Hello there, it's Christmas soon and I thought my gift to you this year would be a guide to the television on offer. Be warned, this year's offerings are poor but with my help you may just watch something decent, or at least know that there's nothing on without switching on your TV and desperately flicking through the channels while screaming.
I will begin with the week before Christmas. A whole week. I spoil you.
Saturday 17th December
I'm going to assume that you've done all your Christmas shopping already and you're not running through the streets of your local shopping centre panicking, yelling, and wielding a knife. So why not start your day with...
Well okay look, the morning is a write off really. Don't watch TV before lunchtime because there's nothing much on other than the usual guff. So skip to...
1.15pm About A Boy (ITV1) - A film starring Hugh Grant who's now a bit of a hero due to his constant battles against the tabloids. Apparently this is a good film, it's based on a Nick Hornby novel and he wrote High Fidelity which was a great book and a decent film. So yeah, there's a romantic option for the afternoon.
Of course you could wait a bit instead and watch:
1.40pm Splash (BBC 2) - Tom Hanks (the funny 80s version of Tom rather than the more portly and serious 90s 00s actor version) meets Daryl Hannah's mermaid and a literal fish out of water romantic comedy arises. This was a film my parents had on tape and I watched it about 4663 times during my youth, I like it, it's sweet. John Candy's in it too.
If you start watching either film and get bored or you've just got home from shopping in the wilds, you could tune into...
2.55pm Who Framed Roger Rabbit (BBC 1) - It's cartoons and Bob Hoskins together for the first time and the last time. Kids love it and dads love Jessica Rabbit while mums look at dads and think, "freak". Hoskins is a private eye drawn (ho ho) into a world of cartoon characters in this bizarre family friendly film noir. See if you can spot all the cartoon characters of years gone by and then wonder why you can't remember important stuff like your mum's birthday. You bad person.
After those films you can take a break, have some tea (or dinner if you prefer) and then make your way back to the sofa for...
6.35pm Harry Potter and The Tree of Nothing Part 3.2 (ITV1) - I'm not a Potterite, or whatever it is you kids with your wands call yourselves, but here is a film about a boy wizard and his magic owlbear. Or something. The kids love it. It's either that or watch Merlin at 8pm. Your choice.
8.55pm The Nightmare Before Christmas (BBC 3) - I'll admit that I haven't actually seen this film but this year THAT CHANGES. I will watch it. Oh yes. Even though I find Tim Burton's constant gothy whimsy immensely irritating.
If you don't fancy singing skeletons and pumpkins and that, you could watch Daniel Craig fight Nazis in Defiance at 9pm on BBC 2. Or you could watch...
9.00pm Die Hard 4.0 (E4) - Bruce is back and this time he's bald and old. I quite liked this because I'm a sucker for John McClane. Barry Norman said in the Radio Times that Timothy Olyphant isn't up to the part of the villain due to a lack of physical presence, "I reckon even I could have taken out a computer nerd like him." Barry, Barry, Barry you are entering a world of pain. Have you not watched Deadwood or Justified? Hell, you must have seen Hitman as it's your job to watch movies. Olyphant is a stone cold killer, he has that crazy gleam in his eye, the dude will straight up slap you to death. I fear for Barry Norman, maybe in his old age he's developed delusions of grandeur. Perhaps he paces around the house looking for someone to pounce on and bench press? Barry, calm down. Although I will admit that Die Hard 4 doesn't make the best of Olyphant's skills and doesn't really devote enough screen time to Willis and Olyphant scenes.
Finally let's round off the day by watching a festive classic...
12.05am The Omen (Channel 4) - If you're a parent and you're thinking of not getting your kid a Turbo Man or a copy of Doctor Who Series 6 on DVD then watch out, your kid could develop satanic powers. Or something. Anyway this is a classic film that I haven't seen so I will be watching it for the first time (despite having seen most of the deaths already due to their inevitable presence in movie clips shows like TOP 100 DEMONIC CHILD FILMS or whatever).
Oh yeah, you could forget all that and spend your entire evening on Film Four and watch Star Trek 1, 2 & 3 from 6.25pm. If you're that way inclined.
You may then go to sleep.
Remember to wake up the next day for it is Sunday and it is time for more television.
Sunday 18th December
Right, do you want to get up early and watch films all day? Do you want to plonk the kids in front of films all day? ITV1 seems to have you covered there (WARNING quality of films not guaranteed).
9.50am The Never Ending Story (ITV1) - Well that's bullshit because it quite clearly finishes at 11.30am in time for A Cinderella Story which stars Hilary Duff and which is probably awful. Then Jack Frost is on after that which also looks really crappy and creepy "Oooh my Dad's dead but he's come back as a snowman, what fun we'll have. NO WAIT THAT'S REALLY BLOODY WEIRD AND WRONG. STOP IT."
Of course you could watch Scrooge on Channel 5 at 1.00pm instead. It's no Scrooged but it's pretty good. After that...
3.00pm Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (ITV1) - Gene Wilder is bloody mad in this film. Bonkers mad. There's lots of catchy songs and it's got that weird psychedelic aesthetic going on, it's amazing.
After that have some Sunday sustenance and then reconvene back to the sofa for evening TV fun.
8.00pm Gremlins (ITV2) - It's one of the best Christmas films ever. Malevolent puppet monsters run riot in small town America. Joe Dante created a clever and very funny take on the Christmas movie that remains one of my favourite films. I used to watch it at Halloween as a kid but that was WRONG because it's a Christmas film. Stupid younger me.
Hancock is on Channel Five at the same time but man, where's the Christmas in that film eh?
There is a problem with watching Gremlins though, it means you'll miss the final episode of Black Mirror at 9pm. The show hasn't been quite what I hoped it would be but it's still an intelligent and thought provoking series and that's never a bad thing. Jessie Armstrong of Peep Show fame wrote this episode so it should be a cracker. Then at 10pm there's the Misfits series finale. I love Misfits and the conclusion to this series should be the usual combination of the crude, hilarious, and shocking.
If you don't like Misfits (what is wrong with you?) then I guess you could watch Bruno on Channel 4. It's on right after Black Mirror so you wouldn't even have to move, you lazy specimen of wretchedness. I haven't seen Bruno, it's probably quite funny and shocking and silly. I'll see it one day but probably not on Sunday.
11.35pm Carrie (Channel Four) - After Bruno is over, you can watch Sissy Spacek struggle to find a date for the prom. Poor Sissy. It's alright though, I hear they make her queen of the prom so it all ends well.
Then go to bed because you have work in the morning. GOOD NIGHT.