Well, it’s over for another year. Time to settle down, relax, and get ready for another batch of shopping in the January sales.
On TV, Londonist likes:
Carmen (BBC2, 13:45-16:25) This just might be the world’s most famous opera, and even if you’re not an opera fan, you’ll definitely recognise some of the songs. From the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, this production features an international cast, impressive sets and live animals.
My Family (BBC1, 19:00-20:00) The annual Christmas edition of My Family sees Susan whisking Ben away for a holiday without the family. Of course, they’ll be there to surprise him with hilarious results. It’s not subversive or challenging television, but it’s nice gentle comedy, which is always nice.
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (Five, 19:15-20:00) The third in this fascinating series of lectures looks at how humans cope with extreme temperatures. If you’re planning on doing any arctic traveling this winter, you won’t want to miss this.
Ballet Shoes (BBC1, 20:30-21:55) This dramatization of the popular book has an amazing cast, including Harry Potter’s Emma Watson. Emilia Fox and Victoria Wood, and a fantastic story. It’s set in 1930s London, and features three orphans adopted by an eccentric family and brought up as sister. The girls each have an ambition (actress, aviator and ballerina), but can they overcome their financial worries? This is total girly viewing, and we won’t be missing it.
The Old Curiosity Shop (ITV1, 21:00-23:00) Derek Jacobi stars in this adaptation of Dickens’ classic. It’s not a feel-good Christmas drama, but you’ll be entertained, even if it might be a touch upsetting.
The Graham Norton Christmas Show (BBC2, 22:00-23:00) Norton is joined by Christopher Biggins, Barbara Windsor, Russell Brand and Lorraine Kelly in this Christmas edition. We think that might be the most surreal line-up of guests we’ve seen in quite some time. Leave it to Graham Norton.
The Nutcracker Story: The South Bank Show (ITV1, 23:15-00:15) The Nutcracker is one of the best loved Christmas ballets, and this programme looks at the story behind the ballet and visits the set of the movie Nutcracker – The True Story, which will be released late next year.
And let’s not forget a few film choices for the day:
It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas (BBC, 12:35-14:00) It’s the last batch of this year’s Christmas movies, and this one sees Kermit taking over the Jimmy Stewart role from It’s A Wonderful Life, and seeing what life would be like for the other Muppets if he’d never existed. Not the best Muppet movie, but you can’t go wrong with the Muppets.
Meet Me In St Louis (Five, 15:45-18:00) Judy Garland stars as one of four daughters who may be uprooted from St Louis and moved to a new city before the 1904 World’s Fair in this fantastic musical. It’s fun, fast paced and has huge production numbers. And, as a Christmas bonus, it’s the movie that introduced “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” to the world, which we appreciate, as it’s one of our favourite holiday songs.
Monsters, Inc (BBC1, 17:35-19:00) Doesn’t it seem obvious that the monsters who live in children’s closet are organized and work for a giant corporation? We love Pixar movies, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t have the sentimentality of some of the other Pixar films, which is probably appealing for quite few of you. And it is awfully funny.