Her Christmas Viewings

We watched a lot of TV over Christmas, though maybe not quite as much as I was expecting. Family takes up a lot of time, as does drinking and watching old movies but we still got a few viewings in. Here are a couple of my highlights.

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year
Standard annual viewing in my house ever since the year of the Goth Detectives, Noel Fielding and Russell Brand, which I still occasionally watch when I need a bit of a laugh. Since then the line up has always fluctuated somewhat in quality or in laughs, but 2016s wasn’t bad at all.

Romesh Ranganathan was paired with Mel Geidroyc (whose surname I still cannot pronounce); David Mitchell was with Sarah Millican and Rob Delaney joined forces with Richard Ayoade. We were pretty impressed with the line up – the only ‘concern’ was Romesh, who’s miserable Sri Lankan father act can get a bit tedious but he was on good form so it was all good.

They’re still visiting the primary school where children act out news stories – a feature I find particularly tedious, but it only happened once. They also had the odd celebrity guest, some pre-recorded on screen and Pamela Anderson and the very posh one from Made in Chelsea there in the studio. Overall, it was all quite painless.

I swear this show used to be much longer? I have vague memories of them going through the year month by month but I might be making that up.

In all this was fairly entertaining. Not especially gripping but then it’s not really meant to be. Really did highlight a lot of the rubbish that occurred over the year.

Jonathan Creek
I have seen every single episode of Jonathan Creek several times. I love it. It’s wonderfully silly but also quite clever.

It has never been quite the same since Caroline Quentin left years and year ago, but I have to say, I still really look forward to these seasonal specials and it was this feature length episode shown on December 28th, that was the one show I had to watch this Christmas.

It was entitled ‘Daemon’s Roost’ and… well, there were bits I liked and bits I didn’t. There were a couple of ‘mysteries’ that made up this story, all, of course, with very fantastical solutions. If crime really was this interesting, I would definitely be in the police force or some special investigative unit right now.

Jonathan is now married which isn’t quite such a painful character development as I had expected it to be when his wife, Polly, was first introduced a few years ago. Like all his previous sidekicks, she acts on behalf of the rest of us, desperately trying to keep up with Jonathan’s sleuthing methods, whilst also trying to help him become a more social creature.

The story itself was quite intriguing: a typical gothic old house, inhabited by a very ill old man and his housekeeper and carer. He used to direct hammy horror films and the house was supposedly first owned by one of his films subjects, a guy who would kidnap couples and make the woman watch while her husband is plunged into a pit of flames. His step-daughter comes at his request, as he has written to her to tell her it’s time she learnt the truth. We find out her sisters and mother have all died and we don’t know why. There is another story in there too about her new husband. It’s all rather good.

There are the odd silly bits – of course there are, but that’s what this is all about.

Right, where do I start… confusing.

I read a couple of weeks ago that Amanda Abingdon and Martin Freeman have broken up which is very sad, but also meant that I was quite curious to see them as husband and wife on screen in Sherlock. I was wondering whether they’d be any signs that all was not well.

The memory of Moriarty hangs over this episode which Sherlock jumping at every mention of him or any line that reminds us of the villain.

The initial mystery revolves around the body of a young man, discovered in his burnt up car, parked in his parents’ driveway. When this was first introduced I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank god, we are finally going to get a nice, rich and beautifully played out open-and-close story, the sort that made us all fall in love with the show back in its first couple of seasons… no. No such luck.

No, this is instead all about one of the over-arcing stories. It was fine, but all a bit too clever. Looking through the twitter threads, as well as chatting with other people who watched it, everyone seems to be in agreement that I was pretty difficult to follow what was going on.

It’s a real shame and I hope they get back to basics soon.

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