It’s that time of year again when TV will either be a treat-filled festive cracker, or a duff cracker that leaves you glumly staring at your paper hat. Are you a festive telly fan?
Opinion is split here in the Which? offices – varying between those who are indifferent to the festive TV schedule, to others that are turned off by the mere mention of Christmas Television (or, specifically, Eastenders).
In an ideal world, Christmas should be a happy time and many of us are pretty fortunate to be warm and filled to the brim with food. And many of us are ready to watch the Queen’s Speech or Only Fools and Horses for the 57th time. Not me.
Elisa on missing it (but not missing out)
For my family at Christmas, the TV is given a rest and goes virtually unwatched. Not only is it partially buried under a good haul of Christmas cards and well-placed decorations, it’s also drowned out by festive cheer.
Friends and family come over to my parents’ house over the Christmas period. We catch-up with each other, are thoroughly spoilt with home cooking, play games (including the obligatory four-hour long game of Monopoly), and may even allow ourselves to be subjected to my Dad’s enthusiastically devised quiz. And that’s despite the odd obscure question that only his fellow aeroplane enthusiasts will know the answer to. All in all we enjoy a merry old time.
So, while we often miss what’s on TV at Christmas, I’m happy to avoid it. Especially the persistent stream of adverts. Ads for last-minute Christmas gifts, which are then steadily replaced by those insisting you simply cannot miss out on their sales.
That said, I do intend to catch every second of the Coronation Street specials this year.
Then there’s Eastenders. And this is where my colleague Jess Moreton comes in…
Jess wishes for an end to Eastenders
Every year you can rely on a plethora of ‘feel good’ TV to add to the merriment of Christmas Day. Strictly Come Dancing, Downton Abbey and the Top of the Pops Christmas Special are among my favourites.
But in the midst of all the good cheer, the mood is ruined by one programme in particular – the dreaded Eastenders. The Eastenders cast cry and shout their way through an extra-long special thoroughly dampening the Christmas mood. The plot lines are as unfestive as you can possibly imagine – this year bookies are taking bets on how current baddie Derek Branning will die. Will he be murdered, and if so by whom? And if not, will he end it all himself?
Surely this is not what we need blasting into our houses on Christmas Day? I know there’s a wide choice of TV available over the festive period and I can easily avoid Eastenders, but I still strongly dislike sombre shows being broadcast on primetime BBC at Christmas. Sorry Eastenders fans, this one just isn’t for me.
So there you have it – that’s what we’re tuning into (or not!) this holiday season. How about you? Do you flick through the TV guide in anticipation of some great films and Christmas specials, or do you avoid festive telly altogether?