Monday, December 19, 2016

TV With Tinsel

So, let's kick off Christmas week with a look at what TV has in store for us this festive season.  Well, basically it is all the same stuff as before, but with tinsel on. When I was a kid, I was disappointed to learn that all those Christmas specials of popular shows were actually filmed as part of the regular series recording block - more often than not during the Summer.  Once I knew that, it rather killed the seasonal vibe of say, The Two Ronnies Christmas special.  All I could think of as I watched it was of the studio audience sweltering away in the Summer heat whilst surrounded by tinsel, forcing themselves to laugh at unseasonal jokes.  Many seasonal specials, to this day, seem to exist in some kind of parallel universe: regardless of what the UK's weather is actually like at Christmas, they always have a white Christmas.  But to return to the point, what does this year have in store, TV-wise?  One thing I've noticed is that they've finally realised that seasonal episodes of medical dramas are inappropriate: who wants to spend Christmas Day watching the aftermath of some horrendous accident or families having their Christmas spoiled by someone cutting off their hand whilst carving the turkey, or Granny choking to death on that sixpence in the pudding?  They probably suffer enough of that in real life, without wanting to see it on TV as well.

But the undoubted highlights of Christmas TV these days are the Dr Who Christmas special and the various festive editions of the soap operas.  This year, will we finally get that Dr Who special where the Doctor materialises on a Christmas themed planet, only to find that all of his previous regenerations are also there and they are all forced to spend Christmas together?  Horrifying. Either that or the one where he goes back to the swinging sixties and teams up with Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones to battle aliens who are feeding on the sexual energies relesed by the permissive society.  (I've been pitching that one for years, but, for some reason, the BBC just isn't interested).  Still, when it comes to the Christmas soaps, I have got an inside track on EastEnders.  Apparently, Phil Mitchell's doctor will prescribe an experimental drug to help combat his liver failure, with the result being that Phil turns into a ravening monster attacking other residents of Albert Square, tearing out their livers and eating them.  Eventually he climbs on to the roof of the Queen Vic, where he shot down by Sharon, using a silver bullet sold to her by Ian Beale - he's been taking no chances since Lou Beale was bitten by a werewolf in 1994, keeping a stash of them in his bedside drawer.  (Actually, I strongly suspect that Phil's liver transplant story line will be concluded by him receiving a compatible organ from one of his cousins, Ronnie and Roxy, as they are apparently being killed off over the festive season).  Remember, you heard it all here first!

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