The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Gavin & Stacey, DERRY GIRLS BAKE OFF and more...
|Scott Bryan||Dec 21, 2019|| 4|
Welcome to Worth Watching. Sorry for the lack of newsletters lately. I didn’t anticipate the sheer quantity of TV reviewing this season brings, but good news, as a result here’s a bumper list of all the shows you should be watching this Christmas.
You can hear a lot of these being reviewed on the latest Must Watch podcast (featuring guests Mathew Horne and Mackenzie Crook). Below are all of my picks for the next two weeks. I’ve tried to keep this as short as snappy as possible as there is a lot on. Christmas Day is mostly blah, but the days surrounding it are top notch.
Gavin & Stacey (BBC One, Christmas Day at 8.30pm) - Relax. If you have always liked this show, you have nothing to worry about. It somehow manages to feel as if they just picked up where they left off. These things look so easy, but are actually so hard to do.
Tiger Who Came To Tea (Channel 4, Christmas Eve, 7.30pm) - Instant classic. The animation is stupendous, they haven’t messed with the story. I actually cried when Daddy came home and they went to the cafe. Judith Kerr was involved in the development of this, and it debuts in her memory. I hope Channel 4 repeats it every year.
A Christmas Carol (BBC One, 22nd December, 9pm) - I only have been able to catch a little bit of this. It’s one by the Peaky Blinders team, so expect that gangster darkness feel. Stephen Graham, the exceptional actor is in this too. Hope he too joins Peaky.
Christmas and New Year Bake Off (Channel 4, Christmas Day at 7:10pm and New Years Day at 7:40pm) - The Christmas episode reunites some Channel 4 favourites such as Yan and Terry (WHO BUILDS A FOUR FOOT CHRYSLER BUILDING OUT OF GINGERBREAD) but the New Years Day episode is the real draw here.
It is the one featuring the Derry Girls cast. The episode is, without a doubt, one of the best episodes Bake Off has ever made. Can’t tell you too much, but actor Nicola Coughlan accidentally grills her Victoria sponge in the first challenge.
Dolly Parton: Here I Am (BBC Two, Christmas Day, 8:30pm) - This has certainly been a great Dolly year, with the viral podcast documentary on her life and the ridiculously soapy (and perfectly suitable for a hangover) Heartstrings on Netflix. This is a good BBC profile of her life, directly followed by her iconic Glasto 2014 performance.
Kylie’s Secret Night (Channel 4, Christmas Day, 10.30pm) - It is Kylie-ggeddon, with her surprising an audience full of fans on Channel 4, while BBC Two repeats her iconic Glastonbury performance AT THE SAME TIME. And both shows air at that time of the Christmas night when we are either drunk or passed out. I love television.
Worzel Gummidge (BBC One, Boxing Day, 6.20pm) - Mackenzie Crook writes, stars and directs in this charming adaptation of the scarecrow books. It is delightfully written and the British countryside looks cute as hell in it. The feeling you get is twee, but it is not too sickly twee either.
PADDINGTON 2, and a Michael Bond Documentary (BBC One then BBC Two, Boxing Day, 7.20pm) - Not only is the BBC showing the most fabulous film of all time, there’s a delightful documentary after about the great man who created him.
The Trial of Christine Keeler (BBC One, 29th December, 9pm) - The BBC tradition, post Christmas, is an exceptionally depressing Agatha Christie adaptation where everybody dies, but this year they’ve done a decent drama on the Profumo affair instead.
(Dracula, BBC One, New Years Day, 9pm) - I really enjoyed this. It is a bit of nonsense and it works because the Sherlock team behind it don’t take it too seriously. Not sure why they have scheduled three episodes, 90 minutes each, in three days but FINE. There’s also a good documentary about Dracula, presented by Mark Gatiss, on BBC Four on the 3rd January.
Best of 2010-2015 Wipe with Charlie Brooker (BBC Two, 30th December, 10.45pm) - How DARE Netflix steal Charlie Brooker? I mean, I like Black Mirror a lot, but the lack of his yearly roundups are a notable gap of the schedules. I miss it. BBC Two are showing good rehash of his earlier work. Also look out for the Cunk Christmas specials too, which you can now watch on iPlayer.
Don’t F***k With Cats (Netflix) - A totally not-suitable-for-Christmas true crime series. I can’t tell you much more about it without it being a spoiler, apart from that it start on an unsettling note about cruelty to animals and it just gets worse from there. You’ll get hooked by the online vigilante group at the heart of the story and the fact that the entire genre of true crime is brought into question by the end.
Oh and in case you are interested, I wrote for the New York Times about comforting British television and how it good it is to have it at a time of political division and turmoil.
I’ll be back with one more newsletter with my favourite TV of the year and decade.
Have a lovely Christmas. Love you. Scotty xx