There are a few traditions that most people think of around the Christmas holidays. For me, there’s lots of food, alcohol and lazy days and lounging in front of the television all day with the family. So, it came to a surprise to me as to how absolutely SHIT the television schedule has been for the past few weeks!
The best way to sum up the TV guide in a list would be: repeats, repeats, repeats, not-so-great movies on every channel (which are then repeated over and over), cooking shows, panel shows and countdown lists (I must have watched Top 100 Christmas Songs at least twice).
Yes, there were a few exceptions to the absolutely dire selection we’ve had this Christmas (which I’ll come to later), but most of what was offered to us was utter crap. I know that some of the classics are great, but we’ve seen the same episodes of The Two Ronnie’s Sketchbook and Dad’s Army a thousand times by now! Not to mention the repeats of current shows (Mrs Brown’s Boys, Gogglebox, 8 Out Of 10 Cats) that were played so much over the holidays, I never want to see them on my TV guide again.
Along with our ritualistic watching of the soaps, we also saw a lot of Christmas specials of TV series’ like Miranda, Downton Abbey, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Doctor Who (of course) and Call the Midwife. These are popular shows, and I enjoyed most of the special episodes very much, but I couldn’t help craving for some new characters, stories and worlds, rather than new episodes of an old idea. Other fun Christmas specials were Michael McIntyre and John Bishop‘s comedy shows which gave us a break from the films and drama to just have a laugh.
Broadcasters may have stuck to their most popular shows to guarantee views, but I think a bit more variety would have spiced up the Christmas viewing for us all! One-off specials like David Walliams’ family comedy The Boy In The Dress and The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm starring Harry Hill were light-hearted and fun, and brought a bit of variety in comparison to the shows we’re used to seeing on our planners every week. Although both these examples are aimed at family viewing, the same could be done for adult themes.
Coming to films, I thought the selection was mainly terrible with the odd gem here and there. Children were happy, I thought there was a pretty good variety of films to keep them entertained. But the Harry Potters have been played numerous times already this year (not including Deathly Hallows Pt 2), so it wasn’t much of a treat come Christmas time. And how many times have we all seen the James Bond films? Avengers Assemble and The Dark Knight were the only particularly new films that I spotted, and most of the others I saw were repeated to death.
So, there’s my summary of this year’s Christmas television, and the results make me wonder is it even worth switching the set on over the Yuletide period any more, or even at all? Most of the films can be found on Netflix or other streaming websites, and the shows are usually over-done. Broadcasters need to buck up their ideas for next year, before viewers begin to start switching off, I know I certainly will!