratings war with one of my favourite shows – Downton Abbey. I opted to
watch Ab Fab as hubby isn’t a Downton fan & it seemed mean watching
TV without him on Christmas Night.

I wish I’d gone with my gut & watched Downton. Ab Fab was anything but.
I know Jennifer Saunders has had to battle breast cancer recently & I
am pleased she has come out on top of that fight. BUT she lost the
fight for the best Christmas Night viewing in my opinion. Absolutely
Fabulous should have been left in the past. The characters have aged
badly. The plot was cringe worthy, and the “little wifey” story made me
want to smother myself with a cushion. I will not be tuning in for part 2
this week.

I recorded Downton Abbey and caught up on Boxing Day.
I am a huge fan of period dramas and love Downton usually, but I was
left somewhat confused by the Christmas Special. It has been billed in
the TV guides as “an insight into the upper class Christmas” – The 2
hour long show had 10 minutes, max of Christmas. And I cannot help but
feel they put that there just to get away with airing it at Christmas
with the title “Christmas Special”. Yes there was a tree – and 30
seconds spent decorating it. There was some gift swapping, but you
didn’t actually see what any of the Crawleys received.
You saw the “help” given fabric to make themselves clothes, and the
staff having their Christmas dinner. But no time was spent on the staff
preparing the Crawley’s dinner, you had no idea what they ate, no idea
if they went to church, no insight into their day at all really. I was
let down.
I got the happy ending I had hoped for with regards to Mary dumping that
hideous Journalist, Sir Richard Carlisle, and Lady Sybil having married
her Irish beau, Tom. But I cannot help but feel sorry for poor Lady
Edith – destined to be a lonely old spinster, it seems.

Over all, it was worth watching, but I feel cutting the first half
hour and making it the last episode in the series would have been better
– and it would have allowed room for an actual Christmas special.

Last night saw part 1 of the BBC’s Great Expectations aired. I have
to admit, I was not expecting great things from it, given the let downs
in other BBC Christmas shows.
I was pleasantly surprised! My one and only niggle was that they had an
American (Gillian Anderson) playing the role of Miss Haversham – A bit
of a head scratcher in my opinion, but she grew on me.
It took around 20 minutes to get going, but once it did, I was hooked! I
have cleared my schedule & cannot wait for part 2 tonight.

I would like to add I don’t watch the soaps – which is why there’s no mention of those in my review.
One final thing – The pantomimes shown all day long on Christmas Eve
(ITV2) make Christmas complete for me. I just hope they make some new
ones soon – I swear Samantha Janus will be collecting her pension before
they stop showing her as Cinderella! And Mandy Dingle in Aladdin is
beyond dated now. PLEASE ITV – make a new panto with some fresh faces in
it for next Christmas!!

A final note: The Snowman on Christmas Day is just wrong! It is
Christmas Eve viewing in our house – thankfully though – we have the
DVD! And remaking the snowman is INSANE as far as I am concerned – Don’t
do it Channel 4! PLEASE Don’t do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.