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Blog #40 - Christmas on the Screen

As I write this, it is 1 week until Christmas! This time next week, I will be sat enjoying Christmas snacks like we talked about last week in the blog. Hopefully with the smell of turkey moving through the house, and everyone sharing in the joy of the day.

However, as we said in the last blog, these joint blogs aren’t just to talk about the food of Christmas, but it is to talk about all things Christmas!

So, our next topic is the Film and TV of Christmas. Whether you watch it throughout December, or just on Christmas Eve/Day, I am sure that we have all seen our fair share of TV Christmas Specials and Films. We all have a favourite, as well as one that we may dislike or feel is overhyped, and so in this week’s blog we’re going to give you our opinions… even if you didn’t ask for them!

Last week, Darren started so this week I think I will begin, I presume you’re ok with that Darren? Well, I’ll have to be! Ha ha.

Let’s start with TV. There are so many fantastic TV Christmas Specials, a lot of which are BBC Sitcoms. I don’t know why it’s usually comedies which have Christmas Specials, I presume it’s because they go on longer? Anyway, there are a few which I watch every year without fail and still make me laugh to this day… The Royle Family Christmas Specials being a clear example of one. However, for me, my favourite must-watch each year is ‘Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special 2008’. I love the whole series which probably makes me a bit biased, but each year, it never fails to make me feel Christmassy. From Smithy singing in the car, Nessa giving out celebrations as the gift or Mick going on about how he cooks the turkey, it just has everything to make you feel cheery and good. I think it’s also the fact that there is nothing extraordinary that happens, and therefore can be quite relatable for us at home to see how their family Christmas looks! Darren, what’s your Christmas TV opinions?

Tv, what a great place to start! There is so many, so rather than me going on for ages I will just pick 3. First has to be Vicar of Dibley. This series started off amazing and I must say my favourite has to be ‘The Christmas Lunch Incident’ aired on Christmas Day in 1996. This was one of the most funniest things I’ve ever watched. I wont explain much more because you can watch this on Netflix (Series 2 & Specials Episode 2). My second is actually the same as Antony and that’s Gavin and Stacey! This is such a great show that I have them all on DVD and again you can watch these on Netflix (NO Netflix has not sponsored our blog!). My final one is slightly adult orientated and its Father Ted Christmas special, and not just because it’s a bumper-sized trip to Craggy Island, with a 55 minutes long episode. This is of course the one where Ted saves a number of fellow priests from being trapped in “the largest lingerie section in Ireland”, his subsequent Golden Cleric award and interminable acceptance speech - “And what I say to those people is: ‘Look at me now!’” - as well as poor Mrs. Doyle’s repeated trouble dressing a Christmassy window and being given the infamous tea-o-matic tea-making machine. Seriously, what was he thinking?

Now, moving away from that, films! As you will have seen from past blogs or heard in our Podcast (Catalyst Happy Hour(ish) - Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Google Play Music (a cheeky plug there Antony!)) Darren and I are huge film fans. We love to watch, and talk, about films so we couldn’t ignore it at Christmas with the fantastic range of Christmas films that are about. I have no hesitation over what my favourite Christmas film is again, there is a massive range of fantastic films but for me my favourite (has been for many years, and I imagine, will continue to be) is The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992). Muppets + Michael Caine as Scrooge + Charles Dickens… what is there not too love? It seems to be a film that really does divide opinion, and that’s understandable with something like the Muppets, but for me it’s perfect.

Just while we talk about films, I am going to say something else that may divide opinion, and I apologise but it has to be said… it is a good film, but Home Alone is very overrated. There I said it.

Anyway, Darren?

Yes Antony, I DO LOVE MOVIES. So much so, that I must have over 300 DVDs in my collection, if not more! Much to Sarah’s disgust.

HANG ON, WHAT?! Home Alone is a classic! How very dare you! I am not keen on 2, 3 and all the rest they’ve pulled from the original. For me it’s the usual. Home Alone (1990), Love Actually (2003), Scrooged (1988), Elf (2003), Die Hard (1988), Gremlins (1983), I mean the list goes on! But I must say that the film I can watch over and over and not get bored is… Drum roll please:

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) This is the story of a master toymaker who discovers a magical kingdom of elves in the North Pole and becomes Santa Claus. But when Santa's eager-to-please elf Patch leaves the North Pole for the big streets of New York City, he becomes mixed up with a dastardly toy tycoon's plans to take over Christmas. And so begins Santa's adventure - to rescue his faithful elf and to save Christmas for all the children of the world. Its an amazing movie and one I have grown up with and like I said will watch over and over again.

So we have come to the end of our blog and what we would like to know is:

What are your favourite Christmas movies? And what about TV Shows?

Stay safe

Antony & Darren

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